Cast Iron Cleaning And Seasoning

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The following information is copied in its entirety. This is becoming a lost art......... CLEANING AND SEASONING CAST-IRON SKILLET You're browsing the junk store or rummaging the neighbor's garage sale and there it is - a good, old cast-iron skillet, black and righteous from decades of use and priced to sell. Once you get your treasure home and before you crank up the heat, you'll need to clean and re-season it.

Here's how:

1. Assemble a 1-pound box of salt and a quart of vegetable oil.

2. Wash the cast iron with warm water and mild dish soap inside and out. Rinse well, Dry.

3. Heat skillet over high heat, and when it's smoking hot, cover bottom with a thick layer of salt. (This can get smelly, so you'll want to turn on the fan.) Using an old wooden spoon you don't mind scorching, and protecting both hands with hot pads, scrape salt around the bottom and sides of the pan. Keep the heat on high and keep scraping salt until the salt starts to brown and you notice black flecks in it. Scour the skillet for a good five minutes. Turn off the heat, and as soon as the salt has cooled down enough to dispose of safely, discard it, and, being careful not to burn yourself, wipe out the skillet with a paper towel.

4. Repeat salt-cleaning method if skillet still looks cruddy.


5. Return skillet to burner and heat it until it's red-hot. Turn off heat and fill skillet on-third with vegetable oil. either tilt skillet, or use a non-plastic brush, to coat sides with oil. Allow oil-filled skillet to cool completely - at least an hour.

6. Heat skillet and oil again, to about frying temperature (350-400F). Turn off heat and again allow to cool completely. Overnight is best.

7. The next morning, discard oil, wipe skillet out with a paper towel and you're ready to go.

8. Some folks swear soap and hot water never touch their cast iron. Others find an occasional mild sudsing desirable. Everybody agrees, however, that scouring pads or powders and dishwashers will ruin the seasoning. Use a plastic scrubber, if necessary, to dislodge stuck-on stuff.

9. For new cast iron, start with step 2 and then go to step 5. Lots of manufacturers suggest heating the skillet and oil in the oven a couple of times to season it.
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