FYI: Cast Iron


Cast Iron Help

Posted By: Meagan Date: Sunday, 7 January 2001, at 8:31 p.m.

My grandmother found two beautiful pieces at an estate sale and got them for me, and I absolutely love them. However, it looks like it's been forever since they've been used. Very rusty & gunky, especially in the nooks & crannies of the cornbread pan. Any ideas on how to get rid of the ickies? In all actuality, I'd rather just strip both pieces bare and start from scratch in seasoning them, they're so gunky. But I know that they're beautiful pieces beneath all that yuck. They're HEAVY, and obviously pretty old, and VERY loved. I think after I get them all cleaned and seasoned I'll keep them out on display when they're not in use. BTW, it's a cornbread pan, with the ears of corn, and a chicken fryer. Beeeeyewtiful!

Posted By: Fuzzball Date: Sunday, 7 January 2001, at 9:09 p.m.

The Cast Iron FAQ
Cast iron is heavy, hard, somewhat brittle, and may break if dropped. Cast iron will oxidize (rust) if it is not seasoned. Keep and store in dry conditions to avoid rust. Items stored for a long period should have paper towels put in them to absorb moisture.

If metal has not been pre-treated, season before using for the first time. Brush unsalted fat on surfaces. Heat until grids begin to smoke. When finished, wipe out extra fat, wash in soap, and dry thoroughly. If not properly seasoned, cast iron pans will drip dark liquid into food. Cast iron is ready to use. After baking brush surfaces with a soft plastic brush or wipe gently with a paper towel while still warm to remove crumbs. Do not wash the grids or put any water on them. The seasoned surfaces darken and prevent sticking. However, if grids without a non-stick finish begin to stick, or are stained by foods being spilled on them, wash grids with warm suds, rinse, wipe dry, and re-season with unsalted fat.

I found this at There was more information, I just posted this for you. Go to the site I gave you and type in: cast iron + cleaning.

Cast Iron Utensils
Store "seasoned" in a dry place. Do not put lids on pans when storing as this may increase moisture buildup. After use, wipe with paper towels, wash quickly without soaking, in hot suds, rinse; dry thoroughly at once, and wipe with a thin coating of fat or oil.

Cooked-on, Burned-on Food or Grease Stubborn cooked-on food is best removed by soaking in hot water. Use a plastic scouring pad if necessary. Soak in a solution of 3 tablespoons of washing soda or baking soda per 1 quart of water to remove burned on food or grease. Do not scour off the seasoned finish built up on cast iron over long use. This necessitates re-seasoning of the pan.

Rust may be scoured with fine steel wool or scouring powder but re-seasoning of the utensil is necessary

Posted By: Jay Date: Sunday, 7 January 2001, at 9:28 p.m.

Southern Living Magazine had an article about cast iron about a year ago and the fella being interviewed also advocated putting you icky cast iron into your self-cleaning oven when you were planning to run it. Then you season it as if it were new (providing any rust is removed). I actually e-mailed the magazine and asked them for the info because I had inadvertently tossed that issue. Sorry, but don't remember what the recommendations were for people who were without a self-cleaning oven.

Posted By: Bettie in AK Date: Sunday, 7 January 2001, at 9:14 p.m.

Here's what I did when I found an old cast iron Dutch oven at a campground. I put it in my self-cleaning oven through a clean cycle. When it came out it was really, and I mean REALLY, rusty. I used steel wool aka SOS pads on it until I got the rust off. Then I oiled it and heated it in the oven at about 300 for an hour or so. It's worked great since. You can, also, put them in an open fire to burn off all of the gook.

Posted By: Patty in SO. CA. Date: Monday, 8 January 2001, at 10:48 a.m.

A collector taught me to soak them in vinegar and it works. You have to have a big plastic tub that will hold the pan and allow complete submersion. It takes a lot of white vinegar but it's pretty cheap if you buy the gallon jugs. Soak for several days, repeat if necessary with fresh vinegar, then wash, dry thoroughly like in an oven. Season with an animal fat and more heat, no scrubbing with steel wool should be necessary. That same collector said you can also put it (the pan) directly into a fire to burn off that carbon but I preferred th vinegar method.

Posted By: Fuzzball Date: Sunday, 7 January 2001, at 9:25 p.m.

You can also put them on your bbq grill this way you don't smoke up your house. You can either put the pan directly on the coals or on the grate.



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