You may know how to care for your cast iron pans, but life happens. You may have had a leak in the kitchen, or a guest who put it in the dishwasher. Either way, your pan got wet and rusted. Don’t despair. In many instances, restoring cast iron pans is possible. With a few hours and a few simple supplies, you can take it from rust to ready to cook.
vinegarsteel woolscrubbing brushdish soapdish towelcooking oil of choicealuminum foiloven
1. If your pan has a large amount of rust, first soak it in a vinegar bath. If it only has small amounts of rust, you may be able to skip this step. Submerge your pan in equal parts vinegar and water and let it soak. Check your pan every hour. Once the rust is gone, remove the pan immediately. After working through the rust, the vinegar will begin to eat through the cast iron if you leave it too long.2. Scrub the pan with steel wool to remove any remaining rust.3. Wash thoroughly with warm water and dish soap.4. Dry immediately and thoroughly with the dish towel. Make sure to soak up all the water to prevent any more rust from forming.5. Now you will season the pan. Use a small amount of cooking oil and apply it to the pan, including the bottom and the handle.6. Place in an oven heated to 350F. Leave the pan in the heat for 1 hour.7. Remove the pan and cool completely before using.