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I was just wondering if anyone knows how to take care of cast iron cookware? I just bought a dutch oven and plan on buying a skillet too.

What is the best way to clean cast iron. What is the best way to maintain cast iron, and what the best way to prevent rust?

Thanks
 

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i cook only in cast iron
you should season it when you first get it coat with vegetable oil then heat then coat again
i clean mine with hot water then heat to dry then coat with oil again
and when the kids or dw burn something in them scrape with a putty knife then heat and coat with oil
 

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New? You must "season" it.
Preheat oven to 350.
Wash it really well.
Bake it until dry.
Let cool.
Coat fully with new oil (I use canola), or Crisco.
Place on cookie sheet and put it back into the oven at 350.
Let cool again and wipe away any oil that didn't soak in
Over time it will turn a beautiful black.
Just bake dry after every wash.
Re-coat with oil whenever you think it needs it.
 

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Oh, btw, you're gonna love the flavor food cooked in cast iron has! Green beans, slow cooked in a skillet, with a little oil and sugar...out of this world!
We always cook roast beef in cast iron.
And you can cook anything in that dutch oven in a bed of coals...doesn't get any better than that!
 

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PreparationInBubbaNation
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its great

good stuff for Survival cooking

its a little heavy so stash some in likely locations in advance
might be able to find some in garage sales or second hand stores since many people don't know how to use it
 

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i cook only in cast iron
you should season it when you first get it coat with vegetable oil then heat then coat again
i clean mine with hot water then heat to dry then coat with oil again
and when the kids or dw burn something in them scrape with a putty knife then heat and coat with oil
When I use vegetable oil to season mine, it always leaves it sticky. Maybe I'm doing it wrong. But when I use lard I have no such problem.

RE cleaning, I use oil and coarse salt. Heat the oil almost to the smoking stage (you can tell where that is because wisps of white smoke (or more accurately, water vapor) will start coming off the oil before it smokes), then dump the salt in and scrub away with a pad or cloth, making sure to wear gloves or mitts because the oily, red hot salt will stick to your skin if it gets on it. The salt acts like sandpaper and scours the iron clean while not grinding any off. It takes effort, but it works.

But for really tough deposits, it's a putty knife, screwdriver, or, if absolutely necessary, steel wool...
 

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I have 3 cast iron skillets and a Dutch Oven. The two smaller skillets stay in the oven. Seasoned and all we do is wash them out with soap and water. In the oven they stay dry from the hear. The Dutch Oven and mondo skillet (24") stay in the boxes in the storeage closet.
 

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Sunset Watcher
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I LOVE cooking with cast iron. It's God's teflon. There're no dangerous chemicals that kill animals when heated like regular teflon or leave behind dangerous teflon flakes. If seasoned and taken good care of, it's the best thing to cook with, plus adds more iron to your diet. Everyone gave great instructions.
 

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Misfit Toy
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I've told this story before, but when we went up north last summer the owner of the small hunting/fishing lodge was cleaning out the cabins one day taking out all the old black iron skillets.

I asked him what he was doing with them and he said that they were replacing them with new, non-stick, modern cookware because of complaints from guests.

I asked what he was doing with the old cast cookware and he said he was just going to toss it out. I managed to get a few (Griswolds) despite my wifes complaining about it.

I read on the web to put them in a hot oven or bbq grill and turn up the heat all the way to to turn the old grease built up on them to ash.

Leave them in for at least 60-90 minutes until they turn grey and the ash is falling away. It said to soak them in the sink in a mixture of white vinegar and water for a few minutes and remove them.

Dry them off and apply a think coat of veg or canola oil, as this will form a harder coating than animal fat.

Put them in the heat again for 45-60 minutes bottoms up so excess oil can run out. Allow to cool to the touch, wipe out excess oil and repeat several times.

You should have a non-stick base started. Then start cooking away. I used mine for bacon only for the first few cooking sessions. Now they are coated well and give great flavor.

I just wipe them out with a damp cloth and rub them with a thin coat of canola oil.
 

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Bleach blonde on fire :p
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I don't know who it was that said bake it dry but you dont do that, it in itself can cause deep rust.


You should wash it good, scrub with salt if there is food debris on it.
Rinse with clean clear water.
Dry completely.
Coat with a thin layer of crisco, bake in the over at 350 for about 30-45 minutes then turn the oven off and let it cool down.

You should have a shiny black surface on your pan now.

I have cooked with cast iron since I got married in 1996 and I will never go back. i have about 50 pcs now of all different kinds of pots and pans.

GOOD LUCK and happy cooking with your cast iron.

Here is a pic of mine from last year, I have since took it down and made it bigger for more cast iron.

Here is directions from lodge on how to care for cast iron.....http://www.lodgemfg.com/use-care-seasoned-cast-iron.asp#2
 

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Bleach blonde on fire :p
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Hey rncmom, where have you gotten some of your cast irons from?! They're beautiful. I'm finding it really hard to find bread pans and muffin "tins."
Lodge brand and its carried at Wal-mart and most outdoor stores. I have several different shaped corn bread molds, I have corn cobs, fish, round, pie shape (its a round pan with dividers to make 8 pcs of perfectly browned on all sides corn bread...yummmmm). There are pans under most of the pans in the picture, some are 2-3 of the same pan just stacked. I have several reversalable grill tops that fit one whole side of my stove that I use every week to grill chicken, pork chops etc.

You can also find older and better cookware at the flea market. When we get it at the flea market we build a fire outside in the pit and sanitize the pots/pans in the large fire for a hour or so. We then bring the pot/pan inside and scrub it good with sos or soft scrub, rinse-rinse-rinse, then we dry it thoroughly and complete then continue with the process.


You can also buy directly from the company...its made in US too!
http://www.lodgemfg.com/

http://www.lodgemfg.com/Logic-bakeware.asp here is all the muffin and bread pans they make.
 

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why do you say to never use soap? does it do damage?
Not damage per se but it will need re-seasoning if you use soap. As long as you are using a fat/oil when cooking in a seasoned cast iron vessel then a wipe with a paper towel should be enough to clean it. The use of salt as an abrasive to clean hard spots is a great idea.
If you use water to clean the pan then you must apply a thin layer of oil on it after drying it thouroughly.
Cast iron is the original non stick surface, a good cast iron skillet is a treasure.
 
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