Cast Iron 101

So the summer has taken over my life and writing the blog took a back burner for a bit there. Sorry team! I'll do better!

I have a quick little post for today about a cool item I found the other day. It's a weird story, but buckle in, it's a neat one. I was raised in a super small Scandinavian community on Pigeon Lake and I actually had the good fortune to acquire a tiny cabin about 5 houses down from my childhood home. It was a little moldy, a little crumbly, a little tippy, and full of found treasures. One such gem was actually an old cast iron skillet hanging up on a wall! 

 See it on the wall!? Fun fact, this photo is actually 2 minutes before Garner proposed to me. Pretty romantic spot, right?

See it on the wall!? Fun fact, this photo is actually 2 minutes before Garner proposed to me. Pretty romantic spot, right?

These little guys are basically indestructible. It was rusty, covered in spider webs and dust, but after some TLC, it's looking good as new. So here's how to bring an old cast iron back to life. 

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First, it really needed a deep wash. Normally, once your pan is seasoned, you never want to wash it out, especially with soap, but this was a pretty extreme case and it needed it. So we ran it through the dish washer to get years of who-knows-what off the surface. Next, it went on the heat and a layer of oil was added. A clean dry cloth was used to rub the warm oil all over the pan surface, handle and all. Into the oven it went at about 300 degrees to let that oil permeate. We kept it in the oven for about 2 hours, re-rubbing with new oil every half hour and so and, voila! Look at how shiny it is!!

Now to keep it a happy pan, a few rules: Don't use soap, don't put it in the dishwasher, don't soak it and don't use steel wool. Easy enough, right? Now for the do's. While it's still warm from cooking, pour a bit of course salt and a bit of water in the base and give it a wash with a soft sponge or scrub. Rinse it and dry it by putting it back on low heat before putting a new coat of oil over the entire pan surface and buff it in with a dry towel. Your pan is now seasoned and ready to go for the next cooking task! 

 My cabin and I!

My cabin and I!