Cast Iron Care Recipe ~ Rusty or Not

Just a few days ago, I had a sweet and beautiful young lady ask me how I take care of my cast iron skillets.

My largest skillet was a rescue!  It was covered in rust!  But it was a diamond in the rough, it turned out to be my favorite.

My first job was to clean the rust away:

Use 2 – 4 tablespoons of salt and an equal amount of oil in the skillet.  Using paper towelling, scrub the rusted areas.  Add more salt and/or oil as needed until the rust has been removed.

This worked for most of the spots but there were a few where I had to use fine steel wool to lightly rub (you may need to use sandpaper if your cast iron is pitted.)

The next step is to wash with soap and water.  Dry thoroughly, then place on a stove burner and heat the pan.  (Do not leave long, you just want the skillet to get hot enough to dry any damp spots.)

Season your skillet or pan:

Coconut Oil or Lard will give your cast iron the best protection.  You may use other oils but you will maintain a better seasoned pan. 

Rub the cast iron with just enough oil or lard to coat the pan.

Place in a 250ºF oven for an hour.

Coat again, place in the oven for another hour. 

Turn the oven off.  Often, I leave the skillet in the oven until cold or overnight.

After using your cast iron:

Do not use soap and water on your cast iron after the initial cleaning.

Clean using the salt and oil method mentioned above.

Rinse with hot water.  Dry thoroughly, then place on a stove burner and heat the pan.  (Do not leave long, you just want the skillet to get hot enough to dry any damp spots.)


Occasionally, you may want or need to re-season.  Oil the pan and place in the oven at 250ºF for an hour.


Dehydrated Hash Browns

Throwing food away is not an option.  Also, since I had been getting such a good deal on the price of a 50 pound bag of potatoes, this is a way to preserve them.

Dehydrated Hash Browns

♦ Since my dehydrator has 5 trays, I boil 5 baking sized potatoes until they are tender when punctured with a fork.

♦ Remove from water and allow to cool to room temperature

♦  Refrigerate overnight

♦  Grate potatoes using the large grate of a hand grater.  (The food processor seems to mush them up)

♦  Spray dehydrator trays with non-stick spray

♦  Spread one potato evenly over each tray

♦  Dehydrate for approximately 4 hours or until the potatoes are brittle

♦  Store in an airtight container or bag.

♦  To re-hydrate, soak overnight in the refrigerator in cold water.  Remember to use an excess of water because the potatoes will soak it up.

♦  Drain then pat dry on paper toweling

♦  Cook as you normally would hash browns.

♦  My method is to add a little butter to the bottom of a cast iron skillet.  Cook until desired doneness.

Note:  Two trays (two potatoes) will normally fit into a sandwich zip bag.  This is nice for portion control.

Here is a picture of the potatoes.  Sorry it’s not a good one, but it will show the potatoes do not turn dark brown or black.

Buns Up Tools

Yesterday the recipe for buns was a fun addition to your recipes.

If you didn’t see it, click here.

The buns can be formed and shaped freehand.

If you want a more consistent hamburger bun, try using a Muffin Top pan.

Chicago Metallicware Gourmetware Muffin Top Pan

The recipe makes 8 buns; therefore, there are two of these pans in my kitchen arsenal.

For the Hot Dog Buns, you can space them as pictured yesterday. 

You may also use a 9×13 pan.  Make 8 buns.  Roll 6″ long and place 2 rows of 4 each with a 1/2″ gap between each bun.  The buns will touch during baking or you can make New England Hot Dog Buns.

New England Hot Dog Bun Pan

Both the Muffin Top Pan and the New England Hot Dog Pan can be found at Amazon.  I am sure you can search online to find other sources.

Buns Up!

Buns are great!  Homemade, fresh, delicious buns!

As with any bread, it does not take long for the hands-on work.  You will spend more time waiting for the dough to rise.

Here’s a tried and true bun recipe. 

Whether it be for Hot Dogs or Hamburgers, they are soft and tender.  You will never want the store bought buns again.

Homemade Buns

Yield:  8 buns

1 cup water, lukewarm
2 Tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature and creamed
1 egg
3 1/4 cups All Purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tbs instant yeast (I use regular yeast)
1 egg yolk (+ 1 Tsp water)
Sesame seeds


Hamburber Buns:

1. Sprinkle the yeast into the water and leave for 5 minutes. Stir to dissolve.

2. Combine all the ingredients and mix well.

3. Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured working surface and knead for about 10 minutes until you’ve made a soft, smooth dough.

4. Place the dough in a clean and lightly greased bowl.

5. Cover it with a towel and let rise for about 1 (or1-1/2) hour, until doubled in size.

6. Divide the dough into 8 pieces and shape each piece into a flattened ball.

7. Place the buns on greased baking sheets, cover with a towel and let rise 30 to 40 minutes, until they’re quite puffy and doubled in size.

8. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

9, Glaze the buns with the egg yolk and water mixture, then sprinkle with sesame seeds.

10. Bake the buns for 12 to 15 minutes, until they are golden brown.

11. Remove them from the oven and cool them on a wire rack.


If you wish, you can also add 1 teaspoon onion powder and 1/2 teaspoon dried minced onions to the dough.

In the original recipe, the buns were not glazed nor sprinkled with sesame seeds, so that’s up to you if you want to add that kind of finishing or not.  You should feel free to experiment.

Serving suggestions:

Split and use for burgers or sandwiches.
When making hambugers, butter the split sides and fry them (buttered side down) until they are golden brown and warmed through.

Hot Dog Buns:

Divide the dough into 8 pieces.  Roll out each piece into a 6×4 rectangle.  Roll up on the long side.  Place seam down on the baking sheet.  Allow to rise and bake using the above directions.

Caramel Corn

Do you need a quick recipe for a few of those last-minute gifts?

Why not give one from your kitchen?!  Do you have about an hour and 15 minutes?  This recipe has always received rave reviews and many requests for the recipe.

Excuse the blurrs!  It was a busy day!

Caramel Corn

5-6 cups popped popcorn

2 cups dry roasted peanuts, pecans, slivered almonds, dried cranberries, etc. (optional)

2 cups light brown sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon pure vanilla


Preheat oven to 200°F.

Place the popped corn in a roaster. 

In a pan, add brown sugar, corn syrup, salt and butter.  Place on medium heat.  Bring to a boil.  Once it is at a boil, boil 5 minutes (do not stir).

Remove from heat and add baking soda and vanilla.  Stir.  Pour over popcorn.  Mix to coat popcorn well.  Place in the oven for 45 minutes.  Stir every 15 minutes.

Pour out onto sheets of wax paper.  Break apart large pieces.  Let cool completely.  Store in an airtight container.

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