I was browsing my local Goodwill Store the other day (I love Goodwill, by the way. How could I not? It's like a perpetual garage sale that goes on every day from 10am to 6 pm with new things added daily. What could be better?) and stumbled upon this old cast iron Griswold skillet. My other cast iron is made by Wagner so this would be my first Griswold. I knew for $5 it was going home with me. This is what it looked like when I brought it home:
For the first time in a long time we didn't have anything going on today and so I decided that it would be a good time to clean this skillet up and start the seasoning process.
I went to Orchard Supply Hardware ( I wanted to go to our locally owned hardware store, Hewitt's Hardware (another place I love) but they are closed on Sundays) and picked up several pumice stones--this is the brand I like:
So, I had my supplies:
And I got to work. Now, I am not going to tell you that you won't have to use some major elbow grease even with using the pumice stone, but I can guarantee that it will be easier than without the pumice.
I started using the pumice by accident. I had been trying to clean up a huge 12" cast iron skillet that I had seasoned improperly by using too much oil and I had been scrubbing with a low grade steel wool for what seemed like hours. In frustration I finally headed to Hewitts to pick up a higher grade steel wool hoping that that would start breaking down the gunk. I got the highest grade steel wool but then I happened to see the pumice stone and decided to give it a try. Major improvement!! It is now my tool of choice when trying to break down a gunky seasoning.
This is the skillet at about the halfway point:
I like to use a heavier fat the first time I season a pan--like bacon grease. It just seems to give the pan a better and stronger non stick surface. After the first seasoning I will use any oil I have on hand...olive oil or vegetable oil for subsequent seasonings.
And this is at the point where my new old pan is all cleaned up and oiled down (very lightly) and ready to go in the oven for it's first seasoning:
Hope you all are having a great Sunday and resting up for Thanksgiving this week. By the way if you have any tips about cleaning and seasoning cast iron I would love to hear them.
4 hours ago