eHow To The Rescue

January 8, 2009 at 10:14 am (Projects) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

My grandmother gave me a tiny cast iron skillet the other day.  I know that these pans are much sought after, but have never owned one.  Although this one is just a baby she said you could use it for an egg or just to hang on the wall.  So, I was going to do both.  But, the skillet has some rust problems.  I know that you can removed rust from other metals using steel wool, but how to remove it from cast iron?  I looked it up on eHow.  I haven’t tried it yet, but they do have instrucitons for rust removal:

1. Depending on the pan’s size, pour 2 to 4 tbsp. salt into the middle of the pan. Add an equal amount of vegetable oil.
2. Scrub the pan vigorously with a folded paper towel, concentrating on the rusted spots but covering all surfaces with the oil and salt mixture. Add more salt or oil as needed.
3. For more serious rust spots, scrub with fine steel wool.
4. Wash the pan with dishwashing liquid and rinse well with hot water. Dry completely.
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This seems easy enough.  I will give it a try.  eHow also had instructions for “seasoning”  a cast iron skillet.  This will keep it rust-free and non-stick.  Who knew?  I will have to do this too:
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1. A well-seasoned cast-iron pan will resist rust and create a virtually nonstick surface for cooking. To season it, brush vegetable oil lightly over all its surfaces.
2. Heat the pan in an oven at 250 degF (120 degC) for 1 hour, recoating it with more oil after 30 minutes.
3.Wipe the pan well with paper towels and let it cool completely before using it.
4. To preserve this natural, protective coating, do not use soap when cleaning a seasoned pan. Instead, scrub it with salt and oil, rinse it with hot water, then dry it completely over low heat before storing it.
The full link is here: http://www.ehow.com/how_114309_remove-rust-cast.html.  Thanks eHow!  I will post before and after pictures of how this process works.  Here is the tiny little skillet:
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2 Comments

  1. tasek said,

    Cast iron skillets are the best skillets I have used. Very even heat distribution and the best part, non-stick (better than teflon if you ask me). I can easily cook food that most usually dread cooking even with a teflon coated skillet. I can cook fish and tofu without them breaking the flesh when flipping on a well seasoned cast iron skillet. The problem is, proper care and regular use has to be rendered or else, it will rust. I burned the skillet a few times in my life, I seasoned it after using and forgot to turn off the heat… I once left the fire on overnight by accident only to find a red hot skillet on my stove in the morning. And yes, the skillet is still in perfect condition (telfon skillets would be buried six feet under with such abuse). I learned a trick from a friend who stayed with me one, he was so lazy to clean up after him and left the oil in the skillet after frying eggs and bacon; and washed it just before the next use. I realized that the skillet stayed seasoned and in much better condition than if I washed and season it after use. Strange but true, a cast iron skillet requires the right kind of neglect to stay in top form.

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