cast iron…

so for the most part, people think i can’t cook.
i appreciate that, since it means i usually don’t have to. 🙂

so today i found a pretty large pile of rusty beat up cast iron cookware…

http://www.l7.net/myspace/images/cast.iron-01.jpg

most of it looked like this or worse when i started in on it a few hours ago…
now the first batch is being seasoned in the oven…

http://www.l7.net/myspace/images/cast.iron-02.jpg

for those of you who always wondered how to do this, start by taking off any wooden handles, and load the whole pile of it into the oven, and run it on a self cleaning cycle for at least an hour.

many ovens will only let you do 3 hours, this is fine.

when it comes out, it’ll have a powdered residue all over it.

let it cool down, (do *NOT* quench it or use water on it until it’s cool!) then wash it with a scrubby pad, *no soap*.

if the bottom is rough you can scotch brite it or even sand it (220 then 440 grit) till it’s as smooth as you want it.

then rinse it really well.

when you’re done with that, put it in the oven “naked”.

no oil of any kind and heat it to 450°F.

leave it in long enough to just reach that temperature.

be careful and remove the piece from the oven and let it cool to where you can handle it.

find yourself an old cotton rag or an old t shirt, and wipe it down with flax seed oil or crisco shortening.
(i prefer the flax seed oil)

apply a very thin coat on the entire piece. make sure you get in the cracks (use a q-tip)

once completely and lightly coated (i cannot stress “light coat” too much) put it back in the oven at 400°F for 30 (use a timer) minutes and at that point turn off the oven and leave it in the oven till it cools on it’s own.

when you remove the piece it will have a nice dark brown uniform patina that shines brightly.

you can repeat with one or more coats if you like. you’ll be happy you did.

a good cast iron pan is pretty much the most useful thing in your kitchen. 🙂

-stone

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