I have been looking for a cast iron fry pan for a while. I have been checking the thrift stores but the prices seemed high based on my budget. After checking out new ones, the second hand prices became more appealing and were likely going to be better quality. I should have done some research on line before buying but I lucked out.
Here's what it looked like when I brought it home with a price within my budget. The surface was very rough and black. I liked the weight in my hand and the size at 8 inches was perfect
I started scraping the inside and came to realize that there was a layer of crud which could be scraped off. The bottom was even worse.
There was some writing on the bottom that I could barely make out. Taiwan was one of them.
Upon checking several places on line the verdict seemed to be not favorable for these made in the east. I realized that these were from vintage resellers who were collecting on brands made in the west before 1960. There were a couple places that had restored them and the users were very happy with the pan.
Encouraged, I then searched on-line for the process and the tools required.
A plastic table cloth to protect my working surface, plastic gloves, steel wool, and paper towels. I used a old butter knife as a scraping tool but I see it missed appearing in the photo.
Check out that crud!!
As you can see, this one has been allowed to rust sometime in its life. It took me 3 hours of very hard work to get back down to the metal.
I suspect this one was used on an open fire which would explain the very heavy layer of crud on the bottom. The inside was quite a bit easier to clean.
I was making progress!
As the metal surface was emerging the remaining layers of crud were being revealed. I took time between treatments to scrap the tougher bits.
It was starting to look like it might have when it was new.
I headed for bed late in the night.
Seasoning would be on the agenda for the next day.
The pan underneath is to catch any drips.
After the hour, just turn the oven off and allow the fry pan to cool in the oven.
I look forward to using it. I hope i will get a good sear on a steak, a nice color on Welsh cakes and who know what else.
It was a very interesting experience and very worthwhile.
My body is telling me that it was not happy to have worked so hard and repetitively on this project.
Sharing with Maggie at Normandy Life for Mosaic Monday #30.
I`ve made pancakes, fried steak, and stir fried veggies in it so far! Excellent.
The original numbering system for old cast iron fry pans equated to the eyes (holes) in a wood stove. You would removed the cover to the hole and placed the fry pan directly in the hole which provided direct access to the fire in the stove. Some had ridges on the bottom to help that process. The old fry pan typically have very smooth interiors and are much lighter in weight than those made in after the mid 60s.
I know more about these now so I will take that along during my thrifting. There are a couple in my world who are on the hunt. I will do what I can to help them out.