Restoring a toy waffle iron

The regular reader knows that I’m absolutely crazy about ancient cast iron, especially waffle irons, and built up a bit of a collection over the last years. I’ve had this one in my stash for about a year now, and thought it was time to give it some tlc and have it back to baking waffles.

It’s tiny, only about 10cm / 4 inches in diameter, because it’s actually a toy. I told a bit more about it in the Box of Misfits post. I thought it had the perfect size and design for ice cream sandwiches and maybe dutch stroopwafels.

It was in overall good shape, just needed new handles and new seasoning.

I started by stripping it on the grill (baked it for about an hour at 300°C) and then giving it a little massage with a wire brush. All the old seasoning burned off and seeing all the light grey always freaks me out a bit. Cast iron is not supposed to look like that!

3 layers of coconut oil got baked in at about 200°C for half an hour each. When I restore a frying pan, I add just a thin layer to the surface and wipe the excess off before I bake it. With all the nooks and crannies on the inside of the waffle irons, that’s impossible. I just brush the oil on generously, using a silicone brush, and let the excess drip off/burn away. That’s why I only do it outside. It smokes A LOT!

This is after the 2nd layer of coconut oil, already looking good!

Layer no.4 is always pork fat, I brush that on with a piece of back fat on the rind that renders itself during use. It’s also my favorite way to grease the irons while baking waffles. Just like my grandma always did, I have a piece of fatty pork rind sitting next to the iron and brush it through every now and then. It’s also a lot more economical than using rendered fat and a brush. A small piece lasts a long while.

After layer no.4, the iron was all black again, with that deep shine I love so much. It got new handles from the hardware store, they had some for key files that are a perfect fit. I only had to drill the holes a bit bigger than they were.

And now I have a test batch of stroop wafel dough waiting in the fridge. I’ll let you know tomorrow how those turned out. See ya!

Today’s playlist (with lots of breaks in between):

  • Midnight Oil – Beds Are Burning
  • Emil Bulls – We Built This City
  • Damn Yankees – High Enough
  • Van Halen – Dreams
  • Billy Idon – Rebel Yell
  • Led Zeppelin – Immigrant Song

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