Re-seasoned cast iron cookware

  • First, if you find your cast iron needs to be stripped down and re-seasoned do not fear. All you have to do is place the utensil in your Self Cleaning Oven on the shortest cleaning cycle (usually 3 hrs. on most models), and it will come out looking like the day it came out of the mold. Allow it to cool overnight. Wash the residue off with WATER ONLY in the sink using a stiff abrasive pad. Make certain NO DISH SOAP comes in contact with the utensil during this procedure. If it does you will have to start over!!! Dry the cast iron utensil off with a paper towel, and IMMEDIATELY place BACK in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes or so.
  • Next, take the utensil out of the oven after the 10 minute drying time is complete, and lightly brush the utensil with a paper towel coated with Crisco or other solid cooking oil. Liquid vegetable oil will do in a pinch, but it's better to save the liquids until AFTER your initial seasoning. It is important in this step only to lightly coat the cast iron with a light, thin coat of oil until it only glistens. Do not allow any puddles or pools of liquid as this will cause problems at a later time.
  • Then, place the Cast Iron in the oven set to 500 to 550 degrees Fahrenheit with the COOKING SIDE FACING THE BOTTOM OF THE OVEN. This allows for any excess oil to drain off to the sides, and prevents pooling during the seasoning process. The higher heating temps allows for the oil to truly 'cook' as it should as opposed to just 'gumming up' at lower temps. Cook undisturbed for 1 hour.
  • Please note: During the previous step it will be best to turn off any smoke alarms in the immediate area as it may smoke quite a lot. Ceiling fans also aid in ventilation.
  • Finally, after your cast iron is finished seasoning for 1 hour or so, take it out of the oven and IMMEDIATELY wipe it down with another extra – light coat of Crisco. Allow it to completely cool.

Crusty Pan


  • For crusty cast ironware that you inherited or picked up at a garage sale: Your cookware may have some combination of rust and thick crackly black crud. It can be restored fairly easily to good as new condition! First place the cookware in a self-cleaning oven and run one cycle OR place in a campfire or directly on a hot charcoal fire for 1/2 hour, until dull red. The crust will be flaking, falling and turning to white ash. Then, after allowing to cool a bit to avoid cracking your cast iron,use the following steps. If you have more rust than crust, try using steel wool to sand it off.
  • Wash your cast iron cookware with warm water and soap using a scouring pad. If you have purchased your cast iron cookware as new then it will be coated in oil or a similar coating to prevent rust. This will need to be removed before seasoning so this step is essential
  • Dry the cookware thoroughly, it helps to put the pan in the oven for a few minutes to make sure it's really dry. Oil needs to be able to soak into the metal for a good seasoning and oil and water don't mix.
  • Coat the pot or pan inside and out with lard, Crisco, bacon fat, or corn oil. Ensure that the lid is also coated.
  • Place both the lid and the pot or pan upside down in your oven at 300F for at least an hour to bake on a "seasoning" that protects the pan from rust and provides a stick-resistant surface.
  • For best results repeat steps three and four and five.
  • Ongoing care: Every time you wash your pan, you must season it. Place it on the stove and pour in about 3/4 tsp. corn oil or other cooking fat. Wad up a paper towel and spread the oil across the cooking surface, any bare iron surfaces, and the bottom of the pan. Turn on the burner and heat until smoke starts to appear. Cover pan and turn heat off.



  • If food burns, just heat a little water in the pan, and scrape with a flat metal spatula. It may mean that re-seasoning is necessary.
  • If you're washing the cast iron too aggressively (for instance with a scouring pad), you will regularly scrub off the seasoning. Wash more gently or repeat oven-seasoning method regularly.
  • If your pan develops a thick crust, you're not washing it aggressively enough. Follow "crusty pan" instructions.
  • If storing your Cast Iron Dutch oven for any length of time, it is always best to place one or two paper towels in between the lid and the oven to allow for air flow.
  • Also, after cleaning after each use it is always best to place it back in the oven on 350 degrees for 10 minutes or so to ensure all water has vaporized and left the surface of the cast iron.


  • Do not cook tomatoes and other acidic foods in your cast iron cookware unless it has been well seasoned.
  • Washing pans with detergent after they have been seasoned will break down the seasoning. Either wash without detergent (if you're cooking similar foods with the pan, this is fine) or repeatedly oven-season your cookware.

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    Recipe Ingredient Substitutes

    Copied from Old Recipe Book

    Here’s some quick recipe substitutes for those times when you think you have all the ingredients. For instance, when you get ready to make a dessert and it calls for a can of sweetened condensed milk and you haven’t any, you don’t have to run out to the store to get some.

    Sad Recipe

    I didn’t have potatoes so I substituted rice.
    I didn’t have paprika so I used another spice.
    I didn’t have tomato sauce. I used tomato paste…
    A whole can, not a half can… I don’t believe in waste.
    A friend gave me the recipe, she said you couldn’t beat it,
    There must have been something wrong with her, I couldn’t even EAT it!

    Recipe Substitutes

    Allspice – 1 teaspoon = 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
    Apple pie spice – 1 teaspoon =1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon cardamon
    Baking powder – 1 teaspoon = 1/4 teaspoon baking soda plus 5/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
    Baking powder – 1 teaspoon = 1/4 teaspoon baking soda plus 1/2 cup buttermilk or sour milk (decrease liquid by 1/2 cup)
    Baking powder – 1 teaspoon = 1/4 teaspoon baking soda plus 1/2 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice used with sweet milk to make 1/2 cup liquid (decrease liquid by 1/2 cup)
    Bread crumbs 1/3 cup, dry = 1 slice bread
    Bread crumbs 1/3 cup, dry = 1/4 cup, soft 1 slice bread
    Bread crumbs 1/3 cup, dry = 1/4 cup cracker crumbs or 1/4 cup cornmeal
    Bay leaf – 1 whole = 1/4 teaspoon crushed
    Broth – 1 cup = 1 bouillon cube
    Broth – 1 cup = 1 teaspoon powdered bouillon in 1 cup boiling water
    Bouillon – 1 cube = 1 teaspoon powdered bouillon
    Bell Pepper – 1 tablespoon dried = 3 tablespoon fresh chopped
    Butter – 1 cup = 7/8 cup shortening or 7/8 cup oil or 1 cup margarine
    Oil is not a direct substitute for solid fats in baked products.
    Use recipes formulated for oil if a product made with oil is desired.
    Buttermilk – the same amount of yogurt can replace buttermilk
    Light Brown Sugar – 1 cup = 1 cup white sugar and 1 teaspoon molasses
    Dark Brown Sugar – 1 cup = 1 cup white sugar and 1 tablespoon molasses
    Catsup – 1 cup = 1 cup tomato sauce plus 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tablespoon vinegar (for cooking use)
    Chocolate – 1 ounce= 3 tablespoon cocoa + 1 tablespoon shortening
    Chocolate chips – 1 ounce = 1 ounce sweet cooking semi-sweet chocolate
    Chocolate – 1 ounce = 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa plus 1 tablespoons fat
    Cocoa – 1/4 cup = 1 ounce chocolate and omit 1/2 tablespoon fat
    Corn syrup – 1 cup = 1 cup sugar plus 1/4 cup liquid
    Cracker crumbs – 3/4 cup = 1 cup bread crumbs
    Cornstarch – 1 tablespoon = 2 tablespoons flour
    Egg – 1 whole = 3 tablespoons beaten egg
    Egg – 1 whole = 2 egg whites or 2 egg yolks
    Egg – 1 whole = 1/4 cup egg substitute
    Flour, for thickening – 1 tablespoon = 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
    Flour, for baking – 1 cup sifted = 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons unsifted flour
    Flour, for cooking – 1 cup sifted = 3/4 cup whole wheat flour and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    Flour for cake – 1 cup = 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    Flour, self-rising – 1 cup = 1 cup minus 2 teaspoons flour plus 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt

    Garlic – 1 clove = 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
    Garlic – 1 clove = 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
    Ginger – 1/8 teaspoon = 1/2 teaspoon raw ginger
    Honey – 1 cup = 1 1/4 cups sugar and 1/4 cup liquid
    Horseradish – 1 tablespoon fresh = 2 tablespoons prepared
    Lemon Juice – 1 teaspoon = 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
    Lemon – 1 whole = 3 tablespoons juice plus 2 teaspoons rind
    Lemon rind – 1 teaspoon = 1/2 teaspoon extract
    Milk – Believe it or not, 1 1/2 lbs of zucchinni, peeled and pureed, will replace 2 cups of milk when baking.

    Onion – 1 small = 1 tablespoon instant minced
    Onion powder – 1 tablespoon = 1 medium onion chopped
    Pumpkin pie spice – 1 teaspoon = 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon,
    1/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/8 teaspoon allspice & 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
    Sour Cream- 3/4 cup sour milk and 1/3 cup butter or use plain yogurt
    Sugar, white – 1 cup = 1 cup packed brown sugar
    Sugar, white – 1 cup = 1 cup honey minus 1/4 cup liquid in recipe
    Shortening, 1 cup = 1 cup and 2 tablespoons butter or margarine

    Tomatoes, fresh – 2 cups, chopped = 16 ounce can, drained
    Tomato sauce – 2 cups = 1 cup tomato paste plus 1 cup water
    Vinegar -1 teaspoon = 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
    Yeast – 1 package = 1 cake yeast
    Yeast – 1 package = 1 tablespoon dry yeast

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      How to Make Homemade Mayonnaise

      Copied from Old Recipe Book

      Make Easy Mayonaisse

      1/2 cup herb or cider vinegar
      1 egg
      1 tsp honey
      1/2 tsp seasalt (optional)
      1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

      Blend the first 4 ingredients well. Then add the oil slowly and continue to blend till the mixture is thick. Place in a covered bottle or jar,and let stand for an hour at room temperature. Then refrigerate till needed.

      Homemade Mayonnaise (recipe from 1983)

      3 egg yolks
      1/2 tsp salt
      1/2 tsp sugar
      1/4 tsp dry mustard
      1 1/2 cups salad oil
      1 Tblsp cider vinegar
      1 Tblsp lemon juice

      In a small bowl with mixer at med speed, beat egg yolks, salt, sugar and dry mustard 2 minutes. Continue to beat and gradually add 1/2 cup salad oil. 1/2 tsp at a time, until mixture is smooth and thick.
      Gradually beat in vinegar and lemon juice, then beat in remaining salad oil, 1 Tblsp at a time until the oil is absorbed and mixture is smooth.
      Cover and refrigerate. Use within 1 week. Makes 2 cups

      Easy Blender Mayonnaise (recipe from 1961)

      1 egg
      1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
      1/2 teaspoon salt
      2 tablespoons vinegar
      1 cup salad oil

      Break egg into blender container. Add mustard, salt and vinegar. Add 1/4 cup of the oil. Cover and blend on low speed. Immediately uncover and add remaining oil in a steady stream. Makes 1 1/4 cup.

      Homemade mayonnaise may be flavored to taste like garlic or herbs. Lemon juice may be substituted for vinegar. Half olive oil and half corn oil or peanut oil makes a delicious dressing.

      Mayonnaise Dressing (Recipe from 1937)

      1 cup salad oil
      1 egg yolk
      1/2 teaspoon sugar
      1/2 teaspoon salt
      1/2 teaspoon paprika
      3 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice

      Add well the seasonings to the egg yolk with 1 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar and beat well, adding 1 teaspoon salad oil at a time until mixture thickens, after which oil may be added more rapidly. thin with lemon juice or vinegar when necessary. The white of the egg may be beaten stiff separately, and folded in last.

      Mayonnaise Dressing I (Recipe from 1800’s)

      1 teaspoon mustard
      Yolks 2 eggs
      1 teaspoon salt
      2 tablespoons lemon juice
      1 teaspoon powdered sugar
      2 tablespoons vinegar
      Few grains cayenne
      11/2 cups olive oil

      Mix dry ingredients, add egg yolks, and when well mixed add one-half teaspoon of vinegar. Add oil gradually, at first drop by drop, and stir constantly. As mixture thickens, thin with vinegar or lemon juice. Add oil, and vinegar or lemon juice alternately, until all is used, stirring or beating constantly. If oil is added too rapidly, dressing will have a curdled appearance.

      A smooth consistency may be restored by taking yolk of another egg and adding curdled mixture slowly to it. It is desirable to have bowl containing mixture placed in a larger bowl of crushed ice, to which a small quantity of water has been added. Olive oil for making Mayonnaise should always be thoroughly chilled. A silver fork, wire-whisk, small wooden spoon, or egg-beater may be used as preferred. Mayonnaise should be stiff enough to hold its shape. It soon liquefies when added to meat or vegetables; therefore it should be added just before serving time.

      Potato Mayonnaise (no eggs)

      Very small baked potato
      1 teaspoon powdered sugar
      1 teaspoon mustard
      2 tablespoons vinegar
      1 teaspoon salt
      3/4 cup olive oil

      Remove and mash the inside of potato. Add mustard, salt, and powdered sugar; add one tablespoon vinegar, and rub mixture through a fine sieve. Add slowly oil and remaining vinegar. By the taste one would hardly realize eggs were not used in the making.

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        Homemade Brown Sugar

        1 cup of granulated sugar
        1 tablespoon of molasses

        For dark Brown Sugar
        use darker molasses or use up to two tablespoons for every cup of Sugar.

        Soften Hardened Brown Sugar

        All types of brown sugar can harden if not properly stored in an airtight container. It can become virtually unusable, but don’t throw it away. If you’ve discovered your brown sugar is rock hard, take the necessary steps to soften it. It’s easy to soften a container of hardened brown sugar immediately or overnight. Hard and once unusable brown sugar will become as soft as it was when freshly homemade.

        Simply place a piece of fresh bread on top of the hardened mass. Seal the container, and in the morning the bread will be hard and stale, and your homemade brown sugar will be soft, fresh, and once again useable.

        For a quick fix, place an open microwave-safe container of brown sugar in the microwave next to an open cup of cool water. Microwave the water and brown sugar on high for about two minutes. This will immediately soften it, and when it cools you can use it in a recipe.

        Recipe that use Homemade Brown Sugar
        Pancake Syrup
        Pumpkin Cheesecake

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          No Yeast Pizza Crust

          4 cups wheat or white flour
          2 tbsp baking powder
          1/2 tsp salt
          Herbs and Spices as desired (Like Tomato and garlic powder, Oregano, Italian Season)

          1 1/3 cup water
          2 tbsp cooking oil

          Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
          Prepare pizza pan by rubbing with shorting or dusting with flour.

          Combine dry ingredients in mixing bowl.
          Add liquids and stir to incorporate dry ingredients.
          Knead dough by hand 6-8 times on a lightly floured surface.
          Roll dough thinly.
          Place rolled dough onto prepared pizza pan, add favorite sauce and toppings.

          Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes, depending on crust thickness.

          For us this makes 3 12" pie crust.

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