December 23, 2012

OR A FRACTION OF THAT AT THE THRIFT STORE:

Cast iron heats up again  (NOELLE CARTER, 12/20/12, LOS ANGELES TIMES)

Why is cast iron so big? Well, it easily lends itself to almost any kind of cooking. Cast iron heats evenly, without hot spots, and retains that heat better and longer than other types of cookware. Properly cared for, cast iron can last years -- centuries even. Plus, it's reasonably priced, especially compared with other cookware.

Cast iron is made by pouring the molten metal into individual sand molds. Once the cookware is cast, it needs to be "seasoned." Because iron corrodes so easily, a fat -- oil, lard or grease -- is used to build a protective layer. Properly applied and heated, the oil hardens over time (polymerizes) to form a dense, slick layer on the surface of the iron. Cast iron is, if you will, the original non-stick pan.

"People are tired of Teflon and all that other stuff," says David G. Smith. An avid collector and dealer of antique cast iron, he's known as "the Pan Man" and is coauthor of two bibles on collectible cast iron.

According to Doris Mosier, who has been collecting and dealing in antique cast iron for more than 30 years, most of her new customers buy three things: a skillet, griddle and Dutch oven. Mosier says a basic skillet will set you back about $50, a basic griddle $45 to $50, and a Dutch oven $85 and up, depending on the size.


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Posted by at December 23, 2012 9:35 AM
  

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