I inherited my grandmother's cast iron skillet.

Discussion in 'Cooking Equipment Reviews' started by scottysatan, Jan 19, 2015.

  1. scottysatan

    scottysatan

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    She used it to fry a thousand chickens. It's a Griswold, and I think it's from the 50's. I've been using it happily for years in "as is" condition, but it's got a thick crust of carbon all around, inside and out. The carbon is about 2mm thick in some places outside. The carbon thickness varies on the inside base where the food lies, making me wonder if it would lead to uneven heat. But if I pour in a few whisked eggs, they cook uniformly. That was the best test I could think of for uneven heat. 

    Do you think it could do a better job at this stuff or be more versatile if I treated this in some way? Maybe strip and re-season? Will the carbon significantly insulate the iron? 

    I think the skillet does a great job for what I like to use it for: pizza, cornbread, pancakes, frying, and I'm inclined to leave it alone but wonder what you would do and why. Also, the skillet is butt-ugly from all of that crud.
     
  2. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Spray oven cleaner on it then let it sit. Then try soaking it in a vinegar solution overnight
     
  3. chefwriter

    chefwriter

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    If you want to clean it, Chefedb's suggestion will certainly work. 

    There really isn't any need to clean it. That "crud" is a really well seasoned pan. 

         I worked in a kitchen once that used such  skillet for their fried chicken. I had never seen a cast iron skillet with so much coating on it.

    One day I thought I would "help" the chef by cleaning the crust off the pan. Fortunately a fellow cook stopped me. "If you touch that pan, Chef John will KILL you." He wasn't kidding. 

    In my opinion, cleaning it makes it just another cast iron pan. That thick layer of seasoning is there because the your grandmother's use. In all those years, she never removed it. There is a reason for that. You don't have a cast iron pan. You have a heritage piece of cookware that will serve you well for years to come. 
     
  4. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    Unless there is rust under the "crud" I'd leave it alone and use the pan.  That's Grandma's crud, after all, so it's sure to be good crud.
     
  5. sailorma

    sailorma

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    I place my cruddy black iron pans in a hot wood stove to burn them clean they come out like new then I just re season them.