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Old 01-01-2015, 04:17 PM
Ed Hallman Ed Hallman is offline
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Default The Mercury Myth and other such things

How the internet wires got crossed-up about mercury and other things contaminating cast iron.

Evaporation of mercury happens at any temperature when mercury is liquid. At normal air pressure, mercury is liquid between -38.83 C and 356.73 C. The colder it is the slower it evaporates. If you are not sure about it, heat that rascal up to about a 1,000 degrees C or red hot, glowing. Take up to white hot and do not worry. You problem is solved.

If you go to: http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/me...res-d_392.html you can see for yourself the mystery of metals.

Then if you go to: http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/me...als-d_860.html you will find that cast iron is liquid and can be cast at 1127 C - 1204 C. If you add some other things to the iron, the temperatures will change a bit. It gets a little weird there. But to make a good cast iron for cooking requires that you adjust you soup a bit.

Breaking it down into simple terms folks: The mercury thing ain't gonna happen. Basic chemistry. By the time you get to that heat, the mercury is long gone.

Where it got crossed up is this:

There were some folks that said that cast iron from the orient was contaminated with mercury. Not true. Their cast iron may be a little rough, but when it is seasoned right, it is fine to use. We talking about every day use, real folks that cook with cast iron.

The thing is this: Folks nowadays seem to be in a rush. Instant this and that. Cast iron is not like that. Cast iron is slow on the draw. Heat it slowly. Cool it slowly. You respect it and it will respect you. Drop it down a few notches and enjoy it.

But.... During the war of aggression (1861-1864), here in the U.S. of A. and around about that time, cannons were made of cast iron. They would get clogged up from use with black powder and have to be "re-bored." The people reconditioning the cannons used mercury as a lubricant to help clean the durn thing up. It was their version of 3-in-1 oil. So do not go sticking your hand down in the barrel of one of those cannons, you are liable to get mercury poison.

Jerking you forward to the 21st century:

It is not a good idea to hit your spouse in the head with your skillet, you are liable to crack your skillet. They are brittle and do not like being banged around.

I have a Lodge skillet made recently with that rough surface and it works fine. I seasoned it about four times even though it was pre-seasoned. When I go to slide an egg, I have to be careful. It is liable to slip off the skillet here in Georgia and wind up hitting the coast of California. I have to stab the ole egg with a fork before I can get my flipper under it to pick it up.

I also have a skillet made in Korea that I slicked up with some grit paper, knocked off the high spots. When I do an egg in that one, it is worse. If I do not stab the egg, it might slide from Georgia to the far side of Hawaii before it even thinks about slowing down and then skip a few hundred miles more.

Last edited by Ed Hallman; 01-01-2015 at 04:45 PM. Reason: improvement
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Old 01-01-2015, 05:02 PM
RickC RickC is offline
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Location: CA
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Default Re: The Mercury Myth and other such things

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Hallman View Post
I have a Lodge skillet made recently with that rough surface and it works fine. I seasoned it about four times even though it was pre-seasoned. When I go to slide an egg, I have to be careful. It is liable to slip off the skillet here in Georgia and wind up hitting the coast of California.
Can you please NOT be careful, I'm in California, and hungry for eggs.
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Old 01-01-2015, 06:00 PM
Jeffrey R. Jeffrey R. is offline
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Location: NEK, Vermont
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Default Re: The Mercury Myth and other such things

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Hallman View Post
I have a Lodge skillet made recently with that rough surface and it works fine. I seasoned it about four times even though it was pre-seasoned. When I go to slide an egg, I have to be careful. It is liable to slip off the skillet here in Georgia and wind up hitting the coast of California. I have to stab the ole egg with a fork before I can get my flipper under it to pick it up.

I also have a skillet made in Korea that I slicked up with some grit paper, knocked off the high spots. When I do an egg in that one, it is worse. If I do not stab the egg, it might slide from Georgia to the far side of Hawaii before it even thinks about slowing down and then skip a few hundred miles more.
That explains why my eggs slid out the left side and returned in on the right side of my Griswold skillet. Glass smooth and Good Seasoning.




Quote:
Originally Posted by RickC View Post
Can you please NOT be careful, I'm in California, and hungry for eggs.
You my friend will be paying more for your eggs, in California.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/01/01...se-egg-prices/
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Old 01-01-2015, 07:54 PM
JBPoole JBPoole is offline
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Location: East Central Georgia.
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Default Re: The Mercury Myth and other such things

Hi Ed, What part of Georgia?
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Old 01-01-2015, 10:23 PM
D_Ferrari D_Ferrari is offline
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Default Re: The Mercury Myth and other such things

Quote:
Originally Posted by RickC View Post
Can you please NOT be careful, I'm in California, and hungry for eggs.
Have my own chickens here in Anaheim, that chicken law that just went through won't affect what I pay for eggs, though feed is another story.

In reality, the farmers shouldn't have to do much work to be more effective under the new rules, which in my mind are still a bit cruel! While I can't free-range in the suburbs, my girls have more room than my master bedroom.
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Old 01-12-2015, 01:52 PM
RandyR RandyR is offline
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Default Re: The Mercury Myth and other such things

HMM, not heard anything about mercury in cooking cast iron.
I have certainly heard and seen lead smelted in cast iron cookwear. That's a problem if it's not disclosed or cast iron marked afterwards.
I've purchased cookwear that was used for smelting lead, to use for the same. Took my elctro pencil and marked all the pieces "LEAD USE ONLY" so going forward, there will never be a mistake.
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