I admit it, in the past I've neglected the well being of my cast iron skillet. It was always good to me but sadly I had not returned the favor.
While my skillet came from the factory nicely seasoned and ready to use, a year of inattention has taken it's toll. Gone was the once smooth cooking surface so I went to my usual reference library, Google.
This instructable shows how to strip down a pan and build it back up into something invaluable to your kitchen.
Step 1: Scrub, Wash and Start Over
- One sick cast iron vessel
- One box of scouring/steel wool pads
- One comically over sized block of LARD
- (Optional but recommended) BACON
Once clean I thoroughly dried the pan and continued to Step 2 "Largmageddon"
Step 2: Pan Meet Lard
I unwrapped my lard block (aka porky crayon) and gave the entire pan a nice coat. As I mentioned in the previous step the instructions I found online suggested you also lightly season the outside of the pan. So both sides got a nice coat of fragrant lard. This was a pretty simple step but clearly the most fun part.
Step 3: Baked, Cooled, Wiped, Beautiful.
I placed a foil wrapped half sheet pan on the bottom of my oven and placed the skilled upside-down in the rack above. Baking the skillet upside-down reduces the amount of fat that pools on and around the pan. I set the over to 275oF and left it bake for about 2 hours.
At the end of the baking and cool down period I tossed the pan back on a burner, heated it up a bit and wiped any remaining lard deposits out of the inside.
After the final wipe-down the pan was nice and slick and ready for cooking copious amounts of bacon, which (while not pictured) I assure you occurred.