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Sam Wilkinson

According to a faithful reader, I'm Ordinary Times's "least thoughtful writer." So I've got that going for me, which is nice.

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33 Responses

  1. Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

    > Do I Have Any Skill At Writing Personal Introductions?

    > No

    Clearly false. You included a cast iron skillet re-seasoning recipe.Report

    • Avatar LauraNo says:

      But he neglected to say what we should
      do with the pan after the oven cleaning
      cycle. Wash w/ soap and water, I believe?Report

      • Avatar Sam says:

        No soap, ever. After the self-cleaning cycle, you should remove anything that’s burned off (like rust, but obviously only after it has cooled), then start the baconing.Report

  2. Avatar Murali says:

    Welcome Sam! Sam, if I am vegetarian and don’t have any pork, what do you suggest are good alternatives?Report

    • Avatar cfpete says:

      Use a monounsaturated vegetable oil with a relatively high smoke point.
      Monounsaturated because polyunsaturated fats are more prone to rancidity.
      I am not a vegetarian but don’t like to use lard for seasoning because the pan will start to smell without constant use.
      Canola oil is good because it is cheap and relatively tasteless.
      I tried peanut oil once but everything cooked in the pan had a distinct peanuty taste.
      You need to apply the oil in a thin layer and repeat the heating process four or five times.
      Here is link for info: Cast IronReport

    • Avatar Sam says:

      I would recommend you use whatever oil you most often cook with. We cook most with olive oil, so that’s what I use. Apply before the baking process, and again afterward, and you should be reasonably ready to go.

      Worth noting: clean only with water. No soap.Report

      • Avatar cfpete says:

        Agree with no soap in cleaning.
        I use coarse salt and a stiff bamboo brush to remove any leftover food debris – then rinse, dry and oil for storage.Report

        • Avatar Sam says:

          You’re cleaner than I am. I use a thin metal spatula to scrape off the bits, rinse, and oil. If something remains, it usually liquefies when heat is applied. (Oh, and incidentally, yet another reason to like cast-iron is that you can use metal cooking implements without irreversible damage to the pan.)

          CF – where are you on brands? People around here genuinely seem to care about branding (Griswold, mostly). It drives me crazy.Report

          • Avatar cfpete says:

            Brands? I am in the south so most of what I have is Lodge. All bought at flea markets with copious amounts of surface rust for about $2 – $5 a piece.
            I think I did pay $15 for a giant camp dutch oven.
            I have one Griswold skillet and I really can’t see any difference.
            I believe Griswold has more cache because of its value as a collectible.

            Someone gave me a cast iron griddle made by All-Clad. Damn thing cracked the second time it was used.

            The funny thing is that the best cast iron, the most valuable cast iron, the most antique cast iron – will have no branding at all.Report

            • Avatar Sam says:

              I’m baffled by the loyalty to Griswold. I’ve had some – gifted to me by family members who insist that I’m getting the best of the best – and I’ve always soon passed it on to the next person. It strikes me as thin and flimsy and not what I’m looking for, which is heavy and porous.Report

  3. I am utterly delighted you’re Officially Here.Report

  4. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    Welcome aboard Sam!Report

  5. Avatar James Hanley says:

    Good choice for a new OG. I’ve enjoyed your guest posts.Report

  6. “…and cats are awful”

    Clearly, I can get behind this. Welcome.Report

  7. Avatar Miss Mary says:

    It’s nice to meet you, Sam. I think your introduction is lovely.Report

  8. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    Welcome aboard!Report

  9. Avatar Rtod says:

    Finally, the League can put behind it the querulous slur that we refuse to take on the divisive issue of skillet seasoning.

    Welcome Sam!Report

  10. I don’t understand why more people don’t use more cast-iron.

    This is a vastly more important issue than whether there is an objective difference between good and bad art. We shall be friends. However, please note that this makes you my wife’s mortal enemy.Report

  11. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    If you do this successfully, you can have a piece of non-stick cookware that will last you for the rest of your life at a total cost of whatever you paid for the used skillet plus a few bucks for supplies and electricity.

    Was the bacon free, or can we infer something about the awful stray cats?Report

    • Avatar Sam says:

      This is a good point, although the bacon counts as supplies. In this one specific case you don’t necessarily want to eat this bacon, because you want to cook all of the fat right out of it. I’m not talking about burning the bacon into the pan necessarily, but as close as you’re willing to come. It isn’t very appetizing afterward although you can plainly tell from the early part of this sentence that I’ve certainly tried what’s been left behind.Report

  12. Avatar Sam says:

    It’d be overboard to say this individually, so let me simply say thank you for being so welcoming and enthusiastic.Report

  13. Avatar Nathan says:

    The *really* hard part is finding a good (by which I mean what most people think is bad) spatula. What is necessary is a flimsy-ish, but not too flimsy metal spatula with a flat edge. Rounded edges can’t scrape efficiently. Older spatulas were more likely to be like this. I have one good old wood-handled one, and one newer plastic handled one. Plastic sucks. If you leave it leaning against the pan it will melt. What a mess.
    People don’t buy these anymore because they cook in teflon or whatever. ick. Then they wonder why they are iron-deficient. So all we get are flimsy plastic spatulas that can’t scrape or melt.
    If you know where I can find a good old spatula, I’ll be in your debt.Report