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cleaning and seasoning iron skillets ?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
i was just recently given a set of 3 old iron skillets . they had been sitting in the attic of a friends parents house for god knows how long , and had a good bit of surface rust on them . i used steel wool and vegetable oil(and a lot of elbow grease) to clean the rust off of them , and now they are completely rust free . i know my gamma used to season her iron skillets by putting a couple table spoons of bacon grease in them and letting them sit in a 200 degree oven over night , but i wonder if there is not a better method for this . these skillets are hand casted and well over 100 years old and i want to do them justice when i season them . if anyone could tell me how i should go about this it would be greatly appreciated . also what is the best way to clean and store them once they are seasoned ?
post #2 of 5
Mark, do a search using "cast iron" and you should find a number of threads devoted to cleaning, seasoning and keeping of cast iron. Most of us agree that the best method for seasoning a cast iron skillet is the oven method you describe, with some variations by different people.
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http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
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post #3 of 5
The seasoning method you mention in the best and most trouble free I've found except I don't use bacon grease-just vegetable oil.
Cleaning is very easy-pour in the kosher salt, heat it up, scrub with a paper towel or soft rag, then rinse with water (after dumping out the dirty salt), dry and wipe down with vegetable oil.

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post #4 of 5
Everything that's been said already is just fine; although I use vegetable shortening (Crisco) because it's easier to spread on. Don't forget to coat the outside of the pans, too, and put a baking sheet on the shelf below to catch the melted grease that drips off.

As for storage: make sure you dry them thoroughly first!!!!! And then you can just keep them with the rest of your pots and pans. I like to keep sheets of paper towels between all mine that I stack; this is especially helpful if you periodically re-coat them with grease. But you don't have to baby them. Those pans have lasted this long, and can last another 100 years, just being used normally. About the only way you can kill them is to drop and crack them.
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
thanks yall , i think i'll go ahead and use my gamma's method , but i'll use the veggie oil instead . just wanted to make sure . i dont know if i could crack these critters with a sledge hammer , their the thickest iron skillets i've ever seen . i cant wait to make some of my gamma's bisquits in them .
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