[Sca-cooks] OOP but not OT-seeking advice on a cast-iron hibachi

Daniel & Elizabeth Phelps dephelps at embarqmail.com
Fri Aug 29 20:41:38 PDT 2008

Greetings, fellow cooks!
As we stare down the throat of several more hurricanes here in Tallahassee (the panhandle of Florida, we're closer to Mobile, Alabama than we are to Miami), I am thinking about my cast iron hibachi again. We picked it up at a yard sale a while back, and the times we used it to cook with we were quite pleased with it. But, I have a maintenance question:
I loaned the hibachi to some friends to take to Gulf Wars a while back-I believe it was the Gulf Wars that got rained out, and they returned it to me rusty. I was entirely unenthused with this, one of the many reasons those individuals are not friends any more. It's only surface rust as I recall, and it's been in storage ever since, as I really wasn't sure what to do with it. I can figure out how to clean it, steel wool/wire brush/wire brush on a drill, that's not too hard to figure out, just a lot of elbow grease and some very colorful language speculating on the ancestry and hobbies of said former friends, but then what? Do I use soap and water with the steel wool and wire brushes, or do I just use them dry? And how do I keep it from rusting again? I though of stove polish, but googling this topic seems to indicate this would just not be suitable. Would cast iron stove paint be appropriate? It's a charcoal-burning hibachi, not a wood stove, so I assume the operating temperatures would be higher. Or do I  clean it off and just  use it naked? ( The stove, not me...)
As always, any advice the good gentles on this list could offer me would be most appreciated. And yes, I know to use it outside, and not on our wooden deck. Thank you, and everyone have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend-here in Trimaris we're crowning our next King and Queen. Take care now.
Isabella de la Gryffin
Barony of Oldenfeld, Trimaris
Tallahassee, Florida

Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.
Frank Zappa

To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead. 
Thomas Paine

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