I have tried the conventional method (2-3 hrs in a 250 degree F oven with Crisco rubbed in it, and also placing it in a 450 F oven for 30 minutes. Thanks for any advice. It does say "cast iron' on the bottom.
If putting it in the oven doesn't work & you can't put it in a fire, you can get the sticky residue off by washing it with hot, soapy water, this is not going to hurt it, will just take the oil off. It sounds like maybe you put too much Crisco on it in the 1st place. Mine does that when I use to much oil, don't have a hot enough oven, or don't leave it in long enough. I just wash it off & do it over.
When I get a 2nd hand cast iron piece that is covered with crusty black stuff, I just send it on a Boy Scout camp out with my husband & sons. My husband sticks it in the campfire coals & lets it burn the stuff off.
If you have a self cleaning oven put it inside while you run a cleaning cycle..t will come out completely raw, like when it was new. You can also place it in a bond fire, since this is the season, and it will burn all the pre seasoning off. My Dad cleaned lots of cast iron these two ways. Good Luck.
If you have a self-cleaning oven, put the pan in the oven and turn it on to "clean" mode. Leave it until it cools. Then rub in the Crisco shortening, put a layer of aluminum foil on the rack below the rack your pan will sit on, set the pan in the oven upside down, and turn the oven on to 250 F (or so) for several hours. Let it cool completely, and it should be good to go. If it is still kind of sticky, you need to cook it some more.
I use a fireplace for heat in the winter. I place the skillet in the fireplace for 2 or 3 hours, then cool and rub with vegetable oil, turn upside down on a sheet of tinfoil in my oven @ 300 degrees for about an hour. Afterwards I wash with warm water, but no detergent, this washes the seasoning off.
I always boil mine with salt and then scrub it with salt before trying to season it. Once you season it try never to wash it with soap again.
So you have a self cleaning oven? If you can't use a campfire, I would think that would work to clean it.
The shiny gun-metal color part makes me wonder if it's true cast iron. I don't know. But sure makes me wonder. I'd try all the other tips from people, especially the one from imafrayedknott, and then if it still doesen't come out right, I'd have it checked to be sure what it's made from. As for putting it in a fire, if you don't have a fireplace or a place for a campfire, I suppose you could put it in the fire in a grill. It's worth a try.
Please do not use oven cleaner. It will pit the cast iron and you will have defeated your purpose. The reenactment friend was right and you only need to leave it in the coals long enough to get all the gunk off it. Then try cooking over a real flame till it is seasoned. It may be the Crisco too. I use lard and now even that has an additive added to it. The nearest you can get to the natural way of seasoning an iron pan is over outdoor fire but the oven will work. You could just keep on like you have and just get it hot each time and let it cool and add more grease each time. It builds up in layers but takes a while. Cook biscuits on it and just wipe it off each time usually works.
It might just have a build-up of baked on grease. You could try spraying the griddle with some oven cleaner. Spread out some newspapers and make sure your area is well ventilated. Why not pick a nice day outdoors. Just follow the directions on the can of oven cleaner.
I was told by a friend a while back who I did civil war reenactments his method of reseasoning cast iron. He said if I found some decently priced pieces at a rummage sale or thrift store that were either rusty or sticky to take them and put them in a campfire or fireplace in the hot coals for a few hours. I guess the idea was to burn off all of the rust and/or stickiness.
Afterward rinse it well with water and rub on ample amounts of Crisco all over the piece and place in the oven for a few hours at 350, and repeat a couple of times. Maybe the acid in the campfire coals helps somehow? I've never tried it myself, but he swore by it. Whatever method you use, be careful not to burn yourself, and I hope that you're able to restore your piece!
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