I'm goin' in!! Seasoning an old cast iron pan.

Discussion in 'General Dutch Oven Information' started by mdboatbum, Dec 19, 2013.

  1. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I recently came into possession of a 12" cast iron skillet that's been in my wife's family for years. And by 12", I mean the inside of the bottom is 12", the outside of the top must be 17". It's huge, but not in the greatest shape. They used to use it on a campfire next to the fishing stream at their club in PA. It's been in the basement for 25+ years and has a little rust and pitting on the bottom, but the inside is smooth as a baby's butt. I'm going to run it through the self cleaning cycle in my oven tonight and tomorrow begin the Flax oil seasoning process.

  2. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That's awesome. I just got my first cast iron pan. A dutch oven.

    Learning to season it.
  3. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Better start hitting the gym, gonna need some muscles to cook with that beast!!!' Gonna clean up great!
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2013
  4. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I hope it cleans up. Gonna run it through the self clean cycle in the oven tonight, then use easy off in the morning if necessary. Then start the seasoning process. I'm in a bit of a pickle as it's a family heirloom, so I need it to come out great. Hopefully I'll be cooking trout beside the stream this spring in it. By the way, I just measured and it's only 14" on top, and the inside bottom is 12" across.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2013
  5. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

  6. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    By the way, what the heck is "LIGNAN"?
  7. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    No doubt!! I'll just carry it up and down the stairs a few times for a winter workout. It's fairly heavy.
  8. Hello MD.  Great score.  Might need a little steel wool on that rust but will come out great I'm sure.  Good luck.  LIGNAN?  [​IMG]  but says on the bottle you got plenty. [​IMG]   Keep Smokin!

  9. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Here it is after the self cleaning cycle overnight. It was still warm this morning. I heated it to 200˚, coated it with flax oil and it's now baking at 500˚ for one hour. I'll repeat the process 6 more times and hopefully by bedtime I'll have a shiny, beautifully seasoned skillet.

  10. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That is nice deep pan. You'll be glad you restored it.
  11. Hey, do you do windows? Smiles. That looks like QUITE the transformation! Great job! I am impressed. And how fun that you now have that pan!!! Cheers! - Leah
  12. figjam

    figjam Meat Mopper

    Looking forward to seeing the finished product.
  13. Hello Md.  I would have thought that crusty rust on the outside might be difficult but it's lookin good.  Since you have 6 more times to go I got the big box.  [​IMG]   Good luck.

  14. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hopefully the full transformation will be even better. I am really delighted and honored to have it. It's a part of my wife's family history and holds many happy memories of picnics by the stream. Apparently her mom always brought bacon, ostensibly as a source of fat for frying the fish, but in reality to provide bacon sandwiches in case her dad and brother struck out on the stream. I understand they ate a lot of bacon sandwiches by that stream! So of course, our first meal prepared in it will be bacon sandwiches. I do plan on bringing it next summer to that very same fire pit by that very same stream for a picnic of either trout or (more likely) bacon sandwiches with my wife, her Mom and her step-father. Incidentally, my wife's step father, to whom I refer as my father-in-law, was a close friend of her real father who passed away about 25 years ago, so he'll enjoy the memories associated with the picnic as well.
  15. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    A little scrubbing with steel wool and it cleaned up ok. there is some pitting on the outside, but it shouldn't affect how it cooks.
  16. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have continuously seen the threads about flax oil here, I am watching intently to see how it works. I have a bunch of old skillets and pots out on the porch which will never be used again but could definitely use a cleaning. We always in the past sand blasted to white metal about once every 10 years then just recurred 'em, (I am not so sure that the spell check realized how the word re-cured was being used).

    Bring it on Md.
  17. The way we used to do it was to build a big wood fire.  After we got good coals we spread out the coals.  Place the cast iron pots needing attention on top of the coals and the completely cover the pots with the coals ( pile the coals over the pots ).  The pots must be completely covered, air tight and left there in the coals until completely cool ( I mean you have to be able to reach your bare hand in the ash and pull the pot out, cool ), if not the cast iron may crack.  Takes the pots back to bare metal and any crusty rust outside or carbon build up inside will POP off due to the heat.  Wash well and then season the pot.  I too am interested in seeing how this turns out.  Seems an easier way to go.  MD; if you use cast iron to deep fry often a carbon build up will occur on the inside of the pot.  Will this method also take care of that?  Thanks.

  18. Hey that's a beautiful story about your wife's family! Fantastic stuff! I love how such things are attached to favorite meals, special items, and so forth! Poignant and fabulous! Cheers!!!!! - Leah
  19. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member


    I was not sure what to expect, but I damn sure didn't expect A NEW SKILLET!!

    To say I'm happy with the result after ONE coat of flax oil would be the understatement of the century.  I'm absolutely dumbfounded. I can't wait to see what it looks like after all the applications.

    Danny I have no idea if what you're asking will work with this method. I would think the self cleaning would certainly help, as it completely stripped all previous seasoning off this pan, albeit there wasn't a whole lot on there.

    Here are a few pics after the first round of seasoning. The camera picked up some swirls which aren't visible to the naked eye. In person it's a smooth matte black coating.

  20. It looks new!!!! Really! And here I thought that even the first round was pretty great! Cheers! - Leah

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