Oven cleaner is highly basic, it doesn't react with iron, and you can wash it off with water extremely easily. If you're going to use steel wool and sandpaper though don't bother antagonising your wife. Don't leave cooked-on food on it. Seasoning in an iron skillet is a micro-thin coating. Anything left on the pan that you can feel when you run your fingers over the surface isn't seasoning, its crud. And crud isn't non-stick. All cooking oils and fats can be used for seasoning cast iron, but based on availability, affordability, effectiveness, and having a high smoke point, Lodge recommends vegetable oil, melted shortening, or canola oil, like our Seasoning Spray. Flaking Care Take some coarse salt or sand paper and remove any loose, flaking pieces of seasoning. After you clean, dry, and warm up your cast iron pour a little grape seed or flaxseed oil in it. Your skillet needs to be used and cooked in so it can build that great seasoning coating. Spread a thin layer of melted shortening or vegetable oil over the skillet. Place it upside down on a middle oven rack at 375°. (Place foil on a lower rack to catch drips. ) Bake 1 hour; let cool in the oven.
Sprinkle an even layer of salt on the inside of the pan. Add just enough water to make a paste and rub the salt on the inside surface of the cast-iron pan to scour off carbon. Rinse the pan and scrub any remaining carbon off with a wire scrub brush. Wash the pan with soapy water and dry thoroughly with paper towels.
Scour the skillet until the area returns to raw cast iron. Wash the skillet thoroughly: Wash the cast iron with warm water and mild dish soap. Scrub with bristle brush, gentle scouring pad, or mesh sponge if needed. Dry the skillet: Thoroughly dry the cast iron immediately with a clean dish towel or paper towels.
Traditional cast-iron skillets don't emerge from the box with a nonstick surface. That comes with seasoning, or coating the skillet with cooking oil and baking it in a 350° F oven for an hour. The skillet won't take on that shiny black patina just yet, but once you dry it with paper towels, it will be ready to use.
Yes, there's a lot of smoke. There is of course a point at which the seasoning will burn off. The self cleaning cycle of an oven is typically around 900°F and will turn your seasoning to ash, leaving shiny virgin cast iron behind.
Mix basic white vinegar with water in equal parts and submerge your pan in it. Use a bucket or plug the sink for really big pans; the entire skillet should be covered with the vinegar mixture. The vinegar will dissolve the rust, but once that's gone, the vinegar will go to town on the original cast surface of the pan.
Here are five things you should avoid cooking in a cast-iron skillet. Tomato Sauce. Acidic foods like tomatoes can damage the seasoning, or the nonstick coating, of your skillet. Wine-Braised Meats. Desserts. Omelets. Delicate Fish.
You're overheating So start with a lower heat setting as you get used to how incredibly efficient your cast iron skillet actually is. And if it gets too hot (you'll know, but one sign is that it's smoking), turn off the heat, let it cool down a bit, and then get back to cooking.
Over the lifetime of a cast-iron skillet, you'll usually just maintain or touch up its seasoning. But if the seasoning becomes very dull or damaged (seasoning flakes off) or if it badly rusts (can't be scrubbed away), you'll need to give it an overhaul by stripping and reseasoning the surface.
A seasoned pan will look shiny and fairly uniform in the dark color of the iron. Another sign is if things stick. A seasoned iron skillet will allow you to make a thin crepe and flip it without any sticking. If you find it.
If your rusty cookware happens to be made of cast iron, most culinary authorities say it's completely salvageable. Experts at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign agree that a little bit of rust on cookware isn't likely to harm you. (Even rust in drinking water isn't considered a health hazard. )
Clean cast-iron skillet after every use Wipe interior surface of still-warm skillet with paper towels to remove any excess food and oil. Rinse under hot running water, scrubbing with nonmetal brush or nonabrasive scrub pad to remove any traces of food. (Use small amount of soap if you like; rinse well. )
The process of seasoning cast iron cookware consists of coating it with oil, heating it in the oven, letting it cool, and repeating. Seasoning a pan with too much oil will cause it to be sticky, and then you'll just have to start over.