Cast Iron Restoration, Seasoning, Cleansing & Cooking. Cast Iron skillets, griddles and pots.
Hey Luke here at the outdoor boys YouTube channel and I've got a bunch of cast iron cookware here that needs repair needs restoration and need some seasoning and we're gonna walk you through how to do just that welcome to the show and let me introduce you to the cast iron and this is my.
Modern-day Lodge Dutch oven and it is grimy and full of old oil and soot and ash and needs to be cleaned badly but other than it's doing pretty good so I'm gonna use this to demonstrate how to clean cast iron this is another piece of modern Lodge cookware it's a griddle and it's been used and abused to the seasonings all gone and it's covered in.
Rust and it has a lot of damage but no pitting and nothing too serious I'm gonna use this to demonstrate knocking off some loose rust and REE seasoning this skillet was made by lodge a few years ago and it has been used and abused it's doing okay on the inside just need some reasoning but on the back it's got some pretty heavy-duty rust.
Damage so I'm gonna remove the rust and then re season the whole thing this is an unmarked Wagner skillet it's a ten and a half inch skillet from probably around the 1950s and it is in some bad shape it is covered completely and rust with absolutely no seasoning I'm able to tell it's a Wagner because of the font and the lettering it says ten and a half.
Inch skillet and then it has the size number or on it and it's got the size on the top of the handle additionally I can tell it's post 1950s because it's got a smooth bottom but it doesn't say made in the USA on it this is a very old pot it's got a gate mark which is a mark left over from the manufacturing process which puts it probably in the 1800's.
Sometime and it is in really rough shape it has got lots of heavy pitting heavy rust and the inside of it it has an enamel lining that's very damaged and it has about 1/8 inch deep pits all throughout the bottom so this thing is in serious trouble I really don't know if I can save this one but we're gonna try alright guys it's time to get the.
Rust off this cast iron and to do that I'm gonna use three different methods the first method I'm going to use is electrolysis the second method is a vinegar bath and thirdly I'm going to use coca-cola this is my first time using the coca-cola method so I'm going to get a chance to compare it against the vinegar method to make it.
Electrolysis baths all you need is a plastic bin full of water and then you're gonna want to add a fair amount of baking soda in this amount of water I'm putting about an eighth of a cup of baking soda mix it up really good and then get yourself a piece of metal you don't mind ruining in this example I've got a piece of old rebar then I'm gonna.
Take my old pot and I'm gonna sink it down in here and I've got it hanging suspended in the water I don't want it resting on the bottom and I've got it tied with a piece of metal coat hanger in this example now what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna hook up a battery charger to this and I'm gonna put the positive on the sacrificial anode that you want to.
Ruin and I'm gonna put the negative on the pot that I want the rust to come off of the more amps you run through this the more aggressively it's going to to work you can tell things are starting to work when you'll see bubbles and fizzing the closer you place the sacrificial anode to the base metal the stronger the reaction and so you can effectuate which.
Part you want to focus on based on where you put the anode put the anode here this parts gonna clean the fastest now for this skillet I'm going to use vinegar to get the rust off I'm just gonna put it in this plastic pin here and I've got a gallon of white distilled vinegar that's five percent acidity so was three dollars at the grocery store.
And we're just gonna pour it on alright we're gonna let that soak for about an hour then we're gonna scrub it and soak it again and scrub it and soak it until it's clean next we're gonna clean these two pieces of cast iron using original coca-cola I've never done this before so I'm just gonna kind of do it like I would vinegar and see how it comes out.
of these three methods hands-down my favorite for this type of work is the vinegar bath the electrolysis works but it's really fidgety you have all this stuff you need to set up you know this charger and you need to constantly move the anode around to get it evenly across to all the surfaces the vinegar you just.
Dump it in a bucket of vinegar and it seems to work fine the coca-cola works but not as well as the vinegar and it's more expensive there's a lot of products and chemicals out on the market they'll get rid of rust really well and even better than vinegar however I don't know if I want to be putting those chemicals on my cookware and letting it soak for.
Hours at a time the vinegar the coca-cola the electrolysis all it does is loosen the rust it doesn't actually get it off you still have to use some elbow grease to do that you can use a scouring pad at or boy a wire brush a drill an angle grinder whatever helps you can use it I got this little wire adapter at the end of a drill I'm going.
To use it to try to get the remainder of this rust off and if I can't do it I'll put it back in the vinegar and soak it some more well you can see what a difference that's already making getting down to bare cast-iron.
All right well the cast-iron skillets been sitting in the vinegar for another hour and we're gonna see if the more stubborn spots have loosened up let's rinse it off in some vinegar and make sure we got everything that's ten and a half inch skillet is looking really good just a few places to touch.
Up and it'll be done so rinse it off in the vinegar and as you can see it's just all nice and shiny so we are all ready to season this thing you can see here some of the black spots where the electrolysis has already started to work rust is really coming off right there now restoring this pot is going to be a special kind of.
Challenge it's got this broken enamel lining on the inside and I cannot fix it there's really nothing I could do about that so the best thing to do is try to remove the enamel lining probably the best way to get rid of the enamel lining would be a using glass beads in a sandblaster I do not have that equipment so instead I'm going to use this this.
Stripper here on a power drill and hopefully I can take off the enamel this doesn't work I'm gonna upgrade to an angle grinder and see how that does I'm going to be doing this forever at this speed I'm going to try out the angle grinder and see how well that handles.
Well guys I did something stupid hey it was grinding and grinding and grinding away at this enamel and there's an hour into it and you can see how little progress I've made so I thought maybe I could speed this up if I just gently tap it with a ball-peen hammer I can just chip away the enamel and break it off and that would speed up.
The process and I was being extremely gentle and look at this right there just busted a hole right in the caster and it cracked all over this pot is from the 1800s and I just broke it learn from my mistakes first off don't try to buy antique pots with damaged enamel linings they are a pain in the butt second of all don't try to knock the enamel off.
With a hammer this is the one that was soaking in the coca-cola let's get the rust off here there's some serious rust on it this one was really easy only took one soak in the coca-cola and five minutes or so with the English minor and the brush to get it all completely done it wasn't too bad.
Well this griddle is pretty well off so I'm really expecting to do everything quite quickly with just the electric drill well that looks pretty good got the rust off the griddle very easily and now one thing I'm gonna do is I'm gonna smooth.
The surface a little bit now this is a modern-day Lodge cast-iron griddle Lodge deliberately makes their surfaces slightly textured so that it can pre season them that they can and season them quickly and cheaply at the factory so what I'm going to do is I'm going to take this little thing right here and I'm gonna go and hit the surface and.
Just take some of that texture off and that will smooth it out well this is a whole lot smoother and it's still a few pits in here and grooves so there's places for the oil to to bake on in but he'll take fewer layers of seasoning for this to become really excellent nonstick once you.
Remove all the rust the exposed iron is really susceptible to rusting and corrosion and you can happen in a matter of hours so ideally you want to season your cast iron immediately after removing the rust that's not realistic for me today I ran out of time and it's gonna be a couple days before I pick this project up again so I'm gonna leave.
All this cast iron sitting in this vinegar submerged and I'll pick it up again in a couple days and it'll have no corrosion on it look at that just a couple days ago it was solid rust now it's bare cast iron now we need to clean off the caster and get all that dirt and grime and metal shavings off the cast iron now we're gonna do this.
Using soap and water now I know some of you out there thinking oh no you never never use soap and water to clean cast iron that's not true you don't use soap and water to clean seasoned cast iron so at this point we want to get as clean as possible soap is the appropriate thing to do once it's seasoned don't use soap.
And you want to get the water as hot as possible here if you want to know if you did a good job take a white paper towel hang it down the towel comes back relatively clean looking you did a good job and the towel comes back black you know you still have some scrubbing to do once you've got it nice and clean towel dry the cast iron and put it in the of.
It we're just gonna put it in the oven long enough to make sure it's bone-dry gotta admit that's impressive transformation that thing looks good if you have a piece of cast iron that's only lightly rusted you can get rid of the rust simply with soap water and a bit of elbow grease all the electric.
Drills and angle grinders and vinegar isn't necessary for things that just got a little bit a fairly new rust off alright so I've got the cast iron clean I've got it scrubbed washed bone-dry and a little bit warm now it's time to apply the oil to begin seasoning it now I'm going to use organic flaxseed oil with.
No preservatives in it this is just some of the best stuff you can use to seasoned cast iron but you can also use vegetable shortening that you've melted down you can use canola oil some people use coconut oil there's a lot of different things you can use for seasoning one of the most popular ways to season cast iron is to take.
Shortening and wipe it onto a hot piece of cast iron it melts right in and after you've covered every square inch of it with shortening then you take a clean towel and you wipe off all the excess put the cast iron in an oven at 400 degrees for about an hour and then repeat the process two to four times to build up a layer of seasoning now this.
Will get the cast iron darker than flaxseed oil but I prefer flaxseed oil because it's stronger so let me show you how to season it with flaxseed oil coat the warm cast iron in flaxseed oil just like you would shortening and wipe off the excess with a clean towel now we're gonna put it upside down so the oil can drip off alright we're gonna bake it in.
There for one hour at 400 degrees Fahrenheit no matter what type of oil you're using to season your castor and make sure you don't put too much on it after you apply the oil wipe off the excess with the dry clean towel if you flirt with the oil cast iron in the oven it puts off a fair amount of.
Smoke especially you need to do three items at once so got the fan blow and smoke out and I've got the fan hood going full-throttle it was still a little smoking here but after about 15 minutes it cleared up pretty good so heads up don't do it when your wife's at home so you notice how the seasoning on this.
Old skillet is kind of splotchy but the modern-day large skillet it's not that's because of how these skillets are designed modern skillets are kind of bumpy so that they can be pre seasoned very quickly at the factory it takes a lot less time and energy to preseason a slightly bumpy surface the old skillets are smooth.
Time for layer number two but again we're doing it for 400 degrees for one hour so there we go we've got two layers it's looking a little darker so there's the skillet is only the second layer and it should be very smooth to the touch it shouldn't be sticky at all if your pan.
Is sticky that means you haven't cooked it long enough or you've added too much oil or both here's the the lodge pan you can see it's coming along very nice you can see what the griddle looks like after three layers of seasoning well it's hard it's not sticky at all it doesn't have a greasy feel to it so you can see what the skillet looks like.
After three layers pretty darn good but still it's more Brown than black so you can see the modern large skillet this is looking really dark it grabs that seasoning better than the smoother older skillets but it's bumpier it's not quite as smooth so here I am on my last layer of seasoning and the pots and pans skillets.
Aren't quite black yet so I'm putting them in for a number of hours until they just turn black and this is just a way of finishing up the seasoning and making sure that thick layer of seasoning is cooked all the way through yeah check that out I didn't add any more oil to it but just a little bit more time in the oven and it turned perfectly shiny black.
That is gorgeous all right we're gonna do a little bit of troubleshooting here so I'm gonna demonstrate two common mistakes and then show you how to fix them the first is doing too many layers two to four layers is fine six to seven layers isn't necessarily better additionally adding more oil on each layer isn't better so here I am I'm just.
Slopping the oil on as much as I can get on here and I'm gonna cook it in for a total of six layers on all the cast iron here and I'm gonna show you what it does and how to identify it and how to fix it if your layers of seasoning come out bumpy and uneven this is a sign that you're using too much oil you're not wiping off the excess when you turn it.
Upside down the drips of oil are hardening you'll see them along the edge of the skillet especially and they'll break off and expose cast iron and cause weaknesses in your seasoning if you add too many layers of seasoning you'll start to get this bumpy surface that is it as nonstick as it should be you can remove these bumps and blisters.
Through sandy removing the bumps in your seasoning doesn't take a lot of effort so you can sand by hand very easily or use a random orbital sander use 800 to a thousand grit sandpaper and just make a few passes until it's smooth to the touch alright just rinse it off scrub it without using any soap.
Now the fun part guys I'm going to show you how to cook with cast iron alright we're going to put this on a medium heat for about five minutes we're gonna let that pan absorb all that ki that's the beauty of cast iron is it absorbs a lot of heat and distributes it very evenly with no one Catherine fans you are constantly moving the food around with.
Cast iron don't do that stick the meat down and let it sit there until the surface caramelizing then it will release and unstick you can move it yes caramelized just releases once you sear the outside of the steaks turn the heat way down to low then we're.
Gonna slow cook it I'm gonna put some of this Montreal steak seasoning on there I like my steaks to be medium-rare but if you like to cook yours a little bit more thoroughly one of the nice things about cast iron is you can take it and just put it right into the oven and that helps cook the steaks nice and even after you've caramelized the.
Outside and seared in those juices beautiful steaks beautiful now we're gonna cook the vegetables little olive oil just a dash and I'm gonna roll this asparagus around so it's getting the beef juice and the olive oil all mixed up you want all the asparagus coated sprinkle them with some garlic salt make sure you don't overcook the asparagus.
It should Bend but it should still be able to snap if it's floppy you've overdid it all I'm gonna do is just black in the pepper a little bit and sprinkle a little bit of salt on them guys there you go you can see you got a little bit of black on the pepper you're good to go.
You don't want to overdo already got my dirty cast iron skillet here from lunch and all I'm gonna do is just wash it in warm water and scrub it with a scrub brush don't overthink it and don't use soap the trickiest part about cleaning a cast iron skillet is it's hard to see if there's any gunk or residue stuck to it because it's a black you know cast iron.
Let's just use your fingers really quick make sure you don't feel anything stuck to it you're good to go and dry it off really good with the towel all right they're nice and clean dried didn't take you long you don't want to use metal tools like spatulas and tongs and forks too aggressively when using cast iron they can scrape off.
The seasoning and that's what you see here these scratch marks from a pair of metal tongs it's time to clean this pot you can see here it's got tons of grease and soot and all sorts of nasty stuff in there and even this this is old oil I think I was making some campfire Donuts and I didn't clean this thing out heating up the cast iron can make.
Cleaning it a little bit easier you know I still want to be able to handle it but I want to make it pretty hot to the touch water is good for removing a suit and burnt up food but if you try to get grease off often the dry paper towel does better than the scrub brush and.
Water there we go it's all cleaned all right that's how you restore season cook with and clean cast iron so not the only way to do it but it's how I do it and hopefully it'll get you started and you learn something new well thanks for watching guys we hope you enjoyed this.
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Author: Author Link: Youtube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6bFWVB2BRY Category: Channel Name: Outdoor Boys Channel ID: 24 Tags: cast,iron,cleaning,Cast iron,cast iron restoration,restoring cast iron,rusty cast iron,cast iron repair,cast iron skillet,cast iron skillet restoration,restoring cast iron skillet,cast iron pot,cast iron griddle,skillet,griddle,antique skillet,seasoning cast iron,how to season cast iron,cooking with cast iron,cleaning cast iron,how to clean cast iron,how to cook with cast iron,how to restore cast iron,how to repair cast iron,how to restore cast iron skillet,