In search of AXFORD

Axford Cast Iron.  It never ceases to amaze me.  Stumbling into a piece of cast iron at a garage sale or flea market.  Something that looks so commonplace you think it has no value.  We often see worthless knock-offs that are mass produced.

AXFORD Broiler skillet (Pat 1931 on the top of the Handle)

Then unfortunately passing the piece due to lack of knowledge.   Leaving the few dollar item lay.

Later becoming curious when you get home and start sifting through obscure information on the internet.

So is the case, with a recent cast iron broiler skillet.  AXFORD was on the bottom.  Not being particularly fond of the raised rib skillets (broiler) for use in actual cooking, this became a “pass” situation.  For me the “broilers” are not often given a second look.  Though I collect, I like to also use my finds for cooking from time to time.   Even well seasoned, the raised ribs of a broiler skillet make them hard to clean.

In hindsight, I found some interesting reading and photos of an existing Axford Mansion in San Francisco.  A registered Landmark #133.  Built in 1877.

Some vague information connected to William Axford and two metalworks companies from the 1800’s.   Is this information and person connected to the Axford Cast Iron Cookware?  The skillet bears a raised Pat 1931 on the handle.

We would like Axford photos and copies of any documents readers are willing to share on our site.  Most of what we attempt to track down leads us to sites you have to have a paid membership.  Or to sources like eBay or Worthpoint that often do not provide any accurate historic information.

At lease some of these open sources have provided some photos of pieces that exist out there.  So if you have your own information or images that are not copyright, please use our CONTACT US information.  Please help us provide more historical background and images.

The story does have somewhat of a happy ending.  My wife went back and the skillet was still there.  I guess we aren’t the only ignorant collectors.  For $4 it followed us home.

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DUTCH OVEN COOK-OFF Cathedral Gorge 2019

Saturday, September 21, 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

The Cathedral Gorge Rangers reached out to me today.  They are still going ahead with their Dutch Oven Cook-off.  Though they are concerned they only have 1 cook signed up as of today. Please get your entries forms in!

There is a simple on-line entry form at the link below. Entry is FREE if submitted ahead of time. If you wait and sign up the day of the event there is a $5 entry fee.

They aren’t sure if the Area 51 Event, planned at the same time, is the cause of lack of sign ups?  They don’t believe the 51 Event will filter over into this area.

If you are planning on attending as a cook and haven’t signed up with them, please do so.  Or at a minimum let them know you will be there to cook.

Many of us in our local Dutch Oven group have been attending this cook-off for years. It is our favorite competition event. Attending as a cook, as well as joining in with all the fun events the rangers plan for the whole day.

Click this link for the Nevada State Park Dutch Oven Cook-off info

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Blacklock Cast Iron verses acidic food

We needed to whip up a quick dinner tonight. Something fast after a long day of work. The Blacklock Skillet was sitting on the stove so we figured we might as well use it.

This is also for the naysayers of cooking acidic foods in cast iron. We cooked this up with several tomatoes as an ingredient.

Cooking in the LODGE Blacklock Skillet

We had some left over Angel Hair pasta from a meal the night before. A raw chicken breast in the fridge and some other common ingredients available.

We sliced the chicken in rather thin stripes and started browning them in some olive oil. The rest of the ingredients we added in on top to cook until tender.  You are on your own for quantity.  We just threw this together without measuring anything.

1 Chicken Breast cut in strips
Olive Oil
Minced Fresh Garlic
1/4 Sweet Onion cut in thin strips
3 Fresh Roma tomatoes coarsely diced
Cilantro
Sweet Basil & Oregano Bruschetta Seasoning Mix (McCormick)
Salt & Pepper
Parmesan Cheese

The Chicken and Tomato medley was served over the rewarmed Angel Hair which was then lightly buttered. The Chicken and Tomato mixture was then topped with grated Parmesan Cheese.

Again we were cooking in the Skillet with only the factory triple seasoning. It cleaned up perfectly, and with ease, with just hot water. There is no visible change to the skillets cooking surface or seasoning having just cooked tomatoes in it.

Click here to see our Product Review of the LODGE Blacklock skillet.

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CORNBREAD MUFFINS Field Baked

While I enjoy Dutch Oven cooking/baking often. I don’t shy away from other forms of cast iron. Even while camping.

While on a recent “car camping” outing I put to use a modern piece of Cast Iron. A modern Lodge 6 muffin cast iron pan. It fits perfectly in a fold up Coleman Oven. I use the oven on my camp stove. Both the Oven and Pan pack in a small space and permanently ride in my “camp box”.

Shown above serving hot corn bread muffins with a bowl of chili. Which incidentally, the chili was done in a Dutch Oven.

Also shown is a 4 burner LP Partner Stove.

If you think this combo doesn’t make warm muffins for a side with coffee…..on a brisk fall morning. You better reconsider!

Try our Banana Oatmeal Blueberry muffin recipe!

Or one of the others off our recipe index. Better yet send us your favorite so we can include yours too!

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The BLACKLOCK review!

The BLACKLOCK skillet is a keeper!  You certainly want to read through this review for all the details.  We will also provide the link to the info on the LODGE website.

The Dutch Oven Cook is happy to present our personal evaluation of the new cookware line from LODGE.

The BLACKLOCK line of cookware is redesigned, lighter weight, smoother surface, and comes factory triple seasoned.

When UPS delivered our skillet, we were attending an event in the Redwoods of Northern California.  We were camping, cooking, and enjoying the outdoors. We could hardly wait to return and put the skillet through some cooking tests.  In hindsight, we wished the skillet had arrived before we left.  We could have put it to use the 10 days we were camping and cooking.

Back home to the real world again we found the skillet, double boxed, delivered by UPS.  The packaging was excellent.  Someone would really have to mess up in the delivery system to have it arrive damaged.

Our test piece is a 10.25 inch skillet.  We used the skillet straight out of the box, after giving it a wash in hot soapy water.  We applied no additional seasoning.  It comes tripled seasoned. 

You will appreciate the thinner, and lighter, design.  We love the handle style. It stays cooler longer when cooking. You will also like the smoother finish.  More smooth than their traditional modern cookware.  Though not machined to a glass like finish, they have found the perfect balance to achieve great seasoning properties.  Seasoning that even right out of the box is virtually a non-stick cooking surface.

EDITORS NOTE:  For those new to cooking with Cast Iron, or having trouble with food sticking when cooking with Cast Iron, please take note.  Cast Iron Cookware, regardless of the finish or seasoning, is not for someone in a big hurry that may be used to cooking with Teflon or other manufactured non-stick materials, at medium high or high.  For the most part, slow things down and you will be amazed. Though there are times you may have to sear meat at higher temperatures.

During our testing we apply a light coat of spray canola oil and cook on medium low. We use the same technique when using other Cast Iron cookware for comparison.

We cooked 3 items in the skillet that might normally give even the average experienced Cast Iron cook problems with sticking.  We did Sausage Links, Fried Eggs, and Scrambled Eggs. 

Again we sprayed a thin coat of canola oil on the interior cooking surface of the skillet.  We then cooked the 3 items on Medium Low. 

The sausage did not stick and browned nicely.

The over easy eggs did not stick.  In fact they easily slid around.  We were even able to accomplish a chef flip without the use of a spatula.

Scrambled eggs are always a tough food to avoid sticking when cooking in cast iron.  No problem in the BLACKLOCK.  As shown in the video nothing is adhering.

Cleanup was simple with hot water.

In the opinion of The Dutch Oven Cook:  If you are an occasional Cast Iron Cook, or the more experienced daily user.  Have had trouble in the past with sticking and have given up on cast iron.  We can only say you will want one or more of the BLACKLOCK line of cookware from LODGE.  They cook great right out of the box!

We hope to come back to this review from time to time with additional information of foods we cook.

For more information on the BLACKLOCK line of cast iron cookware, LODGE, LODGE Products, and some of the fascinating history they provide.

Use this Link to visit the LODGE website.

Disclaimer: LODGE provided us this 10.25 inch skillet for testing since we were unable to find them locally yet.  In no way is our review a paid testimonial, solicited advertisement, or were we at any time even asked to provide anything other than an honest review.

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Blacklock passes our tests! You will want one!

BLACKLOCK Wow! We are impressed. You are going to love the finish on the new cookware line offered by LODGE.

We fried up some sticky sausage, fried eggs, then scrambled eggs. All to test the cooking surface.

Check back often for our full evaluation. Get on our mailing list to insure you don’t miss it!

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BLACKLOCK 10.25 is upon us!

<center>LODGE "BLACKLOCK" Skillet</center>
LODGE “BLACKLOCK” Skillet

We are excited to announce our Blacklock skillet arrived. A new product line from Lodge.  We have yet to find this line in any local sporting goods stores or places we normally find Lodge products.

Be watching for our product review/evaluation coming soon. We are already liking the look of the factory triple seasoning!  Definitely lighter weight!  For sure, though not machined, a more smoother surface. 

If you are not on our mailing list.  Be sure to sign up.  You will instantly be notified anytime we publish new Blog posts.

Click here for our Email subscriber sign up form

We would appreciate readers input and requests for what you might like to see us provide during our product review of this new Blacklock skillet. Please Email us.

Click here for our Contact Us info, and email info.

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BLACKLOCK FOUNDRY (Lodge)

Introducing the Blacklock line from Lodge.  As a cast iron lover, user, and collector, new products always interest us.   We like a wide variety.

We recently stumbled into the Blacklock line.  As we spoke of it to others  in our circle of Dutch Oven Cooking friends.  We quickly realized many are as uninformed as we were.

Numerous collector and daily use cookware pieces we have are Lodge. Vintage as well as more modern.  Old school plus pre-seasoned.

To our knowledge the new Lodge line of Blacklock is a premium more lightweight piece of cookware.  Best of all it comes triple seasoned!

History wise, Lodge was the first to introduce factory seasoned cookware. Starting that back in 2002.   Now they are offering a triple seasoned product.

We hope that somewhere down the road, we have the opportunity to test out a some of the Blacklock line.  Then provide you with a candid and honest TheDutchOvenCook review.

For now Please visit Blacklock on the Lodge website for more information.

Lodge images used with permission courtesy of Lodge
Consider all images on this page as well as this site as ©Copyright
Written permission is required for any use of images or text

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PERFECT SIZE FOR TWO

How many of you have multiple pieces of Cast Iron Cookware? I certainly have way too big of a collection. Probably borderline hoarder? Actually, no “probably” about it. LOL!

From Skillets to Dutch Ovens, to other iron in between. They are meant to be used and not just sit on the shelf. I try to put many of them to real use from time to time.

Often times I find myself returning to my #8 Cast Iron Dutch Ovens. I have three of the more modern Lodge in this size.

I find them perfectly sized when cooking for two people….perhaps even large enough for four depending on what you cook or bake. No need to waste expensive charcoal. Most things can be baked or cooked with 15-16 properly arranged briquets.

See our thoughts on Heat Management or Coal Counting.

I find the 8 inch Dutch Ovens especially ideal for camping. While their larger cousins are great for competition cooking, large pot-luck’s, or cooking/baking for more people or a larger than two family. My go to Dutch Oven for camping trips is my 8 inch. The smaller size makes their weight insignificant.

These are great for a small batch of morning biscuits or pastries. Able to produce those hot and fresh goodies while waking up to some fresh coffee. If you want a full blown breakfast, bake up a Dutch Oven Mountain Man Breakfast.

Our Cinnamon Roll Recipe

Our Homemade Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe

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Cinnamon Rolls from scratch

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Print Recipe


Cinnamon Rolls from scratch

Recipe & Photos: Rick Beach

Sweet Dough Recipe (Makes 24 or a Double batch)
You can bake all or Refrigerate or Freeze half this batch)
Or cut this recipe in half
For this Double batch you need (2) 11x15 glass baking dishes or (2) 12 inch Dutch Ovens

Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 20 minutes

Servings
Rolls


Ingredients

Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 20 minutes

Servings
Rolls


Ingredients


Instructions
  1. Making the Dough

  2. Bring egg to room temperature by placing it in a bowl of warm water while getting ingredients together.

  3. Never mix your salt & yeast together in the liquids. Doing so will kill your yeast.

  4. In its own large bowl whisk together 4 of the 4 1/2 Cups of Flour and the salt. Set this Flour and salt mix aside. (Reserve the 1/2 cup of plain flour)

  5. In a second bowl add the Warm Milk. The non-technical way of checking the temperature is to test on your wrist. Make it baby bottle warm. If you are the type that needs to use a thermometer the temperature should be on the yeast container, or you can find it on line. Many places state 110-115°F. Whisk Warm Milk, Agave, and Yeast together. Allow that is sit about 10-15 minutes to let the yeast "bloom".

  6. Next crack the room temperature warmed raw egg into a third bowl and whisk well. Once well whisked, slowly pour the whisked egg into the Milk, Agave, Yeast mixture while whisking it in.

  7. Lastly whisk the melted butter into the Milk mixture.

  8. In a large bowl mix half the flour salt mix with the entire warmed milk yeast mixture. At this point you can use an electric mixer to help the dough along. This will be thin enough since only half the flour mixture is being blended in this step. You can also use the old fashion way of mixing it in the bowl by hand. A Kitchenaid with a dough hook is even better.

  9. Or a Bread machine with the "Dough only option" could be used.

  10. Using a bread machine you could set it to "Dough" and "Quick Bread" (since we are using rapid rise yeast) and dump all the Flour/Salt mix, and the mixed liquids together, turn the machine on, and walk away. Most machines that have a program cycle for quick dough will produce the dough in about 45 minutes. Complete with the first "raise". Ready to roll out and add the filling. Then raise the 2nd time.

  11. For those using a more traditional methods read on.

  12. Once the really thin mixture (Half the flour salt and all the liquids) have been mixed, slowly start adding the remaining flour/salt mix Toward the end, use that reserves ½ cup of the flour and adjust dough to proper consistency.

  13. Kneading the Dough

  14. Turn out on a floured board and knead and fold until proper dough consistency. Not sticky. And not dry and stiff. But stretchy and beginning to show signs of air bubbles. Some describe it as soft as a baby's bare bottom. The dough in this stage needs to be very well kneaded. It takes some time and work if doing it by hand.

  15. First "Rise"

  16. Coat the well kneaded dough lightly with oil or butter (Pam or spray cooking oil is easiest), place in large warm raising bowl (a warmed heavy/thick glass or ceramic bowl works best). Cover the bowl with a towel or plastic wrap. Keep in a warm place for about 45 minutes. Dough should double. Punch down.

  17. Adding the Sugar & Cinnamon Filling

  18. Cut dough in half and work one half of the dough at a time to make rolls. On a floured board roll out dough, or work it by hand to about ¼ - ½ inch thick, in a rectangle about 16X20 inches. Spread with half the soft butter. Sprinkle with half the dough filling sugar mixture. Roll the dough up long ways so you have a log 20 inches long. Pinch the seam the length of the log. Slice across the log to make 12 equally wide rolls. Place the rolls in a warmed greased 11x15 baking dish. Or a greased warmed 12 inch Dutch Oven. Remember this is a double batch so you will need two baking dishes or two Dutch Ovens. Spray the tops lightly with Pam or other spray cooking oil.

  19. Second "Rise"Cover and keep in warm area for about 45-60 minutes or until doubled.

  20. Preheat oven to 350° and Bake for 15-20 minutes are until slightly golden brown on the top. Properly baked they are soft but not under cooked and doughy. With a Dutch Oven and coals for 350° start checking them at 15 minutes, and then every 5 minutes until done.

  21. Mix up the icing while the rolls are baking. Let rolls cool slightly, but while still warm spread half the mixture over each half batch of rolls.


Recipe Notes


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