Tried and True Tuesday: Cast Iron Cleaning & Re-Seasoning

I like many people own a cast iron pan.  It is one of two that I have owned, the first one I ruined…Oops 😦  So I got rid of it, not realizing I probably could’ve fixed it, but I started over.  Since then I have sort of let it go {go figure}…So I was keeping an eye out for how to give my skilled a little more TLC.

On a side note:  if you don’t have a cast iron skillet, or use one you have, it’s a great thing to use.  Military spouses: if you’re moving, and most likely driving, this can be a perfect thing to pack.  You can use it while you’re still in your home before you move, and continue to use it when you’re in your new home after you move.  It’s oven and stove compatible (unless you have one of those flat top glass stoves, in that case forget it), and you can start making meals so much quicker this way.  Just a thought the next time you move.

Ok, back on track.  My skillet needed some TLC.  One blog I found that had a great tutorial {and it worked!} was from Bitz N Giggles.

First, you clean your pan.  I’ve seen ways to do this through The Kitchn {one of my favorite food-related web sites to browse} and through Bitz N Giggles.  The Kitchn recommends you to do their ideas when your pan is most likely warm still, while Bitz N Giggles you should do when the pan is cool.

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You can get an idea what the skillet looked like before this process.

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To clean this skillet, you add salt and then you can use a clean sponge or a scrub brush of some sort.  Don’t use anything that is super abrasive, like steel wool, that can make things even worse for your cast iron skillet.

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After a nice scrub with a brush you can see the black specs in the salt.  I was actually really surprised on how clean the pan was by just using some salt and a brush.  A lot of the time too, you can try and clean the rust off, if you have accidentally let your pan rust.

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How the pan looked after I cleaned it with the salt.  You want to rinse the salt off, and dry it well.  Water is your worst enemy with cast iron.

IMG_5979Afterwords, I added some oil to the pan to re-season.  A lot of people clean their skillet while it’s till warm, then coat with oil before storing it to keep it seasoned.

Then I put the skillet in an oven of 35o degrees for an hour.  Then I let it cool in the oven.

Always use an oil on and in your skillet that is used for medium to high heat.  I use my skillet most of the time for steaks, it’s an easy and quick way to cook a steak in your house without having to wrangle with the grill.  Some people like to grill, my husband doesn’t like to when it’s cool out, and right now we haven’t replaced our propane tank after our last move.  If you use an oil like olive oil on your steak, it will work but you will have some major smoking, which is always fun when it sets off all the smoke detectors in your house 😉  I tend to use butter on the steak in the oven.

There are so many things to make in your skillet–I’ve made a variety of breakfast foods in my skillet, especially when I am with my immediate family.  So between J, my parents, brother, and I, I have been able to make a hearty enough breakfast to feed them all in it.  It’s a great, and pretty essential, tool to have in your house.

I linked Blitz N Giggles and The Kitchn at the beginning of this post in case you’re interesting in checking out their blog posts and what they have to say.  There’s some great information there.

-M

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