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Cast iron cookware

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by beast, May 16, 2011.

  1. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    for a rusted iron pan;
    first off, dont bead or sand blast the pan
    soak it in apple cider vinegar for a day or 2 then scrub it clean with warm water
    and then bake the moisture out
    check it for cracks or rust holes, if it has these it is no good unless you can get it welded back up

    for a new iron pan or an old one;
    buy some bacon, warm the pan up good and rub it with the bacon
    each time you coat it, put it back on the fire or heat and let it burn in
    just dont get it so hot it burns off
    work up a good coat then NEVER wash the pan again
    you can rinse it or wipe it out with sand then rinse it
    but dont wash it
    if it gets nasty, scour it with sand or salt then reseason with your bacon

    incidentally this seasoning will also preserve an beautify your wood cookstove
    VHestin likes this.
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    For stubborn, stuck on stuff, I loosen it with a stiff putty knife, then flush with water only. Then re-"cure" with bacon fat as above.
    VHestin and beast like this.
  3. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    I just use baking soda paste. Make a thick paste smear it on the burned on stuff, let it sit over night. Next morning, wash as usual (no soap, hot hot water, stiff bristle brush or a Scott green pad (safe for that teflon stuff), then heat and grease per usual.
    Works like a charm.
  4. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    easiest way to clean burnt food from cast iron is to finish burning it....lol
    then just reseason
  5. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Elbow grease is cheaper than electricity. (But yeah, ol sparky is easy.)
    Falcon15 and beast like this.
  6. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    The outside of all ours are crusty. Am going to take the side grinder fitted with a wire "cup" brush and knock it off. This should not hurt the seasoning and will go over the outside again after cleaning. We have them hanging above the sink on the cornice board. Might get some sugar on my jaw if I get them pretty-lol.
  7. sarawolf

    sarawolf Monkey++

    I love our cast iron, mom taught me how to cook with it in the 60's as that was the only thing she had ever cooked with.
    These are very good how-to's for cast iron for folks thanks.
    cast iron 2003 pans. cast iron 2003. cast iron lids etc.
  8. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    better for the metal to just burn off the crust
    wire wheels DO remove metal
    if its rusty crust, soak the whole pan in pure cider vinegar
    it will bring it back to clean new metal
    the acid in the vinegar deoxidizes the iron, makes it like new

    i rebuilt an old horse drawn manure spreader years ago
    the bed chains were rusted solid
    after 3 days in vinegar you could read the mfg date on the links
    the vinegar will also renew and loosen up rusted pliers and hand tools
  9. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    GREAT tip. Excellent advice!
  10. ElleShu

    ElleShu Monkey+

    Great tips, thanks! I LOVE my cast iron, nothing else works as well...
  11. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    Sara, wonderful collection. I have a "pot tree" in our front lawn. It is cast iron wash pots stacked upside down in decreasing sizes.
  12. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Moderator Moderator Founding Member

    Nice thread on CI.

    For burnt and/or stuck on stuff, I usually just fill the pan about 1/2 way with water and bring it to a boil. Let it boil for a minute or 2 then turn the heat of. Everything pretty much wipes away, if I have to scrub I use a plastic "scubber" from my stoneware, the hit it lightly with the green scrubbing pads.

    For seasoning, I will put a light coat of lard on then pan then put it, upside down, on my grill after I'm done using it. The left over heat from the coals cures the pan nicely. I usually let the pan sit on the grill (with the lid on) overnight. Take it off in the morning, and wipe it down with a paper towel to remove any residue.
  13. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    Not a big cast iron fan. Good for camping.

    I swear, last time I camped with my Uncle (who cherishes his c.i. cookware), there were remnants from great-great grandpa in that pan.

    I only use stainless cookware at home.
  14. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    There are just some things that cannot be cooked in stainless or teflon, like biscuits and cornbread. Cornbread baked in a cake pan is cake; it just isn't the same.
  15. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Look at all that cast iron cookware! You are awesome, Sara.

    Cast iron is quite fantastic. I love the few pieces I have, and use them frequently.
  16. JBillh

    JBillh Monkey+

    Scrubby Dubby...

    We use our cast iron pans for most everything but I can't seem to get my wife to stop scrubbing them! ;-)

    Is there a way to get a thick coat of "seasoning" on them in a hurry?

    It seems it took years for some of our pans and Dutch ovens to really buildup a good layer... then she scrubbed a lot of it off. I still love her, but its wrong to mess with a well-seasoned pan! ;-)

    All the Best,

  17. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    Just de-rustified my grill inserts which are cast iron, using vinegar. Took 2 days and a light scour with one of those green Scotch-Brite pads, but it was back to bare, clean metal. Re-seasoned over a 400+ degree fire with judicious applications of bacon grease every 30 minutes. Total reseason time was 4 hours, I started with fresh coals, greased cast iron inserts, and kept applying grease liberally until the fire was dead. Beautiful seasoning results. So slick I fired the grill back up, greased it again and cooked chicken breasts on them and not a thing stuck, not even barbecue sauce, which usually makes a huge mess. While the coals were still super hot, I scrubbed the grates down with a light application of a wire brush and re-seasoned with bacon grease. Go to say, being outside and exposed to the humidity, those grates were starting to look bad, but now...AWESOME. Great tips here. +1
    beast likes this.
  18. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    i use an old clay brick on my grates
    doesnt bother the good metal but is hell on crud
  19. Huntinbull

    Huntinbull Monkey+

    Great stuff on CI cookware! Just got a dutch oven and skillet, both of which need some tlc. Gonna use the vinegar trick. Do not know if i will be able to keep the wife from scouring/scrubbing them out. Gotta try though.
  20. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    let her scrub them after the soak
    then tell her that wont happen again unless she abuses them...lol
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