Wednesday, July 25, 2012

REFURBISHING THOSE GRISWOLDS!!

From My Own Little Corner

Last fall I rejuvenated some nasty cast iron skillets that needed to be redone. I didn't get any pictures before I started, but I did get some after I got done incinerating the gunk, after scouring, and after the first seasoning. They are beautiful!!! This is something that I have long wanted to do, but never really knew how. I have had these skillets languishing in the back room for several years now, after picking them up at a garage sale. So I googled it! LOL Oh, how I love Google!!! Here is what I did to get my skillets back to where they were when they were used by their original owners! I found that the first thing I needed to do was put them in the oven, with the shelf on the lowest position, and then turn the oven to self clean. That done, I went about my merry way, taking care of Kerwin, my little bunny. While doing this, hubby came to the door and asked me "Uh, how long is this going to take? It is getting a bit smokey in here.". Thank goodness I had opened the windows, turned on the hood fan, and the attic fan, before I went outside, because when I came back in the house, smoke was roiling out of the back of the oven, Baby Kitty was caterwauling, the smoke detectors were beeping, and the house looked like a scene right out of the movie THE FOG!! Oh, my word! Talk about smoke....whew, and stink!!! So I walked outside and called my mom...she told me Grammy used to build a big fire in the yard and put her's in the fire to burn them off. I said, "now you tell me!" She thought it was hilarious!!! lol In about 40 minutes the smoke died down, the house cleared out, and shortly thereafter, we were able to shut off the attic fan. Did I mention it was only 50 degrees outside??? After 3 hours in the self clean cycle, then another hour cooling down, this is what they looked like:
Now most of this is just dust, and easily wiped off, but then you need to scour them with steel wool. After a thorough cleaning, this is how they looked:
The next step is to thoroughly dry by placing on the stove top on medium heat until they are heated through. Let the skillet cool, then coat with a very thin layer of Crisco, oil, or lard. Lard works best, and is what was traditionally used. Part of my errand run yesterday was to restock my lard supply:
Then wipe them down until they look dry...they will have plenty of lard left on them and return them to the oven at 450* for an hour for the first cycle of seasoning. This is how they turned out:
They then went into the oven for their second seasoning. After they cooled, I did it one more time, and now have a wonderful set of cast iron to cook in...all natural, no coatings, and non-stick! These skillets will last several generations, and the more they are used, the more seasoned they will become. The large skillet with the hammered finish is anywhere from 80-100 years old, the #8 Griswold is about the same...the small skillet I have no idea and may have been made more recently. I also did a new covered stew pot with bail. It only took one treatment. Hope that this will help those that are thinking about going back to old style, non-stick cooking, get started! Good luck and enjoy those Griswolds! ~Stef~ Lodge Logic 3-Quart Fry Pan - Lodge Logic

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the information! I have an old skillet that looks terrible, and I have thought about giving to the Goodwill or to the American Kidney Foundation. Not now. I don't trust a lot of the new coatings because of the possibilities of carcinogens in them.

Anonymous said...

Are these skillets and pots worth much? I would love to clean up ones that belonged to my grandmother, but is it worth the effort? Can I use Brillo Pads on them with damaging them?

Stephanie (and Walter) said...

I am so glad that I was able to help you find the information to refurbish them. They are wonderful to cook with, especially if you are making cornbread! :)

Stephanie (and Walter) said...

These skillets are worth quite a bit, especially the Griswolds and older ones. I would say that it is definitely workth refurbishing them. If you decide you don't want them, please don't throw them away...they are a very valuable piece of cookware. The entire process of cleaning them only takes an afternoon and that includes the baking off of the gunk. I can guarantee you that once they are done you will not be sorry! As for cleaning them, once they are seasoned, the only thing that you need to do is clean them with a dish rag, then heat them on the stove to dry. If something does happen to stick, just use a scotch brite pad. They are some of the best non-stick pans ever made! :)