Very burnt cast iron pan - still usable?

Hello! Someone just left my *only* week-old cast iron pan on the stove, and before I smelled it, it got burnt. I mean, it's completely covered in almost black layer of burnt oil (I wiped it with some rapeseed oil yesterday, as I always do after cooking with it), except for a small spot in the middle (it still has golden-to-dark brown colour, which the whole pan had earlier). Is it safe to cook on it now, or should I scrape down/off the black layer completely and re-season it? I hope it isn't unsalvagable...
Thank you for your help!



ChefOno June 16, 2012

You can relax about your pan not being salvageable unless it's warped or cracked. Cast iron can take a lot more heat than a residential cooktop can put out.

The dusty gray description sounds like carbonization. Personally, I like to assume the little black specs in my eggs are pepper so I'd do something about the situation. Read this article and see if it helps:

chocbird09 June 16, 2012
Hmm, I don't think this (or any of the search results) would apply in my case. The black layer is quite smooth, but flakes off some black/gray dust when touched. The pan was clean (I can see that) except for the oil with which I wiped it down yesterday. So, I wonder, whether it isn't like it was seasoned again.
susan G. June 16, 2012
You will discover how wonderful your cast iron pan is, and then it will give you many more years of use. This question has come up on Hotline before. I used the search box in the upper right, set for Hotline, looked for 'burnt cast iron' and found this, the most recent appearance. You could use the search to find other times a similar question was answered.
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