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Also useful for burglars - Tactical Ninja

Jan. 4th, 2013

08:59 am - Also useful for burglars

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Ages ago I asked about getting more dietary iron, and amongst other things the biggest recommendation was to cook food in iron cookware. So over the holidays I duly went and purchased a large cast iron frying pan (and a new wok because we'd worn out the old one - yay for the post-Christmas half price sales!). After doing the seasoning thing, last night I cooked our first meal in it.




Ta da! That up there is my iron-rich bolognese sauce, about to become more iron-rich with the addition of some dead cow. Impressions so far is that it needs more seasoning (the pan that is, not the sauce - that was yummy) because stuff still stuck to it, and that I like the fact that it heats up properly and does stuff like low simmer without constantly having to adjust the temperature. I am sure that it will become one of my most-used cooking thingies.

Things I'm less sure of: storage (thing's huge), and its compatibility with the ceramic stove top (it's damn heavy). I think for the latter we'll just have to be really careful. But for the former, one of the things I saw while I was looking up how to season it, was this:



I WANT ONE!

Not a rack with a selection of 15 different frying pans, but I would totally go for a rack where I could hang up the pans we have. Reality is that in my cooking I mostly use the wok and now the frying pan, with even use of the large and medium pots and occasionally the little one. Getting these out of the cupboards and onto a rack would mean that I don't have to take out the slow cooker, the toaster, the wok and the food processor just to get at the casserole dish.

Here's our kitchen:



Well, it doesn't look like that any more. Imagine a range hood, a microwave by the fridge with an espresso machine on top, a shelf for spices and a plate stacker in the corner by the window, and another shelf with glasses, cup hooks and a jug on the far right hand side. Yes, our kitchen is crowded because as you can see it has three countem three useful cupboards. The ones over the fridge mostly have spare stuff we don't use very often, and extra tea/coffee makings. There's a pantry cupboard on the left out of the picture which is only just big enough, and those drawers. That's all our kitchen space.

So we have to be very careful about what we bring in, and something as large as a cast iron frying pan is a big deal. At the moment it's living in the oven because we haven't finished seasoning it yet, but eventually it'll need a home and short of making it yet another thing I need to dig through to get to the casserole dish, look at all that ceiling space we could be using.

Dr Wheel reckons the space against the wall on the right of the photo could be used to create more bench space by adding a sideboard of some kind, sort of like this only less colonial-y. If we did that, the space above it would be fair game for a pan rack thing. The other option is above the sink, but the inherent problem there is that I'm 5'7" and the YoT's 6'6" and there really is no compromise between him banging his head all the time and me having to get a chair all the time, so we want it in a lower-traffic area where headbanging is easily avoidable.

Whaddaya reckon?


By the way, in case anyone's interested, here is the method I'm using for seasoning the frying pan. I like this because it's SCIENCE!

Meanwhile, I was knackered last night. Thinking for extended periods after getting used to having a short attention span is hard work. So we watched some episodes of Revenge* (yep, still silly) as we melted horizontally into the couch. Because we are that hardcore.

This afternoon, Fidel's. I am so ready for the weekend after my hard two days at work.

* Who knew that 'ambitious' was a sexuality?

Comments:

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From:thesecondcircle
Date:January 3rd, 2013 08:15 pm (UTC)
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Pot rack would be spectacular. I wish we had and headroom for one in our kitchen. For a sideboard, I recommend a stainless steel industrial kitchen prep table (or a cabinet with a stainless steel top). We have one and it's amazingly useful. You can put hot pots and pans directly on it, it's great for rolling pastry or kneading dough, it lasts forever (we've had ours -- purchased at a used commercial kitchen supply store -- since 1999), and its very heavy and sturdy. I happen to like the industrial look, but you could always get a real wood cabinet on the bottom. Congrats on the pan! We cheated and bought ours pre-seasoned.
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From:tatjna
Date:January 3rd, 2013 08:33 pm (UTC)
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I didn't even know pre-seasoned ones were availalbe. Probably because I just went and bought one at the home shop across the road instead of doing my research first. Oops. ;-)
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From:tatjna
Date:January 3rd, 2013 08:32 pm (UTC)
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Seriously, I think we're supposed to eat Indian and kebabs every night. Maybe the shops had a deal with the original developer. Although, my actual oven is the best one I've ever had. Weird.

Meanwhile, the chances of me cooking on Saturday morning are practically zero, but yes. Sounds like a plan to get one of those pot holder things. And also possible do some gym training because to swing that thing at a burglar I reckon I'd need two hands at the moment.
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From:tatjna
Date:January 3rd, 2013 08:56 pm (UTC)
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I was thinking of getting a smaller one (or maybe two so I can dual wield them), especially for this.. er, I mean, for cooking eggs. Yes.
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From:caycos
Date:January 3rd, 2013 10:26 pm (UTC)
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When we were looking at houses to buy, one of them had a side table thing like you describe - but with wheels.... Might be useful occasoinally to move it out of the way?
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From:tatjna
Date:January 3rd, 2013 10:30 pm (UTC)
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This is true, otherwise it'd be another place for collecting kitchen floor grunge, kind of like under the fridge.
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From:dianavilliers
Date:January 3rd, 2013 10:36 pm (UTC)
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My cast iron frying pan lives on the stove, as it would be a rare occasion when I don't use it. Also, I think your kitchen has less cupboard space than mine before I bought the flatpack pantry.
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From:tatjna
Date:January 3rd, 2013 10:38 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, it's really quite impressive how they could design a kitchen that to all intents and purposes is very roomy, but with so little storage space. I suspect it was designed by someone who doesn't really cook.
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From:richaarde
Date:January 4th, 2013 03:23 am (UTC)
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Same for mine. I don't even put it away - just keep it on the stove because I use it that often.
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From:rivet
Date:January 3rd, 2013 11:08 pm (UTC)
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I am a huge fan of potracks over the stove. Everything you need is within reach, and not displacing your other stuff.
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From:tatjna
Date:January 3rd, 2013 11:09 pm (UTC)
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This is true, and it's not as if the range hood achieves anything anyway. Although one day I dream of having one that works.
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From:rivet
Date:January 3rd, 2013 11:12 pm (UTC)
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The two are not mutually exclusive. In fact, that range-hood helps keep your pans from collecting so much grease. If you recall my kitchen on the terrace, the potrack was actually ABOVE the range hood. I kept a tiny step handy for things that were harder to reach, but the most everything was within reach
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From:tatjna
Date:January 3rd, 2013 11:15 pm (UTC)
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Hmm, this is true. I think I could probably reach most things if they were relatively low..

As an aside, my offspring tells me the top of the range hood is grubby. I reckon if he's the one that can see it, he's the one that ought to clean it.
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From:rivet
Date:January 3rd, 2013 11:20 pm (UTC)
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All you need to reach is the enough of the bottom of the pan to lift it off the hook. They go back on the same way--lift from the bottom, line up the hook, slip it on. This can be challenging with heavy pans it the hooks are fiddly, but with reasonably large heavy hooks you're fine. Mine came from the hardware store because that's much cheaper than the kitchen shop hooks.

Re range hood: seems reasonable enough. I only notice that mine is greasy is I happen to put my hand up there >.
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From:t_c_da
Date:January 3rd, 2013 11:49 pm (UTC)
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We have recently renovated our kitchen, and one thing that was pointed out by the cabinetmaker who made the new cupboards, was that the flue from the range hood was supposed to be a smooth walled one rather then the corrugated flexiwall one that was installed with the range hood. So the old range hood in a new kitchen with a custom made smooth walled flue works a heck of a lot better than it did before.

This may be an issue with your rangehood - or it may not - YMMV
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From:tatjna
Date:January 3rd, 2013 11:56 pm (UTC)
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Ours is one of those crappy ones with no flue that fan forces the air through a filter. It's.. less than optimal, and will not be a feature if and when we get a new kitchen.
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From:pombagira
Date:January 3rd, 2013 11:43 pm (UTC)
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ohhh..that is an excellent link to the cast iron fry pan seasoning.. i might have to get me some linseed oil, although i noticed last night that homestead health has closed down.. O.O *ponders this*

*beams*
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From:tatjna
Date:January 3rd, 2013 11:56 pm (UTC)
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I thought they'd just moved in to the shop next door, that is half the size? I'm sure I saw them there just a few days ago.
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From:pombagira
Date:January 4th, 2013 12:18 am (UTC)
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it was looking pretty empty lastnight.. so i am not sure what happaned.. maybe they moved, but i can't find anything online and their website is no longer active... so yeah.. kinda werid
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From:downwardlashes
Date:January 4th, 2013 03:06 am (UTC)
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We keep our two cast iron pans on the stovetop all the time. We're kinda lazy.
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From:richaarde
Date:January 4th, 2013 03:30 am (UTC)
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Linseed (flaxseed) oil might be better, but I've used ordinary cooking (vegetable? olive? I don't remember which) with good results.

That said, the initial seasoning seems to only be halfway seasoned. It does take a while for the seasoning to build up to a hard, durable coating.
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From:Will Marshall
Date:January 5th, 2013 01:39 am (UTC)

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