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pro-tips: de-rusting / re-seasoning Cast iron Pans

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#1 jme

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 01:31 PM

I've got a 3 piece of Cast iron Pans, 12"-10"-8" that have been in storage for years.

One of them has some significant rust - One of the them has less rust - One of them looks to be rust free.

I'm just looking for some re-affirmation from folks that have done this before, and any pro-tips.

I'm reading that I need to scrub, scrub, scrub that rust off, and then give all three of them a seasoning.

I've got a charcoal grill that i can get upto 450 - 500 degrees, and I DO NOT want to do this in my oven.

after the rust removal, is it as simple as covering with a light cooking oil, and just heating the everliving shit out of the pans?

then after cooling i apply a thin oil surface, rinse, heat and store?

please and thank you to continue the discussion here. :beer:

#2 Eddie Z

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 03:37 PM

I used to buy people's old cast iron pans at yard sales, and sandblast the rust off. Then I'd follow directions for seasoning, which I believe was a thin coat of veg oil and 350 degrees for an hour. I think you can find the seasoning directions on the lodge cookware website. Why won't you do it in the oven? It's no big deal..

#3 deadheadskier

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 03:48 PM

I'm going with this woman's methods with a pan, probably tonight. I've tried others. I think the key maybe to preheat the pan first to open the pores. I've tried just lubing it up and throwing it in the oven before and felt the grease didn't absorb properly.


#4 jme

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 09:04 PM

the small kitchen is right in the middle of the small house, and i don't want the possibility of smoking to be an issue. if it's outside I hear less grief.

let me know how it goes. I'm most likely giving this a shot with the non-rusted pan this weekend.. i'll use that experience to help with the other ones which require more work.

#5 deadheadskier

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 09:23 PM

One issue you may have with doing it outside, is you need to have a cookie sheet underneath the pan to catch the grease drippings. I'm not sure how all of the grease going onto your grill flames is going to help or harm the process. You're supposed to do both the outside and inside of the pan.

I have a VERY small condo, and even though I've effed up the process the two times I've tried seasoning our pan, I haven't had any issues with smoke.

#6 LostsailorVT

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 04:37 AM

I had one that was rusted really bad. I used a wire brush attachment on an electric drill to get most of the heavy rust off, then scrubbed it w/ steel wool, washed it in water, then re-seasoned it. It was a pain in the ass, but now i have a nice cast iron dutch oven.

#7 Feck

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 08:38 PM

i've also read Linseed Oil is supposed to work better than olive oil, peanut oil etc.

pretty sure that was in an old Cooks Illustrated i got from my SIL

#8 jme

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 02:05 PM

the lightest of the olive oils should work (468 degree smoke point).. linseed = flaxseed? that's a really low smoke point, no? some poeple even recommended avocado oil (520 degrees), but i think anything smoking over 450 should do fine.

I have no problem getting a pan between the coals and the rack on the grill. I'm def gonna do the easy one outside, and if I don't smoke it to bad, i'll try the others inside on a cold day. they are the smaller ones and I may even be able to fit them both in the over at the same time.

I'm also getting a wire brush attachment for the drill. I've seen this several places over the last couple of days, too. no need to scrub if i can pull a trigger.

#9 Feck

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 03:42 PM

correct, flaxseed oil

The ultimate way to season cast iron, per Cook's Illustrated


i only have 1 or 2 non cast iron pots and pans at home, if mine get a little rust, i usually just heat them up and wipe them down with what ever oil i have around. Real bad, or if my friend Patty cleans them too hard i will put them in a hot oven for a while, wipe them down and put them back in for an hour or so. Then let it cool and do it again , once a day for a few days.

i've never really seen much difference in whih oil i used, but then again i don't keep track.