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Old 10-11-2015, 05:10 PM   #1
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Yeah! Scored a good 'un!

A couple of weeks ago a friend of my best friend mentioned that she had a cast iron skillet that she was going to get rid of. Well, actually, throw in the trash! Oh horrors! NO!

She said it was all "icky" and no good any more. It was abundantly clear that the was unfamiliar with the resiliency of cast iron. At the very least, the pan could be used for a dog food dish.

I bought it from her for $5. It's nice and deep and 12 inches in diameter. I wouldn't have categorized it "icky," but it did need some attention and love. It was a bit dirty and had been, I think, ill-seasoned in the beginning.

First thing I did was to run it through a cycle of my oven when it was cleaning, which took the skillet down to its out-of-the-mold battleship grey metal. I've seasoned it once and will season it a couple more times and I can't wait to use it.

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Old 10-11-2015, 05:29 PM   #2
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Good for you!

I have a cast iron frying pan which I manage to keep mostly clean, although it does have a build up about half way up the pan that is hard to shift. My oven doesn't have a cleaning cycle. Do you have any ideas of an alternative to effectively clean it? (I thought soaking it in water was a no no since it could get rusty...certainly the base shows signs of that).
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Old 10-11-2015, 06:17 PM   #3
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Good for you!!!

I know how you feel, some of my most cherished possessions are things I have rescued and given a new lease on life, it is a great feeling that many people just can't understand!
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Old 10-11-2015, 06:18 PM   #4
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Good score Katie! I need to prowl the second hand stores around here and pick up any cast iron and enameled I can find.
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Old 10-11-2015, 07:09 PM   #5
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Good for you!

I have a cast iron frying pan which I manage to keep mostly clean, although it does have a build up about half way up the pan that is hard to shift. My oven doesn't have a cleaning cycle. Do you have any ideas of an alternative to effectively clean it? (I thought soaking it in water was a no no since it could get rusty...certainly the base shows signs of that).

Yes, creative. If you have a barbecue grill, you can put the frying pan in it on "blast" for about an hour. Let it cool, then you should be able to further clean it by hand and reseason it. I've done that, too, but since our oven has the cleaning feature, I can kill two birds with one stone.
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Old 10-11-2015, 08:22 PM   #6
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Good deal, Katie!

I'm always on the lookout for cast iron at yard sales, but I think they're often grabbed before they even hit the sales or thrift shops.
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Old 10-11-2015, 08:40 PM   #7
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Nice job, Katie!

Didn't Andy say you could put a cast iron pan in a plastic bag with a dish of ammonia outside overnight and it would wipe clean in the morning, or am I thinking of another material?

I imagine you could also turn your oven to its highest setting and bake off the buildup.
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Old 10-11-2015, 08:55 PM   #8
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I've used the ammonia in a bag trick to clean stove parts but never for cast iron to strip all seasoning. I've used the gas grill effectively on a carbon steel wok I had to start over seasoning as well as a 12" CI skillet. It works great. Putting them in the oven for a self-cleaning cycle will also work and won't damage the cast iron.
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Old 10-11-2015, 10:47 PM   #9
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Thanks for clarifying that.
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Old 10-12-2015, 04:31 AM   #10
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Yes, creative. If you have a barbecue grill, you can put the frying pan in it on "blast" for about an hour. Let it cool, then you should be able to further clean it by hand and reseason it. I've done that, too, but since our oven has the cleaning feature, I can kill two birds with one stone.
Ah...alas, I don't have a barbecue grill either. Thanks for your post anyway.
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Old 10-12-2015, 04:36 AM   #11
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Ah...alas, I don't have a barbecue grill either. Thanks for your post anyway.
See if a friend has one and go to their place to cook the skillet. Promise to cook them a meal/dinner in exchange. You'll both win.
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Old 10-12-2015, 10:34 AM   #12
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See if a friend has one and go to their place to cook the skillet. Promise to cook them a meal/dinner in exchange. You'll both win.
Actually, I just read another thread on cast iron skillets and it said to bake it at Mk. 7/425oC for one hour...guess that should burn off any ingrained debris to allow for it to be more easily cleaned? Then you use a scourer on it or would that scratch it?
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Old 10-12-2015, 11:02 AM   #13
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It would take a harder metal to scratch cast iron. Not sure what you mean by "scourer" - is that a plastic scrubbie or something made of metal like a Brillo pad?

In any case, after baking it, the residue should wash off very easily and then it's will need to be re-seasoned.
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Old 10-12-2015, 11:07 AM   #14
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They make a chainmail scrubber for cast iron.
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss...er%2Caps%2C306
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Old 10-12-2015, 11:48 AM   #15
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Actually, I just read another thread on cast iron skillets and it said to bake it at Mk. 7/425oC for one hour...guess that should burn off any ingrained debris to allow for it to be more easily cleaned? Then you use a scourer on it or would that scratch it?
425C = 797F. That's self cleaning heat. running the oven's self cleaning cycle with cast iron in it will burn off everything. All the dirt and seasoning will be gone. You will be left with a naked piece of cast iron ready for seasoning (in a much cooler oven)
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Old 10-12-2015, 12:10 PM   #16
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425C = 797F. That's self cleaning heat. running the oven's self cleaning cycle with cast iron in it will burn off everything. All the dirt and seasoning will be gone. You will be left with a naked piece of cast iron ready for seasoning (in a much cooler oven)
Oops..that was a typo...meant 425oF.

As mentioned, previously I don't have a self cleaning oven but now have enough info on how to clean it.

Cast iron frying pans are very hard to buy in UK shops now (I don't shop online)...it's all ceramic now which seem to have bad reviews and don't interest me.
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Old 10-12-2015, 12:20 PM   #17
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Oops..that was a typo...meant 425oF...

I don't think a CI skillet will get clean @ 450F no matter how long you leave it in there.

That said, you don't need to remove all the seasoning and start over with a naked pan. Use sandpaper to smooth out the surface, removing any surface irregularities of caked on crud. Then coat it with a thin layer of fat and bake @350F for an hour. Let it cool in the oven and you're good to go.
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Old 10-12-2015, 02:52 PM   #18
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They make a chainmail scrubber for cast iron.
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss...er%2Caps%2C306
Weird. We've been doing great cleaning cast iron with the free plastic scraper that came with my Pampered Chef stoneware baking dishes.
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Old 10-12-2015, 02:53 PM   #19
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[COLOR=Purple]Oops..that was a typo...meant 425oF.
That's pretty much what I said earlier: Heat your oven as high as it will go. Mine goes to 550F. That should burn off anything on the pan.
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Old 10-12-2015, 03:32 PM   #20
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I don't think a CI skillet will get clean @ 450F no matter how long you leave it in there.

That said, you don't need to remove all the seasoning and start over with a naked pan. Use sandpaper to smooth out the surface, removing any surface irregularities of caked on crud. Then coat it with a thin layer of fat and bake @350F for an hour. Let it cool in the oven and you're good to go.
Thanks. I will try this.
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