Do you have an old rusted cast iron skillet that needs a new lease on life? Perhaps yours is forgotten in the garage after yet another move? Or you are a budget conscience deal queen and got a great, but rusty cast iron skillet from a garage sale? You can restore a rusty cast iron skillet!
Never fear, you can easily and simply fix up you old, rusty cast iron skillet with a bit of elbow grease and some actual grease!
Get some scouring pads, the ones made of metal. Steel wool! Now go to town on the rusty areas. Keep going until the rust is gone. If you have rust on the bottom and outside of the pan, get that off too. I personally would wear a set of rubber gloves for this. It gets a little dirty. It also produces tiny specks of black alllll around your kitchen while you scrub. So perhaps do this on a old towel. As you can see from my picture, my pan wasn’t too bad. But my arm did get a bit tired. It took me a couple rounds to get all the rust. I’m sure you have a lot more upper body strength than me!
Wash the pan in hot water and with soap. Be careful not to bang it around in your sink, these skillets are tanks and can probably do your nice sink a little damage. Give it a good wash and dry it right away, I stick mine on the stove for a couple minutes to warm it up.
Take your cooking fat of choice and a napkin or paper towel or cloth and wipe about a tablespoon of fat on the cooking surface and edges. Keep rubbing until the pan looks dry. This really rubs it in! You might have extra. Take a very small but of the fat and flip the pan upside down and coat the bottom and the sides and the handles. The non-cooking areas do not need as much fat. You’ll thank me later!
A word on the cooking fat. Please please don’t use a vegetable oil. Those oils are rancid and you will have rancid, inflammation inducing oil all over your foods. Instead use a stable, saturated fat, like lard from pastured cows or pigs, bacon grease, palm oil or coconut oil.
Heat the puppy up. You can bake your skillet in a 350 degree oven for about and hour. I bake my upside down, and put foil on a lower rack to catch any drips.
Alternatively, on a very hot day, you can put the skillet in you bbq or smoker (what I did) that’s been sitting in the sun. I’ll leave mine in about 2 hours and my smoker temperature gauge says ideal, which means its over 200 degree in there!
My favorite recipe using the cast iron skillet.. check it out!
Go forth and cook with your cast iron skillet!
How to Care for A Cast Iron Pan
- You can wash it with soap, but always dry quickly (Put it on the burner) and re-oil afterwards.
- You can scrub with a non- soaped sponge and course salt instead or a nylon type scrubby.
- Re-oil it occasionally- if it’s not seeming as non-stick as usual. Maybe once or twice a year.
- Hang dry in you can, oarlock I suggest above put it back on a burner or in a warm over to dry quickly.
- Store hanging, or in a drawer on a paper plate or towel, so you don’t soil the drawer with any oil.
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