Monday, July 30, 2012

Like New!

Growing up,
my Mom always used
cast iron frying pans.
They held many 
fried eggs 
and bacon 
and the best spaghetti sauce
ever made!

I had forgotten about 
those pans.
That is, until
we started camping.
How I wished I had those
wonderful pans
and the loving memories
they possessed for me.

Chatting with my sister one day,
I discovered where they went.
My nephew was
in charge of their care.
It wasn't long after that,
my sweet sister
checked with her
son to find he didn't use
them any longer
and was willing to part 
with them!

So home they came.
To me.
Once again.

After all those years,
there were layers upon
layers of built up "gunk" on them.
These are not my actual pans
( I wish)
as mine weren't as rusty
but I forgot to take a before shot
so these will have to do.

With plenty of hot water, 
dish soap,
SOS pads
and lots of elbow
I went to work.
I got quite a bit
of gunk off of them
but they were not yet worthy
of being used to cook.

So here was my next step...

Yup!  Those are my pans
in the fire.

After about 30 minutes in the heat,
they came out looking like this.

See all of that gray matter?
That's all of the gunk, burned off.

Next it was back to the sink with more
soapy water and SOS.  Not so much elbow grease this time!

Once it was scrubbed and
dried completely,
I rubbed it down with canola oil
(any oil or fat will do),
inside and out.

Next, they went into a preheated, 250 degree
oven, inverted over a cookie sheet,
left to "bake" for 2 hours.

Here's the end result:
Good as new!

If you ever spot a beat up cast iron pan
while at a thrift store or garage sale,
don't hesitate to buy it.
It promises to be the best pan
you'll ever own!


Beth said...

I wish I had my mom's old cast iron pans! Your pan does look as good as new.

Bee Lady said...

I have my Mom's cast iron pan and my Uncle's. I love them. My MIL has four and she doesn't want them anymore. I wasn't going to take them...but after reading this post...hmmmm......
Thanks for the tip on seasoning them. It's been awhile since mine have been seasoned and they're looking kind of dry.

Cindy Bee

sharon said...

I enjoyed this so much!!....what a lot of work!!

Madi and Mom said...

Oh my goodness Jill I remember those pans too. My g-ma had an assortment of them and each had a purpose. I especially remember a very thin one that she used for making hoe cakes is what she called them...but it was basically cornbread in the oven.

What an excellent job of cleaning them us
Hugs C

Jan n Jer said...

I grew up having food cooked in cast iron pots...sadly I don't own one. You did a great job cleaning this up!

Debbie said...

WoW jill, you are going to cook some fabulous memories in those pans!!

Walking on Sunshine... said...

I cannot believe you were able to get those pans to look so good! Great job! I was enjoying your previous post with the cloud pictures and was looking at the reflection of your camera in the picture and thought, "Is that her camera in the cloud?" and then I read how it was your camera! Cool effect! Hope you've having a nice day!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

You're like the cast iron pan whisperer!

andy said...

Love cast iron pans! Theres nothing like corn bread in a cast iron pan

Lottie said...

Oh Jill, I can't believe the timing of this post. Last Friday my 28 yr. old son almost bought a big cast iron skillet at a local thrift shop! He didn't get it because we didn't know what to do with it to get the gunk off! Your after picture is great! I'll save this post in case we run across another one! Have a great week!

Donna said...

I will Never part with my cast iron pan! Love the thing!

Anonymous said...

So glad you were able to get those pans from your nephew - what wonderful treasures!

Good job cleaning them up!

Sall's Country Life said...

Good idea, soakin' it in the fire like that! They are indestructible, just ask my husband,Ha!

JT said...

Mom used to bake a pineapple upside down cake in hers. It had a patina like silk.

Linda said...

I cook in cast iron all of the me its the only way to cook. My skillets badly need to go on a hot fire also! Love your collection!

Rohrerbot said...

Really cool stuff. I remember I would get so frustrated cleaning the iron pots and pans growing up. BUT I do remember the fire did wonders! But food seems to taste better when cast iron is used:) Camping trips wouldn't be the same.

Sonya @ Under the Desert Sky said...

So glad you were able to finally get those skillets! And, wow! You sure got them ready to use!

Anonymous said...

Some how I missed this great post. So happy the pans were returned to you. Mama had lots of these and I remember her cornbread especially cooked in a skillet. They were too heavy for my aching wrists so I found a young lady who truly treasured them. Wonderful post, Jill.

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