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dealing with cast iron skillet grease  RSS feed

 
Rebecca Allison
Posts: 4
Location: Salem, Oregon
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Hi, I'am new to cast iron. I Read the whole article on Cast Iron at Permies.com. I still am trying to take in all the information and I'am also new to Forums. I was wondering, When you cook in the cookware and the grease is there hardened or still soft, I know how you are not suppose to put it in the sink, what am I suppose to do with it? This morning I went to clean the Skillet and there was oil hardened on it (Coconut oil) Now do I scrape it off into trash or what? I'm just not sure what to do or if coconut oil is okay to use. Id like step by step direction on what I should of done including cleaning drying and before and after. I know that's asking a lot but I'm very new to this and have a hard time understanding. Hopefully PAUL you can see this and can help me out. Thank you. BTW I just put really hot water in it and kind of used my hands to take the egg that was stuck on it and dried it with a paper towel and that's it, that's probably wrong, I did this before I read anything.
 
Joe Braxton
Posts: 320
Location: NC (northern piedmont)
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No better time to clean than while still hot. Pour off excess grease, scrape any stuck bits, wipe clean, done. If already cool, just heat up a bit and clean. Been working for me for over 40 years. I've got pots well over 100 years and 3-4 generations old and they still clean up perfect. Hope this helps!
 
Rebecca Allison
Posts: 4
Location: Salem, Oregon
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Thank you. Were would I dump the oil I wouldn't dump down the sink?
 
Jay Green
Posts: 587
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Most folks keep a fruit jar next to the stove in which to pour grease such as bacon grease or lard. This gives it a place to cool off and congeal. If you have pets, you can pour the hot grease over their food before serving and the same with chickens and their feeds. All mammals need that fat in their diet.

We have always done the same with cast iron...heat it to clean it. If there are a few stubborn bits when you are done you can always sprinkle some salt in there and scour it with the paper towel and the salt. Then lightly regrease the pan and store it away.

A cast iron skillet should always feel slightly oily on the cooking surface and ours feels that way all over except on the very bottom. If it dries out due to not being seasoned yet or due to improper cleaning, coat it with oil again and bake it on low heat for a bit until the oil gets into the iron surface.
 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Welcome to permies Rebecca
You'll get plenty of help from the cast-iron fans round here!
I scrape it and wipe it while it's hot. And no, I'd definitely not put oil down my sink.
I'm perfectly happy to put mine in the compost, since I don't have animals.
 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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We used to always have an empty cat food can near the stove ready to accept drainings.
The short size is 'spill-proof'. Tuna can for non cat owners.

You can dip clothes dryer lint trap wads in it. Makes great fire starters.

 
Rebecca Allison
Posts: 4
Location: Salem, Oregon
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Okay. So update to all who is still reading. I just cooked some eggs in some coconut oil. The eggs stuck. I poured the oil into a jar. Now what? Its just sitting there waiting for advice...really wish my eggs wouldn't stick..and how can you tell its hot enough? I had my stove on 4 5 and waited awhile but it still didn't am hot enough.
 
Rufus Laggren
Posts: 479
Location: Chicago/San Francisco
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Some basic checks:

In order to perform properly the pan needs to be seasoned well.

I find cast iron cooks best at medium heat, not high.

But maybe we should back up. What other types of pans, methods or cooking, are you familiar with? It helps to be able to relate things together and for us to get an idea of what you already know so we might be able answer more clearly.

When did you get the cast iron pan? Was it being used by the previous owner or was it all rusted up and covered in grime? Or is it brand new?
What condition is it in, what does it look like and feel like on the inside?
It sounds like you're cooking on an electric stove, is that right?
Have you cooked and, particularly, fried using this stove before?
What are you using to stir or turn the eggs or whatever when you cook in the pan?
What procedure did you use when you tried to cook the eggs that stuck?

There are others here that know way more about cooking than I (at least I sure hope so) and maybe they can comment on using coconut oil. Frying oil is easier to use when it has a high smoke temperature which allows it to remain "oily" while you're cooking. Canola and peanut oils have high smoke temps but I don't know about coconut.

Rufus
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