Super Sad Skillet? - Stevie's Crazy Kitchen Blog at - 233434

Stevie's Crazy Kitchen

super sad skillet? 
Apr. 25, 2011 9:30 pm 
Updated: Apr. 28, 2011 11:36 pm
I imagine that many of you are aware of my newer dilemma, searching for the BEST cookware, and my renewed interest in cast iron...  True to her word, Rose did bring me one of her mother's old ones... I just hadn't quite expected what was handed to me!  Mind you, I'm not complaining, just taken aback, as I have little to no idea how to care for cast iron, let alone "rejuvinate" an obviously well used, but slightly "misused" skillet, that's no doubt old as the hills themselves! 

I have taken some pics, and will post them once (I've bored you all to tears!)  As I say, I am quite ignorant, but surely the exterior of this pan should not look as it does, not to mention the interior...  I did take a few to go online to learn what I could, but surprisingly I didn't find too much that I felt could be of help.  I am confidant, though, that my good friends at AllRecipes will rally to my aide, and post all sorts of ideas, advice, do's and don'ts. 

These are some of the points I've read this evening -
Never use soap.  Never boil water in the pans, (guess ya can't cook spuds or pasta?lol)  Keep it coated in and out with a LIGHT coating of oil - veg, canola, or the like.  Never use abrasive cleaners or scrubbers (with the exception of salt...)  Remove interior cooked on crud by boiling water using a metal spatula if needed - never leave unattended while doing this - rinse well, place back on hot burner to dry TOTALLY, wipe with oil.  Unfortunately, the outside is crustier than cooking surfaces!

I can see how boiling a bit of water for a short amt. of time should loosen the crud inside... but there's still the exterior to deal with... at least I've never seen one in this condition! 

So friends, have at it... I imagine that there will be differing thoughts as to plan of attack, but don't doubt that you can all be civil to one another!  On with the pics...

So be well, be happy, be crazy
sad inside
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sad, two
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sad outside
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still sad
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Apr. 25, 2011 9:54 pm
Stevie, I heard the other day that you can put it in the fireplace, and burn that crud off. Good luck!
Apr. 26, 2011 5:24 am
Yes, TJ's right. I had one with 5x more crude on it (found it in the shed) and put it in the fireplace when it was roaring... fished it out the next morning and the crud was gone. Just needed to seanson it. (I tried scrubbing, chipping, sandpaper but this actually worked)
Apr. 26, 2011 5:29 am
There's a pic of the pan "after" on page 3 of my photos
Apr. 26, 2011 6:15 am
If you go to 10 different sites about how to care for a cast iron skillet, you're going to get 15 different "sure fire" ways to care for and rejuvenate them. When mine is too dirty for just a rinse and scrape, I'll scrub it out with a tiny bit of soap and a copper scrub pad. (And yes, keep them well oiled. I put mine in a warm oven to dry, then put a fresh coat of oil on it and back in the oven it goes.) Good luck getting those babies back in line!
Apr. 26, 2011 6:25 am
Pour in vegetable oil to a depth of 1/4 inch, then place the pan on a stove set to medium-low for 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and add 1/4 cup kosher salt. Using potholder to grip hot handle, use thick cushion of paper towels to scrub pan. Warm oil will loosen food or rust, and kosher salt will have abrading effect. Rinse pan under hot running water, dry well, and repeat, if necessary. You could to the same to the outside, if you really have problems on the outside since you don't cook with that surface you could use steel wool to help scrub. When I'm all done using my pan I dry it either in the oven or on the stove top and put a dollop of crisco in it and swirl it all around. When the pan is totally cool a wipe out any excess. I love my cast iron and paid very little for it. Just make sure you get some good flexible pot holders I've only forgot to not touch the handle without a pot holder twice now.
Apr. 26, 2011 8:02 am
I am so unwilling to go with the no/soap crowd. Call me contrary. I'd take that sucker to an autobody and have them sandblast it. Then I'd oil it up and bake it in a hot oven for half a day. After that, for me, it's use, wash in soap and water, dry, re-oil and stow. It works for me. There is a contradiction in what you found. In the early part of your first paragraph, you've written, never boil water in it, then later in the cleaning part, you've written "remove interior crud by boiling water in it". Bah, keep it clean and dry. Great stuff that cast iron.
Apr. 26, 2011 9:57 am
If you have a self-cleaning oven, the next time you clean the oven, place the skillet in it. It will bring it to it's 'brand new' state and will require you seasoning it again, which looks like you'll be doing anyway. I've done this several time with mines when I don't season them correctly. Try it, you'll be amazed by the results.
Apr. 26, 2011 9:59 am
I love my cast iron cookwear! I just recieved a fish fryer from my husbands family... been in a shed for years. mine is rusted and I did use boiling water and steel wool, the sand paper. then into the soapy water with steel wool again. Then seasoned it in the oven,but I use bacon grease! By the way have you seen Tangled the disney Movie? they use cast iron skillets in a unique way! Check out this movie... It's not just for kids!
Apr. 26, 2011 11:35 am
Put it in a fire. cool, reseason. I witnessed an auctioneer friend putting (CRUDDY in and out) cast iron pans in his wood furnace for a while, removing with a hook and cooling. completely burned clean, ready to reseason with whatever you think is right. Looks like yours has been hot-spot abused. Is it really cast iron? I think the secret is to keep pans seasoned, no matter what your cleaning method is.
Apr. 26, 2011 6:56 pm
I'm so thankful to read ALL of your comments, but just supports more of the opinions I'd already arrived at! Each will have different methods, fire works well (all I have is gas grill, nor self cleaning oven!) Might just try the oil/kosher salt thing, after seeing if I can burn off all the yuck on the outside - that "just puts me off!" Hadn't thought about maybe it not being cast iron... will have to do more reasearch, dang it! Thanks all, had a real good laugh a time or two! Boy I love this site, and all that it has to offer, including making new friends who don't think I'm NUTS for being such a crazy cook!!
Apr. 26, 2011 7:35 pm
Seriously check out this movie! Tangled! You won't have to clean that iron... Just enjoy it's use in the flick! Love your cooking sense of humor!
Apr. 26, 2011 10:35 pm
TT, I fear that you're prompting me to do something... not quite socially acceptable? I will check it out tho! tomorrow, all about the "Lemon Lady!" and maybe more about the damm pan!
Apr. 27, 2011 7:45 am
Good catch mamwmaw. I was wondering about how silver that thing looks myselk, never thought to question whether or not it was cast iron. Stevie, if its cast iron its going to be ridiculously heavy. If its not, it might be aluminum in which case dont put it in the fire, the trash will do.
Apr. 27, 2011 4:53 pm
Once again, thanks!! The pan is heavy as H, but still want to google the engraved "name" on the back! More later, as I've got things to share since last 'post'
Apr. 28, 2011 5:03 am
I use soap on mine all the time. It is however rather well seasoned so it does not permiate the surface. :)
Apr. 28, 2011 7:45 am
Dang - looks like someone tried to take a sand blaster to that poor thing ....
Apr. 28, 2011 7:50 am
I'm with you, Raedwulf---I think it's cast aluminum too. My MiL had a number of cast aluminum pots and they looked like this frying pan. I don't know of any cast iron pans that are silver in color. BTW, cast aluminum is heavy.
Apr. 28, 2011 8:39 am
I received a set of "heirloom" cast iron skillets that belonged to my grandma a few years ago. They were heavily crusted on the outside. My parents threw them on a brush pile fire and let them burn until the coals were cooled. It worked like a charm, and I now have a great set of cast iron skillets!
Apr. 28, 2011 11:41 am
I think your pan is cast aluminum too. Cast iron is black all the way through. I'm with Raedwulf on cleaning cast iron. I wash in hot soapy water, rinse thououghly, dry on the hot stove, and then oil and store in my oven with a paper towel wadded in it to absorb any moisture from the air (I live near the beach) WHen my daughter got her own place I found a CI pan at a garage sale for $2 - talk about yucky! My DH used a wire brush attachment on his drill and cleaned it up, I seasoned it and she still uses it.
Apr. 28, 2011 4:40 pm
I didn't read thru all the suggestions but my son rescued my mon's - he threw them in a roaring fire in the chiminea - they are now gorgeous. I know this works and is a lot easier than scrubbing...
Apr. 28, 2011 11:36 pm
THANK YOU ALL for all of your comments... BigShotsMom found my pan on a website for sale, saying that MIAMI is indeed cast iron, and the pic on the site looks like a clean version of mine. If it melts in the cleaning process, guess she/I are both wrong... if not, watch the back of you head! LOL
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Stevie crazycook

Home Town
Lansing, Michigan, USA
Living In
Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Member Since
Feb. 2008

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Quilting, Gardening, Music

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About Me
Started cooking many years ago, and learned as I went. First meal may have been "steak & chips" at age 15, in Birmingham England, where I lived for several years. Mostly grew up in MI, transplanted to the desert 30yrs ago, or so. Favorite cookbook is "Better Homes", also enjoy "Great British Cooking, a well kept secret." Hesitate to call myself "expert," but friends do rave...
My favorite things to cook
Italian has been my "specialty" for some time, and my "signature" meal is Lasagne, salad, garlic bread, which I first made 20yrs ago... from SCRATCH, very first time I made it. (Never again, folks...) Now start with a big jar of sauce!
My favorite family cooking traditions
Thanks to my heritage, I have enjoyed trying foods from different cultures. We still have beer battered fish, and chips of course; ground meat dishes often, chicken occasionally, pork too. I would love to submit a bean dip recipe, however, my ex who gave me the original has passed, and I have no way to verify that it didn't come from another source! I also enjoy British cooking (with a few yankee twists) and once made Plum puddings, also known as Christmas puddings, as far as I know... what an ordeal that was, but well worth the effort. Today, there is mail order!
My cooking triumphs
Greatest triumph was not too long ago, when I held a sit down dinner for 12, Lasagne being the entree. It was a fund raiser I chose to sponsor, and am proud to say that "we" raised over $1000 from that meal alone, minimum donation being $25. All proceeds collected were donated; my partner and I provided the meal and beverages.
My cooking tragedies
MEATLOAF of all things! Went through a stage of "winging" it each time, and I pulled one after another out of the oven that were almost unedible. As yet, not too big on baking... no sweet tooth here! Have dabbled, but find doughs/pastries especially difficult, perhaps as it's 90 degrees in my kitchen much of the year.
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