Author Topic: Cast iron kettle  (Read 522 times)

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Offline Mannlicher

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Cast iron kettle
« on: June 20, 2020, 09:08:59 AM »
My son found this old kettle and lid buried out in the woods.  The site was an old turpentine camp,  way out in the deep pine forest near Gainesville.  Probably dates back to before the first World War.  It's in bad shape, but I know what to do about that. 

Offline imnukensc

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Re: Cast iron kettle
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2020, 09:59:41 AM »
Don't know about the kettle, but the lid is modern Asian/Chinese made.
The universe is made up of protons, neutrons, electrons, and morons.

Offline Mannlicher

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Re: Cast iron kettle
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2020, 10:43:06 AM »
Maybe, but it came out of the same hole  in the swamp. 

Offline randyt

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Re: Cast iron kettle
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2020, 03:06:43 PM »
awesome find..

Offline Phaedrus

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Re: Cast iron kettle
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2020, 03:49:51 PM »
Neat!  Once you get it spiffed up you'll have to share some pics again.

Offline Dabberty

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Re: Cast iron kettle
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2020, 10:54:25 PM »
Great find indeed, when will you clean them up?
My outdoor & DIY blog:  www.dabberty.com

Offline Moe M.

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Re: Cast iron kettle
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2020, 05:42:09 AM »
 About 30 years ago there was a little co-op flee market that opened up not far from my home,  folks were given a space to display their items for sale, the person that "owned" the property manned the store, made the sales, and collected a percentage of each sale to pay for the cost of the enterprise which worked out well for everyone for a few years until the building got sold to a new owner.
 Every once in a while I'd stop in to browse around for deals on vintage tools and housewares,   someone had a 10"  Grizwold Dutch Oven for sale for a price that was a bit expensive for flower pot, in too bad a condition to make a decent stew pot or be a nice collector piece,  the lid was in great shape but the oven itself was deeply pitted and rusted,  I suspect that it had been used for an outdoor flower or garden pot for a long time while the lid sat on a barn shelf out of the weather.
 It remained there on the shelf for a few months while the asking price kept on being adjusted,  when the price dropped to $25.00 I bought it on impulse, after a lot of soaking, scouring, steel brushing, cussing, and several trips through my home ovens cleaning cycle I ended up with a well seasoned cast iron Dutch oven that was in nice shape on the outside but still deeply pitted on the inside, stews, pot roasts and such were possible but required a lot of cleaning,  but where it really shines is at baking bread,  it's a deep walled oven with plenty of room for bread to rise while baking and for creating a wonderful top crust.
 When I look back on all the work it took to make it serviceable and then reflect on the many loaves of great bread that it has rewarded me with I can't help but think that adopting it was one of the better decisions I've made in my life,  some things are really worth the effort.

 Good luck with your little piece of history.   
In youth we learn,   with age we understand.

Offline Mannlicher

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Re: Cast iron kettle
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2020, 06:54:00 AM »
Great find indeed, when will you clean them up?
soon.  I need to buy a can of Red Devil lye to get things started

Offline Alan R McDaniel Jr

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Re: Cast iron kettle
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2020, 08:40:30 AM »
About 40 years ago I dug two big dutch ovens out of the accumulated compost in the old family place barn.  They were no doubt brought from Oklahoma in 1903 when my great-great grandfather moved to Texas.  They had a lot of use and a lot of neglect.  I opted for a more aggressive approach to cleaning them.  I took them to a local machine shop and they let me sandblast them clean.  They were clean right down to the cast iron when I finished with them.  I took them home scoured them with soap and water and built a substantial fire in the BBQ firebox (a plate steel box 3'x3'x4" deep box a made coals in) and heated them up.  I rubbed them with lard (which I had a lot of) and seasoned them again and again for a whole day.  I scrubbed them with soap and water one last time then a final seasoning, wiped them dry and called it done.  They were beautiful and you couldn't make something stick to the inside of them.  I used them for about ten years until some SOB decided he needed them more than I did.  I would still break all his fingers if I knew who it was. 

I have since rescued more cast iron by the same method than I can carry in one wheelbarrow load and have that much more waiting for rescue. 

I get a lot of attention when I break out the big griddle for bacon and pancakes on camping trips.

There are much worse things a guy can do in life besides making old cast iron useful again.

Alan

Offline Alan R McDaniel Jr

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Re: Cast iron kettle
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2020, 09:02:23 AM »
Cast iron cookery is, I suppose, a lot like fly fishing. There are purists and otherwise.  I have nearly always fit into the "otherwise" category.  I use soap and water, lightly scrubbing with a rag, drying with heat and alight oil re-season on my cast iron.  I find it works well for my and my purposes.

When in disuse for an extended period of time I wash the dust off of it, dry it with heat and give it a light coat of peanut oil (I use peanut oil for all my cooking these days).  Then I store it in a dry place.  My really special pieces I keep in a galvanized dry box with old cotton sheets between the pieces.  Not a speck of rust and they are ready for cooking right out of the box.

Alan

Offline Moe M.

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Re: Cast iron kettle
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2020, 05:29:36 AM »
Cast iron cookery is, I suppose, a lot like fly fishing. There are purists and otherwise.  I have nearly always fit into the "otherwise" category.  I use soap and water, lightly scrubbing with a rag, drying with heat and alight oil re-season on my cast iron.  I find it works well for my and my purposes.

When in disuse for an extended period of time I wash the dust off of it, dry it with heat and give it a light coat of peanut oil (I use peanut oil for all my cooking these days).  Then I store it in a dry place.  My really special pieces I keep in a galvanized dry box with old cotton sheets between the pieces.  Not a speck of rust and they are ready for cooking right out of the box.

Alan

 LOL, well I wouldn't call myself a purist when it comes to most things traditional,  I see myself more as a left over in time with one foot in the past and the other in the what works for me now,  I do love my cast iron for it's vintage history, most before my time,  it simply is the very best cookware available,  but I also have a kitchen full of professional quality stainless cookware and a few pieces of anodized aluminum for their convenience and non reactive qualities.
 I'm not a collector, I'm a user and I appreciate vintage,  like many I've had literally a ton of cast iron cookware pass through my hands,  rescuing and adding odd or rare pieces to one's kitchen can be addictive, even obsessive if you let it,  I haven't counted my keepers in a long time, but guess them to be at about a couple of dozen,  I've gifted most of the others away to family and friends,  I don't special handle them or display them,  they wait on their shelves in my cabinets for when I need them which is quite often.
 I keep them clean and well seasoned,  I don't ever use soap or scouring pads to clean them after use, not because I'm a purist, it's mostly just how I was taught to use them by my "folks" (most of my keepers are inherited from them) and because they don't usually need anything else but hot water and a light brush to get them clean once they are refurbished and seasoned. 

 Life is good. 
In youth we learn,   with age we understand.

Offline wsdstan

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Re: Cast iron kettle
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2020, 08:38:43 AM »
I have sand blasted a few cast iron cooking pots and pans to remove rust and scale and baked on crud quickly.  I season with whatever oil is handy, usually canola, and have pans as slick as teflon for quite awhile.

I have a new dutch oven I got for $7 a couple of years ago and need to season it.  I am anxious (well at least really interested)  to see how Mannliche
r's find comes out. 

Never used peanut oil but might give it a try on seasoning this next one. 
« Last Edit: June 24, 2020, 05:19:14 PM by wsdstan »
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Offline Mannlicher

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Re: Cast iron kettle
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2020, 03:24:04 PM »
I fear this one is pitted badly.  Just working on it with a scraper and wire brush so far.  It will, regardless, be useable for stews and baking.

Offline Alan R McDaniel Jr

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Re: Cast iron kettle
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2020, 05:24:50 PM »
I use peanut oil because it supposedly does not go rancid and it's all we keep around here except olive oil.

The sandblasting has a smoothing effect.

Alan


Offline Mannlicher

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Re: Cast iron kettle
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2020, 11:49:33 AM »
Don't know about the kettle, but the lid is modern Asian/Chinese made.
I did a several day soak in lye solution, rinsed,  soaked in vinegar and water, and rinsed.  After working on the bottom and sides with a paint scraper and steel wire brush,  brother imnukensc has proven correct.  The bottom of the Dutch Oven does say Taiwan.  Even though the item was dug up out of the ground at an old camp of some sort in the deep woods,  I can't see where this could be much older than around 1970.
It will make a dandy planter,  but not worth the effort to fully restore it.

Offline Phaedrus

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Re: Cast iron kettle
« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2020, 10:54:41 PM »
Still pretty good for the price! ;) :D

Offline Alan R McDaniel Jr

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Re: Cast iron kettle
« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2020, 05:52:55 AM »
One of the things I always think about when I'm refurbishing old cast iron is something I know to be true.

In my grandfather's workshed there was a cast iron frying pan and a cast iron cornbread mold (I still have these things).  He would stack old batteries stack wood around them and burn them.  When the fire was out, he'd sift through the the ashes, melt the lead again in the frying pan and mold it in the cornbread mold.  I've got several hundred pounds of lead cornbreads that he made and several hundred that I've made with the same outfit. 

Every time I dig an old piece of cast iron out of someones junk pile I wonder if they were lead scavengers too.  I'm not sure if the lead will impregnate the cast iron or not. And, although I've melted and cast enough lead bullets and fishing gear to add 10# to my weight by inhalation alone, I won't be frying up any eggs and bacon or making cornbread in those pieces to find out.

Alan
 

Offline wsdstan

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Re: Cast iron kettle
« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2020, 07:16:16 AM »
Alan you will have a fortune if the SHTF comes to be. 
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns  something he can learn in no other way. 
(Mark Twain)

Offline Alan R McDaniel Jr

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Re: Cast iron kettle
« Reply #18 on: July 28, 2020, 09:13:35 AM »
And that's not counting the 300# of linotype I got when our local paper went digital.  Or the 100s of #s of wheel weights I cast into 1 - 5 oz sinkers. and another 50# or so of pure lead for ML and C&B pistol balls.

It never ends. Srounging lead is in my blood.... wait that didn't sound right...

Alan