By in Random

How To Restore Vintage Cast-Iron Cookware

I love my old cast iron skillets and am currently looking for a cast iron griddle. Properly seasoned and cared for, cast iron is as non-stick as any modern pans. The stuff lasts forever and is usually passed down from generation to generation.

Even so, sometimes it will rust. If you come across a piece at a flea market or auction, chances are it's COVERED with rust. That doesn't mean it has to be relegated to the junk pile, it just means you're going to have to work a little bit.

The first step is to take it down to bare metal using whatever means necessary. If the damage isn't too bad, you can fix it with a steel wool pad and some elbow grease. If it's too bad to fix with steel wool, there are other means.If you have a machine shop in your area you can take it in to be sandblasted. You can run it through a cleaning cycle in your self-cleaning oven, if you have one.

Alternatively, you can spray it evenly (and generously) with oven cleaner, put it in a trash bag and fasten, and let it sit for two days. After two days, check it. If any really bad spots remain, repeat the procedure. Rinse off all the gunk you can and put the skillet to soak in an 8:1 mixture of warm water and vinegar. Let it sit at least 30 minutes.

Once it's down to the bare metal, wash it in warm, soapy water, rinse well, and dry thoroughly with a dish towel or paper towels. Now give it a nice even wipe of grease; olive oil, vegetable oil, lard, etc. and place it upside down on a rack in the oven. Put a piece of aluminum foil on the lower rack to catch any drips. "Cook" the skillet at 350-400 degrees for 45 minutes, wipe with a paper towel and - voila - your cast iron skillet is good as new!

Image Credit »

You will need an account to comment - feel free to register or login.


wolfgirl569 wrote on March 29, 2015, 9:28 AM

I love my cast iron, even have a couple of pots that are very handy when I have to cook over an open fire. You can not hurt them

Alexandoy wrote on March 29, 2015, 9:08 PM

We have several old pots and pans inherited from my grandparent. I just don't know where they are now.