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Cooking With Cast Iron Question

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by Breeze147, Mar 7, 2014.

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  1. Breeze147

    Breeze147 Button Man

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    Actually any meat, but this is about steak.

    I've seen this numerous times on tv. I just saw one with Gordon Ramsey on You Tube.

    They sear the meat for a minute of two and then they say "finish" in the oven but they never say what temperature the oven should be and for how long to leave it in there.

    Anybody know the answer. :licklips::wave:
     
  2. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    As hot as it will go. For us that's 550. Time is dependent of course on type of cut, thickness, grade, personal preference. Not long unless one likes steakquettes. Unless that sucker's 2" thick with a bone, a few minutes each side, see what you get. Adjust the next time.
     
  3. Seany D

    Seany D Tourist

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    Time in the oven is up to you. I do a lot of tri tip and cheaper cuts of meat so I sear for flavor first, then cook in the oven at 200 degrees. Yes, 200. Depending on size it will be 60-120 minutes until it reaches desired internal temp (155 for me). The longer you can cook meat for the more tender it will be. You can cook it at 300, 400, or 500, the cook time will be faster, and the meat will be tougher, and have to rest longer, and have a greater risk of being overcooked on the edges. A digital probe that you can leave in while cooking with a temperature alarm works best.
     
  4. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Yep, there is a reason shoulders and short ribs and tri-tip and what not get low, slow or braising.
     
  5. Breeze147

    Breeze147 Button Man

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    Thanks guys, just made some pork chops with mac-n-cheese & mixed veggies.

    Cast iron did a great job on the chops. Totally deeeelish!

    Man I love my cast iron stuff.:wave::thumbsup::beer:
     
  6. fadetheseven

    fadetheseven High-Roller

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    Take your pork chops to the next level and brine them before pan roasting them. Some people dislike the texture of brined meats, but it is incredibly juicy and the salt/sugar brings out the meaty goodness.

    I've always used the 350-400 range for the roasting portion, but it does depend on the thickness of the meat. The oven portion is just making sure you hit the desired temp/doneness of the meat.

    The stove top portion is getting a good sear for that tasty Maillard reaction. Home stove tops are usually much less strong than pro-grade stoves so it may take longer than a couple minutes. I have no vent over my stove and weak burners. It takes me several minutes to get a decent sear.
     
  7. Buddha

    Buddha VIP Whale

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    My dear Mom had a full assortment of cast iron skillets, and cooked almost everything in them for over 50 years ... including the BEST pineapple upside-down cake you ever tasted.
     
  8. sybgal

    sybgal VIP Whale

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    Buddha...agree on the pineapple upside down cake....Mom always made hers in the big cast iron skillet & it melted in your mouth. She also made the best fried chicken in the world in her deep - cast iron skillet. Friends & relatives always requested the chicken and swore it was better than KFC or any other restaurant.... Luckily, she gave me her skillet before she passed away and always think of her anytime I pull it out..... It has to be about 50 years old and very well seasoned....proper seasoning determines how good the dishes will be. :)
     
  9. jerseyguy

    jerseyguy VIP Whale

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    Simple solution to your problem,Breeze.

    A hooker that comes over friday nights that can also cook.
     
  10. jamesxnj

    jamesxnj VIP Whale

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    A standard restaurant usually keeps an oven at 350-375.
    assuming an inch thick New York Strip steak,after searing both sides and throwing it in the PREHEATED oven,I'd say 10-15 minutes for Rare-MR.

    Instead of using thermometers (except chicken where you need to know the temp is 160+) poking a hole in the steak loses juices when it's resting..
    Just try touching the center,softer it is the rarer the meat,as it nears medium temp it becomes firmer..Well done has no real bounce-back...
    Takes some getting used to,but eventually you can just look at a steak in the oven and know where it is..

    And after cleaning the skillet apply some vegetable oil to it with a paper towel
    to avoid any rust or issues with it..
     
  11. LV_Bound

    LV_Bound VIP Whale

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    Explain this one.

    Get the skillet nice and hot? I am assuming with a little bit of oil?

    Then sear the steaks each side?

    Searing to mean about 2-3 seconds each side?

    Do you press down the meat to ensure total coverage as I can imagine the searing would be spotty.
     
  12. mikenhe

    mikenhe VIP Whale

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  13. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Damn I so regret this decision. We had a full set of cast iron cookware that I loved using. At 50 cents a pound to move back with the moving company, we sold it on Craig's when we were in Vegas.

    Still kicking myself over that decision and pricing replacements back here.
     
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  14. bardolator

    bardolator Lifelong Low Roller

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    I don't think the oven temperature at which you finish meat matters nearly as much as the internal temperature of the meat.

    Only an expert can tell doneness by pressing on meat. Probe type thermometers that you leave in as the meat cooks are a pain to use, are not that accurate, will burn out sooner or later, and measure only one spot in the meat. Get a Thermapen or other thermocouple thermometer. It will cost a hundred bucks. You will never regret it. Moisture loss is negligible. Remember that meat continues to cook as it sits, so take it out at about 5 degreees cooler than your chosen temperature and allow it to rest.
     
  15. fadetheseven

    fadetheseven High-Roller

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    If your steak/chops are thick enough, you don't need to press on them. I don't cook steak at home anymore since I prefer dry aged cuts you get in proper steakhouses, but for pork chops, I always get them >1 inch. Thinner cut pork chops will definitely curl up.

    The sear time will depend on the strength of your burners. My burners take a few minutes. You don't want to move the steaks until the meat is released from the surface of the pan. This happens after a good crust develops from the sear. If you pull on the steak and it doesn't separate from the pan easily, it's too soon.
     
  16. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Couple thoughts here: Steakeries do their "steak" cuts high, as on either side of 1000*, which of course isn't in the realm for most homers. Pressing down aggressively on meat pushes out "juices" you want retained in the meat.

    Searing, grilling, braising, roasting (high and low), barbecuing … different strokes for different parts and cuts of the moo.
     
  17. Jimbo338

    Jimbo338 VIP Whale

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    Ken is correct and I read that there is a danger of heating the cast iron too hot on the stove. It can warp the cast iron, and I read that the best way would be to heat the oven to say 500 and then put the cast iron pan or skillet in and then us it to sear the meat. I takes more time and fuel, of course, and I don't know anyone that does this but it makes sense.

    I am a growing fan of cast iron. I flea market on sundays in the summer and find the most gross looking pans of yesteryear out there and restore them to their original condition, season them and sell them at the flea market. There is only one company producing cast iron cookware in the US (sad) now, and the quality of the iron is way less than yesterday and they no longer mill the inside so it is rough instead of smooth. There are countless dirty, cruddy old pans out there looking for a new home, and willing to serve for another hundred years.

    The most sought after brand is Griswold, with Wagner a distant 2nd. Wagner eventually bought out Griswold. They sometimes made pans under different names and often with no names of equal quality but sold in the 5 and dime stores with a paper label as a Woolworth or other name. In addition there were smaller foundries that made cookware of equal quality which sell at very reasonable prices and will last for generations. Having restored so many of these pans I started to become an admirerer and finally kept a Griswold from 1905-1907 for my own use. I seasoned it and the more I cooked with it the more I loved it. It cooks fast and even and without food sticking. I am getting better at it and I can't help but wonder about all the meals it cooked for generations of people before me.

    For the curious, there are many ways to clean , restore and season these old treasures. The worse it looks the happier you will be with the end result. I will sometimes take a pan that I bought so disgusting looking people wouldn't want to touch it let alone cook in it. I place it upside down in my electric stove oven and run it through the cleaning cycle for an hour. All the old food, crud, grease and s*&@# will be pulverized. Let it cool and brush out the ash. If there is stuff left or rust clean it with a wire brush (one for the drill works well). Then I soak the pan in a vinegar solution (1 part white distilled vinegar to 3 parts of water) for an hour or more. This removes the rust instead of covering it in the next step. The rustier, the longer but no more than about 10-12 hours. Most only require an hour or so. Remove it from the solution and clean it with Brillo or SOS pads and rinse. Dry it off with an old towel. It will look battleship gray, much as it did when it was new.

    When dry I have a cloth with vegetable oil and I coat the entire pan and place it in the oven facing down. I put aluminum foil on the bottom to catch any dust from the prior step or oil. The oil is a light coating and put it in the oven at 200 degrees for an hour or two. I then remove the pans and put another coat of oil on and place them back in the oven at about 350 for 2 hours or more. Then let them cool. They are now seasoned. Some folks put on several light coats, and some folks use Crisco which keeps them gray they say as opposed to vegetable oil which makes them black. I think fry pans should be black.

    After using, simply wipe out the pan with a cloth, or if it has cooled and has crud stuck on put some water in it, bring it to a boil, empty the water out and wipe. Finish with a light coat of oil. If you have been baking, after putting a light coat of oil on place the pan in the oven as it cools and it kind of re-seasons it. Now enjoy your new modern tool!

    Jimbo338
     
  18. DonD

    DonD Super Moderator

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    Last year I bought a griddle

    http://www.amazon.com/Lodge-LDP3-Double-Reversible-Griddle/dp/B002CMLTXG/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1394302700&sr=8-2&keywords=cast+iron+griddle+lodge

    and I love it. I heat it in the oven at max temp. and then place the meat on it for the grill marks, use tongs and do the other side then finish the meat in the oven.

    Hint, use your expired slot club cards to scrap off chunks of stuff left on the griddle, after it cools of course. The cards will not scratch the surface. :thumbsup:
     
  19. LV_Bound

    LV_Bound VIP Whale

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    I used it to fry some coconut shrimp (with vegetable oil) which is set at 350 degrees. Does that count toward seasoning?

    I was originally using olive oil to wipe down the pan and it seem to get the pan really tacky. Had to use 600 grit sandpaper to get it off.
     
  20. Jimbo338

    Jimbo338 VIP Whale

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    When the pan is seasoned it is no longer sticky. The second or subsequent coating has to be in the oven long enough so that it cools and is not tacky. If you need to wash the pan just a little soap and water do not scrub. If you have to get off stuck stuff use a nylon pad , good to finish with a light coat of oil and put it in the oven that has just been shut off or I sometimes turn the pan upside down on a burner til I see smoke start, then take it off the burner and let it cool and turn the burner off.

    Another reason for heating the skillet in the oven and then searing the meat on it is that heating the pan on the burner with oil can be dangerous. Oil has a low ignition point and can easily burst into flames.

    Jimbo338
     
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