Cooking with Cast Iron

I love cooking.

I love cooking with cast iron skillets.  

My wife and I have had some cast iron frying pan skillets for nearly two decades now.  For the most part they are holding up as strong as our marriage.  But the 12″ one that we use the most of was in dire need of some TLC.


My father taught me how to care for my cast iron pans years ago.  He taught me how to season them and wash them.  I’m not going into this since it’s easily searched out online.  I love the versatility of the pans.  From oven to stovetop to campfire.  Cast iron has been a strong contender in my cooking regime.  However, after years of use and love, our one pan needed a re-surface and then seasoned again.

I wasn’t sure where to begin.  Of course I could fork over $40 and buy a new pan and toss the old one out into recycling.  But today there was a bit of a snowfall, so I needed an inside project to work on.  This was as good a time waster as any.


As noted above, I had a couple of bad spots.  Mostly my eggs were catching here.  I also didn’t want black chips scattered throughout my food.  So out came my Dremel.  With some trial and error, I began to sand away at the frying pan.


As I went, I had to rinse it and feel how the surface was doing.  Overall it took me about 45 mins to get it down to the shiny silver part of the pan.  I wasn’t trying to make it super smooth.  Otherwise when I seasoned it, the lard wouldn’t take.


It may be hard to tell from this image, but I am really proud of how the pan “cleaned up”.  It was still porous but no more large chunky pits and craters were visible.  Next came the seasoning.  I prefer Crisco lard over oil.  It is my go-to for baking, deep frying and cooking.  Something about lard makes for a cleaner all around oil base.  In using lard I was also in more control of spreading it around with a paper towel.  Once that was done, into the oven it went.


I am writing my blog post as I wait for the pan to set for about an hour in the oven.  It’s looking good so far.  

The true test will be cooking on it tomorrow.

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2 comments

  1. 53old · February 5

    For just one pan, I spray oven cleaner in it, then put the whole thing in a plastic bag and wait a few days. Rinse, maybe repeat if the skillet was *really bad*, and season. My favorite is the yellow topped can of Easy Off brand of oven cleaner.

    And while that’s going on, I can go be lazy and still say I’m getting work done! šŸ™‚

    Like

  2. Frank Moore · February 5

    I to use a cast iron skillet for everything. Big heavy thing it is too. I’ve had this one for almost 10 years with no maintenance, which it certainly needs. Now I know how to go about restoring it. Thanks for this entertaining and informative piece, Joe.

    Like

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