Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Perfectly Practical #24 - Cast Iron Part 2

Last week's Perfectly Practical tip was all about cast iron cookware.  Resident iron expert Wastutesy weighed in on how to season cast iron.  She does it a little differently than I do in that she uses Crisco and I use bacon grease.
(Engineer has the motto:  "Everything's better with bacon on it.")

Last week my parents called and said, "Punkin, I know of a cast iron skillet that's just been thrown out and the person who threw it out said you can dig through the trash and get it if you want to."   

Being a great believer in reducing, reusing, and recycling, but not a great believer in digging through someone else's smelly trash at 8:30am in Texas temperatures, I was faced with a dilemma:  I had the perfect opportunity to illustrate a previous point and rummage through nastiness in 100 degree weather or let a gift like a free old skillet go to the landfill and continue to sip my coffee in the cool of my house. 

The draw of a treasure hunt was too much for me and here was my booty (pirate speak, not actually my booty.  Sheesh...)



Step by step:  1.  Procure a piece of filthy cast iron


2.  Put it in a plastic tub or on a rag on the bottom of your sink




3.  Pour Coke in and around the pan (it's best to submerge it)



It immediately starts taking off the rust



4.  Let it soak overnight


5.  The next day, scrub off the grime



6.  Then wash it with soap and water (the ONLY time soap should ever touch the iron...EVER)



7.  Give it a good scrub



8.  Slather it with bacon grease (I didn't get this part on film, sorry)

9.  Throw it in the oven on 450F for an hour then leave it in the oven with the door shut over night

10.  Use your pan regularly to build up a good seasoning




The end.  Now you are an expert on how to season your pans.

When storing your pans, you may want to keep a coffee filter in between the pans to soak up any moisture/excess grease.

This is part of Works for Me.

6 comments:

  1. It's good to see that Coke is good for *something* anyway. ;)

    I sent this link to my son - from what he's told me, I think his cast iron pan needs re-seasoning and possibly a good cleaning, besides - thanks!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by! I hope his pan turned out well. :)

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  2. I love it! I bought a set from Fingerhut YEARS and YEARS ago that I couldn't EVER get to season. We rubbed them down with grease, put them in paper bags, and let them ride in the trunk of my car in Louisiana. Might have gotten a bit hotter than your oven. ;)

    When my folks lived "in town" we had a gas range. Mom's cast iron would get almost crusty with cooked on grease. They bought property out in the country and when we were cleaning the property, she through them into a roaring fire. I thought she had absolutely lost her mind! They came out spic and span!

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    Replies
    1. Ms. Do, I know lots of people who throw their pans in the fire or in the coals if the are grilling to get the crust off their pans. I have never heard of seasoning them in the trunk of a car though. ;)

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  3. Great tip about the coffee filter!

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Your turn! Let me know what perfectly practical comments you have.

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