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Discussion Starter #1
I'll just start with a quick intro, basically I've looked everywhere for good ways to strip the seasoning off cast iron, and failed.

Why?

I'm trying to help with a project (can't disclose too many details) but it's for a restaurant, and we've designed a cast iron grill.

Everything about this grill is awesome, and the food it produces is spectacular... BUT, because of the heavy usage, and the food safety codes, we HAVE to clean it.

and therein lies the problem.


basically it's a cast iron grid (with holes/spacing like a BBQ grid) so it can't hold liquid.

It has embedded heaters that cannot get wet. So any form of soaking is unacceptable

We can't use any sort of caustic, or cleaning fluids (such as degreaser or other commercial cleaning products) because it has to be food safe.

Any sort of wire bristle is out. We can't afford to be sued for a bristle getting stuck in someone's food.



So if any of you guys want to commit heresy and do everything you're not supposed to do to destroy and remove the seasoning (or deep clean the piece) it would be much appreciated.


Currently we've been stuck to scraping the grids to clean them, but to thoroughly clean it can take literally hours.
 

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Last time I had to remove seasoning from a pan I used a wire brush.

I know tomato sauce works, cooking sauce in cast iron strips the seasoning right off. You might try another mild acid like vinegar. You're looking at soaking it for an hour or more though.

Oh, wait, you can't soak it. Sounds to me like you're ___'d.
 

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Nto sure how big the grill plates are, but a easy way is to put it on your oven on the self cleaning setting.

The heat that burns off everything stuck in your oven will also burn off everything on the cast iron.

Works great when you get build up on the outside of skillets.

My great uncle also used to put his in the campfire to help clean them.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I guess I'll add that this is actually a prototype grill, I didn't help with the design, so I'm not exactly sure what all is solid technology, and what we're "pioneering" with our designs.

Also, putting the thing on "HI" to self clean may work, but because of the oil on the grids, we've decided the flareup isn't worth it. It's a bit frightening, and not such a good idea when it has to sit next to oil friers under the vent hoods.

We have tried scrubbing it while it's hot with pickle juice, I found a tip on that somewhere... and it seems to help a bit. I keep hearing vinegar though, so I think we'll try that next. Any idea what strength of vinegar, or how hot the cast iron should be? Also, do you think salt in the pickle juice helps or just keep it as plain vinegar?
 

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Pickle juice = vinegar + sugar, probably just plain vinegar would work better as the pickle can leave a sticky residue.

Salt will act as an abrasive agent.
 

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I read somewhere to use sea salt as a mild abrasive to clean cast iron. I haven't personally tried it but the idea does make sense. Good luck!
 

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you can't soak it or you can't submerge it?

If you can't submerge, you can still cover it with cheese cloth soaked in a mild acid so it will hold the acid on the grid. Then remove the cloth and clean with what ever has worked the best.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Can't submerge it, or soak it to the point that the elements get soaked as well.

So vinegar it is then... we'll see what happens I guess.
 

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Was going to suggest similar to Ceashels suggestion.

On a cool grill, let a damp cloth moistened with pure white vinegar on it for a few hours or overnight. You could even wrap the moistened cloth (or paper towels) with plastic wrap to keep all the moisture in. Scrub in the am or a few hours later.
 

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It just seems like that grid should be able to be taken apart so that it could be cleaned. If there is a way it could be unscrewed or something, I would then say put it on a fire and burn the residue off.
 
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