I love camping. Moreover, I love cooking on the campfire. As we embark on our 10 day journey, I thought this might be the perfect opportunity to share some of my best campfire secrets with everyone. So, check back over the next 10 days for lots of good campfire cooking.
Cooking while camping almost inherently means the use of cast iron. And cleaning cast iron is not the most sought-after job whether you are in the convenience of your own kitchen or out in the wilderness. But I’ve got the solution to all of that elbow grease and scouring pads. About 15 years ago, while commuting to San Francisco by ferry, I met a deckhand who, in a prior career was a lumber jack. Over the years, he imparted all kinds of information to me but this little tidbit has saved me copious amounts of time and frustration and now I have very smooth and shiny cast iron! The secret is salt. Just plain ol’ table salt. Here is how it works.
I, of course, take my three dogs with me whenever I camp so I always have a bit of help in pre-cleaning my cast iron.
Once all debris is out of your cast iron and it has been rinsed, pour in a good amount of salt. Using a rag, work the salt into a paste and rub the inside of the cast iron until it comes clean. Next, rinse the cast iron. Place the cast iron back over the fire to let it heat dry. Once dry and cool enough to handle, rub a few drops of vegetable oil into the cast iron. Look at that shine!
Not a camper? The same technique works just as well in the kitchen. Instead of using the campfire to heat dry your cast iron, just put it on the stove and turn on a burner. Or, if your oven is hot for some reason, throw it in there.