Monday, May 28, 2007

Cast Iron Forum

As a video game nerd, I often read various web sites devoted to games. You have to have a pretty strong stomach sometimes if you're reading these sort of sites. The writing quality is usually terrible, and the actual content, when you manage to dig through the noise, is along the lines of, "Nintendo releases exciting news that they have no news!" In part, I blame myself, since I used to write articles for such web sites. This is how deep the rabbit hole goes.

What's worse are the various public web forums. While the forums on may win the award (or at least be in the running) for most useless, immature drivel online, game-related forums aren't much better. They're usually populated by angry video game nerds, just waiting for someone to bad-mouth their favorite title.

Which is why I was pleasantly surprised, or at least amused, to recently find a thread on a gaming web forum I visit titled: Cast Iron Skillets. Some gamer nerd was asking his fellow nerds about what to do with a cast iron skillet he recently acquired. He asked:

"I have a filthy skillet and not sure what to do with it. I mean, its FILTHY."

The response on the forum was immediate. I was amazed at how knowledgeable (and passionate) some of these gaming nerds were about cast iron cookware. An example response:

"You IDIOT. The best thing about a skillet is that it gets better with each meal you cook. The skillet absorbs the flavors and powers of the food cooked within, and becomes something more. Something better. I own a skillet that's been passed down the family line since my great grandmother's time. It radiates with the flavor of a thousand dishes. It is one of my most prized possessions. A skillet should not be thrown out. A skillet should last forever. A skillet should be passed to your children."

Following the thread, the original poster decided to provide a picture of said "filthy" skillet. The rest of the forum posters were encouraging, in their own way:

"(Expletive deleted) YEAH that skillet is salvageable. Follow the cleaning instructions in this thread, get some damn Crisco, and fry some
(expletive deleted) chicken."

The thread actually went on for pages and pages, so I won't go into more details. But the entire experience opened my eyes to both the secret interests/knowledge of the angry video game forum poster, and, of course, the power of the cast iron skillet. So, the next time you find yourself holding a cast iron skillet and wondering what to make for dinner, remember the sage advice of the angry video game nerds -- warm up the oven, turn on the burner, and fry some (expletive deleted) chicken. And for God's sake, do not try and scrub it clean afterwards with soap!


Ken said...

A few years back, I decided to invest in a nice frying pan because I was tired of destroying a cheapo non-stick jobbie every few years. I had it narrowed down to a cast iron skillet and a Mauviel copper bottom. And while I like the romantic qualities of the cast iron skillet, I ended up getting the Mauviel.

Because I realized "romantic" == "high maintenance." Also, I'm freaked out by the fact that you can't wash the damned things.

I did eventually get a cast iron stew pot though. A Le Creuset, which is enamelled, so isn't quite the same thing. But thinking about this made me realize that two of the nicest cooking implements I own were made by French people.

Oui, les Francais. Sacrebleu!

Dan said...

Well, actually, according to Wikipedia, you can wash cast iron pans occasionally with soap, but it's not recommended to do this often. Myself, I scrub it with a brush under hot water, which generally does the trick.

The aspect that I don't like about cast iron skillets is that they're really heavy. At times I need to use two hands, which has some dangers if I'm pulling it out of a 450-degree oven.

Ken said...

Maybe I could get a tiny one. For cooking quail. Here's a 6-1/2" skillet:

It's only $7! How is that possible?

greenturtle said...

I started a blog on cast iron a couple of months ago, if you're interested.

I'm very passionate about cast iron, that's all I cook in.