T Nation

Food Porn Thread


#803

Rust > parabens, phtalates etc… or so I’ve been told


#804

Yeah I’ve never really known if those concerns are actually warranted.


#805

Cheap and easy steak dinner.

Not a great shot but here is a pan seared Chilean sea bass dish I made a while ago.

Crock pot ghetto beef burgundy.

I’ve been making a lot of spatchcock roast chicken lately. Cooks in 45 min or so.


#806

Proper seasoning is supposed to avoid rust, but there is a solid amount of evidence that excessive use of cast iron pans is, essentially, a low-dose iron supplement. So that’s a factor that should get more attention.

Bro, it doesn’t matter if they’re warranted. The decision was made. Ha. But really though, she did work at one of the first law firms that were part of a class-action suit against BPA in baby bottles, so she’s always been on the lookout to eliminate xenoestrogens from our lifestyle.


#807

Haha, I know how that goes. Many a pleasant evening has been made uncomfortable by a friend of mine inviting me out for a cigarette in front of my girlfriend. “Na, mate. I don’t smoke. Rememmmmberrrrr?

Not trying to derail the thread even further, but didn’t you write a piece on this? Could you link it?


#808

You know, I don’t think I’ve actually done a full article on it. I might’ve touched on it in passing in some pieces.Discussed it in plenty of posts when it comes up, but this is an interview Dr. Mike Roussell did with one researcher and this was a pretty solid intro to the problems with (and some solutions to) BPA and phthalates.


#809

Last night’s stir fry.

Chicken thigh, Normandy blend (broccoli, cauliflower, carrot), shaved carrot, napa cabbage, bok choy, leeks, diced ginger. Served over quinoa.


#810

Grass fed Delmonico + Spinach concoction.


#811

Possibly the biggest advantage of cast iron is the mass. It is the heaviest pan in most people’s kitchens. As such, it can hold on to heat better than your average revereware crap.

This is a huge deal, because managing pan temps is one of the biggest keys to good cooking, especially if you are cooking on an electric cooktop (gas has enough btus to negate the problem of low-mass pans.)

This is why cast iron is often reccomended for searing meat; because a pan with less mass (say…400g) will drop in temp precipitously as soon as you drop a cold, 400g, steak on it. The science behind the equilibrium of temps is pretty simple… You can think of it as:(Temp x mass of pan) - (temp x mass of food)…(this does not take into account btus, but btus will effect how quickly a pan’s temp rises/bounces back after an equilibrium event) If it drops below 212ish F, you are no longer searing, you are steaming your steak. Your food surface has to be free of water in order to brown (Maillard effect), otherwise the water undergoing a phase-change (liquid to gas) will use a significant amount of heat, essentially limiting the pan temp to sub-Maillard temps. A high-mass pan at a high temp will ensure that the water is rapidly vaporizing, keeping the Maillard reaction going at the food surface.

Other advantages to cast iron include: versatility (as Chris mentioned, stovetop to oven finish); can be used as a deep fryer; can be put on the grill or hot coals. Also: the seasoning, when properly developed and sufficiently thick, creates a layer that is almost as good as Teflon, when you know how to manage the temps.

It is a misnomer that the pans distribute heat well… Cast iron takes awhile to heat up (slightly longer than stainless steel, much slower than aluminum or copper), and when it does heat up, there is a major hotspot from your heat source… The sides of the pan are considerably cooler than the bottom.

I hope you guys get something out of this; I enjoyed sharing a little knowledge! I’ve been trying to get back to the forum a bit more, lately.
/conclude science lesson.

Caught these on Thursday, 48miles offshore:


Snapper, grunts, and rainbow runner.

Rainbow runner sashimi:

Whole fried snapper, Bahamian style, with island rice and grilled veggies:

Sorry for the crappy pics… New house has terrible light; I need to fix that.

Have a great weekend everybody!


#812

Hello FatKidromFL,

thank you very much for sharing all the informations about cast iron pans.

Yesterday I bought a brand new cast iron pan from the brand “le creuset”. The pan is not pre season and I have to do this on my own. In the manual it says, use flaxseed oil to create a new seasoning.

Im not a big fan of flaxseed oil overall. Do you know if I can use coconut oil to season the pan?

thank you very much for your help!


#813

Cast iron pan is my #1 tool in the kitchen.

I’m nowhere near your league @FatKidfromFL but I keep trying to improve. You’ve got some impressive creations. I might need to take a crack at that gumbo.


#814

Always!

Had a tremendous fall mushroom season and used your tips on cooking to greatly improve the flavor. It was a maitake bonanza this year!


#815

Excellent reference attached. Coconut is not ideal due to it being saturated. Unsaturated is much better. The goal of the seasoning process is to create a layer of plasticized oil. See below:

Chemistry of Seasoning Cast Iron Cooking

When oils or fats are heated in a pan, multiple degradation reactions occur, including: autoxidation, thermal oxidation, polymerization, cyclization and fission.

The development of a seasoned cast iron pan is actually a two part process: polymerization and carbonization. The first part involves developing a thin layer of polymerized oil on the cast iron.This is done by applying a very thin coat of unsaturated oil (e.g., canola, flaxseed or grapeseed oil) to the cast iron surface and heating it in an oven until it dries. Unsaturated fats work better since they have less hydrogen’s and therefore have less non-carbon components. Once the polymerization process is complete the layer of oil cannot be easily removed. To complete the seasoning, which involves laying down of a carbon matrix on to the cast iron surface, heat must be applied slightly above above the smoke point of the oil. If you do not heat above the smoke point only the polymerized oil coat will be present instead of having an added rich black carbon matrix.

How to Season a Cast Iron Pan

Unsaturated fats work best (unsaturated means that some of the carbons in the fatty acid chains contain reactive double bonds). Nineteenth century American cooks typically used lard because it was readily available and unsaturated enough to polymerize well, but almost any oil will work.( Note: Lard from the 19th century was more saturated than today because the feed was more natural). When an unsaturated fat is heated to high temperatures, especially in the presence of a good catalyst like iron, it is broken down and oxidized, after which it polymerizes –joins into larger mega molecules the same way plastics do – and mixes with bits of carbon and other impurities. This tough, impermeable surface adheres to the pores and crevices in the cast iron as it is forming. The surface is nonstick because it is hydrophobic – it hates water. A well seasoned cast iron pan will have a slick and glassy coating that isbest achieved by baking on multiple “very” thin coats of oil.

Note 1: We find that using a very thin layer allows the best results since the patina is a two step process, polymerization and carbon deposition. If too much oil is spread on the cast iron pan you can achieve polymerization but carbon deposition will not be sufficient.

Note2: Acidic foods, such as tomatoes, will deteriorate the seasoned coating of your pots and pans

Note 3 : If highly unsaturated oils are used and too low a temperature they will not completely polymerize leaving a sticky layer. The problem with this sticky layer is that it is still prone to further oxidation and can therefore turn rancid. Low temperatures do not completely polymerize and break down oil and will leave a brown, somewhat sticky pan instead of a black, nonstick one. 400-500 degrees F is the effective range for seasoning.

Note 4 : The best way to evenly heat cast iron is in the oven.

Thanks for the compliment! Let me know how the gumbo turns out, I think you’ll love it!

Thats so cool! I only got to go out for Chantrelles once this year, and we got skunked. I’m hoping to meet up with some shroom-hunters around here in my new neck-o-the-woods… I’ve heard the Chantrelles do well down here. Also considering growing them.


#816

I hadn’t thought of it, but I bet they would do pretty well. I haven’t had any luck trying to grow them yet, but haven’t tried any sophisticated methods either. Just scattering some around here and there in good locations. I lost a mega-patch a couple of years ago to a big storm that spurred my interest in attempting to grow them. I did manage to inoculate a few oaks with maitake though.

A local club is a good idea. The timing, local flora, and weather are major factors and a local guide can shave a couple of years off of the learning curve.

If you don’t have any luck by mid July or so, let me know and I can probably send you some. That’s about when they really start to take off up here.


#817

Thank you very much for sharing so much valuable informations! I appreciate this! Awesome!

Ok, so now I know that I have to use an unsaturated oil to get the best results for the seasoning of the pan.

What I don´t know or what confuses me, is the fact, that there are more than one million ways to season a cast iron pan. The last few hours I watched x amount of youtube videos on how to season a cast iron pan and I have absolutely no idea which one is the “right” way.

In summary I think most of the people season the pan in the oven!? My user manual says I should season the pan on the stove-top, but I can´t find videos how someone season a cast iron pan on the stove-top.

I found a guide that says:

  1. Scrub skillet well in hot soapy water.
  2. Dry thoroughly
  3. Spread a thin layer of melted shortening or vegetable oil over the skillet
  4. Place it upside down on a middle oven rack at 375
  5. Bake one hour, let cool in the oven

I hope you can help me out once again and I hope a professional cast iron user can give me some tipps and a guide how to do this right.

My questions are:

  1. Can I use olive oil also or is flaxseed oil a must to get a perfect result?

  2. How do you season your new cast iron pans, step by step?

Thank you very much for taking your time!


#818

First meal of my mass gain phase. Scrambled eggs + egg white with low fat cheese, mushroom, spinach, and 2 slices bacon.

Delicious, but next time I’ll put just a tad less spinach.


#819

Breakfast casserole.


#820

I used (I only have one cast iron pan, got it Awhile ago) flax oil, and put a thin coat on it and put it in a 450degree oven, upside down, for an hour. I repeated the process again. Done and done. The le creuset is a really nice piece!!


#821

#822

This might be my new favourite place to eat, really cool retro joint that plays old shows on the tv’s, plays old, catchy tunes and has great food.

https://i.imgur.com/FY6v2tK.jpg

Here is a reeses peanut buttercup milkshake, so good.

https://i.imgur.com/GhXEvzm.jpg

Aaaaaand last but not least a luscious chilli cheese burger with onion rings on top.

I knew I would love this thread