For the longest time I have been promising to share with you my number one tip for cleaning cast iron skillets. Well finally, today is that day.
Let me begin at the beginning. Six months ago, on a lark, I ordered this chain-like gizmo called “The Ringer”. The purchase was based upon one of those “just for you” suggestions from Amazon and in a moment of weakness, I fell for it. Little did I know that cleaning my cast iron skillets would become so easy. Not that cleaning cast iron is difficult, mind you, but it can and does take some time.
So here is the deal. Pre Ringer, I would add a bit of water and salt to the dirty skillet and scrub. If the pan was especially grungy, I would set it on the burner and bring the water to boil first. This, in itself, is an effective way to loosen those crusty bits of food from the bottom of a cast iron skillet or pan.
With the Ringer, I skip both the boiling water and the salt. Here are some photos so you can follow along.
A crusty, dirty cast iron skillet. BTW, the burgers were delicious.
This is what the Ringer looks like in use.
For really big messes, you can also add water to pan before scrubbing caked on food residue.
My skillets have never looked so good. Not only that, I am not seeing any rust spots develop (it happens) and can only assume that the Ringer scrubs them away. Before storing the pan, I give it a very light coating of coconut oil and I am done. That’s it. Start to finish, two to three minutes and no elbow grease.
I have written about cast iron a number of times in the past but think an update is long overdue. Do you have a cast iron tip to share? Let me know in the comments and if I get enough of them, I will use them in a roundup post.
Additional Reading: Every Prepper Needs a Big Beautiful Cast Iron Skillet
Backdoor Survival Mail Bag & Reader Tips
Two weeks ago John E. posted this tip in the comments of 39 Fantastic Prepping Tips. It was too good to leave buried so I share it here for all to see:
A mistake many beginners make is to think that prepping has to be expensive. It’s all about priorities, really.
The first thing that I had to ask myself when I decided to become a prepper is, “Are you serious about doing this?” Would I pass up my morning latte? Not buy those chips that are bad for my health anyways?
All I needed to come up with when I started was an extra $5 a week, that’s all. I think just about everybody can come up with that much cash, don’t you?
I had always loved going to the dollar store and Goodwill. Now I took it to the next level and started prepping on the cheap with a vengeance.
Visited a dollar store lately?
It’s not just cheap trinkets or flimsy items that will break when you breathe on them. Most of them actually have a surprising number of stuff that we preppers can use. For example, you can pick up rice, beans, oats, and pasta all for a buck a bag. For your five dollars, you will get a good head start on your long term food supply.
By the end of three months, you should have a pretty good stock of dry goods in your pantry, for probably less than $75 total.
One of the reasons I like to share reader tips is that the encouragement of others will often times give us that wee bit of motivation needed to take our preps, and our lives, really, to the next level. Don’t you agree?
Ed has shared a unique tip for using a AAA battery in a device that holds AA batteries. I have not tried this myself.
I did a 9 month wilderness experiment a couple of years ago and made the mistake of not packing enough AA batteries for my radio. I had plenty of AAA batteries, but AA’s were all gone, I found that by placing an AAA battery negative post down inside a .45 Colt cartridge it makes the AAA fit perfectly inside the battery compartment of the AA powered radio.
And last for today, this in from David.
I liked the comment about prepping being hard work, but to remember to live, love, laugh. Keeping your life in balance is critical.
This is something I personally struggle with daily. Just when I think I have it covered, there is a disaster somewhere (or a government snafu) that puts me into ultra-prepper mode. Perhaps that I why I play cheerleader so often; as much for myself as it is for you.
Current Backdoor Survival Giveaways
This is an article you will not want to miss. In addition, there will be 12 winners in the book giveaway.
With all giveaways, winners are notified by email and have 48 hours to claim their prize or an alternate will be selected. Once selected, the names of winners are also displayed in the Rafflecopter on the original giveaway article. This usually happens on the Friday following the end of the giveaway.
For those of you that pay attention to such things, I have updated the Amazon Top 10 to include the most wished for and the bestselling emergency and survival kit items. These are the items that your peers are choosing for their own preps. Check it out.
The Final Word
Next week I hit the road and head back home to Washington State. My fingers are crossed that I will have decent internet service along the way as well as when I get home. These days I never take internet service for granted which also means I never assume the proverbial “cloud” will be available.
For that reason, I have set aside an abundance of reference books and printed materials so that I will have them if and when the time comes. But that’s not all. I also have numerous old laptops that are loaded up with electronic versions of my books, photos, and important documents. Some are ancient by today’s standards but they still work just fine and don’t take up a lot of room. And yes, I do have the means to charge them when the grid goes down.
How about you? How much redundancy do you have relative to your electronic books and other documents? And the biggest question of them all: are you prepared to get by without the internet?
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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Bargain Bin: Here are some cast iron goodies for your consideration, including The Ringer.
The Ringer Cast Iron Cleaner – Stainless Steel Chainmail: I purchased one of these in October 2015 and it is friggin’ fantastic. You will never ever have to scrub cast iron again. I can’t say enough good things about this gizmo. You want one.
Cast Iron Skillet with Hot Handle Holder: I feel that everyone should own a basic, 12” cast iron skillet. In spite of the myth, they are easy to care for and over time, will become a family heirloom. On grid or off grid, cooking with cast iron is the way to go.
Lodge Dutch Oven/Camp Stove: I originally purchased this Dutch oven because it was so darn cute. But over time, I have learned to love it for its versatility. Remember, a camp stove is designed so that you can bake with it by arranging charcoal on top of the lid as well as underneath the Dutch Oven itself.
Ove’ Gloves Hot Surface Handler: I cannot say enough about these hand and arm protectors. I have permanent scars from hitting my arm on the rack of my oven. I can only imagine what I would look like if I did not use these with my cast iron cookware. Forget the colorful silicon hot pads. These are 1000 times better!
US Forge 400 Welding Gloves Lined Leather: These well-priced gloves provide complete heat and burn protection. They are made of soft and supple top grain leather for comfort and pliability, plus they have an internal liner gives more comfort and durability.
Four Silicone Brushes: I call these”mop thingies”. Great for layering a nice thin coat of oil on your cast iron pans.
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