Cast Iron Cookware is very easy to re-condition
Before you cast off your cast iron skillet because of food or grease buildup, remember it is not difficult at all to recondition.
It all has to do with heat. Sometimes our Cast Iron Cookware, (including the dutch ovens) get so built up with charcoal, gunk and grease it is virtually impossible to clean with grease removers or soap.
We recondition ours all with heat.
You can use your conventional electric self cleaning oven on the cleaning cycle or just throw it in the campfire. Yup …. just use a good hot fire and burn the crusty gunk right off.
The trick is to get it into a heat source that reaches at least 700-800 degrees F . The oven in your house on cooking mode will rarely get that hot (usually no more that 500 degrees F) except on the self cleaning mode (electric models only) This is when it reaches up to 800 degrees. and is a great way to recondition your Cast Iron Cookware and clean the oven at the same time.
Many folks in the northern climes prior to “self cleaning” ovens would do this chore in the Autumn when the leaves would fall, and burned the leaves to dispose of them. They would just put the cookware in the middle of the leaf pile and let it burn.
If your (or you acquire) cookware that hasn’t been used in a while and has accumulated some rust this can be cleaned off with some soap free steel wool, or even sand blasted with some fine grit to remove the rust. Blasting with walnut shells is an even better choice, as it does not remove as much of the carbon buildup in the pores of the metal which gives it the non stick qualities that are so desirable. You should do this before the heat treating process.(If needed)
So the next time your going to burn a pile of leaves(if that is allowed in your area) or have a bonfire with friends or family , remember to collect up your gunk laden Cast Iron Cookware and throw it right in there , kick back , enjoy a visit and in the morning you will have cookware that is cleaned up almost like brand new.
You will have to put a new coating of oil on it and season it a bit in a low temperature in your oven. (about 200-250 degrees F), but that is deemed as regular maintenance. Wipe with a clean towel after the seasoning process and your ready to cook again. Never throw away Cast Iron Cookware !
Hope this helps you on your Homestead !
Remember to sign up for our newsletter and/or feed on the very top right of this page or in the right sidebar. Also visit some of our sponsors pages (in the sidebars and banners) It’s what keeps us going !!
Peace and Prosperity,
Rich @ NY Homesteader
In case you don’t have any Cast Iron Cookware, You should get some. It will last 2 lifetimes or more and provide you with even heating and non-stick cooking for a very long time. Just click on the image below.