Tree-Hugging Dirt Worship

May 12, 2012

Repairing a Rusty Cauldron and a Scratched No-Stick Pan

Filed under: food, science — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — paragardener @ 4:40 pm

The other day, I allowed my cast iron Dutch oven to rust. How was I to know I shouldn’t store it in the fridge?

Rings of rust on the counter, clearly left by a "Lodge" brand pan.

My cauldron left these rust rings on the counter.

The thing is a tad rust-prone. You ordinarily scrape it clean with water and no soap, and dry it right away.

In case of rust, you soap it up and scrub with steel wool or an S.O.S. pad (I used a “green scrubby”), dry it, wipe it with vegetable oil, bake it upside down at 400 Fahrenheit for an hour, and finally turn the oven off and let it all cool down gradually.

The bottom of the pot is now rust-free.

The repaired cauldron is ready for its next brew.

The other day, I shredded chicken with two forks in my Teflon no-stick frying pan. How was I to know that I would scratch the no-stick coating?

In case of scratches, throw out and buy new pan.

I feel kind of stupid to be taken in by the space-age New Pan, when the 300-year old pot design is more durable, no more sticky, and will not emit a cloud of poisonous pet-killing gas if accidentally overheated. Every year, cars get better gas mileage, microprocessors shrink and become faster, and pans from the very dawn of the Industrial Revolution remain supreme in the field of pan technology. Makes we wonder what other post-optimal technologies I’ve bought into.



  1. Gotta love cast iron. Once it’s seasoned properly, it’s pretty much nonstick. I made a frittata in my 10-inch skillet the other day and it didn’t stick to the pan at all. What I love about cast iron is that you can slide it into the oven–for a frittata, that’s the way to get the eggs to set on top and maybe brown a little. Or we will split a chicken and James will brown it a bit in our huge cast iron skillet on the stove, and then we pop the skillet into the oven to roast the chicken. Works great! Also, your pot as pictured looks right for no-knead bread–is that a pic of it upside down? Does it have a cover? Because with a cover it’s a perfect bread-baking tool. Yep, and cast iron will last for a hundred years or more.

    Comment by Kris — May 12, 2012 @ 4:55 pm

    • Yep, my Dutch Oven is right for no-knead bread, and was photographed upside-down. I thought that it wasn’t properly a Dutch Oven without the fitted lid. Cast iron skillet is the next kitchen tool for me!

      Comment by paragardener — May 18, 2012 @ 2:59 pm

  2. Seems like the entire field of agriculture for the past 50 years has been post-optimal technology….

    Comment by freelearner — May 13, 2012 @ 8:51 pm

  3. Hahaha, I forgot we gave you that Dutch oven! Mind like a sieve, once again …

    Comment by Kris — May 18, 2012 @ 4:36 pm

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