When you clean an old cast iron skillet, you have to go about it a certain way. Here are some tips to get it ready to use again.
Do you love cooking with cast iron skillets? Those throwbacks to the past are timeless and prized by many cooks.
Whether you have one stored away and forgotten or if you run across one at a yard sale, you might need to do some maintenance if it is rusty. Check out these tips for cleaning and seasoning that old, rusty skillet.
How to Clean and Season an Old Cast Iron Skillet
Surface Rust vs. Body Rust
Simple surface rust is easy enough to take care of on your own. This usually occurs when the skillet has been neglected or exposed to moisture.
If, however, the skillet is covered in serious rust, you will need to take it somewhere and have the rust sandblasted away so you can take it back down to bare cast iron. After that, it will need to be seasoned.
Remove the Rust
To deal with surface rust, though, you need to start with some fine, steel wool. Use the steel wool to scour the skillet and take it back down to bare cast iron.
Wash and Dry the Skillet
Next, you will need to wash the skillet thoroughly with mild dish soap and some warm water. Use a bristle brush or a mesh pot scrubber for some grit as you wash.
After you’ve finished the washing, make sure you dry the entire skillet thoroughly with a dish towel or a few paper towels. It needs to be totally dried when you are finished.
Coat the Skillet With Oil
Use a small amount of oil (vegetable oil, canola oil, olive oil) to coat the entire surface of the skillet. Don’t use too much or the surface will get sticky and don’t forget to cover the bottom of the skillet and handle.
Pop It In the Oven for Seasoning
Next, you will need to use your oven to complete the seasoning process. Place the skillet upside down on a rack in your oven and place a large piece of aluminum foil on the rack below it. This will catch any oil drips.
Set your oven to 350 degrees and allow the skillet to season for about an hour. After the time is up, turn the oven off and let the skillet cool. Once it’s cooled then you can put it away for the next use or go ahead and use it to make your supper.
Cooking with cast iron is a great way to add extra iron to your diet, but also to enjoy a cooking experience that takes you back to your grandmother’s day.
Keep your cast iron pots and pans clean, seasoned, and rust-free so they are ready to go whenever you’re ready to cook and prepare your meals.
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