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Oh, what have I done?!

Oh, what have I done?!

Old 01-25-2020, 10:29 AM
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Default Oh, what have I done?!

I made a new recipe for salmon last night, indoors instead of usually grilling it, and it was disastrous for both the skillet and the stovetop! The marinade was harmless (no oil) but did make the fish not dry, and then I was to add 1 Tbsp oil to a cast iron skillet and get it really hot. Okay so far. Put in the fish (no instruction to dry it) and don't disturb it until it "releases" from the pan. This is about when I got into trouble -- it seared beautifully (and tasted great, too), but it spread detritus far and wide, and tho I can soak it off the counters and the smooth ceramic cook surface, I do not know what more to do to save the cast iron pan.

Long, long story ending: after rubbing with salt while still warm, there is caked on matter - oil? on the cast iron. Would re-oiling and baking in the oven help? Any other ideas? Thanks for wading thru this long explanation.
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Old 01-25-2020, 10:48 AM
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I sympathise -- and you will cringe at this -- -- use Brillo or whatever brand. and scrub it all off. If it is really baked on, you may need a fine grit sandpaper. Then start all over to season your griddle. I have bought "real" cast iron antique skillets and they had as much as an eighth inch baked on grease,

Unfortunately, recipes don't take into consideration the different materials in our utensils. Metal baking pan sare different than glass. Anr the new frypans are different from the "no stick" pans that are now carcinogen. Nothing can really beat cast iron -- but my wrists don't feel like cooperating any more.

Good luck

Last edited by QuiltnNan; 01-25-2020 at 03:00 PM. Reason: shouting/all caps
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Old 01-25-2020, 10:55 AM
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Thank you, Mim -- even if I dread doing that to the pan. If a recipe says to get a pan really, really hot they always mean cast iron, right? I envy you, moving between Washington and Maine, am at least very glad to live in beautiful Virginia.
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Old 01-25-2020, 11:13 AM
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My Mom used to put water and a drop of dish soap in her cast iron pan and put it on the stove to simmer. It released any stuck on bits and then she washed/dried/oiled to re season.
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Old 01-25-2020, 01:04 PM
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My mom and grandma always used SOS to clean out their cast iron pan. Must of worked, cause now I use that same pan!
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Old 01-25-2020, 02:13 PM
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Sometimes you do indeed need to start over with a soak (sometimes a simmer) and a scrub. Don't forget to condition it afterwards (heat up, food grade oil with a rag or paper towel until it shines and is dry), and be kind to it until it redevelops it's water repellent surface. Getting it out to treat it even if you aren't cooking with it regularly.

I use my Grandma's Chicken Fryer (dutch oven) and trust me, It's been soaked, cooked with acidic foods, and scrubbed with steel wool more than once in the last 100 years. Need to get new handle though for her old knife, it's getting thin but still maintains an amazing edge.
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Old 01-25-2020, 06:33 PM
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Depending on how severe I might consider heating pan to medium hot, then add some red wine to deglaze.
On another note I believe I would find a cast iron collectors club through Google and check with them.
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Old 01-26-2020, 05:49 AM
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I'm with the camp that says to heat water in the pan and then re-scrub w/salt. I bring the water to a roiling boil. I do that with my cast iron loaf pan all the time. Do need to re-coat w/oil after it's cooled though.
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Old 01-26-2020, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by NJ Quilter View Post
I'm with the camp that says to heat water in the pan and then re-scrub w/salt. I bring the water to a roiling boil. I do that with my cast iron loaf pan all the time. Do need to re-coat w/oil after it's cooled though.
I should also add that you shouldn't use vegetable oils. They form a sticky film when they get hot. Olive oil or any meat fat is OK -- found out thru experience - the hard way.

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Old 01-26-2020, 11:03 AM
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Can't imagine you would do any harm just pouring some boiling water into the plan and let it sit for awhile. The boiling water might "decglaze" the stuck on particles.
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