Tomatoes in Cast Iron?

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Tomatoes in Cast Iron?

Postby Vedette » Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:44 am

We have made a couple of stews, and a chilli in our DO.
All have which have really had a very strong Tomato flavor, even though we added no more tomatoes than usual.
Does Cast Iron draw out the acids from tomatoes?
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Re: Tomatoes in Cast Iron?

Postby TimJones » Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:50 am

Tomatoes have a lot of acid in them, I don't think cooking in the DO is harmful but should not store acidity foods in them. The less time the better in other words. Happy cooking.
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Re: Tomatoes in Cast Iron?

Postby GerryS » Wed Oct 16, 2013 5:14 am

As far as hurting the cast iron, we cook chili and pasta dishes in cast iron all the time. As long as you have a good seasoning and don't let it set you'll be fine.

As far as flavor goes, where are you getting your tomatoes? What you buy in the store that are beautiful red globes....well, the wonderful look comes at the cost of taste.

I've felt the same way for a while. I thought it was something we were doing. Until last summer we bought from a local organic farmer (not store organic....local) the difference is day and night!

Our last tomato cam from the farmers market in South Bend near our fall gathering...it tasted like candy. Meiijer, Kroger and the like have done great things for quantity.....it's nice to be able to buy the same food most of the year, but the trade off is clearly taste.
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Re: Tomatoes in Cast Iron?

Postby S. Heisley » Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:02 pm

We have made a couple of stews, and a chilli in our DO.
All have which have really had a very strong Tomato flavor, even though we added no more tomatoes than usual.
Does Cast Iron draw out the acids from tomatoes?


Actually, I have read that cooking tomato products in cast iron is good for you! The acid in the tomatoes mixes with the iron and releases some of it. The iron that is released is supposedly very easily absorbed by the body. Years ago, if a cook was cooking in a pot that was not iron, they would toss in something of moderate size (like a piece of a railroad tie) that was iron for that very reason. So, in truth, the tomatoes draw out the iron; but, it won't hurt you; and, if you don't do it very often, it shouldn't hurt the pan. If the flavor bothers you too much, try adding a teaspoon or more (up to a tablespoon) of sugar, which should neutralize the acid/iron flavor some.
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Re: Tomatoes in Cast Iron?

Postby Vedette » Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:59 pm

Thanks!
This feedback is all reassuring! :thumbsup:
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Re: Tomatoes in Cast Iron?

Postby Corwin C » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:29 pm

I have had good success removing (or at least taming) odors from cast iron with 50-50 mix of vinegar and water with a spray bottle. Spritz, let stand for a couple of minutes, and wipe dry.
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Re: Tomatoes in Cast Iron?

Postby grantstew8 » Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:35 am

I remembered that tomatoes where considered poisonous by the Romans and found this article that explains why. It is slightly off topic but interesting...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2344845/The-tomato-feared-200-YEARS-Europeans-called-poison-apple-thought-sinful-seductive.html
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Re: Tomatoes in Cast Iron?

Postby S. Heisley » Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:50 pm

Yes, pewter was the villain, not cast iron or tomatoes. Real pewter is rarely used for food, these days. There is modified version of pewter, now used, that does not contain lead. That one is okay to use.
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Re: Tomatoes in Cast Iron?

Postby AZ_Desert_Rat » Mon Feb 10, 2014 3:53 pm

Hi all,
I have not posted this thread before and thought I would throw my two-cents in ... I hope it is okay with all.
I have used cast iron pans and DO's for years and still have several great old GRISWOLD fry pans that were my mother's. I frequently cook recipes with tomatoes and/or chilies; I do not notice a strong tomato flavor so much, but can taste an iron or rust-like flavor in some dishes, if the food is left in the pan for a while (Due to the oxidation of the iron). This can also lead to cleaning issues like scrubbing and require re-seasoning of the cookware more frequently (I re-season often anyway).
I will cook my dish and then move the leftovers to a stainless pot/pan after the meal is over and I move food that has a high concentration of tomatoes (like Spanish rice cooked like Mom did) to a different serving dish (stainless works great, is light, and cleans and re-warms easy) right away and quickly wash the pan (it should just about wipe clean if seasoned correctly). :D

Happy Cooking and Love Cast Iron... ;)
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Re: Tomatoes in Cast Iron?

Postby bobhenry » Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:05 am

There is a much easier answer.............


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Re: Tomatoes in Cast Iron?

Postby AZ_Desert_Rat » Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:18 am

That's one way for sure Bobhenry!!
No mess to clean up and the serving tray stays warm in the pot :applause: :applause:
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Re: Tomatoes in Cast Iron?

Postby bobhenry » Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:38 am

http://www.amazon.com/Disposable-liners-Cleaning-Seasoning-ovens/dp/B0052Y83NU

The foil is great for messy ,sticky, cheesey cassarolles and such.

Both foil and parchment liners are a great thing for camp cooking.

The parchment liners seem to help when baking to avoid burning. It will not prevent it but it does seem to make it more forgiving.

http://www.amazon.com/Lodge-A5DOL-Parchment-Paper-Liners/dp/B0073E1O6U
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Re: Tomatoes in Cast Iron?

Postby bobhenry » Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:48 am

In doing a little research for the dutch oven seminar I gave at the CRA I ran across a great money saving tip to make your own liners.

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Take a large square of very heavy foil or parchment.

It should be a true square

Fold in half vertically
fold that in half horizontally
now fold corner to corner
the final two folds take the front edge to the fold line in front
and the rear edge to the fold line behind

You should now have a 22 1/2 degree triangle

Take your creation and place the tip in the center of your dutch oven
and smooth it across the bottom and up the side.
Take a pair of scissors and trim about an inch to inch and a half longer and form a slightly
rounded top. It is gonna resemble a slightly melted ice cream cone.

When you fold it out it is a rather fancy scolloped edged round dutch oven liner.
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Re: Tomatoes in Cast Iron?

Postby katiehallsmith » Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:43 am

I don't worry about fancy folding and cutting. I just line the DO with parchment, and let the ends flap loose. The kids think it's fun when the parchment starts to turn brown. ;)
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