Monday, April 13, 2009

How To Clean An Iron Skillet With Salt

[7 eggs this morning] [+4 in afternoon] = 11
Since Kristine and I are taking the day off again I don't have any Spring cleaning photos today. Sorry. But as I was getting ready to make Kristine an egg for breakfast I thought that a post about cleaning my iron skillet might work.

About 60 years ago I knew a lady who taught me this method of cleaning iron skillets with salt.
Everybody may already know this, but here goes.

She told me that she used to work in a hotel and was helping the cook one evening and took it upon herself to clean a skillet.

The cook about took her head off when he caught her cleaning a skillet with soap and water.

After blowing his top! He proceeded to show her how to properly clean an iron skillet.
No water or soap or scrubby things, etc., ever!

He said to use dish cloths and salt and rub the salt around until you have everything loose and then wipe it away.

Works great, except I am bad and use paper towels. I'm not into washing and bleaching dish cloths.

See. Pretty skillet. Finish like teflon.

I use olive oil and a little butter in my skillet
to fry an egg.
The old timey flipper was a find at a flea market.
The green paint on the handle was coming off when I got it
and has finally all disappeared in the dish washer.
Yeh, bad I know. But I believe in using stuff.

Anyway, there is an actual fresh out of the chicken egg
cooking in my salt clean skillet.

Clean up after cooking the eggs.
I used the salt scrubby method on the flipper too.

I even tried the salt scrubby method on the grey metal
finish on the burner grates.
But nothing I have tried will get them clean.
So, this summer my plan is to put the grates
in a big black plastic garbage bag,
spray them with oven cleaner,
close up the bag and let them sit for a day.
Hope it works.

This is so cool!
I love the shiny black surface all ready for cooking.
I clean all my iron ware this way.

Here is another method... Throw the skillet in the wood stove? What? Yes, I read about this method of cleaning a very messed up skillet. The fire will burn off all the crud and then you will just have to clean off the ash, and spend some time seasoning the finish. I remember reading about wiping the clean skillet with crisco and baking the skillet. Check the internet. There are lots of methods for seasoning iron ware.

I have some old skillets I bought at a flea market
but I haven't gotten brave enough to throw
them in the wood stove.
Mainly because I put them away and can't remember
where they are.
I hope to find them during the Spring cleaning binge.

Times I have had to remove burned stuff
I soaked the burned area with oil until it's soften,
then use a flipper to take out the big stuff
and then scrubbed with salt.

I have to admit that I have used water
a few times when I was desperate,
but then it has taken quite awhile to restore
the teflon like finish to the skillet.

And once Tom put a skillet in the dishwasher!
Oh, that was sad, sad. sad!

There are many, many sites on the internet
that give info on the care and cleaning
of iron ware.
I use this method because it is easy, and works for me.

I get away with using the olive oil because the pans
don't sit around for a long time before being used again.
After all, butter and olive oil can go rancid.
So, if a skillet is going to be put away,
after the salt rub I oil it with corn oil and
put a paper towel in and under the skillet
to retard rusting.
I have forgotten to put down the paper towels
and hauled out a skillet later only to find
rust where the skillet has touched another skillet.
Store your skillet upside down!
Makes life easier.


1 comment:

LindaG said...

Well, I did not know that about iron skillets. I bought an Emeril Lagasse iron pan for frying chicken (Have yet to have any turn out right, haha), and it talked about cleaning with soap and water.
I never use soap. I have used warm water. Then I would coat with oil and re-season it. Doesn't look as good as yours though, so I definitely want to try that. Especially since my stove is broke and it's hard to season on the grill.

Do you use sea salt or regular table salt? :)