Author Topic: ??? Cast iron fry pans???  (Read 949 times)

Offline Carleendiane

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??? Cast iron fry pans???
« on: September 23, 2017, 11:54:49 AM »
Made breakfast today using cut iron pans as usual. My pan, midsize, cracked from the heat I presume. Should I have eased it up to temp. Or, are electric stoves not friendly to cast iron? Does cast iron require a flame to heat it, instead of the pull out units on some electric stoves?
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Offline kayla_veronica

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Re: ??? Cast iron fry pans???
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2017, 12:11:48 PM »
I use mine on an electric stove. I've never heard any warnings against it. Was the pan cold when you turned the burner on?
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Offline Carleendiane

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Re: ??? Cast iron fry pans???
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2017, 12:22:36 PM »
I use mine on an electric stove. I've never heard any warnings against it. Was the pan cold when you turned the burner on?

Not "cold" but room temp. Plus it is near 80 here, so not actually cold.
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Offline MundaCorMeum

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Re: ??? Cast iron fry pans???
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2017, 12:24:03 PM »
That's weird.  I've never seen one break....my Mom used them daily, and I use them often, too.  I dropped one on my tile floor once, and it cracked the tile!
 
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Offline The Curt Jester

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Re: ??? Cast iron fry pans???
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2017, 01:09:23 PM »
I have seen cast iron pans used on electric stoves for my entire life and have never seen one that cracked.
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Offline Heinrich

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Re: ??? Cast iron fry pans???
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2017, 01:10:19 PM »
I use mine on an electric stove. I've never heard any warnings against it. Was the pan cold when you turned the burner on?

Not "cold" but room temp. Plus it is near 80 here, so not actually cold.

And 45 minutes from me, it'll  be snowy.

Never heard of cast iron cracking, but the new alloys from China are just not like grandpa's cast iron.
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Offline Carleendiane

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Re: ??? Cast iron fry pans???
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2017, 01:54:30 PM »
Thanks Curt, Heinrich, makes me wonder if it wasn't cracked, but I didn't know it, and finished the Crack during use. Anyway, I do feel better about using them on my electric stove.  :)
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Offline PerEvangelicaDicta

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Re: ??? Cast iron fry pans???
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2017, 04:01:08 PM »
Quote
Never heard of cast iron cracking, but the new alloys from China are just not like grandpa's cast iron.

Paula Deen cast iron cookware was recalled for this reason, I believe?  Made in China.

CD, I've not had it happen to me, but I understand that it's not uncommon.  I found this comment on Gardenweb:

Quote
There are many reasons why a cast iron skillet inexplicably cracks.

Poor quality control in manufacturing, natural crytaline formation defects, excessive impacts in handling, extreme thermal stresses, etc.

Cast iron, being a non-ductile material, in the daily thermal cycling of cooking, any minute microscopic fissure will start to propergate thru a process known as metal fatique, and eventually fail catastrophically.

To some degree, cast iron can be annealed or hardened, depending on your cooking habits. Something I do which I would not recommend to anyone else to try. I buy cheap cast iron cookware, heat it up red hot and pour cold water in it. If it didnÂt crack, them I heat it up again in an oven and let it cool down as slowly as possible to anneal any internal stress.

In your case, if the skillet is of great value to you, there are places actually can repair it for you.
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Offline Older Salt

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Re: ??? Cast iron fry pans???
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2017, 04:03:28 PM »
Found porcelain pans work well.
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Offline Gardener

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Re: ??? Cast iron fry pans???
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2017, 11:39:22 PM »
I always ease my cast iron into heat. I start on low, when pan is warm, move to medium.

Electric stoves heat much faster than gas and this can lead to things like warping or even cracking.

I also don't use new pans. I get old ones at thrift stores and garage sales and refurbish them.
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Offline St. Drogo

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Re: ??? Cast iron fry pans???
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2017, 09:15:10 PM »
There had to be a hairline crack in it already. Cast iron is relatively brittle. Older cast iron is superior primarily because of the smooth finish, which doesn't conceal casting imperfections. You don't need to baby cast iron (it's a myth that cast iron shouldn't be washed with soap—those black bits that you scrub off after cooking are usually carbonized food, not seasoning, which consists of nonporous polymerized hydrocarbons).
 
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Offline Carleendiane

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Re: ??? Cast iron fry pans???
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2017, 09:32:24 PM »
There had to be a hairline crack in it already. Cast iron is relatively brittle. Older cast iron is superior primarily because of the smooth finish, which doesn't conceal casting imperfections. You don't need to baby cast iron (it's a myth that cast iron shouldn't be washed with soap—those black bits that you scrub off after cooking are usually carbonized food, not seasoning, which consists of nonporous polymerized hydrocarbons).

Thank you St Drogo. My pan , as far as I know, is not new. It is second hand, as I have bought all my pans. I pick them up at second hand stores. I guess that is no guarantee, but it may be considered possibly old. My thought is that it WAS cracked. My first thought. And I have never cleaned off the "seasoning" of my pans by using soap, so I agree. If I can get by with no soap, I will. I can scrub with only water and keep a mild grease film. This is the seasoning. Never found the need to "season" a pan. But it also makes sense to heat up more slowly, a cold pan. Again, it would not have split without a crack. Just want to avoid this in the future.
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Offline St. Drogo

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Re: ??? Cast iron fry pans???
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2017, 11:13:28 PM »
I was saying the opposite. You should properly season a pan when you get it (thin coats of lard at 450 for 30 minutes, four such treatments will yield you a good season) and DO use soap—but avoid using a steel scrubber. After the initial seasoning, regularly cooking in it is enough to maintain the season. After you wash it, make sure to dry it properly and apply a very thin coat of canola (too thick will yield a weak polymer that will flake, undoing your good work). As far as slow heating is concerned, that is advisable, but not for the sake of preventing cracks. You should put a heavy cast iron skillet on low heat for at least five minutes in order to guard against hot spots when cooking.
 
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Offline Carleendiane

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Re: ??? Cast iron fry pans???
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2017, 08:45:06 AM »
I get it now. Glad that's straight. *sheesh*   :) Good advice which I appreciate.
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Offline Gardener

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Re: ??? Cast iron fry pans???
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2017, 09:45:20 AM »
I was saying the opposite. You should properly season a pan when you get it (thin coats of lard at 450 for 30 minutes, four such treatments will yield you a good season) and DO use soap—but avoid using a steel scrubber. After the initial seasoning, regularly cooking in it is enough to maintain the season. After you wash it, make sure to dry it properly and apply a very thin coat of canola (too thick will yield a weak polymer that will flake, undoing your good work). As far as slow heating is concerned, that is advisable, but not for the sake of preventing cracks. You should put a heavy cast iron skillet on low heat for at least five minutes in order to guard against hot spots when cooking.

Not entirely true... cast iron can experience thermal shock.

I've found this source to be a great help in my foray into Cast Iron:
http://www.castironcollector.com/damage.php
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