Cast Iron Seasoning

Discussion in 'Cooking & Water Purification' started by Rumblebuffin, Jul 14, 2019.

  1. Rumblebuffin

    Rumblebuffin Tracker

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    Good afternoon, everyone!

    Recently, I came into the possession of a couple of new old skillets. The seasoning is pretty messed up on them (I think the previous owner's idea of seasoning a skillet was to never clean out stuck-on food). Anyway, I've been trying to remove the seasoning so's I can make a new one... But the old is very, very resistant, especially in the built-up areas (over 1/8" in places). Baking soda slurry overnight only did so much. A wire wheel didn't do much more. Easy off didn't touch it.

    Are there any suggestions out there? I don't have a self-cleaning oven. I also don't have the facilities for a bonfire in my backyard (or anywhere nearby). Right now this is a half-completed project taking up space in the kitchen. HELP!
     
  2. manitoulinbound

    manitoulinbound Apple Fritter Lover Supporter

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    Hose them off in oven cleaner and let them sit in a garbage bag over night. Wash off with water, dry and repeat as needed. Good luck!
     
  3. injun51

    injun51 Guide

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    Common question here. Look up "Cast Iron Restoration" or "Cast Iron" in the "search" and you'll find out more than you ever wanted to know about restoring or caring for cast iron. Good luck.
     
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  4. BlueDogScout

    BlueDogScout Where is all the shelf stable bacon??? Supporter

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    If the oven cleaner doesn’t work try boiling water for a few Spurs then add dawn dish soap and boil again then you should get some to loosen up. I have restored many skillets this way.
     
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  5. Mikewood

    Mikewood Supporter Supporter

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    The buildup is spotty? Usually it’s pretty uniform. If it’s really that thick and that irregular I would try seasoning it and using it to see if it’s functional. So spraying it all with a coating of oil like Pam and putting it in a cold oven. Then turn it on and heat it to 500 deg. Hold it at temp for an hour and the Shut it off and let it cool in the oven. Repeat a couple times and fry some bacon and then eggs. If they stick then season again.
     
  6. BlueDogScout

    BlueDogScout Where is all the shelf stable bacon??? Supporter

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    And then more and more bacon
     
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  7. PERRO

    PERRO Supporter Supporter

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  8. Yknpdlr

    Yknpdlr Scout

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    I cleaned old hard black crust off an old flat griddle by using a handfull of coarse salt and a sharp steel scraper. The salt did the trick. My pancakes now come off the griddle evenly brown and perfect.
     
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  9. anrkst6973

    anrkst6973 Supporter Supporter

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    Soaking in a lye solution for a few days will remove anything. Wash with soap and water a couple of times and heat dry, then start over with new seasoning. No where near as complicated as people make it sound.
     
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  10. Oldguy59

    Oldguy59 Roughian #5 Supporter

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    D6D8413F-A81F-4CE2-9811-2939045A35B4.png One of these and some elbow grease.
     
  11. Tangotag

    Tangotag Field Gear Junkie Bushclass I

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    Without a self cleaning oven you still can get the job done with little effort. But wear protective gloves.

    I've cleaned up a number of skillets that had a smelly thick alligator hide of food buildup using Heavy Duty Oven Cleaner spray. A couple applications placed and stainless scrubbers got the old stuff off quick. Wash with Dawn dish soap and really hot water then dry to start reseasoning. My wife will not let me self clean the thick nasty buildup ones in "her" oven.
    IMG_4767.JPG
    IMG_4794.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
  12. injun51

    injun51 Guide

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    A self cleaning oven will completely burn off anything a cast iron skillet/dutch oven can accumulate. Put the pans in your oven and turn it on its self cleaning cycle. No elbow grease needed.
     
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  13. SmilinJoe

    SmilinJoe Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Though it's got some steps I prefer electrolysis. Will remove any grime and rust. Do a Google search for instructions. Do it outdoors, it puts off gases.
     
  14. Rumblebuffin

    Rumblebuffin Tracker

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    Thank you all for the suggestions!

    I'm curious, yknpdlr, how you use the salt with the scraper... It sounds interesting! I have some kosher salt lying around.

    Also, anrkst, where might one procure lye or the equivalent? Oh!! Wait!! I feel one coming on... I'M A GIRAFFE AND I EAT SOCKS. Well, that was a whopper!
    I think I would prefer lye over oven cleaner, though I will use that if I must.

    The required supplies for electrolysis are not in my possession right now... Nor is there a budget for procuring them. Too bad, since it seems like an ideal way to strip pans!

    I might try that boil method, too, BigDog!

    Mikewood, the buildup was thicker and flaky/massively pitted around the edge of the bottom. Like it had never been properly cleaned, but just had food carbonizing for use after use. Maybe that's the proper way, but I looked at it and immediately began stripping it off... So... :54: Now I have to finish.

    Thanks for the links, PERRO!
     
  15. Rumblebuffin

    Rumblebuffin Tracker

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    I'm setting them up to boil now - we'll see what happens!
     
  16. Sunburn

    Sunburn Tracker

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    If your oven has a clean cycle it will turn any old buildup into ash after a few hours. I always get some flash rust after I do that cycle. Oven cleaner works well too, but be prepared to scrub also. If you have really bad rust evap-o-rust is supposed to be food safe and will remove any rust with some mild scrubbing. I usually hit it with some hot water to rinse off the evap-o-rust afterwards. Any light rust just hit with some steel wool. I then put on a light coat of vegetable oil and pop them in the oven at 350 for about 15 minutes. I then pull them out and check for any light spots needing more oil or thick spots to even out the coat and then crank the heat up to 400 for an hour. I've redone about a dozen pans or more and have had good luck doing this. Good Luck!
     
  17. Rumblebuffin

    Rumblebuffin Tracker

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    Thanks to everyone! The deed is done!
    I attempted many a method without success - boiling, scrubbing, baking soda goop, oven cleaner, dishsoap, wire wheels, grinders, strippers... that's stripping disks... for stripping metal, salt, a putty knife, and more.
    Finally, I remembered my little grill. A little wood, a small fire, and quite a bit of tinkering to figure out airflow around an iron skillet, and viola: a musical instrument! I mean, voila: a clean pan! Well, not clean yet. I still have to scrub the rust and seasoning ash off the surface, but I'm there now.
    I appreciate you all! Thank you again for your kind input!
     

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