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Old 11-29-2015, 06:02 PM   #127
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For anyone interested in flea market shopping for cast iron I would like to pass on a very easy method to clean and restore a piece that has been abused over its life. So, here goes: Find someone with a wood burning stove with a door large enough for your piece to fit through. With a hearty wood fire carefully put your beat up/ filthy cast iron piece into the fire resting solidly on the burning logs. Leave it in for awhile ( few hours will work nicely). Now, here you gotta be real careful. With tongs carefully, very carefully, remove your piece of cast iron. Careful now it might be glowing red hot. Rest it on some logs to keep it elevated and leave it to cool down. When cool it will be as good as new and require traditional seasoning. It has worked every time for me but I suggest inspecting the piece beforehand to make sure there are no cracks or faults.

Dittoes. This absolutely works. It burns off all the rust and junk. If you don't have a wood stove you can do this in a self- cleaning oven but it may give some smoke off. I've used an open fire outdoors as well. If the iron is in good shape it comes back great. Just don't get any water near it when it's super hot😄


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Old 11-29-2015, 07:27 PM   #128
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Originally Posted by polarlyse View Post
For anyone interested in flea market shopping for cast iron I would like to pass on a very easy method to clean and restore a piece that has been abused over its life. So, here goes: Find someone with a wood burning stove with a door large enough for your piece to fit through. With a hearty wood fire carefully put your beat up/ filthy cast iron piece into the fire resting solidly on the burning logs. Leave it in for awhile ( few hours will work nicely). Now, here you gotta be real careful. With tongs carefully, very carefully, remove your piece of cast iron. Careful now it might be glowing red hot. Rest it on some logs to keep it elevated and leave it to cool down. When cool it will be as good as new and require traditional seasoning. It has worked every time for me but I suggest inspecting the piece beforehand to make sure there are no cracks or faults.
You can achieve the same thing running your cast iron through the self clean cycle of your oven. It reduces everything that isn't iron to ash. Season as usual and enjoy.
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Old 11-29-2015, 09:30 PM   #129
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Nothing better than AS camping with Cast Iron!! Well seasoned cast iron is easy and fast clean up. Usually a nylon brush, plastic scraper and a little hot water does it, then wipe on a thin coating of cooking oil, and it will be ready for the next meal! After a lot of failures, I finally went to a class on cast iron camp cooking. The thing I learned was never use soap to clean well seasoned cast iron, and now I never use metal utensils with cast iron because metal utensils damage the seasoning of cast iron. I was never able to successfully dutch oven cook with cast iron over a wood fire, so I only use the charcoal method because it is so easy to control the temperature by following the charts on how many briquets to put on the lid and how many under the dutch oven.
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Old 11-30-2015, 06:50 AM   #130
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My very first Dutch Oven was a 10", picked up for $15 in a junk shop in West Virginia in about 1972.

It was old, then, and the entire surface at manufacture had been treated with a ball peen (sp?) hammer.....lid and sides covered with little round impressions. Never seen anything like it since.

I would take a picture but it is up on the soffit over my kitchen cabinets. Maybe later.

It had sat in that shop awhile, and who knows where it came from, but smelled strongly of rancid grease. The shop owner told me most folks who used their cast iron every day never really washed it, but simply wiped it out before the next use. Best way to keep it seasoned was to use it and respect its need for a good coating on it, I was told.

The suggestion then was to scour it out throughly with an SOS pad, then re-season in the oven, which is what I did. A couple of times, as I recall, before the rancid taste was gone.

Raised my kids with that DO, frying chicken and bacon, making soups, stews, chili, etc.

It has held up well, tho not used as often now....my kids know the story attached to it, so will cherish it and care for it after I am gone.

If you are ever out West and see a sign for a pioneer museum, be sure to stop, as these are great places to see an excellent assortment of hearth and fire cooking items..... old trivets, especially, and other things you rarely see for sale these days

There is a Forums member here who has a gallery in Taos, NM, is enamored with and very connected to fire cooking....and cooks during the winter on the small fireplace hearths which are in each room of their gallery.

Reproduction Indian cooking pots, on iron trivets he has had made for that purpose.

Maybe he will chime in here, tho I don't see him on the Forums often.


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Old 11-30-2015, 08:13 PM   #131
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Maggie, What is the name of the gallery in Taos, NM? We will be there between Christmas and New Years and would like to make sure we stop in.

Thanks

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Old 11-30-2015, 09:02 PM   #132
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It is Tres Estrellas design.

They are at 208 Ranchitos Road, Unit A.

They have rather irregular hours, so I suggest emailing or calling them to check when they will be open. 575-770-7287. info@tresestrellasdesign.com

Chris and Carla.....he designs antique reproduction furniture, she weaves.

They are special.

Tell them Maggie sent you.


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Old 11-30-2015, 10:04 PM   #133
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Nothing better than AS camping with Cast Iron!! Well seasoned cast iron is easy and fast clean up. Usually a nylon brush, plastic scraper and a little hot water does it, then wipe on a thin coating of cooking oil, and it will be ready for the next meal! After a lot of failures, I finally went to a class on cast iron camp cooking. The thing I learned was never use soap to clean well seasoned cast iron, and now I never use metal utensils with cast iron because metal utensils damage the seasoning of cast iron. I was never able to successfully dutch oven cook with cast iron over a wood fire, so I only use the charcoal method because it is so easy to control the temperature by following the charts on how many briquets to put on the lid and how many under the dutch oven.
amaier7771 post #129

And I thought that I had something unique! To my surprise I see your post including the waffle maker. This past Fall, caravaning with four other Airstreamers, we happened to be camping in Hard Labor State Park in GA. In a little town nearby by there was a flea market on the town green. Well, that was my first dutch oven purchase, a 20 quart cast iron. I was convinced by my friends that this would be a great learning process, for the fist time to cook a pork butt in the oven, well how did I do for the first time, see the picture. As for the waffle maker, that was bought at an antique store in downtown Dade City, FL when we were at a rally this past Fall at Travelers Rest.
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Old 12-01-2015, 06:40 AM   #134
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I have one like this, picked up somewhere many years ago, and used on my gas stove top with the pan rest removed.

These were originally made to use on wood cook stoves, but work great over a gas flame.

There is a pie iron waffle maker available, that makes a beautiful waffle, too.

Fill it, stick it on the coals, and......voila!

The panini press pie iron is a nice size and also a good one to have. As well as sandwiches, you can put two chicken breasts or pork chops in there, sausages, etc., then cook directly on your fire.

Doug and I used to do this regularly, and a favorite he perfected was two salmon filets in the panini press....spray the inside with Pam, lay two salmon fillets in there, sprinkle topside with blackened fish seasoning, and close. We would carry Matchlight charcoal for just this purpose.

Have 12 charcoal briquettes lit and ready to cook with, arrange 6 of these into 3 tight rows, place pie iron on top, arrange the other 6 on top.

20 minutes later, perfectly done on both sides, and delicious.

I don't have any pictures of this, but we would usually do this on a square of heavy duty foil right outside the Interstate....makes for very easy cleanup.


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Old 12-01-2015, 07:37 AM   #135
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Maggie,

Good looking waffle iron. I bought one and that takes a bit of practice to feed more than one or two. I used a Coleman stove but made one boo boo. When all done I oiled it but when I flipped it some oil ran out onto stove. Made more of a mess than I wanted.
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Old 12-01-2015, 08:18 AM   #136
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They take a bit of practice....right amount of heat, but particularly for the right quantity of batter .... so it doesn't run out the sides.

They are a bit slow for a family or a crowd.

But....fun!


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Old 12-01-2015, 11:50 AM   #137
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I've had no real issue cooking with metal utensils on my cast iron. Been doing it for years. As long as i keep it oiled after using it. I actually clean mine with a 7 inch square piece of chain mail. Now I don't try to gouge into the iron with it, I just use it to get all the cling-ons off.
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Old 12-01-2015, 12:12 PM   #138
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I use nothing but metal utensil also and have no problems. I can't imagine the pioneers were using silicone spatulas, either.
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Old 12-01-2015, 12:32 PM   #139
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The pioneers were using cast iron or wooden utensils, which I think are naturally easier on cast iron.

I do think the stainless steel spoons, forks, spatulas, etc., can scratch the surfaces, and I try to avoid those when possible....tho hard to do that completely.


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Old 12-01-2015, 07:39 PM   #140
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You are correct, the pioneers did not have have silicone spatulas, or propane stoves, and "spray PAM".

I know there are "chuckwagon" cooking clubs that focus on authenticity of what it may have been like to cook on Oregon or Santa Fe Trail on the way to a new and better life.

This last September we camped in our AS along the Oregon Trail thru Idaho and Oregon, stoping at many historical museums and sites, even attending a Dutch Oven class put on by a Park Ranger at the Massacre State Park in Idaho. It was an enjoyable educational trip, that fundamentally left me somewhat humbled, as we traveled in our AS and all its amenities.

I still wonder if I would have had what it took to make that trip in a covered wagon with all the dangers and hardships they endured. My Grandfather who was born to North Dakota Pioneer Homesteaders used to say that "The Good Old Days" were not really that good, they were difficult, and I am sure that my great Grandmother would have been happy to to have refrigeration, gas stove, spray PAM, and a "silicone spatula"...

Sorry my post is drifting off topic!!

ONE LAST THING: I have found that the perfect Waffle in an OLD Cast Iron waffle maker results when I can use my "laser temperature gun" to make sure both sides of the cast iron waffle iron is at 400 degrees when I pour the batter in and turn it over to the other side every 30 sec until the steam stops coming out!!!! (back on topic....)
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