Look at what we found at Goodwill…
Not only is it a cast iron skillet, but it is a Lodge cast iron skillet! Lodge has been making cast iron products since 1896. It gets even better as the $2.52 price tag was 50% off. So, we got this Lodge 8 inch skillet for a grand total of $1.26 and it retails at Lodge for $17.95!!! This skillet is in definite need of 2BC – 2 Bees Care.
Have you ever used cast iron when you cook? An old skillet is the best for cooking with even heat, and is pretty much a staple in every Southern kitchen. Most people I know inherit their cast iron, considered heirlooms, from parents or grandparents. I have a couple myself.
A lot of people shy away from using cast iron because they think it takes special care. In truth, cast iron pieces just need the right kind of care. Properly seasoned, a cast iron skillet will last a lifetime(s) and will be just like a non-stick pan. More on seasoning later. Right now this skillet is rusty and requires some cleaning.
First, I washed our skillet in very hot soapy water. Don’t be alarmed. Normally you would not use soap, but it’s okay as I am reviving and seasoning it.
What you need for cleaning your cast iron skillet:
- Coarse Sea Salt
- Canola Oil
- Plastic pot scrubber. I did not have the scrubber so, I used the red mesh bag from the oranges I bought at the grocery.
Measurements do not need to be exact. For this pan I used about 2 tablespoons of sea salt.
And poured about 1 tablespoon of canola oil.
Then, you just start scrubbing the messy and rusty parts until you achieve a clean result. It takes just a few minutes.
You repeat the same method on the bottom and sides.
With a clean cotton cloth or paper towels, begin wiping all of the salt and oil off of your skillet.
This next step is the “seasoning” part of insuring that your skillet will work at its best potential. What is seasoning and why does the pan need it? Seasoning is vegetable oil baked onto the cast iron at a high temperature. The seasoning creates the natural, non-stick pan effect. There is no chemical coating on cast ironware – thats why they last for generations.
What you need to season your cast iron skillet:
- Crisco shortening
- Paper towels
- Oven – preheated to 400 degrees
- Aluminum foil
Put a generous tablespoon of Crisco into the skillet. Using paper towels, start rubbing the shortening all over your pan.
Wipe off excess.
In a 400 degree oven: Place a sheet of aluminum foil on the bottom rack. Place your skillet, upside down, on the middle rack and bake for one hour. Turn your oven off, leaving skillet in the oven. Let completely cool.
Voila!!! Our skillet has been returned to its former, full beauty! I hope that you are inspired to rescue a cast off…a cast iron skillet.
Cast Iron Care:
- Don’t leave or soak in water
- Do not use soaps or cleansers – ever. The soap removes the seasoning. As a clean-freak myself I know that this may seem gross. Trust me – very safe. Use hot water and then use coarse sea salt to scrub out the skillet. Think of the salt as a saline solution cleanser.
- If no soap is just too scary for you, dry and oil immediately. To insure dryness and to avoid rusting, place in a 400 degree oven, upside down for 20 minutes and then turn oven off. Leave skillet in oven until cool.
- Never put in the dishwasher
- Never use metal scouring pads