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Cast Iron Restoration, Seasoning, Cleaning & Cooking. Cast Iron skillets, griddles and pots.

May 01, 2020
hey luke here on the outdoor guys youtube channel and i have a bunch of

cast

iron

cookware on here that needs fixing needs

restoration

and needs some

seasoning

and we'll show you how to do it welcome to the show and let me introduce you to

iron

cast

iron and this is my modern lodge dutch oven and it's dirty and full of old oil and soot and ash and needs some serious

cleaning

but other than it's working pretty well I'm going to use it to demonstrate how to clean cast iron. This is another piece of modern Lodge cookware.
cast iron restoration seasoning cleaning cooking cast iron skillets griddles and pots
I'm going to use this to demonstrate how to remove some loose rust and REE

seasoning

. This pan was made by Lodge a few years ago and has been used and abused. It's working fine inside. service rust damage so I'm going to remove see rust then re-season all this is an unmarked Wagner pan it's a ten and a half inch pan from probably circa the 1950's and it's in disrepair it's completely covered and rusty with absolutely no seasoning I can tell it's a Wagner because of the font and the lettering it says ten and a half inch skillet and then it has the size number or on it and it has the size on the top of the handle plus I can tell which is post 1950's because it's has a smooth bottom but it doesn't say made in the USA this is a very old pot it has a door mark which is a mark left over from the manufacturing process which probably places it in the 1800's sometime in it and is really rough in shape it has a lot of heavy pitting and heavy rust and the interior has an enamel coating that is badly damaged and has pits about 1/8 inch deep on t ode the bottom, so this thing is in serious trouble.
cast iron restoration seasoning cleaning cooking cast iron skillets griddles and pots

More Interesting Facts About,

cast iron restoration seasoning cleaning cooking cast iron skillets griddles and pots...

I don't really know if I can salvage this one but let's try again Ht guys it's time to remove the rust from this cast iron and to do that I'm going to use three different methods the first method I'm going to use is electrolysis the second method is a vinegar bath and the third I'm going to use. coca-cola this is my first time using the coca-cola method so i am going to have a chance to compare it to the vinegar method so they are electrolysis baths all you need is a plastic container filled with water and then there's I'm going to want to add a good amount of baking soda into this amount of water.
cast iron restoration seasoning cleaning cooking cast iron skillets griddles and pots
I'm putting in about an eighth cup of baking soda, mix it really well and then get a piece of metal that you don't mind ruining in this example. I have a piece of old rebar, then I'm going to take my old pot and sink it here and have it hanging suspended in the water. I don't want it to rest on the bottom and I have it attached with a metal hanger in this example now what I'm going to do is hook up a battery charger to this and I'm going to put the positive on the sacrificial anode you want to screw up and i'm going to put the negative on the potentiometer i want the oxide to come off the more amps you use the more aggressively it will work you can tell things start to work when you see bubbles and bubbling the closer you place the sacrificial anode to the base metal, the stronger the reaction and you can determine which part you want to focus on based on where you place the anode place the anode here these parts will clean faster now for this pan.
cast iron restoration seasoning cleaning cooking cast iron skillets griddles and pots
I'm going to use vinegar to remove the rust. I'll just put it on this plastic pin here and I have a gallon of white distilled vinegar that's five percent acid. so it was three bucks at the grocery store and we're going to pour it right, let it soak for about an hour, then scrub and soak again and scrub and soak until it's clean. we're going to clean these two cast iron pieces using co original ca-cola I've never done this before so I'm going to do it like vinegar and see how it comes out of these three methods hands down my favorite for this type of job is the vinegar bath, electrolysis. it works but it's really fidgety you have everything you need to set up you know this charger and you need to constantly move the anode so it spreads evenly on all surfaces the vinegar you just pour it into a bucket of vinegar and it seems to work fine the coke works but not as well as vinegar and is more expensive there are many products and chemicals on the market that will remove rust very well and even better than vinegar however i dont know if i want to put those chemicals on my utensils and let them soak for hours, vinegar, coke, electrolysis, all it does is loosen the rust, it doesn't really remove it, you still have to use a little elbow grease to do that, you can use a scouring pad or a wire brush a drill an angle grinder whatever helps you can use it i have this little wire adapter on the end of a drill i'm going to use it to try to get the rest of this rust off and if I can't do it I'll just put it back in the vinegar and soak it a bit more ok you can see the difference it's already making going down to bare cast iron ok cast iron

skillets

have been sitting in the vinegar for another hour and we're going to see if the most stubborn stains have loosened up.
Let's rinse it with a little bit of vinegar and make sure we have everything. The ten and a half inch pan looks great just a few places to touch up and you're good to go so rinse it off in the vinegar and as you can see everything is nice and shiny so we're ready to season this you can see here some of the black s

pots

where the electrolysis has already started to work the rust is really coming off right now restoring this pot is going to be a special kind of challenge has this broken n enamel coating on the inside and i can't fix it really there is nothing you can do about it so the best thing to do is try to remove the enamel coating, probably the best way to get rid of the enamel coating would be to use glass beads in a sandblaster I don't have that equipment, so I'm going to use this wire stripper here on a power drill and hopefully I'll be able to get the polish off.
This does not work. I'm going to upgrade to an angle grinder and see how that works. Am I going to be doing this forever at this speed? I'm going to try the angle grinder and see how well it handles guys. I did something stupid. An hour in and you can see how little progress I've made, so I thought maybe I could speed this up if I just hit it lightly with a ball-peen hammer. I can take the polish off and break it up and that would speed up the process and I was being extremely gentle and look at this right there ju I put a hole right in the wheel and it cracked all over.
This pot is from the 19th century and I just broke it. First, learn from my mistakes. Don't try to buy old

pots

with damaged enamel coatings. They are a pain in the butt. Second. of all don't try to remove the enamel with a hammer this is the one that was soaked in the coke let's remove the rust here is some serious rust this was very easy only soaked once in the coke and five minutes or so with the minor English and the brush to get everything completely done, it wasn't too bad, well this iron is pretty good so I'm really hoping to get everything done pretty quickly with just the power drill. that looks great it took the rust off the griddle very easily and now one thing i'm going to do is smoothen the surface a bit now this is a modern Lodge cast iron griddle Lodge deliberately makes their surfaces slightly textured so you can pre season they can and season t hem quick and cheap at the factory so what I'm going to do is take this little thing here and go and hit the surface and just take a little bit of that texture off and that'll smooth it out well this is a lot smoother and there are still some holes here and grooves so there are places for the oil to bake in but it will take fewer seasoning coats for this to become a really great nonstick once you get all the rust off the exposed iron it's really susceptible to rust and corrosion, and it can happen in a matter of hours, so ideally you want to dry your cast iron immediately after removing the rust, that's not real ist for me I'm out of time today and it'll be a couple of days before I pick this project up again so I'm going to drop all this cast iron in this vinegar soak and pick it up again in a couple of days and it won't have any corrosion look it just a couple days ago it was solid rust now it is bare cast iron now we n need to clean the wheel and get all the dirt, grime and metal shavings off the cast iron.
Now we will do it with soap and water. clean cast iron that's not true you don't use soap and water to clean cured cast iron so at this point we want to be as clean as possible soap is appropriate once it's cured don't use soap and you want to put the hottest water possible here if you want to know if you did a good job take a white paper towel hang it up the towel comes back relatively clean you see you did a good job and the towel comes back black you know you still have some scrubbing to do once you you have it nice and clean, towel dry the cast iron and put it in the oven, we'll put it in the oven long enough to make sure it's completely dry.
I must admit that it is an impressive transformation. the thing looks good if you have a cast iron piece that is only slightly rusty you can get rid of the rust simply with soapy water and a little elbow grease all electric drills and angle grinders and vinegar are not necessary for things that just got some pretty new rust off so i got the cast iron clean i got it scrubbed washed fully dry and a little warm now its time to apply the oil to start the seasoning i am now going to use organic flaxseed oil with no preservatives .
These are just some of the best things you can use to season cast iron but you can also use shortening that you have melted you can use canola oil some people use coconut oil there are many different things you can use to season one of the ways The most popular of the cast iron season is to take shortening and wipe it off with a hot piece of cast iron, melt it down and after you've covered every square inch with shortening, then take a clean towel and wipe off all the excess, place the cast iron on a 400 degree oven for about an hour then repeat the process two to four times to create a seasoning layer now this will make cast iron darker than flaxseed oil but I prefer flaxseed oil because it is stronger , so let me show you how to season with linseed oil coat the warm plaster iron in linseed oil as you would shortening and wipe off the excess with n a clean towel now we will turn it upside down so the oil can drip off nicely we will bake it there for an hour at 400 degrees Fahrenheit no it doesn't matter what kind of oil you are using to season your castor and make sure you don't put too much on it after applying the oil wipe off the excess with the clean dry towel if you flirt with the oil cast iron in the oven gives off a fair amount of smoke especially if you need to do three items at once so i had the fan blow and smoke and i have the fan hood running at full speed.
It was still a bit smoky in here, but after about 15 minutes. it cleared up pretty good so heads up don't do it when your wife is in ho yo so she'll notice how the seasoning in this old pan is a little smeared but today's big pan isn't because of how it is designed these pans. it takes much less time and energy to prepare a slightly uneven surface. a bit darker so there's the pan it's just the second layer and it should be very smooth to the touch it shouldn't be sticky at all if your pan is sticky that means you haven't cooked it long enough or you've added too much oil or both here is the farmhouse casserole you can see it's coming out really nice you can see how the griddle looks after three coats of seasoning well it's hard not sticky at all not greasy feeling so you can see how it looks the pan after three coats is pretty good but it's still more brown than black so you can see the modern big skillet it looks very dark it grabs that seasoning better than smoother pans but it's more bumpy no it's so smooth so here I am on my last coat of seasoning and the pots and pans aren't quite black yet so I'm going to set them for several hours until they turn black and this is just a way to finish off the seasoning and ensure assemble that that thick layer of seasoning is fully cooked yup look at that I didn't add any more oil to it but just a little more time in the oven and it turned perfectly glossy black that's beautiful ok let's do A bit of troubleshooting here, so I'm going to demonstrate two common mistakes and then show how to fix them.
The first is doing too many layers. Two to four coats is fine. Six to seven layers no necessarily better plus adding more oil on each layer is no better so here I am just pouring the oil as much as I can here and itI'm going to cook for a total of six layers on all cast iron here and I'm going to show you what it does and how to identify it and how to fix it if your seasoning layers come out patchy and uneven this is a sign you're using too much oil that isn't right. wiping off the excess when i flip it upside down the oil drips are hardening you will see them especially along the edge of the pan and they will break and expose the cast iron and cause weaknesses in your seasoning if you add too many layers of with the seasoning , you'll start to get this bumpy surface that's just as nonstick as it should be.
You can remove these bumps and blisters with sand. Removing the lumps in your seasoning doesn't take a lot of effort, so you can hand sand it very easily. or use a random orbital sander use 800 to mil grit sandpaper and just do a few passes until smooth to the touch ok just rinse and scrub without using soap. Now for the fun part, guys. I'll show you how to cook with cast iron. Okay we're going to put it on medium heat for about five minutes we're going to let the pan soak up all that ki that's the beauty of cast iron is it takes in a lot of heat and distributes it very evenly without anyone fanning Catherine you're constantly moving the food with cast iron don't do that.
Stick the meat and let it sit there until the surface caramelizes, then it will loosen and peel off. You can move it. I'm going to put a little bit of this Montreal steak seasoning in there. I like my steaks to be medium rare, but if you like to cook yours a little more thoroughly, one of the great things about cast iron is that you can take it and just put it right in the oven and that helps cook the steaks even less. and even after we've caramelized the outside and seared in those beautiful juices beautiful steaks now we're going to cook the vegetables a little bit of olive oil just a dash and I'm going to roll these asparagus so that you get the meat juice and the olive oil all mixed together you want all the asparagus covered sprinkle it with a little garlic salt make sure you don't overcook the asparagus it should bend but it should still be able to break if it's limp you've gone overboard all I'm going to do is just black in the pepper a bit and sprinkle some salt on them guys there you have it you can see you have a little black in the pepper you are good to go you don't want to overdo it you got it my dirty pan cast iron here from lunch and all I'm going to do is just wash it in warm water and scrub it with a scrub brush don't over think it and don't use soap the trickiest part of

cleaning

a cast iron skillet is it's hard to see if there's any dirt or residue stuck to it because it's black you know cast iron let's just use your fingers real quick make sure you don't feel anything stuck you're ready to towel dry it really good ok ok clean dry no it took you want to not use metal tools like spatulas and tongs and forks too aggressive when using cast iron they can scrape up the seasoning and that's what you see here these scratch marks from a pair of metal tongs it's time to clean this pot you can see here which has tons of grease and soot and all sorts of nasty stuff in there and even this is old oil.
I think I was making some campfire donuts and I didn't clean this up. cleaning it up a little easier you know i still want to be able to handle it but i want it to be pretty hot to the touch water is good for taking off a suit and burnt food but if you try to remove the grease it often dries out the paper towel works better than scrub brush and water there we go it's all c bent really well this is how you season it cooks and cleans cast iron so it's not the only way to do it but this is how you do it i do and i hope it helps you get started and learn something new, thanks for watching guys we hope you enjoyed. this video if you want to see more great videos from guys outdoors youtube channel don't forget: wait thanks for watching we hope you enjoyed this video if you want to see more great videos from guys outdoors youtube channel don't forget to hit subscribe we post new videos every week and don't forget to hit the bell button to get notified when we post another great video

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