Found a deal on a rusty cast iron pan? Make your old rusty cast iron skillet look great again with this cleaning and seasoning process.
Here’s how I cleaned old cast iron pans that now look like new.
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you decide to make a purchase through my link, Amazon will pay me a commission for it. This doesn’t cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free, so thank you!
This cast iron skillet was awfully rusted, and I honestly doubted that it could look shiny and black once more.
How I did it…
- First, I placed the rusty skillet on plastic. Although I thought about cleaning the pan outside, I decided to do it in the kitchen. I covered an area with newspaper and plastic.
- Next I used sandpaper that I had on hand in the kitchen. I’ve heard of 60-grit and 80-grit sandpaper being used. I’m not sure which grit mine was, but it got the job done.
- My cast iron skillet still looked rusty, so I scrubbed it with a steel wool soap pad.
- By this time, the rust had disappeared. Howeer, I cleaned the pan will a little Meyer’s dish soap (honeysuckle is my favorite) and hot water.
- I keep a few cloths in my kitchen just for cleaning and oiling the cast iron pans. Using one of them, I quickly dried the pan.
- Because the pan needed to be seasoned before cooking in it, I lightly seasoned it with vegetable oil. There are actually seasoning oils you can buy on Amazon specifically for cast iron…
- The cast iron pan was placed in my oven for an hour at 400 degrees F, upside down on top of a layer of foil on the middle rack.
As you can see, the pan looked completely different, like new, after this cleaning and seasoning oven process.
Hobby Farms shows the overall process of refurbishing cast iron should you like to learn more.
Reseasoning a cast iron pan
After “baking” the cast iron skillet for an hour, it looked like new. I had researched the way others clean and re-season their restored cast iron pans. Frying bacon was one way, so that’s what I did.
Sometimes, though, frying bacon makes my cast iron skillets sticky. But after I cleaned the pan with kosher salt and a scrubber this time, the pan looked great.
What I like to cook in my cast iron pans
Here are a few of the foods I enjoy cooking in my cast iron pans:
- cornbread – I store a small cast iron pan in the oven for baking cornbread.
- hamburger – patties and ground beef for stirfry recipes
- vegetables – squash, green beans, fried sweet potatoes, and several others
- biscuits – I love them baked in the cast iron skillets.
- bacon – You can cook it in a cast iron skillet on the stove or in the oven.
Hamburgers and ground beef recipes are great cooked in cast iron skillet. Check out Pattycakespantry.com’s Cheeseburger Pie.
Sweet Potatoes – Good baked or fried in a cast iron skillet, the Fried Sweet Potato Patties are delicious.
Biscuits – I love breakfast and especially biscuits dipped in ribbon cane syrup with butter (there’s a Southern way to do this.that I explain in Ribbon Cane Syrup – a Breakfast Food).
Serve that with Egg and Veggie Skillet Breakfast or simply fried eggs and bacon.
And there’s the Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Casserole,…
the recipe with baked bacon.
Food for thought: Does cast iron cooking enhance the flavor of foods? I think so. Your thoughts?