I’ve been enjoying the last warm weather of fall by going to a few late garage sales. I scored, among other things, a nice 12-inch Lodge cast iron frying pan—for one American dollar! I wish I had taken some before pictures, here is a shot of the pan ready to use.
This looked to me like one of those pre-seasoned pans that they sell now. I’m guessing that the previous owner didn’t have much experience cooking with cast iron. There was some rust on the pan but no real build up of seasoning. I’m not one to build a fire to burn off a pan, so I pass up pans that are too crusty.
This skillet was perfect. I could see that it would hold enough fish to feed three of us with some left over. I’ve been waiting a long time for a pan of this size and condition to turn up at the right price (yeah, I’m cheap–and patient)!
Sure, it was a little scary looking, but it only took some scrubbing with a pot scrubber and a drop or two of Dawn dish detergent to get rid of the rust and grime. (I know I’m breaking the no-soap rule, but who knows where that pan had been since they cooked their last meal in it–garage, bugs, mice, yeck!) After drying it off good with a towel, I allowed it to warm up and dry completely on low heat on the stovetop. Then I added a generous dab of vegetable shortening to the pan on the stovetop. Once the grease melted, I spread it around the inside of the pan with a paper towel and sopped up the extra to rub into the outside of the pan. Then I heated it some more over low heat. (I’ve also done this in the oven, but the extra grease bakes on and gets tacky. I like the stovetop method better.)
The best way to keep a pan seasoned is to use it regularly–so the next thing I did was make some supper. I started out crumb coating and frying up some yellow summer squash and then wiped out the pan and coated and fried some fish fillets in olive oil. (Nice mild fish–not stinky.)
The pan cooked food evenly with no hot or cold spots. I think I’ll cook up some bacon and eggs next! Begonia