cast iron pan issues

I had to clean my cast iron pan with soap and water bc I had use it for fresh corn polenta and the starch was too caked on. I left it to dry and now it looks all rusted. What happens and is this reversible?

  • Posted by: ATG117
  • August 29, 2014


slberger August 30, 2014
Just wipe it out with warm water and re-season it with oil - the rust won't hurt anything and will go away easily as soon as it is seasoned again.
Diana B. August 30, 2014
Food52's Amanda will teach you right here how to clean and re-season your cast iron pan:
barb48 August 30, 2014
I don't own a cast iron skillet, but wld. love to buy one. I saw one in a resale shop, but the outside was all bubbly, like I could peel off the coating. Could anything be done to salvage a pan like that and make it safe to cook with?
Susan W. August 30, 2014
Barb, I have never seen that and I have seen some cast iron in bad shape. Hopefully, someone will be familiar with it. It almost sounds like someone painted it.
barb48 August 30, 2014
@susan w. I also found a long griddle pan in the back of my apt. building. When I turned it over, the bottom was totally black and very blistered. I was going to peel it all off, as it was practically falling off anyway, but I did't and left the pan.
Susan W. August 30, 2014
Barb, is it possible those weren't cast iron? I just cant imagine cast iron peeling. I am very curious now and wish I could see them. :)

Voted the Best Reply!

Susan W. August 29, 2014
Easy peasy...scrub the rust off with steelwool or supposedly a potato cut in half dipped in baking soda. I've not tried that. Dry it thoroughly. Coat thinly (I do inside and out) with oil of choice. The oil with highest smoke point is best. I use beef tallow. Then put on oven rack upside down. Place foil on rack below it to catch any drips. Bake at 350°f for one hour. Turn oven off and let pan cool completely. Go cook. :) Do always dry your pan over heat and add a little oil after it's completely dry.
Susan W. August 29, 2014
Forgot to add..your rust is what is known as profile rust and easy to deal with. As opposed to great aunt Ethel's pan that lived for years in a wet basement.
ATG117 August 30, 2014
Thanks so much!
Sam1148 August 29, 2014
Ohhh...soap? Use a soak and lots of salt for a scrub---that should get off the rust.

If it's really damaged after the salt scrub and spa treatment in a warm water bath.
take it to a autobody shop and have them do a chemical 'sandblast' on it. That'll bring it bake to new base level and you're back to square one for seasoning.

/come to think of it...I think my mother in law had the same thing done to her face.
nutcakes August 29, 2014
In future, try to dry it on a flame for a few minutes. Sounds like you will have to scrub the rust out and reseason it. There are instructions all over the internet. Hopefully you can hand scrub it out, try salt and oil.
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