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Friday, February 17, 2012

Restoring My Cast Iron

Of course, I had to bribe someone to help me. Today, Mark came over to help me. He sanded rust from two of my skillets with 180 grit sandpaper block. About six months ago, I fired up the grill. Everything that burned off nicely now has a layer of rust. Things that did not burn off are still black and gunky. I had the grilled fired up today, burning off the old residue of about a dozen other pieces.

The grill is cooling now. But, soon I will fill my soup pot with water to try and boil off the residue of the chicken I charred to the cast iron surface. I really want to make soup. It just doesn't seem right making soup in anything but cast iron. My cornbread skillet and my little 6" skillet are ready to use. Exbf would love some cornbread.

Yes, I have pictures and cannot post them.

Several years ago, I received a pile of free stuff from freecycle. The woman said she would keep adding things until I came. She did. She added so much it took her, her grandson, and me to load my trunk, back seat, and front passenger seat. I received maybe a dozen cast iron skillets. A Griswold and Lodge were amongst the lesser ones from Korea. I will keep only those two and sell the rest. Well, I bribed Mark with two skillets.

Next, I will try rubbing salt into the skillets to get off the last of the residue. I really did not want to resort to salt, but that may be the only way. Since Mark was coughing from sanding off rust, maybe he will welcome salt. You didn't think I was cleaning it, did you? It really hurts my injured hands to get rust from skillets. I have other things I would rather do with my hands, like typing.

Now, keep your fingers crossed that my paragraph making ability of my blog has magically been restored.

That is my day other than washing dishes in the dishwasher, washing four loads of clothes, hanging some of them on the clothes line, drying the rest in the dryer, and folding some of the clothes. It is not much for a whole day, but that is my world. When I have a few surgeries, I can do more hopefully. I still cannot afford the lift chair...sigh.

But, I do have most of my cast iron back in the kitchen! And the sun shone all day with temperatures about 65 most of the day. Mark was happy with the little 6" skillet and a larger 12" one that I gave him for his help. Next week, he will just get

Your turn
Do you use cast iron? What methods do you use to remove the gunk? The rust? Do you think food tastes better in cast iron?


  1. I have several inherited cast iron skillets, some Dutch ovens as well that I cherish. The key to maintaining them is to season them well (google it-many can tell you how), just wash with water-no soap, and re-oil after using. Eventually it becomes non stick. Enjoy your pans.

  2. Yes, I too inherited some of the older ones and have been seasoning them for about forty years. The problem was the charring a whole chicken to the pot! The rest were just gunky will oldness and needed to have it removed.

    I just hope Mark listened to what I told him about the re-oiling and not using soap. Stop by again.

  3. Hi - I hope I fixed that issue on my blog so you can try and read again - funny only happened in IE, firefox was fine. It was a cut and paste from elsewhere I think that caused the issue in some of the HTML - but I've had a fiddle... please try and read again.

  4. No cast iron here yet, but my partner's father, a chef, is always singing its praises and telling us to be on the lookout at garage sales.

  5. Hops,
    While any cast iron is better than none, be discriminating, at least on the price. Lodge is best of the new market, and even better when old. Griswold and (can't think) are antiques. I bought a used Lodge lid for $5 and did not blink and eye! A skillet from Korea for $5, uuuum maybe but I would dicker on the price. Don't buy Lodge in Walmart. He is right.

  6. Yeah, still using my ebay purchased cast iron pans and frying pan, daily use, never washed them, they never seem to rust. At least 25 years old when I got them about 2 years ago, and they're gonna outlast me I think.

    Dunno about the taste, but I do get pleasure from using them.

  7. cumbrian,
    Washing the cast iron well to remove food and germs is the worst thing for cast iron. Yes, with your care or lack of it, they will outlast you. I am convinced things taste better, but I could be fooling


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