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Thread: Burnt crud in Cast Iron Skillet *****

  1. #21
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    Originally posted by Steve Petrone:
    I cannot imagine an oven getting hot enough to dammage cast iron in normal use or in a cleaning cycle.
    Steve, the self cleaning cycle on an oven won't damage a cast iron pan, per se, but it will completely remove all of the seasoning and force you to reseason the cast iron pan.

    You don't want to do this except under some extraordinary circumstances where you want to strip the pan and start over.

  2. #22
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    Originally posted by Erik G:
    Ray, I have always been told not to use water to clean cast iron pots or maybe it was not to use cast iron to boil water, it might cause it to rust. Have I been misinformed?

    Erik
    I boil water in my cast iron skillets to soften and remove grease and dried on crud. They say not to use soap on cast iron because it will ruin the seasoning. I haven't really tested that out, but I have occassionally used a little soapy water and it doesn't seem to hurt anything.

    The pan won't rust unless you breach the seasoning. Boiling a bit of water for a few minutes doesn't hurt much. But it doesn't hurt to wipe a thin coating of fresh oil in the pan once it's dry, and maybe reseason it once a month or so.

  3. #23
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    I found a 8" cast iron skillet that was my wife's grandmothers. It had not been used in years. There was no rust but a lot of burnt flaky buildup. I decided to start over with the seasoning in effort to get the inside of the pan thoroughly clean, I used an angle grinder and a stripper attechment on my drill. I knocked the big chuncks off of the bottom of the pan with a chisel, but otherwise left the patina on the outside of the pan. When I finished, the inside of the pan looked brand new. I have given it a couple of wipedowns with peanut oil and heat cycles in the oven...so far so good. I have used it a few times and the coating on the inside looks to be getting better and better. I have found that while the pan is still fairly hot (not immediatley after removing from high heat, but pretty warm none the less) a little tap water and a scrape with the spatuala gets the pan very clean. I am new to using cast iron but am intrigued by the heat ditribution properties and durability that they offer at a fraction of the high end pans. Sorry for the novel.

    Bobby

  4. #24
    TVWBB All-Star Mike Willis's Avatar
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    From the real experts: http://www.lodgemfg.com/

    There's a good section on their web site regarding care and use of cast iron cookware.
    Mikey

    '98 Weber 22.5", Weber 22.5" rotisserie attachment, '05 SJP, '08 WSM, '? Gas Go Anywhere

  5. #25
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    Several years ago on another BBQ forum there was a long post on how to renew old cast iron particularly ones that were purchased at garage sales and had some rust. If memory serves me right they boiled the cast iron in water and vinegar to remove rust and all previous seasoning. I have never used this method although I have purchased several pieces from yard sales. First in responce to the self cleaning ovens. All self cleaning ovens lock the door during the cycle so there is no way to place the cast iron in or take it out until the cycle is over. You can boil water in cast iron, but it will remove all the seasoning in the irons pores. If you have time, I have found that my chicken fryer which is only used for frying is seasoned the best. After you clean your grill pan, place a good amount of shortening or oil in it and let it sit on low on the cooktop. Good luck dealing with you crusty issue.
    WSM, Weber 221/2 Platinum, Weber Smokey Joe Platinum

  6. #26
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    Since this was a brand new seasoned grill pan, I'd personally try to save the seasoning. I clean mine by putting some water in the pan and simmer on the stove top for a short while. This should loosen up the crud between the grooves. Remove from stove top and scrub with a plastic scrub pad, use the hottest water that you can stand for scrubbing and rinsing. You can repeat this cycle multiple times if need be. Just be sure that you dry completely when you are satisfied with crud removal and coat the pan's surface with vegatable oil, shortening or lard while the pan is still warm. I use a paper towel to apply. If you discover any rust, you'll need to strip the seasoning and reseason. Wire brushes, stainless steel scrubbers, sandpaper, etc. are all good tools for this.

    I'll give you a little tip here too. On a new piece of pre-seasoned cast iron cookware, I usually add a coat or two of additional seasoning to the original before ever using it. Additional coats don't hurt a thing and it tends to help with clean up.

  7. #27
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    I use a small piece of wood to scrape the bits out of the grooves. Then I follow up with a plastic brush and/or scrubber. All of this while the pan is hot and full of hot water.
    With a wire brush you might risk removing too much of the baked-on seasoning layer.

    The cleaning approach depends a bit on just how thick your seasoning layer is. Soap can eat away some of seasoning layer, but if the pan is old and very well seasoned, you can afford to use a small bit of soap every so often.

  8. #28
    TVWBB Fan Jim Bloomfield's Avatar
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    The pan you are using. I use a lot.Boiling water in the pan after use and a little brushing should do the trick. These pans will have a little crud between the ridges.using or not using soap dates back to the days when a lotta of lye was in soaps. Still if you use soap the pan must be dry when done washing.I too like a wood scraper for hard to remove crud.The best part of these grill pans is the part the food touches is easy to clean.
    WSM 18 ,Weber Performer
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  9. #29
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    Try placing a generous amount of salt in the pan prior to using it. The salt will absorb much of the grease thus reducing the amount of crud accumulating in the pan.

  10. #30
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    A slightly different question - We have a couple of Le Creuset skillets. I love using them but my lovely wife, who most often ends up do the cleaning if I do the cooking, doesn't like me using them to fry and saute, citing the difficulty of cleaning the skillets. This is a bummer since they are really good for frying bologna - which as we all know, is one of the great delicacies of life.

    I probably should sell the Le Creuset and get a couple of plain old (and antique) cast iron skillets from my parents' barn to replace them, but the darn things were way expensive and they cook really well.

    Do any of you guys have tips for cleaning the enameled cast iron that you would share with me?

    Thanks,

    Pat
    PFSmith
    WSMs, OTS & G, Performer, Q 220, Char Q, SJP, Genesis Silver B - general Weber apologist - a Kamado Joe, couple BGE's, Vermont Castings Gasser and a Traeger Pellet Pooper

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