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Post Thu Jul 24, 2003 9:06 pm
doc_bk

Recently I bought a stainless steel vermont castings which I love. Two questions. I've never used porcelain coated cast iron. Do these need to be seasoned like regular cast iron? I can't get them to stop sticking. Also any good ideas for cleaning the grease buildup off of the stainless? Thank you.

Post Fri Jul 25, 2003 5:17 am
Longmill

Oil the grates (paper towel saturated with oil applied with tongs) just before you put on the food. Then, WAIT, until the seized food has freed itself from the grates. Don't try to turn it before it's ready to be turned.

Simple Green cleaner (available from many sources) is the best all around commercial cleaner that I've found. Dilute it or use it full strength depending on the particular application. Spray it on and give it time to work. Rinse thoroughly.

Ammonia is a good heavy duty cleaner for ovens, so it should work for grills, too. The way I use it for ovens is as follows. Warm the oven to 150 - 200 degrees. Turn off the oven. Pour about a cup of ammonia in a glass bowl (non-reactive container) and place on the rack in the oven. Leave it there overnight. Next moning remove the ammonia and immediately clean the oven walls with hot water and dish detergent. The ammonia fumes will soften the baked on crud. For heavily crusted stuff, a repeat application may be needed.

Also, check into vinegar as a cleaning compound. I've successfully used it to remove rust from cast iron cookware, tools, etc. I've cleaned grill grates a number of times using this method. Boil the item in a strong solution of vinegar and water. Loosens crud and rust. Just be ready to reseason immediately!!

Longmill

Post Fri Jul 25, 2003 2:51 pm
Leisa M rare
rare

Posts: 18
Location: Cedar Park, TX
Will the vinegar work with cast aluminum? I have an old cornbread pan that I bought. I do not think it is cast iron, because I have cleaned enough to see that it is silver underneath. There are no markings so i am guessing at cast aluminum.

I would like to use this pan and was about to use EasyOff when I read this thread
Leisa
Missy's Mom

Post Sat Jul 26, 2003 5:15 am
Longmill

Leisa M wrote:
Will the vinegar work with cast aluminum? I have an old cornbread pan that I bought. I do not think it is cast iron, because I have cleaned enough to see that it is silver underneath. There are no markings so i am guessing at cast aluminum.

I would like to use this pan and was about to use EasyOff when I read this thread


Check it with a magnet. Cast iron also looks "silver" when the surface coating/oxidation is removed. If it's iron, a magnet will stick to it.

I don't have as much experience with aluminum as I do with castiron, so take these comments with a grain of salt. You may want to research further on the Internet, especially if your pan is valuable.

Vingear is a mild acid, thus, it may etch your pan. If you're not worried about that, go ahead and give vinegar & water a try. Mix up about a cup of vinegar to a gallon of water. It's best if you could simmer your cornbread pan in this solution for about an hour. However, you need to put this solution in a non-reactive container (enamelware or stainless steel.)

If that doesn't work, household ammonia will remove crud. It's not recommended for alumimun, but I have used it successfully to clean up old aluminum cookware. Fill the sink with HOT water. Add about 1/2 cup ammonia, 1/2 cup alcohol, and a good squirt of Dawn dishwashing liquid. Stir to blend mixture. Put the pan in the sink and forget it for a few hours or overnight. BTW, this works for electric stove burner pans and such, so you may want to add those to your sink when you soak the cornbread pan.

In closing, IMHO, the best approach to cleaning anything from grill grates to breadpans is to start with the most gentle remedy first. It that doesn't work, move on to something a bit stronger. Leave the caustic solutions (lye, commercial oven cleaners, etc.) as a last resort.

Hope this is helpful. Again, if your pan is an antique or valued heirloom, be sure to research any cleaning method you use. Some antiques shouldn't be cleaned, as it will destroy their collector's value.

Longmill


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