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Feb 16, 2014 07:09 AM

Old cast iron saucepan

I picked up a 2-Qt. CI saucepan with lid at a collectables store. I got it on a whim as it was only $20. I've used it for deep-frying but that's about all. Can I just use it like a regular SS pot? I know this does sound dumb.

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  1. Conventional wisdom is that you should not use cast iron to cook acidic foods or sauces such as tomato or citrus which will tend to erode the seasoning. I've found, though, through experience, that I can cook tomato sauces in my very well seasoned pan without significant deterioration of the seasoning and that whatever small loss there is can be quickly remedied by deep- or shallow frying the next dish made in that pan.

    1. You can cook anything you want in the pot. Just realize that your white sauce may come out with a grey tinge.

      Seasoning is most needed when you want a low stick surface. The other main reason is to act as a barrier between the food and the iron. Unless you are using it for baking or frying, the much vaunted seasoning layer is grossly over rated.

      The parade with tar and feathers in my honor will proceed at moonrise tonight.

      2 Replies
        1. re: DuffyH

          Better a parade than a treeswing and a bonfire...

      1. If I use CI for pretty much "non-stick" cooking, sometimes only need to wipe out pan with paer towels.

        If I cook something that's "wet" (acid based or not), I give a good scrub with cheap-o salt and plenty of HOT water. Then back on burner till HOT and another dab of bacon grease.

        Guess I'll be on the bill with Indianriver for the T&Fs??

        1. Check out our discussion about rice cooking at:

          I use mine almost exclusively for sauteing onion/garlic and baking rice that always comes out perfect. The heavy iron assures evenly-distributed ambient heat w/o burning or sticking.

          1. Thanks for the prompt replies. I'll try it out for regular cooking and see how it goes.