I love to go flea market and estate sale shopping. When I get a chance I find buetys like this for cheap price and all they need is love.
Step 1: The First Thing I Do Is Clean the Old Beauty Up.
I love cast iron and really it is simple to keep conditioned and to clean. Maintaining this beauty is so easy you might find it will be something you might start to use. Set your oven to 450 degrees F.Take the cast iron and use some tender care with a steel wool and some water. (This will be only time you will ever use water on it again!) After you get the surface rust off as much as possible, you need to dry it completely with a paper towel.
Step 2: Oil Your Surface
Here you can use any cooking oil. Olive, canola, or vegetable are some I have used. I prefer the high smoking oils like olive for the first cleaning! I take a napkin or paper towel , you can even use a rag if you like and I put oil on the surface using my towel, I start with the outside bottom then outside edges. I continue to wipe oil all over the cast iron till it is nice and shinny. This one here is a grill, so before I place it in the oven I will fill bottom inside up to cover the grates.
Step 3: Bake It
Now place your cast iron in the oven and Bake for about 30 to 60 mins depends on the damage, I found out to remember to set the timer because i will forget when I put it in, I always keep busy and have bake a few longer then needed. After the time is up just turn off oven and let it cool in oven, I found if you do this during winter you can prop open door to let the heat warm up the kitchen!
Step 4: Maintaining and Enjoying It for Years to Come!!
when your cast iron is cool but still a little warm in the oven, remove it and empty the oil in a jar to completely cool. ( I keep mine in a mason jar and mark it so i can reuse it to condition and clean new finds I might find.) Take a rag or paper towel and wipe up the excess oil from pan.
Now after you use the skillet or grill pan you will see this is easy to maintain. Never soak your cast Iron in dish water and to clean them you use a lightly damp rag after you take out the food you cooked. never use alot of water, cast iron is not made to be watered or wet.
Last after you cleaned up the food take your oil rag or paper towel and coat the pan with oil by wiping it on just enough to make it shine. Store your pans with old rags between them or even paper towels this way they stay dry.
If you don't use them much I suggest you wipe oil on them at least every 6 months and place them in the oven for 30 mins too ( I do this every 6 months all of them at same time!)
Hope you enjoyed learning how oil is a simple way to make cast iron new again, even if it looks bad. (before and after pics show you the difference) !