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It also helps that we use the pans frequently. I'll never go back to crisco. My obsessive searching for information on this led me to this page which compares many different oils for their different strengths and weaknesses. Of note is "Grape Seed Oil" where they make the following comment " One caution: it's a fast drying oil so you want to clean up splatter right away because cleaning will be a lot harder in a few days.
On the other hand, this makes it very good for seasoning bare steel and cast iron cookware. So I tried grape seed oil for a couple of months. Everything started to get a gummy residue on it. I have switched back to bacon squeezins, palm oil and sunflower oil. I'm looking around for organic lard since I'm not raising pigs right now. For most folks, this is the big test. When I first started tinkering with cast iron, I thought "I just season the skillet and then the eggs won't stick!
So I reseasoned that skillet about a dozen times and sometimes my eggs would stick and sometimes they wouldn't. I started looking for more information on the internet. The gold mine was forums. People offered tons of advice. I'm pretty sure that I currently use all of the advice I was ever given. At times I try to skip some of the advice only to discover that every little bit helps. I think it somehow comes out of the pancakes as they are cooked.
Sometimes something happens and you need to scrub. And the next time you try to use it, it just doesn't seem as slippery. It doesn't have to be a lot. One teaspoon should be plenty. Try to spread it around evenly. Maybe about three minutes? I've found that medium, or a little lower than medium is the right temperature for almost everything.
Somebody told me that if you flick a little water on the surface, that if the water dances, the cast iron skillet is ready! I usually wait until I see a little smoke. If you are using a little salt and pepper, sprinkle that on the cooking surface before the eggs.
My video of frying eggs on cast iron. First, I fry a single egg on a cast iron griddle. Then, I do a six egg scramble in a cast iron skillet. This is my first ever digital movie. The sound has lots of pops and it took me a really long time to edit it. It's pretty boring, but the important thing is that it gives you a really good idea of how slippery good cast iron should be - and how easy the cleanup is. Sponges and dishrags create homes for festering gick and they have very little ability to remove something that was afixed with high heat.
I find that scrubbies proper name is "non-scratch scour pad" have just the right amount of scrubbing power to take off baked on stuff while minimizing harm to the seasoning layer. I used to use the green plastic stuff, but have now moved on to more natural solutions.
Made from agave fiber and recycled materials. Seems to work just as well as the old green scrubbies. This is something that will be completely different from other pans. With other pans, you generally want to leave a sterile surface. While you can do that sort of thing with cast iron cookware, it is better if you don't. Leaving a little oil and salt behind is a good thing. If you try to wipe at the surface of cast iron cookware with a paper towel afterward, you might get a slight brown or black residue - that's fine.
That's oil and browned oil on its way to becoming part of the cast iron seasoning. Most of the time, everything slides right out and there is no cleanup. As long as the skillet looks clean with a thin film of oil on it, it's ready to be put away! Sometimes something sticks to the cast iron and a bit more cleaning is required.
The first thing that rolls through my mind in this case is to figure out why it stuck and see if there is a way to prevent that in the future. The mission here is to try and get the yucky stuff out and leave as much of the seasoning on the skillet as possible. It is possible to scrub the seasoning off of the cast iron. So, try the gentler approaches first. For any cast iron skillet I have cooked anything with, this is the complete list of things I have ever done to clean a skillet.
The gentlest best approaches are at the top. Do nothing: You have served the food and the cast iron skillet looks plenty clean. Try to shoot for this kind of clean up every time! Wipe with a paper towel: Sometimes this is all that is needed. If this works, you're all done! A little salt: If there is just a little bit of something sticking, and a paper towel alone doesn't do the trick, put a little salt on the little bit of sticky stuff.
The salt usually gives just the right amount of abrasion to remove the sticky stuff without scratching the seasoning off of the cookware. Boil water: Put a quarter inch of water in the cast iron skillet and boil the water in the skillet. You could use the flat edged stainless steel spatula for a little help - being careful to try and leave the seasoning on the cast iron. Pour out the water and then wipe out the skillet with a paper towel. Follow the instructions below for "Drying a clean, wet skillet.
Scrub: First do the boiling water trick - complete with the spatula treatment. Drain the water. If there is still food stuck, use a plastic scrubby thing. I like the kind that is a green rectangle about a quarter of an inch thick. Using a metal scrubby thing is going to take the seasoning off of the skillet. I think that any kind of scrubbing is going to take off some seasoning - so the trick it to take off all the food bits and leave as much seasoning as possible.
If you ever use any water, make sure that you thoroughly dry out the skillet right away. Otherwise you will get rust! It is really important that you use heat to dry the skillet. A towel just isn't going to get it dry enough. I place the skillet on the stove and turn it to high. When the visible water is all gone, I turn the heat off. Keep your full attention on the skillet while the heat is on! I've had people over for dinner that insisted on "helping me" by cleaning my cast iron.
I would mention drying by heat, and they would turn the heat on and get busy with something else. Suddenly the kitchen is full of smoke and the seasoning is all gone! This has happened three times now! This is also a great way to crack a skillet. So I say it again: Keep your full attention on the skillet while the heat is on!
There is moisture in the air that can rust your skillet. What's there is just fine. About half of the people that use cast iron are sworn to never let soap touch it. This concern comes from folks that tried to make soap in cast iron containers.
All soap is made using lye. The lye will destroy the seasoning layer. Lye is a really nasty substance and the only reason I have never tinkered with making soap. Once the soap is made, there is no more lye danger. You can even use soap on your skin. Lye on your skin will probably take your skin off.
The bottom line is that soap and detergent used on cast iron will not harm the seasoning layer. So use soap if you want. Most people don't. I don't. One could say that soap helps to remove bits of food smaller than you can see. I think there is some truth to that. Of course the residual oil will help to preserve that food. And the future fry will kill anything funky that might have grown on that food.
And the food is so small that it cannot be seen, so it really isn't too much of a problem to begin with. I think this is a case where the upside preserving the season and the oil layer has more value than the down side removing 0.
I start with a cast iron skillet with some pretty petrified gunk on it. Boil some water and it pretty much lets go. I then show proper drying and then adding a layer of organic shortening for a seasoning layer. It has to be metal. Some folks will get concerned that the metal will scratch the surface and ruin the skillet, and their thinking is spot on, but the wacky thing is that in this case, we want it to scratch the skillet. But not just any scratching. We want just the right kind of scratching.
Because with just the right kind of scratching, the surface of the skillet will get better and better. Smoother and slicker. Bumps of fused on gick will be scraped off and any pits will be slowly filled in with seasoning. As I travel and people show me their cast iron, I sometimes see a piece that has big black tumors on the cooking surface.
And then I put on my Sherlock Holmes deer stalker cap and deduce "You use a plastic spatula, don't you? At some point something kinda stuck to the skillet. The plastic is not able to scrape it off. And then other little bits got stuck to the first bit. As time passed, this bump got bigger and bigger. If a metal spatula were used, the first little bit would not have been more than a few minutes old before it got scraped off.
These skillets with the big tumors are going to have to have all the seasoning removed and started over. This is the super closeup of the cast iron skillet of my mind showing the original lumpiness of the raw cast iron, followed by layers of seasoning and the occasional bit of stuck on something-or-nuther. The idea in this pic is that a plastic spatula is used.
So the surface is never scratched and lumps and stuff just do their lumpy thing. Now we start with a similar cast iron surface and the only thing we change is that we use a stainless steel spatula with a flat edge. A scratchy edge. But just the right kind of scratchy. As time passes, the peaks of lumpy seasoning get scratched off and the cast iron pits get filled in with seasoning. The cooking surface gets smoother and smoother. Unlike teflon, years of regular cast iron use makes for a better cooking surface.
So now you can see the value of avoiding plastic, or anything other than metal spatulas. Stainless steel is all that I use. I have seen some steel spatulas that rust. I have seen spatulas that have some sort of chrome-ish covering - you really need to avoid that - that stuff flakes off into your food!
Yuck again! Stick with solid stainless steel. Now for a bit of focus on the shape. There is the edge of the spatula that will contact the surface of the skillet, and there are the corners of the spatula that will contact the edge of the skillet. Spatula edge: Nearly all metal spatulas have a slightly rounded edge - those will scratch the surface of our cast iron in a bad way. The surface will end up uneven as the scratches accumulate over the years.
With a flat edge, the surface will become flatter. This can be a bit challenging to find, but don't compromise on this point! A perfectly flat edge will make you much happier in the long run. Spatula corner: The rounded corners are important because the inside edges of the skillet are rounded.
I have a spatula now that is good except that the corners used to be really sharp - not rounded. With years of use, they are starting to get rounded, so where did those little bits of stainless steel go? I musta eaten them! I finally found another spatula that came with rounded corners - I like that much better. Here are the two stainless steel spatulas that I have now. The one on the bottom is the one with the rounded corners. This is the one I like far more than any other spatula I have encountered.
I have a lot to say about this - take a look at my article on care of wood handles in the kitchen. When cooking bacon, I like to save the grease, then use the grease later for eggs, or corn bread, or whatever. This is the way my grandad did it.
He had a little metal container that had a sort of filter at the top. Without the filter, sticky, chunky bits end up in your grease and leads to cleaning hassles. I found a similar contraption that I like much better than the one my grandad had. Mostly becase it is stainless steel and I think my grandad's was aluminum. But this one also uses a screen for a filter instead of a See the picture below.
If you use the grease regularly, you can keep it on the counter - just a little ways away from the stove. Otherwise, you should probably keep it in the fridge. I've heard of folks using a canning jar for this. Storing grease in glass sounds smart to me - but I wonder if all the little bacon bits might somehow not keep well. Some people use a tin can - but I cannot help but think this is a bad idea: The can might leach something into the grease. The jar is far better than the can.
These are hard to find. I would say that only about 1 in 20 kitchen stores will carry even one grease keeper, and even then it is something I wouldn't want. My first stainless steel grease keeper. The metal seems a bit flimsy but this one is the only one with a proper pour spout. I like the mesh screen better than the "holes" approach in all the others - but it doesn't really seem to gain much of anything.
An aesthetic thing, I guess. I would take the lid off and set it on the counter upside down - to keep the bits of grease off the counter. And when spooning out grease, I would put the filter on the upside down lid. My ceramic grease keeper. I gave away my stainless steel grease keeper as a gift and thought this would be better. I was wrong. This ceramic grease keeper needs two hands to move anywhere.
And it's heavy. Opening the fridge with one hand and putting this in the fridge with the other hand doesn't work. The only thing it has going for it is that it is mighty purty. My third stainless steel grease keeper my second is no longer available - which if fine, because the lid was too tight. Of all of the grease keepers that I have ever tried, I like this one the best. I got it for free from pantryparatus.
When filling it, the lid never touches the counter. When scooping out grease, I set the lid and the filter on the counter upside down. The filter slides out easily, unlike my second stainless steel grease keeper. I wish it had a spout though.
I would like to see an invention where you can buy just the lid and filter with a handle and pour spout to go on a mason jar. Note that tomatoes, tomato sauces and other acidic foods eat away at the seasoning. I would generally avoid cooking these in cast iron. Some bacons leave petrified goo on the skillet. This is actually sugar that is used to cure the bacon. Some people call it "bacon brownies" and they fight over who gets to eat it. Frying this kind of bacon almost always leads to needing to boil some water in the skillet to get it all out.
This is a 8 rectangular griswold cast iron griddle. It does fit nicely over two burners on a conventional stove - although I'm not sure if that was the intent. The space beween the two burners does get significantly cooler. I used this a lot for about a year and then moved to using two round griddles instead.
A friend went on and on about how much he liked the rectangular griddle, so I gave it to him. He was proud of how he never used soap on his cast iron and always wanted to chide me on several of my cast iron practices.
He took that beautiful griddle and left it in the rain for the next year. I shoulda sold it on ebay. A magnificent test for those that have mastered getting their eggs to not stick to cast iron: get your waffles to not stick to a cast iron waffle iron. This is a 8 griswold cast iron waffle iron. I bought it off ebay. It arrived covered in rust and cobwebs. I burned off the rust and covered it with sunflower oil.
I made pancake batter with a little extra oil the first time. There was a small amount of sticking, but it quickly passed. I bought an oil sprayer and kept it full of sunflower oil. The whole thing worked out much better than I expected. The idea is that there are two halves that make the griddle. And these two halves rest on a raised "chimney" which channels even heat to whichever half is currently facing down.
When the two halves are together, you can grab the handles and rotated the two halves together so a different half can face the heat. One thing about cast iron skillets is that they have a hot handle. But a very sturdy handle! Not that floppy crap that is screwed on that seems to always manage to get loosey goosey and store bits of gunk where the screws go.
The mitts that look like a mitten are way too small for my freaky big hands. And the rest seem to get filthy really fast. Plus, they seem to disappear and I find myself on a hat pad hunting expedition right when I need to be moving the pan! These handle mitts are just the ticket. The best guess comes from Roy G.
The pans are believed to have been produced between and and were pulled from production shortly thereafter. Interestingly, the spider on the base was embossed rather than inset, meaning it protruded from the pan, and could leave a sort of stamp wherever it was placed.
Yes, Really. By Meghan Overdeep June 21, FB Tweet More. Erie Spider Skillet. Credit: Ebay.
eBay has a selection of cast-iron cookware by Griswold that you can check out. These pans and skillets will make a great addition to her kitchen. A cast-iron. Check out our griswold cast iron selection for the very best in unique or custom, handmade pieces from our cast iron skillets shops. of results for "Griswold Skillets". RESULTS. Price and other details may vary based on product size and color.