When Titus and I got married I bought the Rachel Ray pots and pans set. My mom tried to tell me that it might not be the healthiest way to cook, but I told it was fine since I had made sure that it wasn’t aluminum.
What I failed to research though, are the health risks connected to cooking on non-stick cookware. The more I’ve read about it the more I’m convinced that it isn’t the way I want to go with my pots and pans. There are so many things I want to do or buy to help my family be healthy and can’t afford it. But cooking on something healthier is something I can do help protect my family. So in the last few months I have decided to switch to cast iron cookware. There are a lot of benefits to cooking on cast iron which this post isn’t about, go google it yourself. 😉
This post is about inheriting two of my grandmother’s pans. Okay I didn’t really inherit them in the sense that she left to directly to me. When my grandparents died everything was left in the house that they had lived in. I asked my aunt and uncle if I could have any of the cast iron pans that were left in the house. They said sure, so I have two of them. Since they haven’t been used in such a long time they needed to be stripped and re-seasoned. I think one of the very best things about cast iron is that you can’t ruin it! I even read about a guy that fixed his cast iron pan that broke in two. When considering having a large family having indestructible things around is a good idea! 🙂
I got a really neat square pan. I’ve never seen one like the before! It’s great for french toast!
And I got a regular round one.
And at a second hand store a few weeks ago I found this cute little guy.
The following directions did not originate with me. I followed this blog post pretty much to the T:
All I did was spray oven cleaner on each pan and let it soak for a few days. She recommends wearing gloves when you do this. I recommend wearing gloves for each stage! This process is very hard on your hands. I ended up with very very dry hands with multiple burns!
Sprayed with oven cleaner:
soaking in trash bags
After a few days I wiped them all off with paper towels and sprayed them again and let them sit another few days. After that I soaked them in water and vinegar for about 60 min.
After that I scrubbed them down and put them in a super hot oven, 500 degrees. I only had olive oil on hand to grease them with. Next time I’d like to try lard and see how that works. Every 30 minutes I had to put more oil on and every 15 minutes I had to wipe them down to avoid pooling. Even doing this my round pan did pool a little bit.
After letting them cool completely this is what they look like now:
Julia’s pans are very golden, and I’m not sure why mine didn’t turn out the same way. The only way I could get mine to look that way was to have my flash on when I took the picture.
And the first thing I cooked in each one (just to prove nothing blew up!)
Pork and Mandarin oranges
Fried egg. It’s going to take some time getting used to cooking on cast iron. It’s a really hot pan so my eggs bubbled up a little bit.
And monkey bread (I love the fact that you can bake in the pans too!)
I do think I was too fast in trying to re-season my pans. I think I should have let them sit a few more days in the trash bags with oven cleaner. I was in such a hurry though because I really wanted to write this post. 😉 And because I had already boxed up my other pots and pans and needed these. Also I just happened to be doing this project the week Gideon kind of freaked out and was crying all. day. long. I just wanted to be done with the pans. The round one especially doesn’t look great, and today after cleaning it I think I saw some rust which means I didn’t scrub all of it off after the vinegar soak. I do regret being so fast to get it done. But the good thing is that I didn’t ruin the pans. I can always re-season them again if I want to. And maybe not do all of them at the same time so I’m not so hard up for pans.
I wish my grandma was still alive so I could ask her where she got the pans. Did they originate with her? Or did she get some passed down from a mother or grandmother? I’ll never know, but it’s still special cooking on them. Maybe one day I’ll pass them down to Faith, and she can cook on her great-grandmother’s pans. 😀