Friday, January 4, 2013

Oh, the Rusty Iron Pan

Start the Seasoning Process

  • Do Not Preheat the Oven! The Process requires the Cast Iron to expand with the heat, absorb the shortening, and creates the seal as the pan cools down and goes back to original size.
  • Put Aluminum Foil or a Drip Pan on the bottom shelve of your oven to catch drippings.
  • Put a bit of shortening in the pan and heat it for less than a minute on the stove top to melt the shortening.
  • Once shortening is melted, spread it all over all surfaces of the pan including the handle and backside. You may want to use a paper towel to aid with spreading.
  • Once the pan is 100% covered in a decent shiny coat, put the pan on the top rack of the oven, upside down.
  • Close the oven door and set the oven at 350°F
  • Set a Timer for at least an hour and let it be!
  • Do Not Open the Oven Door During the Seasoning Process! (You can lose valuable amounts of heat and cause the pan to warp or crack, and the coating may not hold to the pan.)
  • Once the timer goes off after an hour, turn off the oven but don't open the door!
  • Allow the pan to cool down for a few hours before removing. Taking the pan out too early may cause the pan to become seasoned improperly.

How and Where to Store Cast Iron to Prevent Rust

The very nature of cast iron makes the metal susceptible to rust. If a pan is left unseasoned, it will rust within a matter of hours or days. Storage of your cast iron is very important. A dry environment is the best place. You will want to oil you pans before you store them, which will add an extra level of protection against rust.
If you are storing your cast iron dutch oven for extended amounts of time, it is recommended to add a layer of either cooking oil or cooking spray to the entire surface. This will create an additional level of protection against water and rust. Never store a pan with a cover tightly on it and you should take a few paper towels and put them inside to absorb any moisture. Proper storage will lead to long life for your collection!


What to do:
  • If there is mild rust you can just use a piece of steel wool and scrub under hot water until all the rust is gone. TIP: FREEZE STEEL WOOL til next use. No rust!
  • If there is extreme rust all over the pan, you will need to sand down the rusty surfaces using sand paper. Start with a heavy grit and work your way down to a fine grit once most of the rust is sanded off.
  • Once all the rust is removed, wash the pan thoroughly with warm water and soap to remove any metal rust and dust particles.
  • Immediately dry the pan thoroughly! The best way to do this is to put the pan in the oven for a few minutes at 100 degrees Fahrenheit until it is dry.
  • Season as you would a brand new pan from the Seasoning Instructions Above

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Thanks so much! I greatly value thoughtful comments!! ~ Gabriela