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Thread: Iron Skillet Question

  1. #1
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    Iron Skillet Question

    I own one iron skillet that I rarely use. I went to use it tonight and it seemed scuzzy to me. I know the ideal is to "season" iron skillets, but I don't know how to tell "seasoned" from down right dirty.

    Does anyone know how to tell if a skillet is "seasoned" or just coated with old, cooked-on food I failed to remove properly?

    I should know this cause my mother used nothing but iron skillets. (I must admit that when I was 12 or 13, I thought I was really helping in the kitchen when I scoured one of her skillets right down to the iron and proudly showed it to her. She didn't react much, but she did explain the "seasoning" thing. Wish she was here to answer this question....)

    Thanks for any info you can share.
    "Accomplishment is a consequence of effort" -- Michael Crichton

  2. #2
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    DH uses our iron skillets all the time. As soon as he removes the meat, mostly T-bones, he pours a little hot water in it. He uses no dishwashing liquid but uses salt to help lift any drippings. Rinses well and wipes with a paper towel then finishes it on the stove on a flame. Low burner till it's completely dry. Uses canola oil to wipe it. Not a lot just a bit. There are many videos on You Tube. I just grab the non-stick. He does fine with it. Check out you Tube just type in seasoning for cast iron skillets. Good luck!

  3. #3
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    Clean it as well as you can, with soap and a scrubber, then coat with vegetable oil and bake for 20 mins at 350. It's seasoned. Then use normally. Repeated use causes a chemical reaction with the iron that keeps it seasoned. You only need to reseason if it gets rusty and you have to scrub that out. After several uses, you can even use it for acidic foods like tomatoes without fear.

  4. #4
    Super Member Jeanne S's Avatar
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    I agree with Tessagin's advice--this is what we do. Most information says never to use soap in cast iron. If you are worried it is just dirty, rub it real well with coarse salt, rinse, oil and bake it for 30 minutes.
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  5. #5
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    I love my cast iron. They are the main pieces I use to cook. Many years ago, I had a piece that had a lot of build up that I just could not get off. I put the piece into the oven, ran the self-cleaning cycle of the oven. It took off all the crud and I just had to season the pan.

  6. #6
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    I have a cast iron dutch oven that had been belonged to my mother and I have used it for fifty years. I do wash it with dish soap, dry it thoroughly and apply a small amount of oil on the cooking surface and store in a dry place. I do not have food build up on the inside and keep it seasoned so it doesn't stick. I do use a non metal scrubber on the outside if there seems to be a build up which seems to be a part of cooking. I really like to cook in it. I might take the advice above and put it in the oven when I self-clean the oven.

  7. #7
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    Paid $28 for a Lodge griddle. Biggest waste of money! It does not heat evenly and my pancakes are half cooked. Yes, i heated it up prior to using it. Tried it a few very dissapointing times. Very disappointed. LOVE my Hamilton Beach $12.00 griddle from Ktchen Collection. I keep adding Hamilton Beach cookware to my collection. Great non-stick!

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  8. #8
    Super Member orangeroom's Avatar
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    I don't have an answer, but want to share a short story or two. I've picked up a few cast iron skillets from garage sales or GoodWill and we love making big choc chip cookies in them and I think their called dough babies. Mmm....good luck with your cleaning and may you enjoy many years with your skillet.
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  9. #9
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    I use stainless steel pots/pans

  10. #10
    Super Member luvstoquilt's Avatar
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    I love mine and I clean it with salt and hot water like tests agin. I use it for Mexican Cornbread among other things. I love how you can go from stove top to oven.
    "You must do the thing you think you cannot do"....E. Roosevelt

    Sharon
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  11. #11
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    I agree with Tessagin's advice, that is what my Dad use to do. Don't know where it disappeared after his death. Not a problem because I am a lousy cook.
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  12. #12
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    The directions I got with my Lodge pans was: Do not use soap, just hot water to clean.
    Mine have never seen soap. I have stainless steel scratchers that I use with hot water, and they work very well. I always use lard, bacon grease, coconut oil or butter for frying, and nothing sticks. (these are the natural fats with no trans fats.)
    I also have a stainless steel set, but I use the cast iron whenever I can because when you cook in them, you are adding just a little more iron to your food and that is good.
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  13. #13
    Super Member Chasing Hawk's Avatar
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    I have 3 cast iron items all with porcelain interiors. My Dutch oven, a 3 qt. saucier and my newest addition a large covered skillet. The latter was a Christmas gift from my husband, all with the Cobalt blue exterior. So easy to care for and cook with. The manufacturer says do not use cooking spray instead use a little bit of oil. Hand-washing only for these beauties along with my stainless steel cookware.
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  14. #14
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    I have a lodge grill sits on 2 gas burners. I slice zucchini, yellow squash, onions and salt and pepper, and 2 blobs of butter. Yummmmm. I turn them 2 or three times while cooking on low. No sticking at all. Very good.

  15. #15
    Super Member JudyG's Avatar
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    Here is a very good article about restoring old cast iron to like-new: http://foodal.com/kitchen/pots-pots-...cleaning-oven/

    I cleaned mine this way this summer and now they are beautiful and nothing sticks.
    JudyG

  16. #16
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    I keep mine in the oven all the time. Even when I am baking something else. Doesn't hurt the pan and holds oven temp steady.

  17. #17
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    if they get a lot of burned on grease on the out side of them or if you find one in thrift sale that don't look very nice. you can build a wood fire or a charcoal fire , get the coals nice and red and than put the cast iron frying pan in the hot coals burns off the old grease , than just re season it

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by scrappy happy View Post
    if they get a lot of burned on grease on the out side of them or if you find one in thrift sale that don't look very nice. you can build a wood fire or a charcoal fire , get the coals nice and red and than put the cast iron frying pan in the hot coals burns off the old grease , than just re season it
    I have two pieces of non enameled cast iron. A 12 inch wide 3 inch deep skillet and a rectangle that is a grill on one side and a griddle on the other. I mostly use these when camping and cooking over a fire. Every few years the skillet's exterior catches fire and burns off all the crud.

    In the house I have a red enameled Dutch oven. The lid is flat and can be used as a skillet too. I use that pot all the time, stews, soups, risotto, pot roast and more.

    My Kiwi grandmother had a cast aluminum Dutch oven with a removable handle. I have never seen another one. It was great because it was not as heavy as iron, but maintained an even heat.
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  19. #19
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    I have many iron skillets and dutch ovens...some belonged to my Mom and one to my Grandmother. I use dish detergent to scrub with a plastic bristle brush (no brillo or metal scrubbers)...I rinse well and then dry on a burner of the stove and then apply a thin coat of oil with a paper towel...This works very well for me....if some food is stuck salt or baking soda works to remove it....never soak you skillet...

  20. #20
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    I have two iron skillets and a large dutch oven. When they need it I wash them all. When they are oiled again they work fine. I have a recipe for bread baked in the dutch oven. It makes a huge loaf and is nice to take to pot luck suppers. Never have an left over.

  21. #21
    Super Member nwm50's Avatar
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    I've used baking soda with a tiny bit of water to wash mine but if it's starting to look dry...then I rub oil in it and bake it for 10-20 min to set that .
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  22. #22
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    I use cast iron pots and skillets. Wash in hot water and detergent. Scrub it but don't scour it. Then take a razor blade scrapper and scrape the bottom of the skillet until it is very smooth. A true seasoned skillet will be smooth as glass and black as pitch. Oil the skillet. Next time to use it, heat the skillet to almost smoking before adding oil, turn down the heat and then add the food. Do this with every use until the skillet is like cooking on a brand new non stick skillet for the first time. Now you have a perfectly seasoned skillet. Mine are so slick eggs slide right out.
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  23. #23
    Super Member Kimkankwilt's Avatar
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    My dad told me not to use soap on them. In fact, he used dirt. We would be camping and after cooking the trout, he would grab a handful of dirt, rub it around, rinse. Good to go....
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  24. #24
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    It's the carbon build up that makes the skillet seasoned and non stick. Mild soap washing does not remove the carbon. Only hard scouring or extreme heat will do that.
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
    Being cheap is not a badge of honor.
    My heroes are working people, paying their own way, taking care of their children and being decent human beings.

  25. #25
    Super Member calla's Avatar
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    I need to try this cleaning

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