Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate
I can trust cast iron. It is wonderful, if properly seasoned. It is also heavy (thus a possible side subject for Chicoine) and I was afraid of rust when I left the US. The fear was a mistake.
I made a huge mistake giving away all my cast iron cookware. When I tried to replace it, all I could find that seemed right, was enameled cast iron, and it is nowhere near as good (even the really expensive French stuff, a couple of which were the first and last enameled cast iron I bought - the modern stuff is too thin under the enamel).
This so called 'energy efficient' thin stainless steel
and aluminium cookware is an absolute disaster for cooking
(unless boiling), as it is impossible to get a low enough temperature to properly simmer with it. The only thing it is good at, is ruining food
Are the only people that buy it, people that normally eat out, and they like it because it is shiny good in their unused designer
Of course as soon as this food
destroying cookware became available, finding good quality replacement cast iron cookware (a complete set of which used to be dirt cheap
and available from a high percentage of market stall holders), turned out to be impossible (this side of the Pond anyway), unless you can get it secondhand.
Something I have recently found that works fairly well though, is a very large and deep frying pan made of heavy alumin(i)um, with a ceramic coating, which has a slightly raised centre to it. On the lowest heat (gas or alcohol type burner), the centre is still too hot, but if you stir (with wooden implements) around that, and keep ingredients off the centre, it is not too bad.
I do hope to find some normal cast iron cookware, or a small enough cast iron Dutch Oven, when I get to North America. I think I'll be visiting Walmart, as they have a fair few bits and pieces like a Lodge Logic 3 Quart Combo Cooker that might fill the bill.
If enough of us start asking for cast iron cookware in specialist cooking equipment
shops, maybe supplies will be resumed. I do make a point of asking, but all I have seen available is small frying pans, and they all seem to be way too thin.
The only thin, fuel
efficient cookware I have found that works (but it is designed for very high temperature use), is the properly designed traditional wok.
PS. Something to consider, as I haven't used an unpressurised alcohol stove yet - might the slightly lower temperature of an Origo
type burner, be a big enough help with a proper simmer?