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Old 03-30-2005, 09:57 AM   #1
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Question about cast-iron pan

well i just bought this large cast iron pan from walmart,it looked good and i really needed a pan which i could use both on the stove and in the oven....the thing, is the instructions that came with it,were not to wash it with soap or detergent,instead it should just be washed with hot water and a brush,it said.Why cant i use soap?does it reduce its life actually ,i mean do i have to follow those instructions? i've never used a cast iron pan before ,so guide me!!!

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Old 03-30-2005, 10:08 AM   #2
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It will cause the pan to rust. Then you will have to re-season it.

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Old 03-30-2005, 10:08 AM   #3
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Hi Sara,

I know someone will post a link (I have it at home, but I'm stuck here at work), but you really don't want to use soap on a cast iron pan.

What happens is that over time, the pan builds a layer of seasoninng (That smooth, almost shiny black finish the really good ones have) that both protects the pan, and makes it virtually non-stick.

A quick google of "Care and Seasoning of Cast Iron" should get you a bunch of helpful sites.

EDIT: Lookie there! Rainee posted a link while I was typing!!

John
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Old 03-30-2005, 10:18 AM   #4
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you can use soap and water, but only briefly. as soon as you wash out the pan, put it back on a burner to heat it up to completely dry it.

this method will wear out the seasoning eventually, so you will have to re-season your cast iron pan periodically. stop using it immediately if you see a little orange on a paper towel when wiping it out after washing it.
make sure you season the entire thing; inside, outside and the handle. whatever doesn't get coated will rust. put a cookie sheet or aluminum foil on the shelf below in the oven to catch any drippings when seasoning the outsides of the pan.
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Old 03-30-2005, 10:30 AM   #5
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thanks a lot rainee,ronjohn and bucky! it looks like keeping this thing is a lot of work,i should never have bought it in the 1st place
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Old 03-30-2005, 10:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarah
thanks a lot rainee,ronjohn and bucky! it looks like keeping this thing is a lot of work,i should never have bought it in the 1st place
Actually, I have a whole set, and I LOVE the things! They just need some getting used to.

John
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Old 03-30-2005, 10:35 AM   #7
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i just took it out to season it as you guys suggested(i have only used it once since i bought it and didnt season it after washing and drying it),and the bottom of the pan from outside is already orange,what do i do now? maybe i should wash it thoroughly with just hott water and brush,i guess the russett will come off,then i'll heat it on the stove as bucky suggested,and then i'm gonna bake it in the oven after i oil the whole pan,right?
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Old 03-30-2005, 10:41 AM   #8
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No Sarah, once you get it seasoned, it is pretty care free.

And nothing cooks like cast iron. Only thing I would be concerned about, is if it is not a Lodge pan, etc. The stuff made in China is junk.

I have cast iron skillets my mother gave me some 30+ years ago. I don't know how long she had them before that. They are slick, shiny and black. Great for baking cornbread.
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Old 03-30-2005, 10:42 AM   #9
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Itís kind of sounds disgusting, but my grandma, I donít think, ever washed her cast iron pans. She would just heat it up really high and would wipe it of with a paper towel and then with a clean cloth.
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Old 03-30-2005, 10:42 AM   #10
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once rust has begun on cast iron, you can't wash it away. any more moisture will only cause more rust. you should get some very light grade sand paper and sand off the rust, until you have no orange left. once the rust is gone, then you can rinse it once to get rid of any sanding residue, but then immediately season it. i use crisco, smearing it with a paper towel all over the entire pan. the put it into a 350 degree oven for at least a half hour. don't forget to put the drip tray underneath, or you will dirty your oven, and smoke the house out like in gb's pictures . let it cool, and repeat the process to get a really good seasoning.

added: charlie, my mom only used salt and a few paper towels to scrape out the pan after cooking, but then she never burnt anything. i have had to resort to washing it.
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