You might have an old rusty cast iron skillet, griddle, pot, BBQ grills that need to be restored. Your cookware might be in your basement tucked away somewhere left to rot away ?. The good news is – it can be restored back to it’s original look ?.
This cast iron griddle was left in my shed! I thought this griddle was good for the garbage. After learning how to restore it back to life, I’ve created a how to guide that will bring your cast iron cookware back to life.
Here’s a list of items you’ll need to clean off the rust.
Step 1 – Grind
Make sure you don’t get your cast iron wet – leave it dry for now. I used a wire brush drill bit because of the heavy rust and didn’t want to spend a lot of time using steel wool. Put on your dust mask and protective glasses and start grinding the rust away. You might want to do this outdoors. You may get to a point were you grind down to the raw cast iron, which is grey in color. Your end result should look black and gray, but depends how deep of a grind you go. As long as the rust has been removed, then you can move on to step 2.
Step 2 – Clean
I cannot stress step 2 enough. This is very important! What we have just done was stripped the protective coating off the cast iron. Cleaning it with soap and water will introduce more rust if you don’t dry and add the protective coating back.
Use soap and warm water to clean your cookware thoroughly with an old dish rag. Once you have cleaned it, you’ll need to quickly dry it and quickly move to step 3.
Step 3 – Season
Grab your oil, dry dish rag, and spread a thin layer of oil all over your cast iron cookware. Apply 2 coats and don’t let it pool.
After you’re done, place your cast iron in the oven. Turn your oven on to 350º F and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. Let it cool down in your oven. Once it’s fully cool, apply another thin coat of oil and YOU’RE DONE!
Step 4 – Maintain
After each use, never clean with soap and water. The soap will remove the protective oil (seasoning) from the cookware. Use a cast iron cleaning brush. You can get it wet, but make sure if the pan is hot to use hot water. If you use cold water on a hot pan, then it could crack. The safest bet is to wait until cool, then scrap any baked on food.
Buy new – Optional
If you’re not too handy and want to purchase new cast iron, then that’s another option for you. My griddle is a Kitchenaid double sided griddle. My skillets are made in the USA by Lodge. Lodge has a double sided griddle and a wide variety of other cast iron cookware.