Cast iron, what does it make you think of? A weapon or perhaps high-quality body armor. Maybe you are from the south and you think cornbread made in a cast iron skillet.
Cast iron is versatile and tough. You can cook on a range at your home or on some coals at basecamp. Cast iron is awesome. I have wanted some cast iron for a long time but was afraid to get some because of all the care I have heard about. Since I am getting back into camping I need some cast iron so I can cook bacon and eggs in the morning. Food just tastes better when you use cast iron food.
I finally got some cast iron! I settled on the Camp Chef 6 piece cast iron set. This set comes with A 12″ Shallow skillet that acts as a lid a 12-inch Deep Skillet. A 10-inch skillet and a 10-inch dutch oven. Then rounding things up there is a wire rack that I believe the fancy people call a trivet
10″ Cast Iron Skillet
Great skillet to start with. I did find that you want to cut your rashers of bacon in half to get them to fit in the skillet without any overhang. This skillet will hold a pound of sausage or hamburger with no problem at all. Get it browned up and the standard feature of most Cast iron skillets is that you have a pour lip on the side so you can easily drain the grease off.
10″ Cast Iron Dutch Oven
The biggest hindrance to this review is the dutch oven. I will be trying the dutch oven out and more than likely reseasoning it too. At the moment I am talking about the design flaws I can come across.
The biggest problem I have is the handle. It is just a rod of stainless steel that was fashioned into a handle almost as an afterthought. Most Dutch oven handles I have seen usually have a spring handle so that you are not lifting a red hot handle.
The handle is then not even connected to a good loop on the side instead there are two tabs that the rod is tied off to on opposite corners.
The lid is the coup de gras for this Dutch oven. Most Dutch ovens you use in a campfire the lid flat with a lip to hold coals on top. Not of the Camp Chef Dutch Oven, it is a sort of domed lid with no lip. There is a loop for a dutch oven lid lifter. So at least they got that far. Some folks may say that if you want coals on the lid just turn it upside down, My response is how do you get the lid of then because there is no loop on the bottom of the lid.
12″ Deep Cast Iron Skillet
Now if you want to fry up some potatoes this beast of hardware will do just the thing. This deep skillet is almost as deep as a dutch oven. So you can fill this up with oil and make french fries or even camp side doughnuts if you are feeling so inclined. I love this chunk of metal. I use it more than the little 10″ skillet.
12″ Cast Iron Lid/skillet
This works wonders as a griddle. Do you want pancakes? It also makes an awesome grilled cheese. If you are needing to cover your deep skillet this skillet also acts as a lid for the 12″ deep skillet. So whether you are heating up tortilla’s or toasting some hamburger buns. This griddle/lid is irreplaceable. When you bring your deep skillet don’t to forget the lid it is just as handy.
Stainless Steel Trivet
You also have a hot rack that everybody calls a trivet. great for those times that you made some cream gravy and just want to bring it to the table ready to go. So you have a nice little addition.
Now if you are better at math than I am you are saying, Hey! I am only counting 5 pieces to this six-piece set. your right. Camp Chef is counting the dutch oven list as its own separate piece. Which technically is its own piece because it will also fit on the 10″ skillet. but I would say that it is kind of cheating.
I actually received this set at the end of last year. Cooked on it a little and we a bit disappointed. The eggs stuck just a bit too much and when I cooked hamburgers on my skillet I thought I was going to have to sand everything down right there to get all of the residues out. On top of that, eggs and other light colored food had an oily black substance covering it after cooking on the preseasoned skillets.
That black substance was the preseasoning. I washed each item before using and it still happened. So I decided to see what reseasoning would do for the cooking quality
The Reseasoning Cast Iron
This cast iron is not non-stick as most cast iron normally is. I looked and found Kent Rollins video on how to reseason rough cast iron.
So I actually took 2 days and reseason the 10-inch skillet and both 12-inch skillets then proceeded to cook off of all three. Incredible difference!
I fried so potatoes in the deep skillet and didn’t have a single problem. If there was any residue stuck to the pan a quick scrape with the Wooden spatula and it was gone.
The same with frying bacon and sausage in the 10″. Cleaning the skillet after cooking was a cinch. I didn’t have to use any kosher salt or anything in that nature. I just rinsed wiped and apply a little bit of olive oil and it was done Clean up took 5 minutes at most.
Incredible difference in quality after taking care of your cast iron yourself. I understand why they preseason cast iron these days. People have become intimidated with seasoning their cookware. I know I was. I had always heard in a foreboding tone you have to season your cast iron. It is such a pain to season your cast iron. Really it isn’t. The biggest issue I ran into is don’t put too much oil on or it will be sticky and you will have to go back about a step an a half. That is the worst.
The benefits of a well properly seasoned skillet are one of the reasons I want a good cast iron skillet. There is the iron that gets infused into the food. There is the superior nonstick coating. So get yourself some cast iron. If you want to the Camp Chef set to go ahead and grab it. The product isn’t bad at all it just will need a good reseasoning.