Cast iron skillet

OK, I am late to the party, but I just acquired a new 10-inch pre-seasoned cast iron skillet. Directions said to rinse it out with very hot water, which I did. I didn't dry it thoroughly enough, and of course there soon appeared a blotch of rust on the pan surface, which I was able to rub away. Now, the pan surface where the rust was is a lighter color than the rest of the pan. Have I totally ruined it?

  • Posted by: wssmom
  • September 21, 2011


Panfusine September 22, 2011
if that was the case I'd be treating my cast iron pans like throwaways, nope.. no harm done, just rub some oil over the oxidized bits..Traditionally (at least in India) cast iron was usually cleaned using leaf ash and the fibre from a coconut husk, but if using soap, dry & rub with oil ASAP.
pierino September 22, 2011
The best way to reseason a cast iron pan is to cook some bacon in it. Like a lot of bacon if you like bacon. I'm a hot water and soap guy too (I don't buy the rub with salt argument). BUT scrub and don't scour it. Then rinse and burn it dry on a hot gas hub.
wssmom September 22, 2011
I knew I could count on you all for the answers!
susan G. September 21, 2011
If you'd like to see more conversations and other related ones, use the FP search for cast iron. Lots has been said. FYI, I'm in the no soap school. After years of seasoning, they self-clean and self-dry. When you get the hang of using them and they are well cured, they are (usually) non-stick, so cleanup is easy. The rust on your pan probably was due to the seasoning being very light, so moisture was absorbed by the pan, and although you couldn't see it, it was enough to start the rust process. These pans are very forgiving.
sdebrango September 21, 2011
I do the same I always wash with a gentle natural soap, rinse and dry completely then I add a little more oil and put in the oven on low for a little while. I can't wrap myself around not cleaning with soap and water even if its cast iron. So glad to see others do the same.
wssmom September 21, 2011
Thanks, all!!
aargersi September 21, 2011
I am a soap using rebel as well (gently, of course). Then I put it on the stove to dry (over low flame) then rub it with a few drops of veg or canola oil. LOVE my iron skillets!!!
hardlikearmour September 21, 2011
Don't fret wssmom! I like to rub mine with a neutral oil, and place it in a low oven (200-250º) on occasion to really help the oil sink in. I'm bad, because I will also wash it with soap and water sometimes, but then I immediately dry it, and re-oil it. Another useful trick is rubbing it with a combo of coarse salt and oil to get crud off of it. Enjoy your new pan!!
Author Comment
Don't worry about it. Put a bit of light oil (not olive oil) on that spot and rub it around with a paper towel. As you use it, the skillet will become more and more seasoned. Be sure NEVER to wash it with soap and water; to clean it after cooking, just use very hot water and a little scrub brush, dry it immediately and rub all inside surfaces lightly with oil and paper towel. If you cooked something that sticks to the pan, put about a 1/2" of water in the pan, put on the stove and bring it to a boil; scrape with a spatula until all bits have come up. Then dry and oil as stated above. After you use your skillet for a time, it will become a nonstick pan!
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