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Old 04-21-2008, 01:36 AM   #1
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ISO: advice on my cast iron and SS copper bottom pans

OK, so now I find out I am not properly caring for my cast iron, and I am just a little ashamed there.
So, I was looking them over and think they need some work. I have three cast irons (6", 8", and 12"). This is what I found and what I am planning, so if I am about to make it worse let me know!

The 8" looks great, so I did a gentle wash as suggested, dried gently on the burner, then coated with oil and put it away. This is the one DW bought new so it is not that old.
The 6" shows signs of rust on the handle, and is showing some of the iron thru the 'seasoning' on the inside sides of the pan. I was thinking of scrubbing it thoroughly, then drying, then starting over on the seasoning process (coat the entire thing, bake in oven, repeat until black, then oil and put away).
The 12' shows no rust at all, and looks great on the entire outside and inside bottom, but again the inside walls are showing lots of iron thru the seasoning. So gain, thinking of scrubbing thoroughly and starting over on the seasoning process.
Would you agree this is the best thing to do with them? And how long and at what temp do you bake them for? I know to keep going with the process until it is all nice and coated. Am I doing the rest right? Gentle wash, dry on burner, coat with oil and put away? And do you use only Crisco or lard for the seasoning process or will other oils do?

As for the stainless steel copper bottoms, they are in great shape except for the bottoms. I have avoided scrubbing them or using harsh cleaners for fear of weakening the copper or scratching it all up, etc. Now they are pretty dark and a couple are almost black.
I think I should clean the bottoms up, what is the best way to do it? Or do I need to do it at all?
Thanks all!

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Old 04-21-2008, 06:30 AM   #2
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It might be wise to re-season the pans with rust. I don't know if you can "touch-up" those with spot seasoning or if you need to strip it and start over.

The copper bottoms don't have to be cleaned. If you do, use copper cleaner or lemon juice and salt.
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Old 04-21-2008, 07:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maverick
Would you agree this is the best thing to do with them? And how long and at what temp do you bake them for? I know to keep going with the process until it is all nice and coated
Without seeing the degree of rust the answer is Yes! Wash with soap, and hot water, scour off the rust and re-season. To re-season coat with vegetable shortening, or vegetable oil. Pre heat the oven to 350*..."bake" for 1 hour or so...upside down with a drip pan/foil underneath...turn the oven off and let it cool. You may want to repeat the processs two or three times. I ususally do this at night...after turning off the oven... go to bed...next morning you are good to go.

Follow Andy's advice on the copper bottom pans.....
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Old 04-21-2008, 10:23 AM   #4
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I treat my iron a bit different than most.

I'll burn it out or scrub it till its to metal, coat it with olive oil and then just use it. I've been known to stick iron in a commercial dish washer.

Basically I clean it, oil it and use it. But then I use most of my stuff at smoking hot temps, seasoning just to burn it off doesn't make much sense to me.

I should take pictures, make a page.

Far as the copper bottoms, it's not something I worry about. The patina may interfere with heat transfer, I doubt it. Clean them the next time they are used they will just discolor again. I hate chasing things in circles.
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Old 04-21-2008, 11:19 AM   #5
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we all probably have a few different methods. I scrub cast iron with a stiff brush course salt and HOT water. Everyone has a favorite oil ... some swear by solid shortening or lard, others peanut oil or whatever. 350 is usual oven temp. turns pans upside down, have foil or a baking sheet one rack down to catch the drips.

the copper ... barkeepers friend is great on copper and stainless. If you keep them polished all the time it's easy work.
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Old 04-22-2008, 05:09 PM   #6
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Maverick2272,
Relative to cleaning cooper, I use a mix of lemon juice or vinegar and table salt.
If you are worried about scratches on the cooper surface, use baking soda instead of salt but this will require more scrubbing and you will end up with a shinnier pan.
Barkeepers is also very effective, but I prefer to use a cleaning agent that is harmless if ingested.

Note: After you rub the surface with the mix and run some water to wash it, dry it right away. Do not leave it on a surface to dry.

I own about 15 cooper pans (some with tin and some with SS insides) and I never noticed a performance difference between a polished or oxidized pan, I prefer to keep mine polished.
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Old 04-22-2008, 06:23 PM   #7
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Thanks guys! I forgot all about barkeepers friend for the copper, should have bookmarked it. We are going to go ahead and scrub down all the CI and start fresh. Also, while the copper bottoms don't have to be sparkling, they are getting pretty black so I think I will clean them up some.
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Old 04-22-2008, 07:12 PM   #8
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MAv, if you want to strip all the seasoning of the CI and start from scratch, there's no need to scrub. Just put it in the oven or gas grill and crank it up all the way. All the seasoning will burn off and you are ready to sart fresh. BTW, sit back and watch the ball ghame while the applpiances do the work.
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Old 04-22-2008, 11:12 PM   #9
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I presume with the windows wide open? LOL, thanks for the tip!
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Old 04-23-2008, 12:12 AM   #10
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I have 4 round fry pans, from a 1 hamburger size to 12".
I have a square fry pan and a square grill with grill markers inside and a round griddle, and a 2 burner griddle with a well for grease, and a dutch oven. When I got married my mother gave me another griddle. I tried to excelerate the seasoning process on top of a gas stove and it cracked right in half. I love all of them, but have rules.
My 10" I only use for bacon and never have to re-season and never use soap on it. The others I wash very lightly after use and dry with papertowels and only have to treat maybe two times a year.

I coat with crisco on a papertowel, removing any excess, rubbing all sides and the lid. I put in preheated 350 degree oven for about an hour. Keep the lid seperate in oven. I have rule of thumb, that if the oven starts smoking I've used too much crisco and pull out of oven, let it cool a bit, wipe out excess and return to oven.

MOST IMPORTANT RULE: I never, never put acid based food in them: tomatoes, lemon

I've had mine since 1976 and wouldn't give 'em up for anything.
When my mom passed away, my dad gave her's away because you can't stick them in the dishwasher. Shame on him. But I have heard you can put them in your self-cleaning oven if you've ruined the seasoning to kind of stip, then to start over.
GOOD LUCK!
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