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Old 03-14-2009, 08:30 PM   #1
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Restoring Cast Iron

I have a Lodge 12" Cast Iron Skillet that I pretty much forgot I even had. Its probally like 4 or 5 years old or even more I think. Anyways. I dug it out of storage today and it is pretty gross. Lots of Filth and Rust on it. What can I do to restore it to its glory days? How would I go about cleaning it and removing the rust from it? Thanks in advance!

Scott "InkedParrot"

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Old 03-14-2009, 08:44 PM   #2
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First, get rid of the crud. I found the easiest way is to fire up the gas grill and put the pan in there with the heat cranked up full blast. All the crud will burn off. If there's any rust left, sand that off too.

That done, season it as you would a new pan. Coat the entire pan inside and and out with a thin coating of vegetable shortening. Place it in a 350 F oven, upside down with a pan or sheet of foil under it to catch the drips. Bake for one hour, turn off the oven and let it cool in the oven.
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Old 03-15-2009, 04:04 AM   #3
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Thanks, I will try that and see how it goes. I don't have a gas grill ( I like charcoal ) would the work as good??

Side Note: So tonight I was digging through the cupboards for a lid to a pan and I came across a 8" Cast Iron Skillet I forgot about. A couple years ago a friend gave it to me when she was moving and I forgot about it. It wasn't in to bad of shape either. I scrubed under hot water and dryed it, oiled it up and now I have it in the oven cooking in that oil. Can't wait to try it out.
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Old 03-15-2009, 08:58 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InkedParrot View Post
I have a Lodge 12" Cast Iron Skillet that I pretty much forgot I even had. Its probally like 4 or 5 years old or even more I think. Anyways. I dug it out of storage today and it is pretty gross. Lots of Filth and Rust on it. What can I do to restore it to its glory days? How would I go about cleaning it and removing the rust from it? Thanks in advance!

Scott "InkedParrot"
On a recent episode of Americas Test Kitchen they put a 1/2 "
layer of oil in the pan, heated it up to smoking and added a lot
of coarse salt - this made a paste - which they scrubbed the pan with.

As far as removing rust - a metal brush on an electric drill might do it,
soaking the pan in a vinegar and salt bath may do it, Naval Jelly will
certainly do it but you have the problem of making sure you get
all the noxious chemicals off of the pan.
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Old 03-16-2009, 07:56 PM   #5
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May I share what The Pan Man suggests, and I have used many times? He's a noted Griswold collector.
Get Easy Off oven cleaner with lye, you may need to go to the hardware store. With rubber gloves and goggles, and working outside, slather that pan up on all surfaces with the cleaner. Stick it in a garbage bag and seal it up tight. let it set for 3-4 days. Now with soap, water, and a brass brush used on whitewall tires, scrub it clean, gloves and goggles again. It should be beautiful gray iron. Wipe it dry right away or it'll flash rust. Now put it in a pre heated 250 degree oven for 30 minutes, to get it totally dry. Now wipe it down with Crisco, all over, and place it right side up in the oven. After 30 minutes wipe out the excess and put it back in the oven for 30 more minutes. Shut off the oven and let it cool down, and you're ready to cook.
I used this method on a 1930's Griswold that looked like it had been in a swamp since 1940, worked great.
And shame on you for having a great skillet like a 12 inch Lodge and not using it....
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