I love cast iron: Pics of restoration inside.


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I got a hold of some old and some new cast iron, some in better shape than others, but all in disrepair. I spent this Sunday putting it all back into service. I used a wire wheel, steel wool, brushes, and a generous helping of elbow grease. In total I got 8 pieces done today. They will be ready to cook by tomorrow after they completely cool, although I will probably re-season them next weekend for good measure.

These pictures will show you kid of what i was working with. The pictures show (from top to bottom) -a raw piece, one that has been grinded and is ready to go to the steel wool, the first one to come out of the oven, and one that is in grease and ready to go into the oven If anyone is interested I can share some info on how to properly restore and season Cast Iron- At least my version, everyone has their own.




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I know a lot of people who use cast iron to cook with, I never had much luck with it myself. I use the Revere Ware with the copper bottom.
I have a brand new cast iron skillet I got for Christmas last year, never put it on the stove once.

I suppose I should give it a fair chance. I might learn to like it if I could ever get where it didn't stick so much.
I know you need to "season" cast iron by putting grease in it and heating it to a high temperature, then never use soap to clean it, hot water and a scouring pad only.

Or something like that.

Do you cook for sport? or a living?


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Pops- to get that skillet to stop sticking do this-

Cover the lower rack of your oven with aluminum foil, this will help with clean up.
Also helps you have a piece of cardboard to sit a greased piece on, thats what i use, but paper towels work if you double layer them.

For "seasoning"-
Pre-heat your oven to 425.

Wash your piece with warm water and a mild detergent and get it very dry, I usually sit it in the oven. -After this step soap should not ever touch it.

take your room temperature to slightly warm piece and wipe vegetable shortening all over it as thin as you can get it. -i use my fingers for this, and then wipe with a paper towel.

Put this piece on the top rack, upside down(where it can drip out), for 15 minutes.

after 15 minutes take it out, wipe it down with a paper towel and return it to the oven for 45 more minutes.

After the 45 minutes, turn off the oven and let it sit in there and cool.

Keys to a good seasoning-
-High heat, a lot of people will tell you to do it for 2 or 3 hours at 200 or 250, they are wrong IMHO. You can't form a good surface without getting the oil past its smoke point.
-Fat Choice, traditionally people used bacon fat or something like that. It will work, but Animal fats have more of a chance to go rancid so I use vegetable shortening. A saturated fat like shortening will form a harder, slicker seasoning layer than an oil- IE canola, veg oil, olive oil.
-It's gonna smoke, let it do its thing- turn on a fan and crack a window.


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I posted the above while at work and had to actually stop to do some work.

But... I just cook for fun, although I have been throwing around the idea of buying a little bit larger smoker and starting a catering company that specializes in pig pickins. I love to cook and have been entertaining for years, but I am not sure I have any more time to take on another job. On the other hand, I can hook the heck out of some pork, and i have great recipes for beans, slaw, and all the fixins. We'll see what the future holds.


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I too tend to use my cast iron skillet pretty exclusively. I do things a little differently when I season it. I have messed around seasoning it in the oven and that works well but when I got my little portable wood camping stove (www.stovetec.net) and started using that for cooking and canning I noticed that the outside of my cast iron developed a fantastic seasoning under all the soot. Now when I feel like the seasoning needs a refresh I'll run a cool, smoky fire in the stove and invert my pan over the top to catch the smoke. I do have to scrub the soot off with a nylon brush when it's done but the pan I've been using has developed the best seasoning that I've ever been able to get on a pan. It does my heart good to watch the water sheeting off it like a waxed paint job :D