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Thread: bad cast iron skillet

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    bad cast iron skillet

    Found an abused cast skillet that was probably cleaned with Comet or ? It has rust on the cooking surface.
    Can these be "re-seasoned" to make them useful again?
    If so, how?
    Thanks

  2. #2

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Clean it good, removing rust and corrosion. Sand Blasting is quick and easy. Wash it and dry it. Then reseason it as you normally would. I season most cast iron in the charcoal grill. Coat pan with a heavy coat of Crisco sides and bottom ( 1/8-3/16 thick). get a good bed of coals glowing and set pan in them close lid and let alone. let coals burn down and out and pan cool slowly. I ussualy put it in the grill and come back the next morning for it. Clean up and finish by normal cooking in it.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master redhawk0's Avatar
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    I do something similar to country gent...except I use olive oil on all sides to season. Always wipe out your pan with a paper towel when done and go easy on any cleaning products (if any) after you've used it to cook with. If you like bacon (and who doesn't)...its also a great way to build up that "patina" on the cook surface....make lots of bacon in it.

    redhawk

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  5. #5
    Boolit Bub Light attack's Avatar
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    Fry a pan of Fried Chicken. One of the best ways to season it.

    Gary

  6. #6
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    Run a power sander on the bottom to get it really slick and smooth.
    If ya don't drag or bang it around, it'll be OK to use on a modern flat top stove too.
    Everyone can learn from their mistakes. However; it's less painful, and cheaper to learn from the mistakes of others.

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  7. #7
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    Yes don't sand blast it ! Glass beads followed with orbital sander up thru 400 grit. The smoother it is the better it will season.

  8. #8
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    Alternate is soak in white vinegar to remove rust, sand any pitted areas to smooth them, re-season...

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    My aunt hangs it in a pot of fry oil to season her cast iron

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    A good soak in water/citric acid will remove all the rust and then you can pick one of the many ways to season it. I found an old cast lead pot at the flea market. It had obviously been sitting out in the environment for a long time and was covered in about 1/8" of solid rust. I soaked it in a citric acid solution in a bucket and after a day or two, if you looked into the bucket without disturbing the solution, you could see rust hanging off the handle of the pot like Spanish moss off a tree. Cleaned that pot right down to bare cast iron! I have since used the same method to clean minor rust off a couple of cheaply acquired bullet moulds.
    R.D.M.

  11. #11
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    50% vinegar and water, soak but not over 30mins, pull iron out and check the condition. If you leave it in vinegar too long, it will pit the iron.

    An e-tank is the REAL way to remove rust, if you google that, you will see how to make one and use a battery charger to remove the rust. Please DO NOT mechanically clean cast iron cookware. If the pan is an old collectible, it will devalue it for sure to blast or wire wheel the surface. E-tank and lye will take it to bare black iron and you can season it from there.
    Got a .22 .30 .32 .357 .38 .40 .41 .44 .45 .480 or .500 S&W cylinder that needs throat reaming? 9mm, 10mm/40S&W, 45 ACP pistol barrel that won't "plunk" your handloads? Shoot me a PM! Also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cylinderhone-756429174391912/

  12. #12
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    My daughter , a cast iron fanatic , swears the best way to reseason cast iron is to deep fry in it, chicken , fish , fry-bread .....whatever you like deep fried. Deep frying in lard also helps speed up the process . Clean only with hot water . After a few frying sessions the heat and oil/lard will get back down into the pores and create another cooking surface .
    Gary
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  13. #13
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    Tom W.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackthorn View Post
    A good soak in water/citric acid will remove all the rust and then you can pick one of the many ways to season it. I found an old cast lead pot at the flea market. It had obviously been sitting out in the environment for a long time and was covered in about 1/8" of solid rust. I soaked it in a citric acid solution in a bucket and after a day or two, if you looked into the bucket without disturbing the solution, you could see rust hanging off the handle of the pot like Spanish moss off a tree. Cleaned that pot right down to bare cast iron! I have since used the same method to clean minor rust off a couple of cheaply acquired bullet moulds.


    I do so hope that you don't cook with that pot.....
    Tom
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  14. #14
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    E Tank and a piece of rebar. Works like a charm. A 400 degree oven works great although with some of the smoke I thought the BBQ grill worked just as well. Tried several types of oil like olive, coconut, etc but plain Veg Oil seemed to work as well as any.
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom W. View Post
    I do so hope that you don't cook with that pot.....
    The pot is similar to the small cast Lyman pot, only somewhat larger (not much) although I have never actually measured the amount it would hold. It is shaped like a (very small) "witches'" pot, sans legs and has a flat bottom. I am however curious as to why you advise against cooking in a cast pot cleaned this way as I am under the impression that citric acid is commonly used in preserving food?
    R.D.M.

  16. #16
    Boolit Grand Master

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    One concern would be leading, if anyone has used that vessel for melting lead, it is likely contaminated and there really isn't a sure fire way to get it all out. A $9 3M lead tester kit from Home Depot would tell if there is any lead present, good insurance to use on a piece of cast iron that you don't know the history of.
    Got a .22 .30 .32 .357 .38 .40 .41 .44 .45 .480 or .500 S&W cylinder that needs throat reaming? 9mm, 10mm/40S&W, 45 ACP pistol barrel that won't "plunk" your handloads? Shoot me a PM! Also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cylinderhone-756429174391912/

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    What He said. ^^^^^^^ It's not worth taking a chance until you find out.



    I found an old cast lead pot at the flea market.



    Not trying to upset anyone......
    Tom
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    Did I ever mention that I hate to trim brass?

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy
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    The pot does sound like an early Lyman lead melting pot.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master Petander's Avatar
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    I like cast iron kitchenware a lot. My wife tells me we have enough of them but...

    One way to clean them is to heat them up to glowing red,I do that in winter in a fireplace if a skillet or pan is starting to stick. Then cool it a bit and use generous amounts of lard.

    Glowing burns impurities away and leaves bare iron that needs lots of lard , bacon, whatever you have. Warm it up a couple of more times,no more red,add more lard. The iron will re-condition nicely.

    I just happened to post this in Facebook today:

    Click image for larger version. 

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Views:	14 
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    I heated this one red five years ago. Still not sticking - and there was visible rust when I got this.
    Last edited by Petander; 02-05-2019 at 06:55 PM. Reason: Add pic

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Cast iron cook ware was never meant to be run glowing red. You may get away with it but the pan will probably warp or worse crack. As Doug mentioned electrolysis for rust and lye bath for heavy carbon is a better bet.

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