my rusty cast iron skillet




I mentioned last week that I had been organizing my kitchen cupboards. 

Imagine my surprise when I rediscovered one of my cast iron skillets, only to find it covered over in a layer of dismal rust.

Unlike the cheap nonstick cookware of today, well taken care of cast iron will last forever, so, I set about repairing my orange iron skillet.


It already looked much much better after a hard scrubbing with soap, hot water, and a stainless steel scrubbing pad; all the rust came off.

Then, I dried the skillet, poured in some vegetable oil and rubbed it in thoroughly.

After rubbing it with oil, I baked it in the oven with it’s little sister, which I also re-coated with oil.  I used a 350 degree oven and left them alone until I noticed that the oil had baked in nicely (an hour or so)…..



Just look at the difference.  The larger pan was the one previously covered in rust.  It came out of the oven black and reseasoned perfectly.

I used the pan for my breakfast omelet this weekend and it cooked wonderfully.  Cast iron heats evenly and retains heat nicely, too. 

A well-seasoned iron skillet is practically nonstick, and never needs to be scrubbed.  I used a wet dishcloth to wipe out any leftover egg bits and then dried it with a paper towel.  I always try to leave or add clean grease, to keep a nice coating for next time. 

It will never rust unless you are dumb and throw it in the back of a cupboard wet and then leave it for a year.

You don’t have to use as much butter and oil when using cast iron.

Also, another interesting fact is, if you cook with cast iron pans you will end up with iron fortified food.  Which is a very good thing, indeed.

See:  3 Health Reasons to Cook with Cast Iron

For a lot more information about cast iron, see: Lodge Cast Iron Cookware



0 thoughts on “my rusty cast iron skillet

  1. loved the little how-to here! reminds me of pampered chef’s stoneware bakeware maintenence.
    i only have a mini-1 egg cast iron pan which i never use but should! and then my dutch oven for the campfire which is in the back of the cupboard rusty…..
    I may have to invest in more. my stainless pans are a PAIN to scrub!

  2. @Bobby Jo – Yes!  The stoneware also becomes wonderfully “seasoned” with use….with a coating that should never ever be scrubbed off.  I truly think the cast iron and the stone ware are such earthy, old-fashioned kitchen tools and very satisfying to use.  You can find old, used cast iron at garage sales, thrift stores.  I think the ones I show here were just five dollars at a second hand store.

  3. @purpleamethyst76 – I have 3 stone baking pieces that I use a lot and I care for those, so I guess cast iron is the logical next step! I’ve been using stainless steel pans too, in place of the nonstick cookware for several years. Okay, it’s official. My next kitchen purchase to save up for is a good cast iron pan. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. Hello Shanda, We love using our cast irons pans. They are so pretty and easy to use ONCE you know how to use them It took me a while when I first started using them to learn how to care for them. Love all the wintery posts So cozy inside and cold outside. The other night we re-read a book that you recommended a few yrs ago “The Light On the Island” by Helene Glidden. Oh we laugh so much while reading that “blankety-blank” book. There’s so many spots in it that I have to say “blankety-blank” instead of the word they use that the kids now call it the “blankety-blank” book Makes me laugh. Regardless it’s an excellent book to read and I love that it’s a true story. We first read it when I was pregnant with Rosie while John was in Afghanistan. Reading it again brought back special memories~Hope you’re having a cozy day~ Cinnamon

  5. I love my cast iron skillets. I love baking in them as well. Rolls and cinnamon rolls are fabulous baked in these, although with your family – may not be a good idea, as there wouldn’t be enough for everyone. ๐Ÿ™‚ Wishing your family a lovely new year.

  6. Such a good tutorial. Bob left one of our cast iron skillets outside when cleaning out the pantry and it rusted. I didn’t use a stainless scrubber, so all the rust didn’t come off. I will now try the “Shanda method” and make it all new again. Thanks to my mom we have a dutch oven and a couple skillets, because she felt EVERY well stocked kitchen should have them and she shared from her stock and looked at garage sales too.

  7. Have you ever made a Dutch Baby? Jeff makes them in our large cast iron pan all the time…they are SOOO good!If you don’t have a recipe, I’ll give you the one Jeff uses.(it’s my favorite) Your family will love it.Our kids request it whenever Jeff is around. Your post has inspired me to go clean my kitchen!Happy Tuesday to you.

  8. I have a beloved cast iron Dutch Oven that was my grandmothers, and use it for stew, roast and soups…never knew about baking the oil in! Wish I had saved the rusty skillet I donated

  9. @maryhurlbut – I used mine last night to make chili!  But mine isn’t a family heirloom.  My brother was texting me today and said that he has our Grandma’s old cast iron griddle and he thinks of her whenever he uses it (to make pancakes)….  it’s a neat feeling (a connection to the past) to use things that belonged to your Grandma!  xoxo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s