Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Cookware...Diggin' In or Buggin' Out

I debated on this entry for a good long while...I don't like telling people what to buy, merely suggesting it. But you have to see where I'm coming from on this one. Yes, it will cost you will be worth it.


Whooo, glad I got that out of my system. I've owned my fair share of cookware over the years. At least 6 sets in my 12yrs of marriage. All but my cast iron and most recent set (about a 6mths old now...housewarming gift that I think was above and beyond) were sets from chinamart. They didn't last long, couldn't handle my abuse and generally fell apart before they were 4 mths old. Nothing like picking up a pot of hot soup only to have a handle come off. That's dangerous I tell ya!

Naturally, being the cooking snob I am, I have a nice set of cast iron cookware that I've had and used for years. Not the newer pre-treated stuff either (had one, gave it away...ugh). Mine is well-seasoned, well-loved and used pert near everyday. If you don't have any, get some. Of course, the pre-treated really is fine, I promise. I just didn't like the way it was treated. I ended up giving to my sister after stripping it out as promised and retreating it my way (aka the right way, lol). Works fine for her, so I guess no complaints. Where was I?

Oh, good cast iron cookware. Get some. You can cook on any heat source with the stuff, once it is seasoned nicely it's just as good as (if not better than) the high falutin' fancy non-stick stuff and if you take care of it right it will last forever. Heck, my small dutch oven belonged to my crazy great-grandmother and is still in fantastic shape. It also makes for a good weapon in the event that you need such a weapon.

My other cookware is a set of Calphalon Hard Anodized. Expensive? Sorta. Worth it? You bet your freakin' bippy it is! Works best with medium to high heat, holds its temp well, cleans easy and would make a decent weapon since it's pretty heavy. I have the set linked above, the Everyday pan and 12qt stock pot. They all get used. I've tested them when camping over various heat sources, just not an open fire yet, and they've done beautifully.

The point of this is...get the good stuff when it comes to cookware. You most seriously don't want to be cooking a meal over a propane/wood/whatever stove only to have your aluminum el cheapo decide to go kaput.

Naturally, all of the above would be a bit hard on your back in a BO situation. So I've dug up a few good ones for that. I've not tested any of these, we have the el cheapo aluminum for that right now, but they are on my personal wishlist.


And just because I think it's freakin' cool and I "might" think about getting one:

A Coleman Crockpot!


tmo said...

i have had that msr pot for nearly ten years and its great. its not so great if you cook over an open fire (burns food pretty fast) but the locking lid and built in folding handle (i constantly lose the pot holders that come with camping pots and pans) is really great. the lid os not completely water proof but works really well for not having a gasket) I have another that has a locking lid and gasket but no handle I will post a link when i get home. i wont ever buy another camping pot that does not have a locking lid, that feature is priceless when you have leftovers.


Wildflower said...

I need more cast iron. You're right, it's great. I would love to know your seasoning method!

Ozark Momma said...

Just the old fashioned crisco and long, slow heating. I know the directions used to say an hour (don't know what the new ones say, lol) but I would take it out, let it cool about 5min, wipe out the excess oil then re-coat it and pop it back in for another hour.

And I never, ever, ever, ever (NEVER) wash with soap, wipe dry not air dry, lightly coat with crisco and put it away. My MIL does the soap thing and has to re-season her's after every use. I only do a re-season when I feel like it.

BTW, when I say crisco it's a generic thing for me...solid vegetable shortening = crisco regardless of what brand, like coke is soda, lol.

Wildflower said...

Thanks! I used liquid oil with less than desirable results.

I'll try again with your good advice.

Ozark Momma said...

np wildflower...liquid works in a pinch, but the solid is way way better, lol.

Terril said...

Intersting views. Would you make the same selections for cooking in the outdoors versus the kitchen? Certainlly, I agree that you should buy the best you can afford but enameled cast works really well for many applications. And the cast iron clad with copper I like better than clad aluminium. But to each their own.

I would say more but I gotta go.


Ozark Momma said...

Would you make the same selections for cooking in the outdoors versus the kitchen?

Yep, I would and do. I did say that I've not tested the Anodized over open flame yet, but it's done fantastic with the Coleman/Sterno. I've been thinking about taking it camping with us in October. Only problem there is my mother thinks that no one can cook but be it!!

The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedience, and by parts. --Edmund Burke