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Author Topic: cleaning 30 gallon cast iron pot/cauldron/wash pot/stew pot  (Read 7640 times)
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bigcountry1009
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« on: February 11, 2012, 04:59:16 PM »

Pops came into about a 30 gallon or so cast pot. One you might make a wood fired hash or stew in. It's a bit rusty outside and gunky inside. It also has a small leak I believe I can TIG up and seal. Problem is I have no idea how to clean and season it. I can't put it in my oven or BBQ and burn it off. And not sure how to season after. Any experienced knowledge will be appreciated.

I also tried to search for it on google and you-Tube, but if I searched for pot it only brought up the smaller cook ware. If I put in cauldron, I got results from a bunch of witch craft sites.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2012, 05:14:56 PM by bigcountry1009 » Logged

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Stan41
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« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2012, 05:43:35 PM »

I think I would put 5 gallons of water and 1/2 cup of dishwashing soap in it.  Then build a small campfire under it and let it boil 15 minutes.  Then I would let it cool down enough I could stand the heat and scrub the inside with a steel brush.  Empty it.  You may have to do this two or 3 times.

I wouldn't worry about the outside.

To season it I would get a couple of pounds of lard, put the lard in it and set it on a small campfire.  Then take some kind of mop (dishwashing mop) and coat the inside with the hot lard.  Let it set a while and pour it out.

Stan
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PD-Riverman
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« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2012, 06:26:26 PM »

Just do a search for "seasoning cast iron" and you will find plenty of info.

Pops came into about a 30 gallon or so cast pot. One you might make a wood fired hash or stew in. It's a bit rusty outside and gunky inside. It also has a small leak I believe I can TIG up and seal. Problem is I have no idea how to clean and season it. I can't put it in my oven or BBQ and burn it off. And not sure how to season after. Any experienced knowledge will be appreciated.

I also tried to search for it on google and you-Tube, but if I searched for pot it only brought up the smaller cook ware. If I put in cauldron, I got results from a bunch of witch craft sites.
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bigcountry1009
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« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2012, 08:04:15 PM »

PD I searched earlier but its all for the skillets and dutch ovens. Nothing like a large cauldron.
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Swampfarmer
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« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2012, 08:22:44 PM »

After a good scrubbing, inside and out, I would coat inside and outside with vegetable oil then put in over a camp fire or on a gas grill.  Get it good and hot.  Alternate right side up and upside down and continue brushing more oil on, as needed.  Should be good as new before you know it.

Ralph
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Lake Erie
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« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2012, 01:38:51 PM »

You can have it sandblasted if you have someone in your area that does that type of work...... Then it is just a matter of 350-400 heat and your seasoning oil to get it back in shape...... BTW, how much does that monster weigh?

Brent
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« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2012, 04:07:55 PM »

have you though about placing it inside of a 55 gallon drum, and building a fire from beneath, I usually get mine up to 350 when I season my smaller pots, so you should be able to achieve that  with a drum. I would cover the drum to conserve heat.
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bigcountry1009
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« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2012, 07:17:55 PM »

Lake Erie, it's not one of the great big pots, it weighs about as much as a deep cycle battery.
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« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2012, 08:49:25 PM »

If you can't sand blast it, just build a fire and turn the pot over into the fire and let the fire burn out the inside.
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« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2012, 09:29:04 PM »

  Set it over a wood fire, add water to top and then a pound or two of powdered lye.  It will cook it out to cast iron as new.  Then drain it, rinse it and immediately season it.

  Season by coating with lard or Crisco shortening, not liquid oil.  Then heat to around 450 degrees for four (4) hours, cut fire and let it cool.  Cover afterwards and wipe out after each use.  Use an Infra Red Thermometer to check heat.

  I have restored countless cast iron pots, dutch ovens and skillets from 4 quarts to 40 quarts.  Sand blasting is another good option,  but why do that if lye works so well.  You ever see an old engine after it comes out of a hot lye tank?  In fact after you drain it if you don't rinse it and keep it out of the weather,  the dried alkali coating will keep it from rusting for months until you can wash it and season it.   Wink
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Husker Wagon
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« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2012, 08:05:48 AM »

I think I would put 5 gallons of water and 1/2 cup of dishwashing soap in it.  Then build a small campfire under it and let it boil 15 minutes.  Then I would let it cool down enough I could stand the heat and scrub the inside with a steel brush.  Empty it.  You may have to do this two or 3 times.

I wouldn't worry about the outside.

To season it I would get a couple of pounds of lard, put the lard in it and set it on a small campfire.  Then take some kind of mop (dishwashing mop) and coat the inside with the hot lard.  Let it set a while and pour it out.

Stan

I agree with Stan.  He is right on. Wink Wink
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« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2012, 08:12:12 AM »

  Set it over a wood fire, add water to top and then a pound or two of powdered lye.  It will cook it out to cast iron as new.  Then drain it, rinse it and immediately season it.

  Season by coating with lard or Crisco shortening, not liquid oil.  Then heat to around 450 degrees for four (4) hours, cut fire and let it cool.  Cover afterwards and wipe out after each use.  Use an Infra Red Thermometer to check heat.

  I have restored countless cast iron pots, dutch ovens and skillets from 4 quarts to 40 quarts.  Sand blasting is another good option,  but why do that if lye works so well.  You ever see an old engine after it comes out of a hot lye tank?  In fact after you drain it if you don't rinse it and keep it out of the weather,  the dried alkali coating will keep it from rusting for months until you can wash it and season it.   Wink

Didn't read allt he way down to Tbirds post. Sorry TB..   I should have known.... Grin Grin
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« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2012, 04:35:08 PM »

Some info from a cast iron cookware historical society:

http://www.wag-society.org/Electrolysis/lye.php
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« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2012, 12:29:23 PM »

I burned it off today on my turkey frier. I can see the little divot and pin hole. Shouldn't be too bad to fix.
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« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2012, 04:27:23 PM »

I got more cast iron cookware than a man should ever own and I use it.  I got a hankerin to make my own baked beans last summer and used molasses and brown sugar in the recipe and put it all in my 8qt dutch oven and let it bake on the grill.  The beans turn out great but the bottom of the pot was black and gooy with the molasses and sugar.  I couldn't get it clean.  Following Lodges instruction, I built a campfire and placed it bottom up in the fire until the pot turn a cast iron grey.  Took it out of the fire and let it cool.  All the gunk turn to ash and was an easy clean up.  Placed it back on the fire to heat up a little and then swabbed it down with cooking oil.  Turn out like a new one.  Hope it works for you.  Roy
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bigcountry1009
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« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2012, 06:18:23 AM »

Reartine I did the very same thing with beans. I burned it off on my gas bbq though. Yep, it's easy to turn it new again.
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taterman
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« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2012, 06:05:41 AM »

 We got 4 old cast iron skillets that need cleaned and reseasoned. I put them in my wood furnace and left them for one day. When I took them out they where slight rusty and covered with ash/ gunk that scrubbed off. Mt wife rubbed them down with crisco and we heated them in the oven for 1 hour. They came out spotty. Some of the crisco left sticky spots. My wife cleaned them out. I think we just did not season them enough. Do you think we should rub them down with crisco again and heat them again?
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bigcountry1009
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« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2012, 11:50:24 PM »

There are some very good videos on you tube for seasoning iron. I repeat about 5 times to get a good season. I also get the same spots. Its from too much shortening, but they scrub out easily with how water
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Clinton, SC
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bigcountry1009
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« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2012, 01:08:05 PM »

Welded up the bottom of the pot today. That's a hot job, lol. Reminds me of why I'm a pipe fitter and not a full time welder. That things in poor shape in that spot. Looks like a casting defect.
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Clinton, SC
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« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2012, 10:10:43 PM »

If the spot is too bad then drill it and insert a cast iron "Hot Rivet" and hammer it in place.  My Dad used to fix iron pump casings that way.  A hole is easier to fix than a crack in cast iron.   Wink
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« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2012, 02:53:37 PM »

Even tho you have all these great suggestions that I'm pretty sure will work great, if you google (I yahoo) cast iron wash pot or kettle, I think you will find one that looks like what you have.

crazy
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« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2012, 11:40:18 AM »

Cast iron is porous, so it needs the pores opened up with heat to allow the oil to penetrate into the pores.  Heat first and then oil, before heating it more.  If you use lye, like Tbird suggested, rinse until you don't feel any slickness in the rinse.  NaOH is pretty hard to rinse off completely.
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« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2012, 12:02:55 PM »

If you have a 55 gal drum, you might try electrolysis. I've used the method to clean old tractor parts and such, and it works pretty well. There is a youtube video of a fellow using the method to clean an old iron skillet. All you need is an immersion bath, sodium bicarbonate (washing soda), a 12V battery charger, and some wire. It's really simple to do and gets most gunk off. It works especially well on very rusty parts. Good luck. Smiley Larry
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