How to Restore a Rusty Cast Iron Skillet

Nothing feels more like a farmhouse kitchen than cooking with cast iron skillets. I love using cast iron skillets for cooking and baking but sadly, have not taken care of them like I should. So today I want to show you the easy steps I took to restore our rusted cast iron skillet! The process is actually quite simple, and the skillet looks like new again.. or old again?



#1: The first step is to use steel wool to remove all rust from the affected areas. Scour the skillet until the area returns to raw cast iron.


#2: Wash cast iron with warm water and mild dish soap. Scrub with bristle brush, mild scouring pad or mesh sponge if needed.



#3: Thoroughly dry the cast iron with a clean dish towel or paper towel.


#4: Apply a small amount of vegetable oil (or oil of choice) to the entire piece.Don't forget the handle and bottom. Apply just enough oil to coat the skillet with a thin layer but not too much or it will feel sticky.



#5: Place the cast iron skillet upside down on the top rack of your oven. Place a sheet of aluminum foil or a foil-lined baking sheet on the bottom rack to catch any oil drips. Heat the cast iron for one hour at 350°F.


#6: Turn off heat, let cast iron cool, then get back to cooking!

Some of you might be thinking, “Okay, I’ve restored my cast iron skillet. How do I keep them looking nice?” Fear not friends, there are just a few things to do to ensure your cast iron skillet keeps!



When it comes to cleaning and storing your cast iron skillet, I have a few simple steps that will make a HUGE difference! Using a good quality brush is key to foolproof cleaning. Click here to see get the brush I use! Clean the skillet immediately after use. Don't soak the skillet otherwise you risk rust. Wash the skillet by hand using hot water to remove any excess food. Do not use soap- soap will strip the cast iron of it's seasoning. Thoroughly towel dry the skillet or dry it on the stove over low heat. Using a cloth or paper towel, apply a light coat of vegetable oil or melted shortening to the inside of the skillet. Some people also like to oil the outside of the skillet. Buff to remove any excess. Store the skillet in a dry place.


Remember, moisture is what brings rust. Storing your skillet in a cabinet is fine, however one hack that makes all the difference is to place a paper towel between each pan. The paper towel will soak up any moisture, leaving your cast iron pans in great condition. After each use, check your paper towel and replace if needed.



-The Happy Egg

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