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Richard M. Kennedy
 
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Default Cast Iron - Lids: Iron or Glass?


I just bought a cast iron skillet because of its suitability for
recipes in which the covered skillet goes directly from the stove top
into the oven.

Has anyone used both iron and glass lids for such recipes and actually
seen a substantial difference in cooking performance? I imagine a
foods surface contact with the bottom of a skillet is important, but
might, for instance, the iron lid radiate more heat than glass, thus
promoting significantly greater browning of the top of the food? Or
in maintaining moisture, might how close the lid fits to the skillet
might be more important than what the lid is made out of?

The reason I ask is that lids are an awkward item to store and I have
found round glass lids on casseroles, crockpots, and the like to be
pretty much interchangeable for stove top use if the fit is pretty
close. Also, I wouldn't mind avoiding the additional weight of the
iron when maneuvering an already heavy skillet out of a hot oven.

What range of oven temperatures do most covered-skillet oven recipes
fall in? What is highest oven temperature likely to be called for in
a recipe with the lid on?

I notice utensils are turning up in stores now with silicon handles
and knobs that are claimed to be oven-safe. But the manufacturers'
present varying claims about how high a temperature the silicon can
handle. Is that because various types of silicon vary in heat
tolerance, or are they pretty much alike and its a matter of some
manufacturers want to make a claim of high performance and others
want make a lesser claim, fearing they will be blamed if users turn
their ovens too high?

RK
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aem
 
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Richard M. Kennedy wrote:
> I just bought a cast iron skillet because of its suitability for
> recipes in which the covered skillet goes directly from the stove top
> into the oven.


Good idea. They're also great for fried chicken and a lot of other
things that want a pan that holds heat well.
>
> Has anyone used both iron and glass lids for such recipes and
> actually seen a substantial difference in cooking performance?


I've used both and have not seen a difference. If it were a dutch oven
and you wanted to invert the lid and put coals in it, then you'd want
iron.

> [snip]...might, for instance, the iron lid radiate more heat than
> glass, thus promoting significantly greater browning of the top of
> the food?


I don't think browning the top is a function of the lid. Either you've
browned all sides by turning the contents, or you leave the lid off to
let the oven heat brown the top.

> Or in maintaining moisture, might how close the lid fits to the
> skillet ... be more important than what the lid is made out of?


Yes, that sounds right to me.
>
> [snip]
> What range of oven temperatures do most covered-skillet oven recipes
> fall in? What is highest oven temperature likely to be called for in
> a recipe with the lid on?
>

Dunno, but it's unlikely to matter to the question at hand. The
"glass" lids are tempered (don't know if that's an accurate word) to
handle significant heat.

> I notice utensils are turning up in stores now with silicon handles
> and knobs that are claimed to be oven-safe. [snip]


Sorry, I know even less about silicon than about iron.

-aem

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Wayne Boatwright
 
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Default

On Sun 06 Mar 2005 04:41:18p, Richard M. Kennedy wrote in rec.food.cooking:

> I just bought a cast iron skillet because of its suitability for
> recipes in which the covered skillet goes directly from the stove top
> into the oven.
>
> Has anyone used both iron and glass lids for such recipes and actually
> seen a substantial difference in cooking performance? I imagine a
> foods surface contact with the bottom of a skillet is important, but
> might, for instance, the iron lid radiate more heat than glass, thus
> promoting significantly greater browning of the top of the food? Or
> in maintaining moisture, might how close the lid fits to the skillet
> might be more important than what the lid is made out of?


Heavy glass lids should perform as well as a cast iron lid in most
situations. Thick glass radiates a substantial amount of heat. Some cast
iron skillets come with a Pyrex lid instead of cast iron. Unless you are
planning mashing the contents of the skillet down with the lid, you should
have equal results.

A tight fit is important regardless of material. Many recipes want the
moisture retained in the skillet. A poorly fitting lid won't do that.

> The reason I ask is that lids are an awkward item to store and I have
> found round glass lids on casseroles, crockpots, and the like to be
> pretty much interchangeable for stove top use if the fit is pretty
> close. Also, I wouldn't mind avoiding the additional weight of the
> iron when maneuvering an already heavy skillet out of a hot oven.


An added bonus is seeing the food inside the skillet without removing the
lid. If you can get a good fit with a lid from another container, no
reason not to share lids.

> What range of oven temperatures do most covered-skillet oven recipes
> fall in? What is highest oven temperature likely to be called for in
> a recipe with the lid on?


For closed lid cooking, probably not over 375 or 400 degrees F. and usually
less. Heavy glass like Pyrex can easily withstand oven heat up to 425,
although it should not be put under a broiler.

> I notice utensils are turning up in stores now with silicon handles
> and knobs that are claimed to be oven-safe. But the manufacturers'
> present varying claims about how high a temperature the silicon can
> handle. Is that because various types of silicon vary in heat
> tolerance, or are they pretty much alike and its a matter of some
> manufacturers want to make a claim of high performance and others
> want make a lesser claim, fearing they will be blamed if users turn
> their ovens too high?


Dunno, I've never seen them. I have cookware that has some time of
composite material molded around the SS handles and it is certified for
temps, including oven use, to 425.

--
Wayne Boatwright
____________________________________________

Give me a smart idiot over a stupid genius any day.
Sam Goldwyn, 1882-1974
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Serendipity
 
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aem wrote:

> Richard M. Kennedy wrote:
>
>>I just bought a cast iron skillet because of its suitability for
>>recipes in which the covered skillet goes directly from the stove top
>>into the oven.

>
>
> Good idea. They're also great for fried chicken and a lot of other
> things that want a pan that holds heat well.


They are very good for fritattas I made a pea meal bacon, mushroom,
potato, and chees fritatta for Sunday brunch. Very good!

<snip>
>>I notice utensils are turning up in stores now with silicon handles
>>and knobs that are claimed to be oven-safe. [snip]

>
>
> Sorry, I know even less about silicon than about iron.


I have limited knowledge of using silicon utensils and bakeware it the
kitchen. I'm new to both. Of what I've used so far, I've been quite
pleased. I have bakeware (muffin tin, cookie sheet) and utensils
(barbeque brush, deep ladle, spatulas, oven gloves). As far as
temperatures, my bakeware is good to 500 F for the muffin tin and 425 F
for the cookie sheet. I can't recall a rating on the utensils. I've
had no problems as far as heat. I have small hands and find the oven
glove too big but the little finger/thumb mit is too small to prevent
burns to the top of my hand if I'm careless. That is the only negatives
so far.
>
> -aem
>


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Richard M. Kennedy
 
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On Sun, 06 Mar 2005 18:41:18 -0500, Richard M. Kennedy
> wrote:

>
>I just bought a cast iron skillet..........


Thanks for you all sharing your experience with me.

By the way, concerning the cookware I mentioned seeing sold with
oven-safe silicon handles and knobs, I should have said
"silicon-covered" handles and knobs. The pans were of steel or
aluminum, not iron. I mentioned them because they looked like a
possibly reasonable alternative to iron for stove-to-oven COVERED
cooking. But I chose iron to be able to use the pan under the broiler
which apparently would destroy the silicon. That iron works both in
the oven and under the broiler was enough for me to make the choice.
I did not know enough about the benefits of the special heat retaining
qualities of iron you mention to make that the basis for choosing.

Another "by the way": I didn't make an exhaustive search, but the
only seller of cast iron cookware I found here in a nearby suburb of
Washington, D.C. was a hardware store! Fisher's in Springfield, VA
which carried a broad line of both seasoned and unseasoned cookware
Wait, that's not true. Target had one, but it had no second handle
like the Lodge and the one it had was only long for one hand (maybe
two of a preschooler). Great for a little old lady in training to go
into combat with a mace or single-handed broadsword.

RK
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