Restoring a Cast Iron Skillet


Everyone loves a good old fashion cast iron skillet. We love ours so much we left it outside for a month. While you probably won't let this happen to yours, it's the perfect way to show just how hard it is to ruin cast iron.


If your skillet does get some rust on it, it's trying to tell you something. Raw iron will rust very quickly when exposed to air and moisture so you need to make sure you aren't soaking it in water or putting it away before it's dried completely. A good seasoning is the best defense against rust, and baking on a coat of oil should do just the trick.


Restoring a skillet is actually a fairly straightforward process. All we are going to need is some fine grit sandpaper, soap, a nonabrasive scrubber, and warm water. Taking the first layer of rust off is a messy process so make sure you cover your work surface to make clean up a breeze.


Take your sandpaper and clean off as much rust as you can. Don't be afraid of hurting your skillet, it's plenty durable. Once you have the majority of the rust off, give the skillet a good rinse and wash it with your non-abrasive scrubbing pad. Continue alternating the sandpaper and non-abrasive scrubbing pad until all of the rust is off. This process is simple but will require some elbow grease and time.


The next step is to season your skillet. Make sure that is it completely dry before applying any oil. We are going to use flaxseed oil as it has a very high smoke point and will make sure we have a good, long lasting seasoning. Seasoning is really just the process of sealing your skillet and giving it a non-stick coating. For more information about the seasoning process and how to care for your cast iron, make sure to watch our "seasoning cast iron" video.


For this skillet, we are going to go through the seasoning process three times to ensure a good solid coating of protection. Once the seasoning process is finished, you are ready to cook.


Cast iron is an incredible tool, and if cared for properly can last a lifetime. For information on how to care for cast iron go to

April 15, 2020 — Eric Steckling

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