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Old 04-01-2014, 02:18 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Using ammonia will remove the seasoning from the entire pan! If the cooking surface is good, and you only want to clean the exterior, an abrasive such as steel wool or similar may be the way to go. There is no sense in disturbing a perfectly good decades old cooking surface.
True 'nuf. guess I didn't think that one through. It still works for barbecue and oven grates though.

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Old 04-01-2014, 04:34 PM   #62
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Thank you, Chief and Andy! A wire brush it is, then. I'll report back once it's done and let y'all know the results.
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Old 04-01-2014, 08:55 PM   #63
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Lordy ! It's simple

Hot soapy water ( dish soap/detergent ) scrubby/scrungie

Done
I'm a bit skeptical about hot soapy water harming a cast iron skillet other than temporarily, despite what some have said. When mine has too much crud I get out a plastic scrubber and a bunch of dish washing soap and scrub away best I can, then run it through the dish washer.

The next few times I use it I oil it to keep the food from sticking, then clean it with a scrubber and plain water. After a few oil, cook, wash with water cycles it's as good as new. Good as old. Whatever.

The problem the OP has is rust. I'd tackle that with a wire brush and steel wool, then run it through my suggested method above.


And yes, whoever said it, of course if you heat it until it's red hot then throw it in ice water it will probably warp or shatter. You could drive a caterpillar over it and destroy it. I meant you wouldn't destroy it doing reasonable things.


It's amazing to consider that cast iron was the original non-stick cooking surface. The Iron Age began about 1,000 BC (possibly much earlier) and lasted trough about 700 AD, and cast iron cookware might have been in use around the time of Jesus.

And it's still such a good cooking utensil it is worth having in our modern day kitchens!


(No comment on the ammonia method since I've never tried that.)
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Old 04-01-2014, 09:55 PM   #64
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...It's been somewhat neglected, the cooking area is in fairly good shape but the outside of the skillet is bumpy from crud buildup.

I would love to clean it up and use it again. I think I'll buy one of those steel scrubbers to use on the outside and once that's done, I hope to re-season it and use it....

As the poster was concerned with the exterior of the pan only, a localized cleaning is in order rather than re-seasoning the entire pan. Crud, not rust is the issue here.

I'd start with scraping then sanding then grinding if needed.
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:02 PM   #65
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And yes, whoever said it, of course if you heat it until it's red hot then throw it in ice water it will probably warp or shatter. You could drive a caterpillar over it and destroy it. I meant you wouldn't destroy it doing reasonable things.
It does not take red hot heat and ice water to cause a CI pan to shatter from thermal shock. Taking it out of a 500 degree oven and plunging it into a sink full of water could just as easily do it and that would be a reasonable thing for someone who did not know better to do. I have also heard of them shattering when being dropped on hard surfaces from a height (dropping on a stone floor from a counter), but I do not recall the specific details so I can't comment further on that.

As far as cookware goes though, there is little doubt CI is the most indestructible of what is available.
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:10 PM   #66
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Tonight I dropped my 2-quart All-Clad Stainless saucepan onto the ceramic tile floor and as it was falling the thought that flashed through my head was, "Which one will I have to replace?" The answer is neither. Lucky.
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:50 PM   #67
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As the poster was concerned with the exterior of the pan only, a localized cleaning is in order rather than re-seasoning the entire pan. Crud, not rust is the issue here.

I'd start with scraping then sanding then grinding if needed.
Yes, it's a crud issue and not rust, thank goodness. I just ran a butter knife over a couple of blobs of crud and they pretty much just popped off, so it appears as though it won't be too much of a biggie to clean off the outside with a wire brush. Thanks to all again for your suggestions and help.
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:54 PM   #68
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Tonight I dropped my 2-quart All-Clad Stainless saucepan onto the ceramic tile floor and as it was falling the thought that flashed through my head was, "Which one will I have to replace?" The answer is neither. Lucky.
Whew! Yes, you were lucky that both survived! Bet your heart skipped a beat or two as it was falling.
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Old 04-01-2014, 11:00 PM   #69
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Yes, it's a crud issue and not rust, thank goodness. I just ran a butter knife over a couple of blobs of crud and they pretty much just popped off, so it appears as though it won't be too much of a biggie to clean off the outside with a wire brush. Thanks to all again for your suggestions and help.
That's good news. If you don't have to clean down to bare metal, you won't have to re-season.
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Old 04-02-2014, 12:49 AM   #70
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Tonight I dropped my 2-quart All-Clad Stainless saucepan onto the ceramic tile floor and as it was falling the thought that flashed through my head was, "Which one will I have to replace?" The answer is neither. Lucky.
Lucky your toes weren't between those two either! BTW, make sure the saucepan is still true round. I dropped one "just so" and managed to bend the rim ever so slightly and the lid wouldn't fit tight. Himself did his manly thing and saved the pan...and me.
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