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Old 02-11-2012, 02:55 AM   #1
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Unhappy Help! Is my Dutch Oven ruined?

My husband was cooking Northern Beans to make "Ham & Beans" on the Stove. He forgot about it and completely burned the beans!
He soaked the pan in soapy water (it's a cast iron DO) until I got home. I rinsed it out and used a "bristle brush" to clean out the "food particles", re-seasoned it with oil, put it in the oven for 1 hour.
The following day he tried again to cook the "Northern Beans" but soon after starting to cook, the "smell" of the previous day's mishap was terrible! Also giving the food a "burnt" taste and smell.
HELP!!Is it ruined?????

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Old 02-11-2012, 03:02 AM   #2
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the best part about cast iron is that you can always sand it down past any mistakes (rust or burnt foods), then reseason and it'll be like new.

it sounds to me like your hubby needs to get busy with some sandpaper.
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Old 02-11-2012, 03:06 AM   #3
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I use a thick paste of baking soda. It releases the burnt food and any odors. I let the wet paste stand overnight.
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Old 02-11-2012, 03:12 AM   #4
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Hi Addie! Thanks for your reply. What should I do after using the baking soda paste?
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Old 02-11-2012, 03:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdieM View Post
Hi Addie! Thanks for your reply. What should I do after using the baking soda paste?
Wash it and then season it. Hopefully the odor is gone. You should be able to tell when you season it. If you still get the odor, then put hubby to work with the sandpaper.
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Old 02-11-2012, 06:05 AM   #6
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Back when cast iron cookware was more popular (the 1930s) Brillo and SOS steel wool pads were commonly used for clean up.
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Old 02-11-2012, 09:16 AM   #7
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I use a paste of baking soda and water for stainless steel too. I had a really bad "oops!" on the stainless steel top of my stove. I let the baking soda past sit for 36 hours at a time and the oops came off by layers, but it did all come off and I have no scratches on my stove top.
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Old 02-11-2012, 09:38 AM   #8
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I find alot of great cast iron peices at garage sales and most of the time they are disgustingly dirty, I bring them home - I purchase a wire wheel that will go into a drill and clean the pot( remember safty glasses or goggles) and it cleans up great, then just reseason it. You just can't hurt cast iron. !
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:15 AM   #9
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If you have a self cleaning oven, you might try putting the pot in and run a cleaning cycle. That is what I do for rusty, grungy cast iron. It does remove all the old seasoning and you get a nice new surface to season. I use a damp towel to remove any dust then apply a light layer of oil and bake for 1-2 hours. The cast iron comes out looking beautiful and working like "new".
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:31 AM   #10
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You might find some help with the care and feeding of cast iron here: The Care and Feeding of Cast Iron: Cleaning and Seasoning Cast Iron Cookware
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:43 AM   #11
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If you have access to a bead blaster, your cleaning job will generally be a quick one. Sand blasting, even with a super fine grit, will probably be too harsh and leave deep pits.

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Old 02-11-2012, 10:50 AM   #12
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As others have suggested, getting the CI clean (I mean bare metal) is key. Using the oven cleaning method works. If you have a gas grill, you can use that too. Put the CI in the gas grill and turn it on full blast all burners and leave it for an hour or so until EVERYTHING is burned off except the handle.
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Old 02-11-2012, 11:03 AM   #13
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Another trick for cleaning both cast iron, and stainless steel is to place the items to be cleaned into a large, plastic garbage bag along with a bowl full of ammonia. Put it outside and let it sit overnight. In the morning, all food residue easily wipes off. Then just rinse and for cast iron, re-season.

There, you have multiple options. Choose one and your cast iron will be saved. Hurrah!

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Old 02-11-2012, 12:41 PM   #14
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I don't think your pot is ruined. I buy a few each year and restore them. If it sits level and is not cracked, it is restorable.

With your pot, I would put it on the outdoor grill for a couple of hours, let it cool, remove the resulting carbon with steel wool and water, and reseason. Put it on the cold grill, and let it cool without opening the grill. There is a risk of warping or cracking if it is heated or cooled too quickly.

The cleaning cycle of the oven will also work, but the fumes will vent into the house.

I would stay away from blasting or sanding. Both remove too much metal and there is the risk of driving the offending residue into the pores. Too aggressive use will result in a rough surface.

If that should fail, then there is the lye tank. That is a 5 gallon bucket full of lye water. Also an outdoors job. I cover the pail with a piece of plywood weighted with a concrete block to keep the critters out. Read the instructions on the lye container. Lye goes into the water slowly, not the other way around. Put the pot in the tank and forget for a week or so. Longer does not hurt. Rinse well and you are ready to reseason.
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Old 02-11-2012, 04:20 PM   #15
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My son cleaned up some old cast iron by putting it in the chiminea with a roaring fire for several hours. They are now beautiful.
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Old 02-12-2012, 12:11 AM   #16
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your son and the cast iron? all moms think the first part...

i wonder if edie will ever return or will she be a 2 post flash in the cast iron pan?
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:52 AM   #17
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I do all my reseasoning on my gas grill so the house isn't smokey or smelly.
Works great.
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