Does any one know how to season a cast-iron "tea kettle"? I use one on my
wood stove to help provide moisture to the air in the winter. It has a
strong tendency to rust in side the kettle. While this doesn't seem to harm
the humidity raising qualities of the water it does give an unpleasant
appearance and I would like to find a way to stop the rust.
Typically you season cast-iron with shortening, or just by cooking
fatty foods in it a lot. But if you're just going to be boiling water
over and over I think you're eventually going to get rust no matter
what. You want something that's not just plain old cast iron -
something porcelain, stainless steel or aluminum. Check llbean.com
for "stovetop steamer". They're specifically made for the task at
A cast iron tea kettle may seem like a good idea, but it's 2007 and
stainless steel cookware has been around for the better part of a
century. I'd say that if the rust is an issue it's time to retire it
to decorative use or melting lead to make bullets or something else to
which its properties are better suited.
For the purpose at hand I suspect that aluminum would be fine as
well--a wood stove shouldn't get hot enough to melt it.
You guys are not helping!!! I have thought of all those Ideas and will
probably go with one of them, but I like the old kettle and know there has
to be some way to use it. How to use it may be lost knowledge, I have
thought of maybe copper plateing the inside, when I get the free time.
Look up electro-plating. Perhaps that's what you need to do to the
inside. Since you like the look, try protecting the outside with wax.
When you put it on the stove again, the wax will evaporate off.
Just an idea.
Wise is the man who attempts to answer his question before asking it.
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Awkward at the best of times, this is damn near impossible on cast-iron,
if you expect it to be rustproof afterwards, The problem is porosity
forming around the free carbon grains.
I'd suggest cheap stainless instead, because it's 2007 and every kitchen
has a spare pot or pan in it.
If you do use cast iron, just let the water saturate with iron and then
no more will rust. Add a touch of Fernox (central heating water
treatment) or else just let some rust and dissolve.
Quit misapplying the product.
Go buy a copper bottom, stainless steel tea kettle, then throw in a few
marbles, fill with water and place on stove.
Marbles will keep deposits from forming in bottom of kettle.
I use dutch ovens a lot and the way I season them is to fully coat all
surfaces with cooking oil then put it in the oven at about 500 degrees until
the oil has been "burned" into a patina on the metal. It is as good as
teflon. If you search dutch oven seasoning on the web, you can find more
I don't know if this will work in the long run but top the water with some
oil. As the water evaporates, the oil should coat the sides of the pot,
leaving a barrier with might prevent rust. You might also try some rust
preventative paint type spray. They sell black paint for grills which
should hold up to the heat, not sure about the water.
The kettle is about 90+ years old so I don't know if it was ever seasoned
properly, I assumed it was and started using it to boil water. got rust.
Can't keep it full of water because in the winter it boils out and in the
summer it evaporates out. Boiled water in my CI bean pot a couple of time
and had to reseson it before I could cook properly again , so I don't think
the oil or grease trick will work. My properly seasoned frying pan is
better then a Teflon pan but it doesn't like water either. The paint for
stoves works great on stoves but doesn't hold up well to water. The only
trick I have found is once the kettle is dry is to scour it out and fill
with water, but it needs to be scoured each time it goes dry, a lot of
trouble. So far the only things that seem to be workaable are a new and
different type of kettle or plating the inside of this one. Any other Ideas
that anyone can think of let me know, and Lew I will try the marbles and see
if that helps any.
I don't quite understand what you want to do.
Do you want to show off your nice cast iron "teakettle"? Then I think
cleaning it, seasoning it, and keeping it nice and dry is you best bet -
make it a "schatzke" (spelling?).
Or do you want to humidify your room? In that case, there are real honest
to goodness humidifiers for sale. The alternative to a machine is to get a
shallow but large pan that can sit on a source of heat (radiator, stove,
what have you). Ideally it should be made of terracotta or something like
a pot for a plant (but then without a drainage hole!). A glass (Pyrex)
baking dish can do also. Way, way back there were terracotta (or something
like it) "tubes" that hung on a radiator, between the fins, and had to be
kept full of water. Worked very well, but technology has progressed
<grin>, and I can't really find them by googling.
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