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Kim H

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Help Please! Cast Iron Skillet

by Kim H » Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:38 pm

I accidentally slightly rusted my mama's cast iron skillet! Well, it's now mine, but I did something stupid. I simmered water in it to hold some mornay sauce in another pan, and now it's slightly rusted on the bottom. It's not horrible, but I'm not sure how to fix it. I've looked up various methods on the inet, but would like some expert advice please! I wanted to use it for steaks in the coming days, but not like this. TIA!
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Robin Garr

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Re: Help Please! Cast Iron Skillet

by Robin Garr » Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:51 pm

Kim, black-iron skillets are just about indestructible! That level of rust is probably going to call for a steel-wool scrub and then re-season. To spare a lot of typing, let's ask the Lodge skillet people via Google! :D The video is short and very clear.

How do I remove rust from my cookware?

Rust on Lodge Cast Iron Cookware indicates the seasoning needs to be replenished, or in some instances completely replaced. Three types of rusting can occur:

Flash Rusting: Usually, rust on a new piece of cookware is flash rusting. Rubbing vegetable oil briskly with a cloth on the affected area can remedy this type rust.

Profile Rusting: This rust is seen and felt on the cookware. To remove this type rust use a very fine grade of steel wool or an abrasive soap pad, such as SOS, Brillo, etc. to scrub the affected area. When the piece is scrubbed down to raw cast iron it should be re-seasoned immediately (video).
https://youtu.be/Gg6S6vWyPH8

Severe Rust: If rust is covering the majority of the cast iron is considered severe. Perhaps the item has been in a state of neglect. No amount of hand scrubbing will remove this rust. To salvage the cookware take it to a local machine shop or auto/body shop and have it sandblasted, returning to its raw form. The cookware should then be seasoned immediately.
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Re: Help Please! Cast Iron Skillet

by Robin Garr » Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:52 pm

Also, try the easy way first. :)

Flash Rusting: Usually, rust on a new piece of cookware is flash rusting. Rubbing vegetable oil briskly with a cloth on the affected area can remedy this type rust.
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Kim H

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Re: Help Please! Cast Iron Skillet

by Kim H » Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:05 pm

Thank you, Robin! I should've thought to consult Lodge. I saw one method involving white vinegar. The skillet was great before my silly move to use it for a bain marie. Doh! Do you know anything about the white vin method?

"Mix the water and vinegar 50/50, and let the pan soak in the mixture for an hour or up to six depending on how bad the rust is. Then gently scrub the rust away from the cast iron pan with your scrubber. He used a copper pad, but you could also go with our trusty salt scrub method to remove the rust and debris as well. Whatever you do, make sure you're complete and remove as much of the rust as possible."
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Re: Help Please! Cast Iron Skillet

by Robin Garr » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:06 pm

Kim, I think any of those old-school methods would work. Black iron skillets really are indestructible, and based on my own experience as well as looking at Chef Google's advice, I don't think yours is in that bad shape. I probably would try rubbing it with oil - the easy method - to see if that does the trick. Then maybe the salt rub, and go to stainless steel and re-seasoning only if needed. I'm sure it will be fine, and once you've got it back in shape, please post and let us know.
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Re: Help Please! Cast Iron Skillet

by Kim H » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:47 pm

I'm going to start with the oil/salt rub, thx! We'll see how it goes, and I'll let you know! (fingers crossed)
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Re: Help Please! Cast Iron Skillet

by Kim H » Mon Apr 10, 2017 11:56 pm

Yay! It wasn't that big of a deal/rust situation. I took Robin's/Lodge advice, added veg oil and kosher salt, and scrubbed with a towel. Wiped out, and put in 250 oven for an hour. Tomorrow, I must fry bacon and sausage to make sure I replace the goodness! :-)
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Re: Help Please! Cast Iron Skillet

by Robin Garr » Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:34 am

Yay! Glad it worked out, Kim. It's really mighty hard to ruin a black iron skillet, though. :)

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