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Hello,

Just had a few questions about seasoning and re seasoning and cleaning and such.

I have purchased a few pieces from different thrift stores. I have had luck in stripping off all of the old rust and seasoning by running it through a self cleaning oven. Is this advised? I hear so much about doing a lye bath or electrolysis. It when I used the oven method I was done in a few hours.

As far as seasoning goes, I use bacon lard that I have saves and that seems to be working.

Any thoughts or suggestions for a newbie.
 

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Generally, if the pan isn't rusty just give it a good scrub and a coat of oil and you're good to go.

If you can scrub the rust off, good. If not a power tool with a wire brush can be very helpful. You want to avoid taking any seasoning off though.

I don't know that running it through a oven cycle is necessary. I've always just oiled mine and cooked with them.

Don't overthink it. Your great-grandma sure didn't.
 

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I also do the self-cleaning oven method, and it's worked fine for me. I usually season mine with Crisco a couple of times, and then I'll cook something fatty like bacon or sausage.
 

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Some of my treasures were so old and had decades of stuff on them (I have one that dates back to 1845). I had to use oven cleaner & let it set for 24 hrs - scrape-clean-repeat until it all came off, then I seasoned it. My granny would take my pa pa's sander sometimes to clean her skillets. To season, I use shortening & wipe off any excess, then bake it in a 200 degree oven for several hours until the color inside the skillet turns slightly darker
 

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For the initial seasoning you can use the oven a couple of times, but after that it's unnecessary.
Just wash with water only, occasionally use salt if you need to scrub. Rub it down (lightly) with the oil of your choice. We usually set it on the stove and let it heat for five to ten minutes to make sure it's dry. We put oil on it every time we use it, not everybody does. Depending on what you like to cook in it we prefer either coconut oil or sesame oil.
 

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I do not suggest ever cleaning it with lye.

I scrub mine with water and plain table salt, never anything else. For re-seasoning I stick with canola oil.
 

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I love my cast iron

I absolutely love my cast iron pans. I use them at home and take them camping because clean up is so easy. I bought a two pans at thrift stores, two were given to me and the rest I bought at Cracker Barrel.

I have put a pan in the oven on self clean to burn off build up, but I have also used my grill to burn off build up. To clean my cast iron I use hot water and a scrub brush with nylon bristles or a nylon scraper, then I dry my pan with a dish towel and coat it with a thin layer of vegetable oil. I hang my pan up and it is ready for use!

If something is stuck on pretty good I put water in the pan and heat the pan on medium temperature on the burner. When the water is good and hot I take my pan to the sink and start scraping.
 

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I love my cast iron too. You need to find a picture on the site of the cast iron collection that someone (?) maybe Spirit Deer? has. It's fantastic and the shelf she has it hanging from is really nice.
 

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Ask and you shall receive. :D

My collection isn't very big compared to some. I'm downsizing it now, too. Then again, I've added stuff like a Belgian cookie iron to it since this pic was taken, so maybe it's a wash.

The rack was easy to make and only cost me about $40. Anyone could build one. I'll do everything I can to never go back to stacking my CI. It's so much easier to get a pan off a hook than have to dig through a heavy stack.
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