Sunday, September 20, 2015
COOKING WITH GRANDMA’S CAST IRON COOKWARE A SERIES OF ARTICLES ABOUT REFURBISHING AND USING CASTIRON BY LARRY & BETTY HARMON Part two – Re furbishing, seasoning and maintenance Because of it’s very nature, our much beloved cast iron cookware can get a light haze of red rust on it before you know it. Especially here in the humid deep south. A light haze is readily removed with a scouting pad and cooking oil while the cast iron is warm. Wiping with a white paper towel and light cooking oil will let you know when you have removed it all. Here is a quick 17 second video of the finished and ready to use cookware. https://youtu.be/YUxbfgnvP0c A slightly heavier coating of rust may be removed with a more abrasive scouring pad followed by the paper towel wipe down process. Deep pit’s in your cookware can sometimes be addressed with a rotary brush or a grinder. However, it must be remembered that one of cast iron cookware’s most endearing trait’s is that it heats evenly across it’s entire surface. Any thin spots that are made during the restoration process can cause it to burn, discolor and/or stick. Excessive grinding can ruin cast iron leaving you with only a cool display piece. Our favorite seasoning method, except for the seasoning of brand new cast iron, is to deep fry in it, for example, having a fish fry at the end of a camping or fishing trip. Then carefully wiping the cast iron clean while still hot. Keeping the cookware carefully oiled seems to work best and always when warm so that the pores are open to receive and retain the oil. Maintaining that great finish during storage can be tricky, but gets much simpler when it is stored in a temperature/humidity controlled environment. Because we prefer that the outside of our cookery stay campfire ready and some what smutted up, we store and transport our cast iron in heavy coarse fabric shopping bags, making it easier to handle and it keeps the smut from transferring to other things in the storage area. One of Betty’s little tricks for keeping the rust at bay is to collect the desiccant capsules, that we find in many over the counter meds such as antacids, put them in a sock and drop them in the cookware before closing the lid tightly. When the desiccant becomes less effective, she bakes them dry to re-use them.
Saturday, September 5, 2015
A SERIES OF ARTICLES ABOUT REFURBISHING AND USING CASTIRON BY LARRY & BETTY HARMON Part One -“I found Grandma’s Dutch Oven in storage all rusted up, now what ?” Every time you saw it while in storage, it put a smile on your face as you remembered those delicious treats that Grandma’ surprised everyone with, when you were a kid. Then after that smile, the next thought was, “it looks rustier every time I see it, I sure need to do something with it”. But, just what, you might think. Most of us have helped with and been around Dutch oven cooking off and on for years, but looking at a rusty Dutch oven can leave us scratching our heads, about just what needs to be done next. Here is a quick video we took during our last boondocking fishing trip that addresses cleaning, seasoning and putting cast iron back in service. https://youtu.be/u2AQhwMYBWM In this case we used a little cooking oil and fine rock salt to work out the surface rust and restore the finish. Pre heating the cast Iron is important in that it opens the pores of the utensil. You may note at the end of the video how the Dutch oven and lid have started to get a polished oil look to it. In this video where Goga is scouring the oven with a brush, you can see that the neatly kept campfire of Opa Ohoyo and Goga uses both wood and charcoal briquette’s and is just a pretty tidy setup. Some folks prefer that the outside of their oven is not scoured but is instead, left in it’s natural campfire smoked condition and that is the case here. . This particular oven does not have the cast Iron legs on the bottom and it must be used with a campfire grille as it is in the video.