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Old 10-15-2012, 07:26 PM
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Default Max floor temp for cast iron

Greetings All,

I am curious to hear anyone's "do not exceed" temps for cast iron or other guidelines for cast iron. I have read conflicting info that cast iron is great but also it will become too hot to be useful.

John B
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:45 PM
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Default Re: Max floor temp for cast iron

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Originally Posted by Bravo View Post
Greetings All,

I am curious to hear anyone's "do not exceed" temps for cast iron or other guidelines for cast iron. I have read conflicting info that cast iron is great but also it will become too hot to be useful.

John B
I have had cast iron in my oven at temps far exceeding the recommended 450F and have not had any problems, but that said I have had food in the pans and pots; so the actual temp of the cast pieces never reached the 450F limits indicated. Food is a great thermal controller.

Chip
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:04 PM
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Default Re: Max floor temp for cast iron

Do you use a IR thermometer to measure the temp of the pan?
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:17 PM
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Default Re: Max floor temp for cast iron

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Do you use a IR thermometer to measure the temp of the pan?
No but I have done a lot of plumbing and if something is wet in the pipe you cannot get the solder to flow, same concept.. No way that meat (at least the meat you can eat) and vegies will be over 230 degrees because of the water content.

Some external parts of cast iron may get warmer... handles etc. but they will still be tempered by the food in the pan or pot. It is difficult to get an IR gun to focus on small areas such as handles and give an accurate measurement.

Chip
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:09 AM
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Default Re: Max floor temp for cast iron

The readings IR thermometers give can be extremely misleading. My IR always goes over max (550 C) when firing up, (when the thermometer probe set half way up the dome reads only 350 C), but I know that it is reading the surface temp. only. I find my stopwatch, the soot burn off and the semolina on the floor more reliable indicators.
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Old 10-17-2012, 12:28 AM
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Default Re: Max floor temp for cast iron

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I find my stopwatch.
You need a hobby......
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Old 10-17-2012, 12:34 AM
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Default Re: Max floor temp for cast iron

good one, I actually have too many hobbies. When I use the stopwatch i mean I give the oven two hours of fire if i want to cook a lot of pizzas. If only about three pizzas (me my wife and son, other kids have left the nest) about an hour and a half. If for a roast or bread one hour. I simply start the watch when I strike the match.Every oven is different of course but the watch is a useful tool for me.
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Old 10-18-2012, 11:25 AM
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Default Re: Max floor temp for cast iron

Isn't the do not exceed temps recommended for cast iron the temperature over which one will ruin the seasoning? You won't hurt the cast iron itself but the not stick characteristics of seasoning (basically very cooked oxidized fats) will have been burned away.

Hope this helps,
Wiley
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:04 PM
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Default Re: Max floor temp for cast iron

I don't know. I was concerned with harmful chemicals being released if the pan were to get too hot.

On a related note, I was shopping around for terra cotta this weekend and found some with a glaze on the inside. Store workers didn't know much about it, so I hoped someone here would know/seen dishes with a glaze in the past. Are non glazed terra cotta dishes recommended over glazed?

Last edited by Bravo; 10-22-2012 at 04:37 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:33 PM
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Default Re: Max floor temp for cast iron

Bravo,
You have a much greater chance of health concerns with glazed ceramic than you ever will with cast iron. And between glazed and unglazed you are more likely to have problem with the glazed ceramic.

Most of the problems with glazed ware comes from the glazes. The lower temperature glazes such as commonly used on low fired imported terracotta from places like Mexico where they use lead in the glaze. This is where someone jumps in and says that is old history, they have stopped that practice...yet they don't test their products and many places in Mexico still use low fired lead based glazes. Lead based glazes melt and flow at lower temperatures and give a brilliant shine/luster to the finished piece. And the glaze is inexpensive. Unfortunately the glazes also tend to leach the lead into food and liquids (especially acidic foods and liquids..think tomato based sauces and citrus juices like orange juice). Lead is known to cause brain damage especially in the young. Enough said, you probably know this, it's like very common knowledge.

Most glazes use some metal oxides in their composition either for color or to control the actual melting point/temperature of vitrification. So any glazed cookware should be made with proven food safe glazes. Stuff made in the US is tested and labeled food safe. Stuff from the third world, not so much. I've seen some wonderful platters from China which look perfect for food but are clearly labeled not to be used for food. Of course the labels are paper and so soon wash off...buying that great looking platter at a garage sale might not be such a bargain. I'm not saying China is third world but it could do better with regard to consumer safety.

I have an acquaintance who uses Italian made terracotta to cook in. In particular he uses the shallow dishes used under pots. These can be had in quite large diameters. He uses them to bake large fruit cobblers and pies. He first seasons the terracotta much like one does a cast iron pan with fat. I think he uses Crisco (which is hydrogenated vegetable oil). The pans are a bit delicate but work well, in fact I have two that are as large as will comfortably fit thru the entrance to my WFO. I just haven't taken the time to season them. Mine are 16 inches in diameter and 2 inches deep inside...that's one big cobbler!

Hope this helps,
Wiley
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