Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Clean Old Cast Iron Cookware

Rust on a cast iron skillet is completely normal.

If you recently discovered a rusty old cast iron skillet in your garage or at a yard sale, don't be deceived by its disheveled appearance. These heavy pieces of cookware are designed to hold up against the ultimate test of time. Restoring an old cast iron skillet to its original condition simply requires some heat, vinegar and elbow grease. Once cleaned up, you can use your cast iron cookware for your everyday culinary needs. Add this to my Recipe Box.


1. Place the cast iron pan upside down on a rack in your oven. Turn on the self-cleaning cycle and use this high-heat cycle to burn off excessive filth or rust.

2. Fill a sink or bucket with a solution of one part water and one part white vinegar. Fill the container with enough solution to complete submerge the pan.

3. Allow the pan to soak for up to four hours. Do not soak the cast iron pan for more than four hours, as the vinegar can dissolve the surface of your pan.

4. Wear rubber gloves to remove the pan from the vinegar solution. Scrub any stubborn spots with a plastic scrub brush. Rinse the pan and towel dry.

5. Season the cast iron surface by applying a thin coat of vegetable oil to the entire surface of the pan. Heat your oven to 350 degrees and cook the pan for 45 minutes. Repeat this process three times to finish the cleaning and seasoning process.

Tags: cast iron, cast iron skillet, iron skillet, four hours, your oven