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using a cast iron skillet ain't so hard!  RSS feed

 
Anne Miller
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Teresa McCoy wrote:Having read your article, I would offer a few observations:

~ it is possible to take an old cruddy cast iron pan (that bargain you found at a flea market!) and remove the old seasoning that might be rough and flaking: spray the pan well with oven cleaner - do this outside as the fumes can be harmful!; put the sprayed pan in a plastic garbage bag, close and tie the top of the bag and let it sit overnight outside; the next day or the day after that, scrub the pan well and see if more of the same treatment is needed; repeat this process until you have reached the bare (grayish) iron. Wash well with soap and water, scrubbing hard. Dry completely, then start the seasoning process: rub the entire pan inside and out with shortening, such as Crisco brand. Line a baking sheet with foil, lay pan on bottom up, bake in a slow oven (250 to 300 degrees) for several hours, let cool. Repeat the seasoning process several more times until the pores are sealed and the seasoned pan has a nice, smooth, black, glossy look to it. I reconditioned my grandmother's skillet and it is ready for the next 50 years. It was hard work and took several days, but it was worth it!


Thanks for this suggestion.

This year I managed to burn one pan and remove some of the seasoning on another causing it to rust.

Can any one offer suggestions on what would be best to fix these?
 
steve bossie
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Teresa McCoy wrote:Having read your article, I would offer a few observations:

~ I have a problem with your use of the term oil/grease throughout the article. Our grandparents used lard, bacon grease, cooking oil, and butter. Today we might use butter for frying eggs and canola/safflower/sunflower/olive oil in place of the lard and bacon grease.

~ a quality cast iron pan can be heated quite hot on a stove top with no problem - i.e. Cajun blackened fish or pan seared steaks can be cooked at high temperatures in cast iron

~ the best way to season a new cast iron pan is not to cook cornbread, but to fry French Fried potatoes in as much oil as the pan can safely hold; by heating the oil to the proper temperature for making fries, you will start the process of sealing the pores in the untreated, raw iron pan

~ another way to clean cast iron after use is to sprinkle some coarse salt in the pan and scrub with dish cloth or brush; the abrasive action of the salt will help to loosen any remaining food particles

~ it is possible to take an old cruddy cast iron pan (that bargain you found at a flea market!) and remove the old seasoning that might be rough and flaking: spray the pan well with oven cleaner - do this outside as the fumes can be harmful!; put the sprayed pan in a plastic garbage bag, close and tie the top of the bag and let it sit overnight outside; the next day or the day after that, scrub the pan well and see if more of the same treatment is needed; repeat this process until you have reached the bare (grayish) iron. Wash well with soap and water, scrubbing hard. Dry completely, then start the seasoning process: rub the entire pan inside and out with shortening, such as Crisco brand. Line a baking sheet with foil, lay pan on bottom up, bake in a slow oven (250 to 300 degrees) for several hours, let cool. Repeat the seasoning process several more times until the pores are sealed and the seasoned pan has a nice, smooth, black, glossy look to it. I reconditioned my grandmother's skillet and it is ready for the next 50 years. It was hard work and took several days, but it was worth it!
   easy way to clean a caked cast iron frying pan is put in red hot coals of a fire. pull it out the next day. season with crisco or bacon fat. just like brand-new! my grandfather taught me that and i still have his wagner skillet. he was a cook in the logging camps and he cooked with nothing but cast iron.
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