Showing posts with label cast iron. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cast iron. Show all posts

Friday, August 28, 2020

Cast Iron Trivets Reviewed

Cast Iron Trivets Reviewed
My Cast Iron Cow Trivet
I like to surround myself with pretty things that are functional. After all, an item doesn't have to be ugly simply because it is utilitarian.  This is especially true in the kitchen.

I have cooked with a cast iron skillet for as long as I can remember.  I use a cast iron trivet, which I have also had for as long as I can remember, to protect my counter top from the extremely hot and heavy skillet.  However, I recently purchased a cast iron dutch oven for baking bread. I immediately realized that I needed a second cast iron trivet for my new dutch oven's lid which is equally as hot and heavy as the pot itself.

I happened to be exploring an antique store a few weeks ago when I came across an adorable dog cast iron trivet finished just like my cow trivet.  Well, of course, I had to have that!  The dog trivet had a hanger on it which gives it a dual purpose.  It is also kitchen decor.  Yes, I can hang it right on my wall where it will be very convenient and easy to find when needed.

After I got home, I looked at my long time friend, the cow cast iron trivet. I couldn't believe it!  She has a hole for hanging too that I never noticed before.  It was pretty exciting to discover that my pretty cow can also be displayed.  

Using functional cast iron trivets as "pictures".  I love it!


Functional Beauty of Cast Iron Trivets


Unlike many current day trivets that sit flat on a counter top, my cast iron trivets are raised on feet.  That allows the pot or skillet to cool from the bottom as well as the top and sides while protecting my counters from the intense heat.  Since they are also made of cast iron, they are perfectly designed for the weight of cast iron cookware.


Features of the Cast Iron Trivets

Puppy Cast iron Trivet
My Newly Acquired Puppy Cast Iron Trivet
  • Protective rubber feet to protect walls or counter tops 
  • Strong enough to hold heavy skillets, pots & pans
  • Tolerates heat from hot pan without sustaining damage
  • Available in a variety of designs 

My trivets are bronze, clearly from an era when brass was prominent in home decor.  New cast iron trivets are most often black, which match the standard cast iron cookware.  However, there are a few available that are painted like the rooster trivet shown below.

Now, if I only had more wall space in my kitchen, I could have a whole barnyard of animal trivets surrounding me.  





Antique Cast Iron Trivets


If you prefer the bronze or antique trivets, Ebay is the perfect source.  Keep it mind, if you don't see one you love on Ebay today (linked for easy access), you just might see one tomorrow.  Items on Ebay change constantly thanks to the vast numbers of sellers on the site.






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Friday, July 10, 2020

Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven With Loop Handles Reviewed

Cast Iron Dutch Oven and Lid Skillet
When fellow contributor, Dawn Rae, started tempting me with homemade bread recipes, I decided I needed a dutch oven.  My husband loves homemade bread and I enjoy cooking, so it was time to test my bread baking skills again.

It has been years since I have baked bread other than my banana bread.  I used to bake bread every week, but I got out of that habit when I let my sour dough starter ruin.  I would love to find another really good sour dough starter.  Until then, Dawn's Artisan Bread Recipe is great!  Actually, it is faster and easier than the sour dough bread I used to make and my family seems to be just as happy with Dawn's Artisan Bread. 

There are a lot of dutch ovens available, but I wanted the cast iron version.


The Versatility of Cast Iron


 Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven on Gas StoveI have cooked with a cast iron skillet my entire life.  It is heavy compared to other skillets, but you can't beat it when frying fish, frying pork chops, or baking cornbread.  

You can use cast iron on a stove top, electric or gas, as long as it has range burner elements (not recommended by some glass stove top manufacturers for a flat surface glass stove top).  
Update: Contributor Sam Monaco comments below that he uses his cast iron skillet on his glass stove top all of the time.

Cast Iron will also go in the oven, which is how my mother, my grandmother, my great grandmother and I have all baked cornbread.  That is why I wanted the cast iron dutch oven.  I knew it would be most excellent for baking!

Cast Iron can also be used on a open flame, like a campfire.  I have been known to fish which is rather ironic since I don't eat trout or catfish.  However, when you come from a family with 4 brothers and a mother who loves catfish, you better fish or you are left behind counting the hours.  Besides, I love quietly floating down the river in a boat, soaking in the sun and the beauty of nature surrounding me.  

One year, Dad hired a guide.  We caught our limit by midday, but didn't have any desire to stop fishing.  So, we pulled to shore, built a campfire and cooked our fish in a cast iron skillet along with some potatoes the guide provided.  After lunch, we fished a few more hours and brought home fish for dinner.  That is how I discovered a cast iron skillet could be used over a open campfire!


My Cast Iron Dutch Oven


 Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven With Loop Handles, 5 qtCheck PriceI purchased a 5 qt. Lodge brand cast iron dutch oven and I have be thrilled with it for several reasons.

  • The lid doubles as a skillet
  • I really like the handles on both the lid & the dutch oven
  • It is just the right size for the oven
  • Perfection in cooking due to even heating 
  • Easy to wash, dry & re-season* 
  • I know it will outlast me, which means I will never have to buy again
  • Lodge is a trusted name in cast iron.  Over 100 years in business

*Seasoning cast iron is simply rubbing it lightly with vegetable oil after washing while it is still warm from the hot water wash or you can place it back in a warm oven after applying the oil.

I chose the basic cast iron dutch oven mainly because I loved the dual purpose lid.  I knew I could flip the lid and bake cornbread on top while a roast baked below it in the dutch oven.  The top would not only be a lid for the roast, but also a skillet for the cornbread.  

One note about using the lid on the dutch oven.  In the photo, you see the lid and dutch oven handles are evenly aligned.  I prefer to offset them slightly so lifting the hot lid is much easier.

Dawn Rae chose an enameled cast iron dutch oven which should be fine for cooking on a flat, glass stove top.  You can read her review here: Enameled Cast Iron - Pricey But Worth It 


You too can Bake Dawn's Easy No-Knead Dutch Oven Artisan Bread! 
To make my bread in the intro photo, I used Dawn's recipe. 
I added 3/4 cup cranberries, 3/4 cup walnuts & 1T honey.
Simply click the image below for her recipe. 

crunchy-no-knead-round-loaf-bread





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