Sunday, October 6, 2013

Cast Iron pan fun...

Last year sometime, hubby and I bought a cast iron pan.  We used it several times (it makes amazing steaks!) and then it sat in the cabinet for a while.  When we moved, it didn't have any apparent flaws and looked pretty good, I wrapped it in paper and all sorts of other things to keep it safe during the move.  It survived, and I put it in the bottom of a cabinet.  Perkins family restaurant here makes some amazing breakfast potatoes and we wanted to make some for ourselves.  I pulled out the wonderful cast iron pan because many of the recipes I was looking at called for using a cast iron pan.  Much to my dismay, this is what I found.  (RUST!!! NOOO....)
Look at how much is on the handle?  Crazy!
And...because I am impatient and nervous about dealing with the rust...I purchased a new cast iron pan for $20 at Wal-Mart.  Here it is before I got a hold of it.  I washed it good with dish soap and got it ready for seasoning.
Through more, more and even more research, I decided to use Crisco shortening instead of vegetable oil.  So, after I washed it, I dried it with a towel and applied the Crisco with a paper towel. 

Here it is before I put it in the oven.
Again, with all the research I did, I heard there was going to be lots and lots of smoke.  This really intimidated me, which is why it took me so long to season these pans.  I also found out that the smoke point for Crisco is 440° F. And, on the Lodge Cast Iron web site it says to season it in the oven at 350-400.  So if I did the Crisco at those temperatures I shouldn't have any smoke.  So, I broke down and did it.  350 ish for 1 hour.  I say "ish," because my oven is a million years old and runs hot, and I think I've finally figured out where my temperatures really are on the dial.  Hence why I have stickies on the dial telling me where the 350 and 400 degree marks are.  We also put a pizza stone in the bottom of it to help regulate the temperatures.  Anyway, long story short, after the hour in the oven, I turned it off and let the pan cool in the oven.  I'm happy to report that there was ZERO smoke!  But, it did smell like cooking shortening which is to be expected, but not bad at all.  Like 4 hours later the oven was still at 200, so it definitely was a slow cool down.  Here is the pan, in all its glory after
I did get a little excited with the shortening so some spots on the pan got sticky.  I put the pan in the oven with the opening facing down, so it was sticky where the top was touching the oven shelves. You can see that right in the middle of the top rim if you look closely.
I made breakfast with it yesterday and it performed very well!  I really liked how everything browned and cooked.  Very very pleased! :) Now I just have to do the other rusty one!

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