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Cleaning Cast Iron Skillets

I read on another board today that you can clean your cast iron skillet by placing it in a cold oven. Turn heat up to 500° and let it go for two hours; then let it cool and scrape off the residue.

Also, if you have a self cleaning oven - just put it the oven and set your oven for clean. When cool remove and scrape off the residue. Has anyone ever done this? Thanks for any information or thoughts on this.

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  1. i have a few cast irons, when they need cleaning I usually spread a thin layer of a good olive oil and put in a hot (450) oven for an hour - cool, wipe ot excess and enjoy - don't over wash them

    1. Sounds like a lot of trouble if you ask me. If I had to put my oven on self clean every time I cooked something or crank it to 500 for 2 hours, I think I would be quite annoyed. Just some hot water and a scrub brush for me. Wipe it dry and set it on the burner for a few mins to completely dry it out. A wipe of oil and it's good to go.

      1. Thanks guys. The inside is just fine it is the outside that is "crusty" from years of use. They were antiques when I got them some 30 years ago. A friend took them to work and sand-blasted them - came out fine, but now they need blasting again, but I don't have a source so I was wondering if the method I posted would work. I do have a self cleaning oven.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Shunick

          If you need a pan cleaned via sandblasting, any car dealer that does collision repairs will have the necessary tools to do the job. Machine shops or people who do weld repairs can also do the job.
          I have used their services to rescue non-stick pans that the coating has begun to wear off. There is no sense tossing a All-clad fry pan just because the Teflon is chipping. 10 minutes of sand blasting and I have a brand new regular fry pan for $20.
          P.S. Make sure to tell them to use walnut shell media, as sand it too aggressive and will eat into the surface.

        2. I'm in the same boat. Inside, beautiful. Outside, years of crustiness. I've been considering putting them into the oven next time I do a self-cleaning cycle.

          1. Hot water, scrub brush, soap if I have to.

            I can't see being bothered with self-cleaning them unless they were truly disgusting. Nor would I consider using good olive oil on them. IMO crisco is the stuff to use when you are seasoning them.