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Cast Iron Help
August 17, 2011
2:55 pm
KristiL
Tacoma, WA
Big Chicken
Forum Posts: 27
Member Since:
June 11, 2011
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Hi ladies, 

I finally built up my courage and tried cast iron and I love it!! I've been using this post as a guide on care http://chickensintheroad.com/cooking/the-care-and-feeding-of-cast-iron/ and it's gone fairly well but now I'm afraid I've messed something up and need some help.  The first time I seasoned it the inside turned out gorgeous but I noticed that when I flipped it upside down and left it on the stove top that I'd end up with almost a powdery looking yellow residue where it touched anything. The second seasoning when my skillet came out of the oven the inside of it had a reddish tinge to it, I'm not sure what happened but I did use crisco for the seasoning that time.  It started bugging me so I scrubbed out my skillet really good (no soap) got all the red color out and seasoned it again last night.  This morning I took it out of the oven and the inside of the skillet looks like it only took some oil in patches.  It's hard to explain but there are dry spots all on the bottom, right next to spots that look shiny and seasoned well.  I tried to just do a light oiling just now (with vegetable oil) and the dry spots don't look like they're taking any of the oil.  What did I do wrong and how do I fix it?!  I love my skillet and every time something needs to be made it's my go to pan.  Thanks so much for any advice you can give.  

August 17, 2011
3:10 pm
DarleneS
Columbus, Ohio
Mighty Chicken
Forum Posts: 103
Member Since:
May 18, 2010
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Wipe out the rest of the grease spots. Cover the bottom of the skillet with table salt all the way across. Put in a 250° oven for a couple of hours. It should be okay then.

August 17, 2011
3:17 pm
hilljackgirl
Kingston OH
Banty
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September 21, 2010
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When you are seasoning your iron skillet only use bacon grease or lard. I have found that if I have used veg. oil or crisco that my pans are sticky. Usually what I do is cook bacon in that pan for a while dumping out the excess grease but leave enough to coat the pan. I don't wash it and after a few times of just cooking bacon it is seasoned. I have been doing this for over 25 years and have not had a problem. I hope this helps! I love all of my iron skillets, it is the only that I cook with!happy-flower

August 17, 2011
3:53 pm
KristiL
Tacoma, WA
Big Chicken
Forum Posts: 27
Member Since:
June 11, 2011
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Thanks for the replies, I'm going to put salt in it now and see if I can straighten it out.  Then no more crisco!!  I'll have to stop and get some lard, something I can find in the grocery store by the other oils correct?  Does the outside of the pan need to be seasoned as well hilljackgirl?  How do you handle doing that if it does?

August 17, 2011
4:00 pm
52
Stringtown, WV
Mighty Chicken
Forum Posts: 391
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November 18, 2008
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The lard in stores around here is usually in/around the meat department—not refrigerated, but on top of coolers usually.  Don't know exactly why——

The only real reason to season the outside is so it doesn't rust, but you do basically the same thing—-just coat it when you do the inside and bake.  hole

52 Forever
August 17, 2011
4:38 pm
bonita
north east IL
Super Chicken
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June 1, 2010
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KrisiL: If you are IN the CITY and have trouble finding lard, try groceries in Mexican or Puerto Rican neighborhoods. It is not refrigerated, but as 52 says, it is usually lounging around the meat coolers. Used to come in rectangular 1# packages shaped like butter packages. White/green type. Otherwise, hijackgirl's way is a good bet. 

Save the Earth. It's the only planet with chocolate.

August 17, 2011
5:02 pm
CATRAY44
By a lake in S. Michigan
Super Chicken
Forum Posts: 777
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August 30, 2008
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I save all my bacon grease.  I pour it through a strainer and keep it in an old "grease" can from my Grandma's era.  I use it for cooking and I use it for seasoning cast iron.  I wash my pans in hot water, and use a little course salt if I need to scrub it.  Dry it on my stove, set on medium (Don't walk off and forget it- set a timer if you are a busy woman!) and when it is dry, I rub in some bacon grease, wipe it well and put it away.

August 17, 2011
5:06 pm
mamajhk
South Central Kansas
Super Chicken
Forum Posts: 655
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May 6, 2011
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I have found lard in the same area as the other cooking oils/shortenings in Wal Mart.  I think I have also seen in it in the same area in Kroger (here in Kansas it is Dillons).

August 17, 2011
5:07 pm
BuckeyeGirl
N.E. Ohio
Admin
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February 10, 2009
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I have to say that I use vegetable oil plenty of times, and the only time it's ever caused a problem is when I've used too much.  I also use soap if I need to, though it's a rare thing.  I just try not to use too much and make extra sure I heat the pan up really well so it's completely dry (on top of stove usually) and wipe out any excess oil.

We all tend to find our own best methods for such things. smile

Located in N.E. Ohio
August 17, 2011
8:32 pm
KristiL
Tacoma, WA
Big Chicken
Forum Posts: 27
Member Since:
June 11, 2011
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10

Thanks for the replies everyone, heading to Walmart tomorrow anyway so I'll check there and then if I can't find it I'll go to the grocery store.  The salt really cleaned out the bottom well and I made some bacon so it got a little seasoning.  I'll do another couple tomorrow night when it won't be so painful to have the oven on lol.  Good thing cast iron is so sturdy, even if I mess it up I can just clean it up and start over again!

August 17, 2011
9:29 pm
Ross
Bel Air Maryland
Superstar
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December 14, 2010
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11

I always clean my skillets with flour to soak up the fat and I scrape out the hard stuck on food.  If it is really bad I make gravy. I use enough flour to make a ball of fatty flour. I dump that onto a plate and let it cool and wipe the skillet with a dry rag. I give the ball of fatty flour to the neighborhood fox. He controls the mice in my yard.

August 17, 2011
9:34 pm
Pete
WV
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December 28, 2008
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Yep – that's one of the great things about cast iron!

I usually do use Crisco for seasoning the pans to start with, especially ones which I have to really recondition.  And, yes, they will get gunky, gelatinous stuff when too much is on it, but I would rather deal with that than under-season (is that a word??) it.  It just peels off.  Reheating it will get rid of any residue.

One caution – for a new or recently reconditioned pan, use it for a while doing the bacon or other fatty kinds of things before cooking anything acidic in it.  So, no tomato based sauces, things with a lot of lemon in it etc until it's well broken in.

When I think a pan is about ready to go into the regular rotation, I test it out by making a milk-based gravy in it to see how that goes. 

But then, we have entirely too many cast iron pans!  Nobody needs as many as we have, and most have needed VERY serious reconditioning – like strip them with wire brushes kind of work!!

Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
August 17, 2011
10:42 pm
Ross
Bel Air Maryland
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December 14, 2010
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I have a friend who collects griswold brand cast iron. When he gets one that is a really cruddy he puts it in a self cleaning oven and simply burns all of the crud away then he re seasons it like a new pan.

August 18, 2011
6:20 pm
CATRAY44
By a lake in S. Michigan
Super Chicken
Forum Posts: 777
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August 30, 2008
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I collect Piqua, Wapak, Wagner, etc. I love finding really old cast iron pieces with gate marks.  I always wonder where they have been and who has used them.  I do the same thing Ross mentioned- put them in my self cleaning oven to remove the old crust, and then start re-seasoning them.

August 18, 2011
8:06 pm
MMT
Riverton, IL
Big Chicken
Forum Posts: 88
Member Since:
March 21, 2010
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15

A friend once told me that you can set a cast iron skillet right into a camp fire and burn off the crud, then season.  Is that ok to do?

Live your life in such a way that if someone were to speak badly of you, nobody would believe them.
August 18, 2011
8:32 pm
goatgal
Joplin, Texas
Big Chicken
Forum Posts: 88
Member Since:
July 17, 2011
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16

Yes! It works every time.  15 years of doing campfire cooking programs at a State Park

August 18, 2011
8:33 pm
Miss HomeEcs Daughter
Central Texas
Big Chicken
Forum Posts: 90
Member Since:
August 30, 2010
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17

MMT, that is what we used to do..In fact I have one now that needs the outside crud burned off.  Guess I will need to light a fire in the charcoal grill.  devil-with-fire

August 18, 2011
9:04 pm
CATRAY44
By a lake in S. Michigan
Super Chicken
Forum Posts: 777
Member Since:
August 30, 2008
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18

I would hesitate to stick them in a fire. I know people use them over fire, but , just wanted you to know it is possible to damage them.  It can cause a blemish to the pan referred to as "orange peel". 

August 18, 2011
9:04 pm
mamajhk
South Central Kansas
Super Chicken
Forum Posts: 655
Member Since:
May 6, 2011
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19

I know people that have hung them over a trash barrel.  That was back when you could still burn trash yourself.  Can that still be done in some places?

August 18, 2011
9:30 pm
Chicken Crossing
South Dakota
Big Chicken
Forum Posts: 60
Member Since:
March 6, 2011
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20

Here in the sticks of South Dakota it is quite common for us rual folks to burn our garbage.  I'm a bit of a recycle nut though,  so I have someone come get most of our stuff so it can get to the proper recycling place.

 

I'm glad about the talk on cast iron skillets.  I don't use mine much becaue I thinks it's such a pain to wash and reseason it EVERY time I use it. Now I know I don't have wash it every time.

The secrets of of success only work if you do.
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