I’ve got a love for cast iron. A cast iron skillet with a good patina will cook much better than any of those fancy, new-age, carcinogenic Teflon pans. I take very good care of mine, and it takes care of me. Just ask Courtney – I don’t even let her touch it without permission! I demand to be supervising any time she asks to use it for something.
I bought a pair for less than 8 dollars (one was Griswold brand and the other just had a “C” on the bottom) and got one for free. That’s because they were sitting in people’s back yards full of water. These poor things were rusting so badly that the rust was coming off in flakes. The sight was bad enough to make a grown man cry. I had to save them, so I actually paid money for them.
Back at home, I got out my trusty Dewalt 18V cordless drill and put a wire brush in the chuck.
Then I went to town on that poor, neglected piece of cookware. After an hour or so of grinding away on it, the pan is looking much better. Take it into the house and wash it well in the sink. Side Note: Never use soap on cast iron.
To season, I put it on the stovetop and get it nice and hot. Then I begin with a paper towel with some vegetable oil and wipe the whole thing down. Let it get nice and hot again and keep doing this several more times. It’ll get pretty smokey, so keep the window open. You are baking on layers of oil that will create the patina, or the non-stick surface. Once you’ve got a nice layer going, you’ll be amazed at how well it works for cooking. I cook scrambled eggs in each of my skillets and cleaning them is a breeze.
Another side note: never cook tomato sauce or any other acidic foods in cast iron lest you lift the patina. Use stainless steel instead.
To clean up after cooking, I always wait until the pan cools down. You could crack cast iron if you expose a hot pan to cold water. Once cool enough, run under water and scrub with a stiff-bristled brush. No soap necessary. Dry off and place back on the stove on medium heat for a few moments. Once hot again, wipe down with an oiled paper towel again to protect until the next time you use.