I have 3 old iron skillets that had belonged to my mother-in-law. We found them in a box after she passed away. They are very dirty and have rust on them. What is the correct way to remove the rust, clean the pans, then season them?
By Catherine Brown from Pickerington, OH
I have two that I use all the time. I seasoned them about 30 years ago by coating them with lard or Crisco, don't remember. I put them in the oven and heated. Over time, using them to fry bacon, sausage etc. will make them more seasoned.
Yesterday my husband fixed his own breakfast and put the frying pan in the sink, filled it with water and put a drop of dawn in it. Last night when we were doing the dishes, I noticed that inside the pan had rusted on the sides. I cleaned it up and fried sausage for breakfast this morning and it's going to be ok.
I wash them in the dish water but dry them immediately after washing. (09/10/2009)
There are 2 things that baffled me for a long time. How to clean the outside of a cast iron frying pan, and how to season after being washed. My mom said, "In Ala we put the frying pan in the fire." works like a charm to take away all the crud from outside. Just re-season by placing oil inside and leaving it in a 200 degree oven for 1/2 an hour or so. Good luck. (09/10/2009)
If you can't put them in a fire, you can run them through a self cleaning oven cycle. Then season them by rubbing them with lard and baking them at a low temp for about 3 hours. (09/14/2009)
Once the skillets are seasoned, never wash with soap. The soap will just remove the "seasoning." (09/14/2009)
When I get old pans from yard sales etc, some are so dirty you cannot read everything on the bottom. I clean them with oven cleaner then re season with nonstick cooking spray. I have had no problems. I know oven cleaner may not be environmentally friendly, but neither is driving, so we pick our items we use. (09/14/2009)
The correct way to fix the pans is to clean the rust off with steel wool or some other metal scrubber. Wash thoroughly with soap and water. Then season them by applying a light layer of oil or lard over the entire surface area of the pan. Put in the oven at a low temperature for a long period of time. 250, 2 hours or similar. Never wash with soap again. (09/14/2009)
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