Am I the only one who collects cast iron skillets and never uses them? I had this grand dream of collecting them, cleaning them, cooking with them, and having a beautiful display set up just for them. Well, over the past year I’ve found them at yard sales, thrift stores, and was gifted a few but all they’ve done was collect dust. I just didn’t want to take the time to clean them. I guess I was too lazy and really didn’t want to do all of the dirty work. Now there are a few recipes I want to try out, so I decided that it was finally time for me to get my hands dirty (literally) and get to cleaning. Here is how to clean and season a cast iron skillet to get from old and rusty to the squeaky clean ones I have now. Enjoy!
I used ¼ cup of baking soda and a copper scouring pad to scrub off the rust. I added about ½ cup of water to the skillet and kept scrubbing until the water turned really murky.
Make sure you use kitchen gloves when handling the scouring pad because you can get stuck. I constantly rinsed out the skillet while scrubbing. I kept scrubbing and rinsing until the water ran clear. I used a dry cloth to completely dry the skillet off.
Now comes the seasoning of the skillet. No, I don’t mean adding salt and pepper. I mean oiling the skillet to prevent it from rusting. Some people use vegetable oil and some use bacon fat. I prefer to use extra virgin olive oil. I preheated the oven to 250°. Next, I applied a very small amount of oil to the inside and outside of the skillet. Use a paper towel to wipe off any excess oil. If you use too much oil, it will pool in the middle of the skillet. Place the skillets in the oven for 1 hour. Once the hour is complete, allow the skillets to cool.