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Posted: 2/4/2006 5:18:45 AM EDT
I inherited a few Wagner and Griswold cast iron skillets and a dutch oven from my late Grandmother. The last few years of her life she didn't take good care of the items, and they are pretty funky. What is the best way to clean them then get them seasoned again? I really love using cast iron, and the dutch oven really hold some fond memories for me, she used it to make venison chilli.
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 5:25:06 AM EDT
My wife scrubbed hers with a SOS pad to remove the rust, Then coated them with olive oil and baked them on a cookie sheet. She now stores them in giant zip lock bags. Your mileage may vary.
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 5:28:04 AM EDT
I received a Griswold frying pan from my sister-in-law for Christmas. She knows I like antiques. Anyway, it was pretty dirty and hadn't been used for cooking in years. I cleaned it, inside and out with coarse steel wool. That removed most of the loose caked on crap. On the inside, I sanded it with 80 grit sandpaper whick got down to the original metal and really made it smooth. I then followed instructions I found on the net for seasoning. I coated it well with vegatable oil and baked it in the oven at 350 for an hour or so.
Every time I use it, I wipe it down with paper towels and re-oil it. It's working fine now. As non-stick as Teflon and seems to cook more evenly due to the mass of the cast iron.
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 5:31:26 AM EDT
I had one like that. I put it in a friend’s fireplace to let it get good and hot. I was careful to make sure it heated evenly and nothing cooled fast enough to cause stress in the cast iron. That burned all the old crap off.

Then I just washed and dried the thing thoroughly, coated it with Crisco before it had a chance to rust and baked it for an hour at 450. (Better do that on a day when you can open up a bunch of windows.
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 5:35:08 AM EDT
I just scrub the crap out of it with coarse steel wool and med-low heat on my electric with cooking oil
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 5:35:15 AM EDT
Nothing like cooking with cast iron! I even found some really cool cast iron muffin tins, cast in the shape of ears of corn, for corn bread. Thanks for the tips.
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 5:35:52 AM EDT
I don't know about Olive Oil, I use veg. oil or lard. I get the oven really hot with the cast iron in it, take it out when it is really hot, then put oil or lard in it and stick back in the oven for a while. The reason I do this is to open the pores in the pan and allows the oil to get into the pores. During the "baking" process, I take the pan out a few different times and swirl it around to get the oil up on the upper part of the pan. After baking for a while, take the pan out, swirl or wipe more around the upper part, pour out the rest and turn the pan upside down with a catch pan underneath and turn off the oven and leave it in the oven til cold. This was passed to me by my grandmother who uses cast iron skillets daily.

GlockSpeed31
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 5:40:03 AM EDT
Do you need to do anything to the exterior of the items? The skillets aren't too bad, but the dutch oven has some rust on the very bottom. I doubt that will effect the heating process at all.
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 5:44:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 91stsps:
Do you need to do anything to the exterior of the items? The skillets aren't too bad, but the dutch oven has some rust on the very bottom. I doubt that will effect the heating process at all.


I never did
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 5:44:25 AM EDT
I actually took a griddle to work and bead blasted it down to bare metal and re-seasoned it. Seems to be working fairly well now. You do have to clean it well and re oil it after every use. Don't wash with soap. I was amazed how much blasting it took to get off some of that baked on glazed crud, especially around the edges.
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 5:45:43 AM EDT

Originally Posted By skpp108:
I actually took a griddle to work and bead blasted it down to bare metal and re-seasoned it. Seems to be working fairly well now. You do have to clean it well and re oil it after every use. Don't wash with soap. I was amazed how much blasting it took to get off some of that baked on glazed crud, especially around the edges.


I did that once but these days I don't have access
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 5:46:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By twonami:

Originally Posted By skpp108:
I actually took a griddle to work and bead blasted it down to bare metal and re-seasoned it. Seems to be working fairly well now. You do have to clean it well and re oil it after every use. Don't wash with soap. I was amazed how much blasting it took to get off some of that baked on glazed crud, especially around the edges.


I did that once but these days I don't have access



I have some spare time, will use elbow grease.
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 5:58:53 AM EDT
Hah!


I can sympathize, man. A month or so ago I picked up this great cast iron skillet at a local thrift store for $2. The way the iron was worked it's nice and smooth, but it's got what looks like 30 years worth of accumulated carbon baked on to the sides.

Oven cleaner did nothing.

Hot water and a mesh stainless steel grill srubber did nothing.



I'm either going to have to find a bead blaster I can use or something with a wire wheel.
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 6:07:57 AM EDT
Damn, now I'm ready to goto the flea market to find some more.
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 6:13:10 AM EDT

Originally Posted By GlockSpeed31:
Damn, now I'm ready to goto the flea market to find some more.



Isn't that the truth! Man, you can get some nice old skillets for next to nothing, especially if they are nasty, good way to chisel the price down. Got to get back to scrubbing the dutch oven, almost have the old crud removed.
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 6:24:38 AM EDT
I still prefer my All Clad.
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 6:38:38 AM EDT

Originally Posted By GlockSpeed31:
I don't know about Olive Oil, I use veg. oil or lard. I get the oven really hot with the cast iron in it, take it out when it is really hot, then put oil or lard in it and stick back in the oven for a while. The reason I do this is to open the pores in the pan and allows the oil to get into the pores. During the "baking" process, I take the pan out a few different times and swirl it around to get the oil up on the upper part of the pan. After baking for a while, take the pan out, swirl or wipe more around the upper part, pour out the rest and turn the pan upside down with a catch pan underneath and turn off the oven and leave it in the oven til cold. This was passed to me by my grandmother who uses cast iron skillets daily.

GlockSpeed31



That's your answer right there, only old folks used only bacon grease.
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 6:40:35 AM EDT
Don't use olive oil. Use vegetable oil or Crisco (essentially same thing).
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 6:47:30 AM EDT
The easiest way that I've found is to heat the pans up. Heat them up to 200 deg. and pray them down with a heavy coat of Easyoff. let soak over night and rinse very, very well. You may have to do this a couple of times again rinse very,very well.

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