Sunday, March 31, 2013

Scrub clean that cast iron, Naturally

Not so favorable results in seasoning my favorite little cast iron pan. I admit to being lazy here, seasoning on top of an already, un even seasoned surface, (using a paper towel used to apply layers of oil, adding specks of fuzz), didn't help either.  seen to your right, le craPe sea son :|
Scrub this crap off and start again, but how!?

I live in an apartment, no access to a fire pit & not going to upset my neighbors, (smoking the place out, trying to burn it off in the oven). Sheryl provides a solution, oven cleaner, but don't want to deal with lye potentially burning my skin. With some research, found a way to make my own, inexpensive toxin free, natural oven cleaner. Had the baking soda, vinegar and the Dr. Bronners Hemp I have is natural soap, think I'm Set!

6pm: put the natural oven cleaner and cast iron in a zip lock bag; do ya thang!

12am: good scrubbing, re-coat with more cleaner, sit till 8am; Round 2!
(how the pan sat, image to the right).

One Good final scrub in the sink, (little more baking soda to help scratch out the old seasoning). I'm happy.

Where people screw up Seasoning a Cast Iron Pan! Too much oil! Leaving a lot of fat in the pan doesn't allow the layer to dry out in heating; instead, it becomes a semi-sticky, un-hardened mess. Sheryl has the best idea, which has worked for me, put oil in, wipe out excess and "cook" the pan for an hour, repeat about six times. Its a long process, but a) each layer dries properly and b) your left with that smooth, non-stick, seasoned surface. 

My pan is beter now, but if you ever need to strip a pan, and dont have access to the other ways, that natural method worked nice for me. 

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