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Old 08-20-2012, 01:13 PM   #1
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Default Re surfacing a cast iron skillet

Not really beer related, but I feel like this crowd could help me out (or point me in the direction of the appropriate forum to post it).
I was at this great junk store this weekend and i got a 5 gallon glass carboy great condition for $3!!! I also picked up an old cast iron skillet for $1. Its all caked up with rock hard black crust and some rust, but there's a few spots where it's chipped off and the iron looks great. I've read a few places that putting it in an oven clean cycle will burn off that buildup, but my oven doesn't have a clean cycle. Id also like to avoid using any harsh chemicals like oven cleaner.
Anyone have experience restoring a cast iron skillet like this?


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Old 08-20-2012, 01:19 PM   #2
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Well you really want the layers of black build up on the pan, it's called seasoning and it's how a cast iron pan becomes non stick.

The trick is getting rid of the rust, and re-seasoning.

This is a good primer on it.


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Old 08-20-2012, 01:20 PM   #3
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I usually throw my skillet in a camp fire for a while. I imagine you could put it in a grill of some sort and get okay results. A wood stove would be another option. I have also sand blasted one in the past and that worked pretty good.
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Old 08-20-2012, 01:22 PM   #4
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Thanks revvy, but this build up is serious, and on all surfaces. I really want to strip it all down and start seasoning the pan fresh. I'll try that oil and salt method though, thanks.
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Old 08-20-2012, 01:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rs3902 View Post
Thanks revvy, but this build up is serious, and on all surfaces. I really want to strip it all down and start seasoning the pan fresh. I'll try that oil and salt method though, thanks.
I think it says at the bottom of the article to use a drill mounted wire brush in that case to strip it all and start fresh. It's a pain.....
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Old 08-20-2012, 01:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rs3902 View Post
Thanks revvy, but this build up is serious, and on all surfaces. I really want to strip it all down and start seasoning the pan fresh. I'll try that oil and salt method though, thanks.
Cast iron must be seasoned for proper cooking, but I would never trust the seasoning from a pan found at a thrift shop. What if they seasoned it with precursors to methamphetamine or giraffe dung? You never know.

Something that you may want to try first is to boil water in the pan for an extended time. If you do it inside, hit the hood fan. But a decent boiling might rehydrate all that gunk to the point where it dissolves off or you can scrape it off a little easier. You could add a percentage of white vinegar to speed things up too.
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Old 08-20-2012, 01:53 PM   #7
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Check this out.

http://www.dutchovendude.com/dutch-oven-care.shtml
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Old 08-20-2012, 02:02 PM   #8
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Keep in mind, I have used a cast iron pan to melt lead. Strip that pan down and re-seasion.
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Old 08-20-2012, 02:27 PM   #9
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I have access to a DIY sandblast shop (I also have 2 sandblasters at home, but that is less important for the point of my story). Maybe you could see if you have one within driving distance?

I'd give it a nice blasted surface and then start the seasoning process from scratch again.
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Old 08-20-2012, 02:57 PM   #10
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Here is a great resource with lots of info: http://sherylcanter.com/wordpress/20...son-cast-iron/

One other method is to use electrolysis. Look at the simple setup. http://www.wag-society.org/Electrolysis/electros.php


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