How can I repair my cast iron frying pan that was washed with too harsh a detergent?
If the patina is not all gone (chunks missing), you need to remove it with steal wool and reseason. If it is just not shiny you can just reseason it. Rub the inside of the pan with lard (corn oil will work but lard works better). Place in a 300 f. oven for 1 hr., let cool and wipe out. Do this 4 or 5 times and it will be good as new. You can find lard where the Crisco is. This is how my grandmother reseasoned her pans before non stick coatings. Never put acid foods in them, no tomatoes, etc. They will eat off the patina.
Place aluminum foil on the bottom rack of your oven or use a cookie sheet wide enough to hold the frying pan.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
I presume there is little rust, so scour it off with steel wool and rinse lightly. Dry pan.
Heat the pan on top of the stove on low heat and add about a teaspoon of shortening or oil. Remove the pan from the heat and wipe the entire surface with the oil.
Place the pan upside down in your oven so that any excess oil drips down instead of pooling in the pan.
Bake for 1 hour. There may be some slight smell and smoke. No cause for worry.
After the hour, turn off oven and keep pan in there until oven and pan have cooled.
After use, clean and re-coat with a light layer of oil before putting it away. Put paper towel over surface if any other pot sits inside of it. (That prevents rust forming.)
Fry bacon in it. Do not eat the bacon. Rub the bacon greese all over the inside and place the skillet in an oven under low heat. 180 will do. You may cook something else in there too to not waste the energy. Do this for an hour. Then wipe the skillet out good and it should be fine.
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