What's the best way to remove rust from a cast iron skillet? Or should I just throw it away?
If its cast iron it should be like a rust powder correct? I have never seen them turn into big rust flakes like say a car.
Wash the pan if you want to to remove the red rust.
Towel dry (maybe with paper in case theres rust left)
Put the pan on the stove on a lot heat to force dry it further, you might be able to see the wet sheen disappear.
Before it gets too hot, wipe the surface with a paper towl with cooking oil on it. You only want to get the thinnest coat.
This will do to store the pan till you next use it, but if you cook on it and scrub it clean again without repeating this process it will probably rust again.
A more permenant solution is to look up how to season a cast iron pan,
its basically the same as what I have written but generally in an oven on a lot temperature for longer to form a protective surface.
Even if you do season the pan, harsh scrubbing or overheating can break the seasoning and you will have to do one of the methods again to stop it rusting.
Don't throw it away, cast iron pans are meant to last a few lifetimes! Depending on how rusty it is, you may be able to scrub it off with some coarse salt. If it is more severe, use SOS pads until it is all clean. Then wash thoroughly with soap and water. You will now have to re-season the pan. Wipe it all over with oil and heat in the oven. Let cool, and repeat. Make sure you always dry the pan in the oven to get it completely dry so it won't rust again.