Cast Iron Skillets

Discussion in 'Camping Talk' started by tofish, Oct 17, 2007.

  1. tofish

    tofish New Member

    Messages:
    3,923
    State:
    arizona
    a while back, there was a thread discussing cleaning them. can someone point me to it please?
    gary
     
  2. catfishbill33

    catfishbill33 New Member

    Messages:
    356
    State:
    Clarksville, TN
    gary
    what is it you want to clean out of the skillet
     

  3. gilmafam

    gilmafam Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,466
    State:
    California
  4. tofish

    tofish New Member

    Messages:
    3,923
    State:
    arizona
    Ray, that is one thread, but not one i'm looking for. i actually posted on the one i want to find and can't find it in search mode. :angry: but it gives me idea. my mom is trying to find idea that i believe i read how to retreat one that is leaking grease and needs cleaned bad. doesn't want to use stove and no way of using campfire.
    gary
     
  5. anchorpuller

    anchorpuller New Member

    Messages:
    857
    State:
    North Caro
    Not sure this is what you are looking for, but it sounds like it.



    Here's How:

    1. Wear rubber gloves and eye protection while cleaning cast iron since the methods require using caustic chemicals.
    2. Begin by spraying the pan with oven cleaner and putting it in a plastic bag.
    3. After a day or two, take it out of the bag and scrub it down with a brass brush.
    4. If all the grease doesn't loosen up right away, repeat the process concentrating cleaner on stubborn spots.
    5. If you have several dirty items, soak them in a solution of one and a half gallons of water to one can of lye mixed in a plastic container.
    6. Allow them to soak for about five days, then remove the pieces and use the same brass brush method to scrub them clean.
    7. Removing mild rust should be done with a fine wire wheel on an electric drill.
    8. Crusted rust can be dissolved by soaking the piece in a 50 percent solution of white vinegar and water for a few hours.
    9. Once the pan's clean, begin the seasoning process by warming it in the oven for a few minutes then applying a little shortenting, vegetable cooking spray, lard or bacon fat.
    10. Put the skillet back into a 225 degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove and wipe it almost dry to eliminate any pooled grease.
    11. Place the pan in the oven for another half hour or so, completing the initial seasoning.
    12. The seasoning process will continue with use, especially if you use it to cook fatty foods (bacon, sausage, fried foods, etc.) the first few times it hits the stove.
    13. To clean after cooking, boil hot water in the pan. Let it soak for several minutes and then wipe dry with a paper towel.
    14. Reheat the pan and apply just enough grease to wet the surface before storing.
    Tips:

    1. Use the methods above only for cleaning iron.
    2. Don't soak pans in a vinegar solution more than overnight without checking them because the solution will eventually eat the iron.
    3. After cooking, do not use detergent or scouring pads to clean a cast iron pan since this will destroy the seasoning.
     
  6. tofish

    tofish New Member

    Messages:
    3,923
    State:
    arizona
    dang, that sounds like one that mom can do. she's older than me, and i'm 58 so can't scrub hard and has a few to clean. i do that way to clean grill on bbq. didn't think of cast iron. thank you.
    gary
     
  7. Catpaw

    Catpaw Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,959
    State:
    Central Cail
    Name:
    James
    Lol there is just to many way's to clean cast iron cook wear ...Me myself i would never ever clean it with something caustic!!! Why would you even want too?:eek:oooh:
     
  8. oh no

    oh no New Member

    Messages:
    11,108
    State:
    Indiana
    I have one of those cheap propane burners with a fishfryin pan BassPro sells. This last weekend I started melting lead In an old cast iron skillet for 50 cal bullets. Man that burner will crank. The old skillet I used was rusty and had gobs of whatever stuck to it, as It was being used in the shop to put bolts in from some project I was working on.

    After melting lead in it, lol It's a good skillet again. lol I would not use it for cooking. lol But getting it super hot, hot enough to melt lots of lead, left me with a skillet thats clean. All the rust and flakey black baked on grease is gone.

    If a person was going to clean a nasty skillet, put it on one of those propane burners that turkey fryers/fish fryers come with, and let it get super hot. Do this in the garage with the doors open as it will smoke a bit with the junk burning off. A light scrubbing with steel wool and its ready to season.

    Hey I'm for being lazy, so after 3-4 cold beverages while you wait, you are ready and so is it. lol

    :smile2::smile2:
     
  9. cantstopgrandma

    cantstopgrandma New Member

    Messages:
    955
    State:
    MD
    Well, i'm not sure if this will help, but heres how i clean all my cast iron cookwear. After cooking, put that sucker in the oven, and turn the oven up on 475 (or higher if you like). Let it sit and cook for a while. Makes everything on the skillet nice and crispy, and disinfects it. This can smoke up the house though. Then i let it cool down, and put it in the sink, spray with hottest water i can get. I have a nylon bristled brush that i then scrub the skillet with while spraying the hot water on it. When all the crud is scrubbed off, dry with paper towel. Word of caution, dont use a good scrub brush, cause a lot of crud gets stuck in it, and they are hard to clean. I have one that is dedicated to my cast iron for this reason. I wish i had a way to clean them like my great grandmother used to do. She used to throw it hers the burn barrel every once in a while.
     
  10. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    If you have a self-cleaning oven, you can simply put the skillet in the oven before you turn it on. Whatever method you use, be sure to season it afterward.
     
  11. Katmandeux

    Katmandeux New Member

    Messages:
    1,618
    State:
    Checotah, Oklahoma
    Jim's fish fryer suggestion is a good one.

    A friend who deals in antiques gave us an old Griswold skillet that needed cleaning and seasoning. I just finished burning it down to bare metal on my propane burner. Five minutes with a wire brush, and five more with hot water and a Scotchbrite pad, and it was slick as a babies butt, and ready for seasoning.

    Reps to you, Jim.:big_smile:

    Btw, another buddy, whose opinion I respect, uses nothing but Pam to season and cook with, so I'm trying that out.
     
  12. wneubauer

    wneubauer New Member

    Messages:
    342
    State:
    McKinney, TX
    If you can clean it, great. Hot water and a teflon safe scrubber or a brush will usually get a seasoned pan clean. If not, you have to re-season it, which is the "heat it up really hot," flake off any residue, and coat with shortening and season again... and remember, soap or other cleaning chemicals are not your friend when cleaning cast iron...

    good luck.
     
  13. Netmanjack

    Netmanjack New Member

    Messages:
    3,734
    State:
    Ohio
    What are some of you people cooking that you need to scrub your pans all the time? lol A well seasoned pan should only need to be rinsed with hot water and a dish cloth, no soap of course. Heat your pans before you add grease that will kill any germs. lol I only season a pan once unless someone gets one of them to close to soap when I'm not looking! I wouldn't recommend heating them to red hot, it can easily warp them. If you find an old crusty and rusty one just scrape with a putty knife and use a drill with a wire brush. And remember the outside doesn't matter.:wink:
     
  14. 223reload

    223reload New Member

    Messages:
    10,798
    State:
    Oklahoma
    I totally agree,Jack,as for cleaning after cooking in them,I just pour a couple tablespoons of ordinary salt in it and scrub with a paper towel, then rinse with HOT water ,set on the burner to dry .
     
  15. JERMSQUIRM

    JERMSQUIRM New Member

    Messages:
    13,145
    State:
    il-waynesv
    ya me too. after cooking immed after i run under hot water and wipe. its clean. sur love them. just got my set a few years ago when i joined the b.o.c. and started camping again. couldnt live without them now.
     
  16. JERMSQUIRM

    JERMSQUIRM New Member

    Messages:
    13,145
    State:
    il-waynesv
  17. ArmyCatfish

    ArmyCatfish New Member

    Messages:
    210
    State:
    Georgia
    myself i would never use chemicals of any kind to clean cast iron the purpose of a good cast iron skillet is that it is seasoned at most i would use a mild soap and nothin rougher than the back of a spounge.
     
  18. JERMSQUIRM

    JERMSQUIRM New Member

    Messages:
    13,145
    State:
    il-waynesv
    man i never thought of deep dish pizza in a cast iron skillet. man i am gonna try that.:cool2:
     
  19. MVFB52

    MVFB52 New Member

    Messages:
    55
    State:
    Mt. Vernon, Iowa
    Deep dish does sound like a great idea for the dutch oven! As for cleaning I have never had to do much more then put the skillet in the fire, put some cooking oil on a cloth and wipe everything clean. If anything is really stuck in there I use a little bit of salt. If properly cured they shouldn't really stick much though...
     
  20. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    SEASONING

    Seasoning, the process whereby the pores in cast iron absorb oil and create a natural non-stick finish, is not complicated and shouldn’t discourage first-time cast iron users.

    1. To start the process, wash, rinse, and thoroughly dry the new skillet/pot to remove the protective wax coating. One good way to make sure the pot is thoroughly dry is to put it over a low heat for 2 or 3 minutes.
    2. Put a couple of tablespoons of liquid vegetable oil in the pot. (I prefer olive oil.) Do not use a saturated fat such as butter or bacon grease, because this fat will become rancid during storage. Use a paper towel to coat the entire surface of the pot with the oil, inside and out, making sure you coat all corners, edges, and lids.
    3. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees for 30 minutes. Line a large baking tray with aluminum foil and turn the pot upside down on it. Be sure to include the lid. Turning the pot upside down prevents oil buildup on the inside of the pot.
    4. Bake the pot for 1 hour, turn off the heat, and let it set there wilth the door closed for several hours; until it has cooled down to room temperature.
    5. Remove from oven and wipe with a paper towel. This completes the seasoning process.


    GENERAL CARE

    After seasoning, proper care of the cast iron pot is also important.
    1. Always wash with a mild detergent, rinse and dry thoroughly. If you’re a belt & suspenders type person, put the pot over a low heat for 2 or 3 minutes to make sure the pot is absolutely dry.
    2. Never scour with a metal pad or put the pot in a dishwasher. If you need to scrub, be sure to use a plastic type scrubber.
    3. For the first few times after seasoning, cook food with as little water content as possible, and avoid acidic foods such as tomatoes. Remove the lid when you take the pot off the heat, because the steam might remove the protective coating. Once you have used the pot a few times, you can quit taking these precautions.
    4. Rust, a metallic taste, or discolored foods are signs of improper seasoning. Should this occur, wash thoroughly and re-season.
    5. Since cast iron heats evenly, it is not necessary to use extremely high cooking temperatures. Best results come from using medium to medium-high temperatures. Do not overheat the pot, or leave it setting empty on the burner. Rather than placing the pot on an already heated burner, put the pot on the burner when you turn it on, and let the pot heat up as the burner heats.
    6. Always store cast iron utensils with the tops or lids off so that moisture won’t collect inside. Store in a warm, dry place. A paper towel placed inside will help prevent moisture buildup, which causes rust. Better yet, save those little “Do not eat” packages from electronics and medicine bottles. These packets contain a desiccant, which is outstanding at absorbing any moisture. Place the packets in a cloth bag and drop it in the pot.


    HOW TO CLEAN AN OLD CAST IRON POT

    After years of use, a cast iron pot will eventually get a crust built up on the inside and outside of the pot. Washing will not prevent this, nor will anything else you can do…it’s going to happen if you use the pot much. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to clean this off.
    1. Wash the pot as normal.
    2. Place the empty pot in an open fire, fireplace, wood heater, campfire, or over a propane cooker and leave it there till all the residue has burned away.
    3. CAREFULLY remove the pot from the fire and set aside, allowing it to cool slowly until it is cool enough to hold.
    4. Use moist sand and a cloth to scrub the inside and outside of the pot.
    5. Season the pot as you would a new pot, and follow the cautions on use for the first few times after seasoning.


    Sorry for the formatting. I typed this in Word, then copied and pasted it here. Obviously the nice formatting I had in Word didn't come over with the document.