How To Clean and Season Old, Rusty Cast Iron Skillets 

An iron skillet is for life!!! If you want to keep your iron skillet clean and in perfect “shape” its best to know some tips: first and most important do not wash your skillet with hot water and soap. Not even a drop of soap next to it. After you’ve done cooking, rinse the skillet to remove all burns from it. Don’t use any more a scrubbing pad. If you really need to scrub more just use a little bit of salt and a sponge and wash the skillet with warm water. Never soak the skillet for a long time and also do not wash it in the dishwasher. You can find a lot of other tips on how to clean an old, rusty skillet on the link bellow…..

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How To Clean and Season Old, Rusty Cast Iron Skillets 


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28 Responses to "How To Clean and Season Old, Rusty Cast Iron Skillets "

  1. Shirley Guthrie says:

    You put lots an lots of oil In the iron pans. Cool them in the oven over an over until their black. I’ve done this so many times, I know it works

  2. andytm07 says:

    Our every post is put in a program that gives 100% originality. So I am not plagiarising info. Also, every person in the world makes mistakes when it comes to spelling and also grammar. I am not perfect! No one is!! If you do not like our post no problem. We don’t mind. Thank you. Good bye

  3. Andrew says:

    If the skillet is old and rusty, scrub it clean with whatever you like, coarse steel wool, a green scourer or sand blast!. Then put oil in the pan and enough salt to soak up the oil. Put it on the hob and put it on high heat until it smokes a bit. Leave it for 10 minutes and then turn off the heat until it cools. Wipe out the salt and give it a quick cold water rinse. Start cooking and after that, just rinse with warm water and a plastic pot brush. Wipe with oil and out away. As said, never use soap. Each time you cook, the coating builds up as a non stick finish. Trust me, I’m a chef 😉

  4. RJ says:

    Had some really bad iron in our scout troop. Ran them through a self-cleaning cycle in my oven. Result was some cookware that, after they were reseasoned, looked brand new. Simple AND easy.

  5. Sandy says:

    To season or reason cast iron slather real good with Crisco(lard). Then place in the oven at 400 degrees or better for 1hr to 1hr and half. Don’t be stingy with the lard. Works every time. After cooking in pan just wipe out food and excess oil and rinse in warm water. Air dry or wipe out with a towel that doesn’t leave behind fuzziness.

  6. Diane says:

    I have been using my cast iron pan for decades and always wash it in warm water and soap. I cook meat in it, so soap is a must. I’d never not do this. How are you to kill the germs and bacteria without soap? My mother still uses the cast iron pan she’s had before I was born (almost 50 years ago), and she washes it in soapy water. So if you prefer to use soap, no worries. If it is a good pan it will out live you.

    I spread lard in it about once a month and cook it on top of the stove for about 15 minutes. It has a wooden handle, so I don’t put it in the oven to cure.

    • Jo says:

      Salt destroys any bacteria that outlived the heat of cooking meat so using soap is not necessary. 🙂

      • TigerLily says:

        Salt is the best antiseptic cleaner [ok, ONE of the best]. I was taught over 50 years ago to “scrub the pan out” using salt…….. any problems, use something like a razor to remove debris. When you have moved past salt to clean the cast Iron pan, you now have to “season” it again with oil and more salt. Various seasoning methods have been described, so i won’t go there…….. I use a stove top, but whatever method you use, the oil has to be “smokin” very nicely [the BBQ outside can achieve this without the odours….. see oven seasoning by the chef]. If you desire you can add FRESH ground pepper to the “seasoning” of the pan, but……. i prefer to add that when I want it and know how much i’m getting. 😀

    • jeff says:

      the 400+ degree heat that a frying pan is subjected to when in use completely destroys any bacteria there, so no need to worry about disinfecting with soap. You know what fire does to a human body? Well, it does the same thing to bacteria. No survivors.

    • Jackie says:

      I do the same thing. I have a need to use good old soap and water to clean off my cast iron pans. after they are washed I rub it with oil (just a small coating) It’s the oil that keeps it from rusting.

      • Sheila says:

        I always use soap and hot water. I rinse well and put in on the stovetop on low to dry. Once dry, I give it a nice rub of Crisco. I’ve have the same 2 skillets for 35 years and they are my favorite to cook just about anything with.

    • Mark says:

      Soap is simply a grease cutter that does not have anti-bacterial properties. I.e. Using soap will destroy the layer of protective oil that the heat treatment provides.

      • Tony K says:

        Sorry but you are wrong. Why do you think it’s so important for health care workers (I’m one of them) to wash their hands with soap? Because soap kills bacteria. I won’t go into how, but the chemical properties that make soap remove the oil from your pans make soap kill bacteria.

        As others have pointed out, it’s fine to wash your cast iron pan with soap and water. Just make sure to apply a thin coat of oil to replenish the oil that was washed away, or your pans will certainly rust.

        • Lori says:

          Well we don’t heat health care workers to 350 degrees. That kill the germs on food in the pan. Cast Iron is porous and the soap will collect in the pores and will flavor the food. Some people think washing chicken and other birds will help kill bacteria also. The splashing of the water on sink and countertop spread more bacteria around the kitchen so fry the chicken in the cast iron pan not washed with soap and you will be fine.

    • David says:

      Diane, assuming that you are cooking at a high temperature then the heat will destroy the bacteria etc….. unless they are extremophiles 😉

  7. gloria chapman says:

    thanks for all the info… i have a old cast iron pan that I am redoing… gave away my big one…

  8. Hoppymoto says:

    My grammar is the worst, but I can season a pan. I’ve found lard to work very well. It adds a sense of harmony and nostalgia while seasoning cast iron and well woks too. Cheers!

  9. Glenn says:

    Why not use butter? I do all the time since I don’t use hydroginated vegetable oils (Or shortening). Lard, (rendered animal fat) would work for me also. I won’t even use non-stick cooking sprays. Not that they don’t work for seasoning, I just believe they are un-healthy so I don’t buy them.
    For cleaning use a stainless steel pot scrubber and cold water.
    I use mine while camping all the time, don’t have the luxury of a oven for re seasoning, i just scrub it coat it with butter and put it back over the fire to re heat

    • TigerLily says:

      Butter has a lower “smoke point” than beef tallow [lard] does. Lard is the best for seasoning as it won’t reach the smoke point that adds carcinogens to your cast iron pan. Your grandmother could never afford to waste butter on seasoning a pan!

  10. Beverly Burnett. Indiana says:

    You need to scrub them if they are rusty with hot sudsy water and rinse in hot water, now dry and then oil inside and out then put in oven on 400 and bake for 30-45 min then turn off oven and let cool completely. From now on do not put in soapy water and only cool water to clean. Now dry and oil again and put in oven for 30-40 minutes for the next 2-4 times it will be seasoned. Be patient it will become a beautiful non stick pan! Good luck and enjoy this old way of frying an egg, potatoes, cornbread meat and anything else you wish to cook in them. On top of the stove or in the oven!

  11. John says:

    I have been using cast iron all my life. To clean from daily use, wipe out or clean with warm water. For stubborn cleaning just fill with water and heat on stove and scrape away with spatula. After each use apply Crisco. To season clean pan first. Coat with Crisco and bake at 450 in oven for one hour. I always heat pans upside down on the rack to prevent pooling of Crisco.

  12. Paul says:

    The Chinese have been practicing this since the invention of the wok.

    We refer to the practice as ‘seasoning’ the wok. New woks need to be ‘seasoned’ by heating it up until the metal turns bluish black, then 1/2 cup of cooking oil (preferably coconut oil) is poured into the hot wok and spread all over the wok surface. This procedure takes almost 2 hours.

    A perfectly seasoned wok will have a shiny black coating after this. After use, the wok is never washed with detergent but simply washed with water and scrubbed with a brush.

    Each time you cook with the wok, it only seasons the wok even more and this ‘seasoning’ actually enhances the flavour of the dishes cooked in the wok over time.

  13. Don says:

    Actual lard , not vegetable oil or the lard you buy off shelf, lard drop pigs is the very best seasoning for any cast iron pots , heat 1/2 cup lard in pan for 1 hr and leave ,do not burn lard just keep hot

  14. Curt says:

    I’ve been using a cast iron pan for years to fry eggs and sausages and whatever else and if my pan gets crusty or dried on food in it I just heat it on the stove till its pretty hot then put some cool water in it. It steam cleans it and then I just scrape it out and rinse it. For shore frying fish just rub it out with wet sand from the lake.

  15. norma says:

    M uuuuuuuuuuy interesante.

  16. ray says:

    Only antibacterial soap kills bacteria. Most dish soaps are not antibacterial. People shouldn’t be using antibacterial soaps at home anyway.

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