Iron

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Ok this is going to be another rant. I mean I really didn’t have an idea of what I was going to blog about. Sooooo

Last night after dinner, I cleaned the kitchen, except the iron skillet I used. I put it in the sink to wash it, but had gotten distracted. I never went back to it. I had full intentions to get back to it.

However I wake up this morning to WATER sitting in my skillet!

Anybody who has cast iron skillets know they have a very valuable piece of merchandise. These skillets will last for YEARS! You will pass them down to your children, and they will pass them down to their children for generations. I have one of my granny’s skillets that she used when my mom was a child.

I have quite a few in my collection. When treated right and seasoned correctly you can fry an egg in it just as if it is one on those teflon skillets.

Funy quick story. When I was with my ex he washed one of my iron skillets and sat it in the dish drainer. I was at work, but when I came home and seen it in the dish drainer I KNEW it wasn’t treated correctly. So I immediately took it out of the dish drainer, washed it and dried it on the eye of the stove. He seen me and had the audacity to say “I cleaned it there was nothing stuck to it” but I had to explain to him, you don’t just wash the skillet and put it in the dish drainer. You have to dry it on the eye of the stove. Because if you let it dry with out heat from the stove it will rust.

Now to the devastating scene I woke up to this morning. I had a rough night and didn’t sleep well. For whatever reason I just kept waking up. So I finally said ok sleep is evading me I’ll just have coffee. But I heard my brother( a.k.a sasquatch) in the kitchen so I decided to wait until he got out. Because for some God forsaken reason this boy wants to have conversations with you about some movie or T.V show or commercial he saw. I on the other hand need one full cup of coffee in complete silence and solitude before anything. But what do I see when I go into the kitchen? Well I’m glad you asked. There is water IN my iron skillet! SITTING there. Yes I washed it and dried it. But all I wanted to do is go get my cup of coffee and slide right back into my room before I was seen.

As I’ve stated before those who know about iron skillets know what they have. There are steps to take to keep them for a long time. I’ll explain the steps. They are a big responsibility but so worth it. The food tastes better when you use an iron skillet. In fact that’s all I use is iron skillets, or iron dutch oven.

So the steps to take care of your iron ware are as follows. If you buy a new iron skillet and it says pretreated go ahead and treat it again.

  • 1. Wash skillet with soap and water.
  • 2. Dry it on the eye of the stove.
  • 3. Place a tiny bit of oil in the skillet and use a bandana to wipe oil all over the skillet. I recommend the bandana because theres no lint. If you use a paper towel it will shred and you will have bits of the paper in your pan.
  • 4. Bake it in a 450° oven for about an hour. Turn the oven off and let it cool in the oven.

Now that you have seasoned your skillet you can cook what ever you want. Now it will take time to get a good layer of seasoning onto your skilket. But for each time you use you’re adding another layer of seasoning. Just make sure after each use to wash with a little soap and water. Don’t use anything abrasive. There are some people who swear you should NEVER use soap, and that’s ok. They feel it will wash away the layers of seasoning. Let me tell you it don’t.

Now if you’re anything like me I like to go to thrift stores and look for iron skillets. Sadly I don’t find them as often as I’d like. I live in Texas and us Texans know how valuable these things are. But I do find them from time to time. Most often they was poorly taken care of and have caked on crud. To most people it’s a lost cause. Oh but not to me. There are steps you can take to restore that skillet to a new life.

Built up crud.

You see the photo above. This is one example of the state I most often find them. Now there are 3 different ways you can restore this beauty.

  • 1. Lye bath
  • 2. Eco tank
  • 3. Easy off(yellow cap)

Now I have never used the first two. With the lye bath there’s a spacific racio for lye to water. And I just learned you have to do it in a spacific order. Then theres the eco tank which involves a storage container water and a car battery. To be honest those two methods seem like a lot of work. Just getting it set up. Soooo with research I found the 3rd option which actually works well. Items you will need are going to be listed below.

  • 1. A strong sturdy trash bag
  • 2. Easy off oven cleaner. Has to have the yellow cap
  • 3. Your cruddy iron skillet.
  • 4. Rubber gloves you don’t want easy off on your skin
  • Directions:
  • 1. Spray the cast iron skillet HEAVILY.
  • 2. Place it in the trash bag and tie a knot to seal off any air getting into the bag.
  • 3. Let it set for at least 24 hours.
  • 4. After 24 hours (depending on said crud) get your gloves and wash the skillet with soap and water. At this point you can use an abrasive scrubbing pad and clean off all the easy off. At this point the skillet should have a greyish pewter color. Once it’s all cleaned up you can proceed to do the seasoning steps mentioned previously in this blog.

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