Seasoning Cast Iron

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by amelia, Nov 26, 2005.

  1. amelia

    amelia Well-Known Member

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    I'm feeling like a real dufus, can't even seem to do this right! I just snagged a brand new Lodge cast iron skillet from the thrift store ($3.00!), coated it lightly with Crisco, and baked for an about 2 hours at 300 degrees. It came out very sticky. What have I done wrong?
     
  2. TxCloverAngel

    TxCloverAngel Happiness is Homemade

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    I seemed to have that problem alot when I first started out. But I found a great web site w/ instructions and they said to use lard. not Crisco. (will try to find it) Lard is way cheaper too. and I just did LIGHT coats, then baked for 20 min in a 325 oven.. then recoated it and did it again.. probably 4 times and they looked like they were old pans! worked great! I'd bake em again and see if that helps and for future use lard! :0 good luck.. you may just need to clean em off and start all over. happy seasoning lol
     

  3. Snakeoil

    Snakeoil Well-Known Member

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    If you ever have to clean your skillet, use Kosher salt, not steel wool.
     
  4. joaniebalonie

    joaniebalonie Well-Known Member

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    i use olive oil. to dry them completely so they don't rust after washing stick them in the oven if it's warm or on top of the woodstove... take advantage of that heat. then wipe a little oil on; if you've used oil for cooking you probably already have something handy for that.
     
  5. MillsFarmFamily

    MillsFarmFamily Well-Known Member

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    Use any type of cooking oil, not the crisco (it's too thick). I pour it in the middle, "roll" it around and then lightly wipe it out with a paper towel before seasoning it in the oven. You'll want to lightly wipe it down with oil on a paper towel or clean rag after each use as well.
     
  6. Charleen

    Charleen www.HarperHillFarm.com Supporter

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    Solid Crisco shortening is made of different ingredients depending on where you live. In some areas it contains beef tallow and other areas it does not, it contains vegetable oils. Gotta read those darn labels! Myself, I prefer lard to season pans.

    Most of our pans are old Erie or Griswolds and they've been resurrected one way or another. Sometimes the stickiness will occur, but be diligent in their care. Never use soap or put in the dishwasher. Never use steel wool.

    I have a Lodge pan that makes the best scrambled eggs.
     
  7. Caelma

    Caelma Well-Known Member

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    Ok, now what are the best brands of cast iron and why?

    Also if you have one that has rsuted bad in storage why not steel wool?
     
  8. tyusclan

    tyusclan Well-Known Member

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    I personally think Lodge is the best. The same family has been making it for over a hundred years and most of their new stuff comes pre-seasoned now.

    Steel wool is fine for taking the rust off an old pan, just don't use it on a well-seasoned pan.

    Also, a great way to season one is to fry french fries in it.
     
  9. BearCreekFarm

    BearCreekFarm Well-Known Member

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    We had a really good thread going awhile back about this- see if you can find it in the archives.

    I got three Lodge skillets at a garage sale for $5- that was for all 3! They were brand new- only one of them had even been used, and it only once- they had been a gift and the people did not know how to season them. But, even at 3/$5 I don't like them very much. I grew up using my mom's 50+ year old Griswold and wagner skillets and Dutch oven, and find that I prefer them. The Lodge skillets have a rough bottom which I do not care for, whereas the Griswold and Wagner are smooth.

    BTW, Charleen, your "Erie" brand are actually Griswolds, no such brand as an Erie. Griswolds were made in Erie, Pa, and sometimes they were stamped with Griswold, sometimes Erie, sometimes just an E. Little bit of trivia.

    Easiest way I have found to clean old, rusty cast iron cookware is to stick it in the oven and run the "clean" cycle. One time through usually does the trick. then wash well with hot water, dry in a warm oven, coat with lard or bacon fat (I have used Crisco, but that is my least favorite method), stick in a 350 degree oven for an hour. Take it out, wipe it, repeat. I do three cycles with the lard/grease/shortening before I use the skillet. Then I usually cook a pound of bacon or hamburger in it before using it for anything else. Or, I cook something in a lot of butter, that works well too. DH and I have around 16 pieces of cast iron, some haven't been seasoned yet, but the 3-4 which we use a lot are and boy, are they great to cook with! Usually, after using, we can just wipe them down with a paper towel and they are good to go. Sometimes if we cook something messy we might have to run some hot water over it and scrub with a nylon brush, but that is all- they are well worth the effort you will put into seasoning them.

    Good luck with yours. If baking the skillet again doesn't get rid of the stickiness, you might have to start over. Next time use an animal based lard/shortening/butter instead of vegetable based.
     
  10. Charleen

    Charleen www.HarperHillFarm.com Supporter

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    Thanks for the info! We are about 2 hours northeast of Erie, so both Erie & Griswold pans are common at yard sales & flea markets around here.
     
  11. MoonShine

    MoonShine Fire On The Mountain

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  12. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    I always use lard to season my cast iron. As for brand I usually buy Lodge brand if I buy new. One exception was a large kettle I bought recently that may be Chinese-it has no markings. A lot of my older heirloom cast iron has no markings other than a number on the handle. I have no idea who made it. Nice quality whoever made it.

    Not to threadjack, but speaking of cast iron, I recently acquired two quite large iron kettles. One of them is big enough to scald hogs in. These are antiques but the former owner drilled a number small drainage holes in the bottom as she had turned them into flower planters. Is there any feasible way to mend these or should I just return them to landscaping duty? The smaller one would probably make 10-15 gallons of chili and the other one is probably big enough to scald a hog in. I'd really like to have them for their intended purposes.
     
  13. skeetshooter

    skeetshooter Well-Known Member

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    Oh don't feel bad. I screwed up my new from the store pre-seasoned Lodge. Glad for the tip on lard. I used Crisco and mine got a bit sticky around the edges too. And then suddenly blake flakey stuff is coming out of the inside. Where's my steel wool. . . . .
     
  14. Paranoid

    Paranoid Homebrewed Happiness

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    i have also had less than favorable results from lodges pre-seasoned stuff.

    the coating peeled off in places, so one of these days i will have to strip it and redo it from the ground up myself.
     
  15. ceresone

    ceresone Well-Known Member Supporter

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    funny, reading this site. i just stick my skillets in the dishwasher anymore, and if they get dirty on the outside, i put them in the wood stove. but whats funny, is that i'd be scared to death to put them in my oven on the clean cycle! when i get ready to use them, after the dw, i just turn heat on high, with some oil for a few min. works for me, lol--and i'm OLD!! ;)
     
  16. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    "Not to threadjack, but speaking of cast iron, I recently acquired two quite large iron kettles. One of them is big enough to scald hogs in. These are antiques but the former owner drilled a number small drainage holes in the bottom as she had turned them into flower planters. Is there any feasible way to mend these or should I just return them to landscaping duty? The smaller one would probably make 10-15 gallons of chili and the other one is probably big enough to scald a hog in. I'd really like to have them for their intended purposes."

    i asked my bro and he said...if there not to rusty they can be welded with castiron rods.
    The castiron must be heated up before welding.
    Castiron must be wrapped in a heat blanket and allowed
    to cool SLOWLY after welding.
     
  17. BamaSuzy

    BamaSuzy Well-Known Member

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    I use only Lodge cast iron cookwire for ALL my cooking....I've had problems seasoning some of it when it was new but finally just washed it and started using it and it got seasoned that way!

    I don't have a dishwasher but I can't imagine putting my iron cookware in a dishwasher!

    The old folks didn't even recommend washing it with water! Most just said to scrape the food out and keep cooking....I don't do that but I sure don't leave it in water long.

    The Griswald stuff here at flee markets is priced way way way over my head....some up to $100....each....

    I've always wanted to visit the Lodge plant in Tennessee and have drive by the exit on the highway. Maybe I'll get to soon... I love my Lodge dutch oven (the kind with no legs) and use it on my propane stove or my woodburning heater! happy cooking!
     
  18. whodunit

    whodunit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you google around youll find Cristco is the most used for seasoning. It what I use as it works really well. Beef fat also works well.

    The reason your pan was sticky was there was too much cristco. It has to be very thin coats of oil put in, no pooling. You bake many thin coats onto to your pan. Some people put the pan upside down so the oil can run out. Just be sure to put something the next rack down to catch the drips.


    IMO old cast iron is best as the metal is smooth, the stuff of today isnt smooth, its full of pits.

    I was raised with using cast iron and dh and I have a number of peices, some are used many times a day.

    My sweetheart even bought me a testubin cast iron tea pot for Valentines day a few years ago. The girls and I have tea out it each morning.


    Mrs Whodunit
     
  19. BigBoy

    BigBoy No attitude here...

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    On a visit to my brother once, I heard him go off about someone putting his cast iron skillet in the soapy dish water. It was kinda funny to me that he is so particular about it because I have been using my cast iron for almost 30 years and I wash it just like anything else... soapy water. At times I will even leave it overnight with soapy water in it. Even with all the "wrong" washing that I do it hasn't affected it in the least!
    Also, when the grease builds up on the outside, I found that soaking it in a trashbag full of ammonia overnight (or 2) will take it right off. THEN I have to reseason it. And I usually use olive oil but bacon grease works fine too.
     
  20. RenieB

    RenieB Well-Known Member

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    I bought and old and dirty cast iron Dutch oven a couple of years ago for $5 we took it and had it sandblasted as it really was in need. It came out great to Season it we loaded it with lard and made french fries. Not only was the pan well seasoned we had the most yummy french fries. Bought a new Lodge frying pan a couple of months ago and it was already preseasoned at least that is what the instructions said and it has been fine for us we use it everyday. Dh bought another fryingpan also Lodge and on the back of it were directions in the cast iron on how to season cast iron pans.

    Cast iron is a favorite around our house. Just can't beat them.

    RenieB