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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I really got tired of replacing teflon pans every couple of months as they peeled. {did everything right: soft utensils. no diswasher no water until it cooled} So, I bought a cast iron skillet this weekend. I've read everything on here about it, but still can't figure out how to clean it. It says not to use soap and water as it will ruin the season, but how does it get clean? I see not to air dry it, as it will rust. What is the best way to season it and what should I use?

Thanks!!!
 

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I just run mine under water and scrape off any food particles. Soap will cut through the oil and remove the seasoning. To dry, I set mine on my stove burner and turn it on low until its dry.
 

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You *can* wash it in hot water, just don't leave it to *soak* in water, 'cause it will leach the seasoning out of the pan.

I never use detergent on mine, but when I have something really hard to get off, I add some water to the pan, put it on the burner and turn it on till it gets nice and hot, then I pour out the water and scrub it with one of those little cheap, plastic scrubby pads, then rinse it well.
Then I dry with paper towels and spray with a light coating of Crisco cooking spray, then take another paper towel and wipe out the excess.

I had always just reseasoned mine with some regular 'ole vegetable oil until one day I heard Paula Dean talking about seasoning hers, she used the vegetable cooking spray, so I thought I would give it a try, it worked like a charm.

I guess my skillet is the 12 inch size and I've had it about 4 years now and it's just getting to the point that it will cook just about anything without it sticking. The more you use them, the more "seasoned" they become, the easier to cook in them they are.
Just remember not to cook anything acidic like tomaotes, it has an adverse reaction the the iron in the pan.

Happy cooking!
 

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This is what I do with mine. It was my grandmothers.
I DO use soap and water to clean it. I also use a metal spatula to scrape anything stuck in it out of it. I clean it with a rag or dish brush.

I then dry it with a dishcloth and put it in my oven and turn the oven up to 375 and let it get that temp., turn it off, don't open the oven door and let it stay in there.
I season mine with Crisco when it dries and cools.

You might be suprised in the difference in your cast iron and the Teflon. Things stick more in the cast iron, after all it isn't non-stick.
I love knowing that we aren't eating little chunks of Teflon that flake off of the other pan. Another big plus is the iron that you are adding to your diet using the cast iron. I started using mine when I was pregnant with my second child. I was anemic with my first pregnancy and I wasn't with my second. I credit that to the cast iron skillet.

Andrea
 

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Seasoning Your Cast Iron

I love to season pans by cooking up a bunch of bacon. Cook the whole package. Let the pan cool until all the grease is solid. use a rubber spatula to scrape out the bottom. Rub some of the grease on the sides and outside edges (i prefer not on the bottom as it then smokes next time.)
Save the left over grease! It will be fine in a jar on your counter for a long time. Longer if you refridgerate it and keep the air away.

Then let it sit. Don't use any water or especially not soap. (the reason we do not use soap is because it breaks down the grease which is the seal.)

Tomorrow put some more grease in the bottom of the pan and fry something. Something cheap. Let the pan sit till it is cool, then gently scrape out the remaining grease.

repeat.

This will also revive your seasoning if you DID have to use soap at some point.

You have to really use the pan alot, before you can put anything in it and hope that it wont stick. So do not cook eggs, or tomatoes, or anything like that. Use it for meat primarily at first. The grease builds up and somehow it causes it to make a patina.

Listen, you won't get sick from reusing the pan without washing it. The deal is, that you always scrape out the food particles, and leave a layer of the grease. And then you bring the new food way up high so that any possible germies are killed.

This is why I recommend cooking bacon and such at first, because it doesn't stick to much of anything if the grease is allowed to stay in the pan and not drained off as you cook.

I hope this helps you. My pans are in storage, as I moved into a house with a glass top stove! *sigh*

Meg
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I love to season pans by cooking up a bunch of bacon. Cook the whole package. Let the pan cool until all the grease is solid. use a rubber spatula to scrape out the bottom. Rub some of the grease on the sides and outside edges (i prefer not on the bottom as it then smokes next time.)





I hope this helps you. My pans are in storage, as I moved into a house with a glass top stove! *sigh*

Meg

Do you mean that if you have a glass top, you shouldn't use cast iron?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks, ladies! These ideas will help alot! Now, I just read that you can bake in your cast iron skillet. What would you bake? cake? bread?
 

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Imforpeace, yes, cast iron has a tendency to scratch the glass top stoves, I've heard it takes the finish off of the top of them. I'm not speaking from experience here, but I've been told by several people not to use them on the glass tops.

As for baking in cast iron? You can bake anything in them, cornbread is a fav. around our house, but yes you can bake cakes, or I'm sure you could even bake cinnamon rolls and similar items in them.

I would just suggest to give yours ample time to get seasoned really well before trying it because I do know that the pans will literally soak up any oils/fats you add to them once you put them in the oven and they get heated up.
The reason I mention this, is I would think you would have to add a considerable amount of veg. oil or cooking spray and even then something sweet like a cake or cinnamon rolls might still stick.
As far as doing cornbread, I add my veg. oil, stick it in the oven to get hot before adding my cornbread to the pan.

In the old days, people seasoned them by laying them in fires, either in their cookstoves or a campfire and then just dusting the embers off.
 

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about the glass top, I had heard that it could damage the tops, I was not aware of how. And never did research that. But the scratching and such makes alot of sense.

Meg
 

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Congrats on the cast iron! I use mine (I have 8 diff ones in all) constantly. My favorite things to make in my 10" pan are a small chuck roast and corn bread (not at the same time). What I do for the bread is take a tablespoon or so of crisco, put it in the pan, put that in the oven at 400 while you mix up the rest of the corn bread. Then I take the pan out of the oven, grab a paper towel and spread the melted crisco around, then put the cornbread mix in the pan and bake as directed. DS loves my cornbread.

I just use hot water to clean and a plastic scraper thingy when something is stuck to the pan. I dry with a paper towel then I lightly coat with crisco and put in a warm/hot oven and leave until it's cooled. That's it.
 

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I love my cast iron skillets. I don't cook on them as often as I should. . .shame on me!! The food tastes so much better cooked with cast iron. . .and a big plus. . .my iron level in my blood gets high. I just can't make homemade cornbread without my small skillet. One of the best roasts I've ever eaten was over 30 years ago at my Grandfather-in-law's house. His cook, Hattie, cooked a pot roast in a covered cast iron skillet. I've never tasted anything like it since.
 

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Thanks, ladies! These ideas will help alot! Now, I just read that you can bake in your cast iron skillet. What would you bake? cake? bread?
I bake cornbread, biscuits, cinnamon rolls. I love the way it bakes the cornbread crispy on the outside.
 

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Cst Iron will last a lifetime and beyond, if cared for properly! Mine is practically non-stick, and I use it all the time.

I saw where someone said they couldn't use it on a glass top stove. Is this because it will scratch?
Just curious.
 

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I use my cast iron on my glasstop stove all the time, I just do not move my pan once I set it down. I have had my stove for 3 years and no damage so far. I always wash my skillet, towel dry, then coat with olive oil. Love using it in the oven too. Can make a mean mexican cornbread with it.
 

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Love my cast iron - I use it for almost everything - stove top and oven. You can buy Lodge cast iron (made in USA - Tennesse, I think) pre-seasoned now. I wash it in hot water with a scrub brush (it has a scraper on one side), with no soap. I dry it w/a paper towel, and re-season w/olive oil.

You CAN crack cast iron if you put cold water in a hot hot pan, though. That is the only way I've heard that you can really damage it.

Enjoy it - its the best way to cook!
 

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I have started using bacon grease to season my cast iron. The Crisco made a funny, tacky coating on them for some reason.
 

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i use my cast iron all the time and i do clean it in soap and water but after its wiped dry i warm it up on the stove and take a little bacon grease and wipe the inside then let it cool on the stove works for me
 

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I am SO glad I "stumbled" upon this thread! I have had a cast iron skillet (maybe a 10") for a couple of years now that I got when my grandma moved to town from the farm and stopped cooking as much as she used to. It's just been sitting in my cabinet as I haven't been really sure or brave enough to use it! I think I'll try it now and if I'm successful, I may even ask for a larger cast iron skillet or Dutch oven for Christmas!

Also, DH's iron level is always so low...maybe this will help!
 

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I've been replacing most of my pans with the enamel covered cast iron. I like the benefits of cooking with cast iron but find this easier to care for.
 
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