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I found a badly rusted cast iron pan, and wanted to show you all how remove rust from cast iron in this video. Rusty cast iron can be brought back from the dead, to clean the rust off the cast iron, it takes some elbow grease, and the pan will never be brand new, but old cast iron is great. [Note, I have posted some updated info below the video, thx!]
Update: Use vinegar at full strength. If this method does not work, watch our video on how to strip cast iron using oven cleaner, or with a simple battery charger tank method. Plus it will be a great cast iron pot with a good story of where you found it. Let us know your tips for seasoning cast iron below the video.
You can remove rust from cast iron, but it can take some time. Take it easy and it will work well. Check out our other cast iron videos, how to season and clean cast iron, and learn more about cast iron pots and fry pans, and all the great reasons to use them.
We are now using Flax Oil to season our cast iron, the result is a much harder finish than just using vegetable oil or shortening. so save the vegetable oil for the deep fryer. Watch our Best Way To Season Cast Iron video.
You can watch us use a cast iron dutch oven doing some campfire outdoor cooking in these two videos, the first is us making a banana bread recipe in a cast iron dutch oven over charcoal, then we made the classic Toad in a Hole cooked outdoors in a cast iron dutch oven as well.
Soap On Cast Iron? Video Remove Old Seasoning From Cast Iron Video
I use the electrolytic rust removal process to remove rust from old scooter parts. It works amazingly well and it gets the rust out of all the nooks and crannies you can't reach with a brush.
Here is a picture of the setup.
I have a sectioned corn bread pan I will be cleaning in the next day or two. I can take before/during/after photos if you are interested.
We take rusted cast iron pans etc. and throw them directly into a camp fire and let them stay in there until the fire goes out. The heat/fire takes the rust right off.
Then clean and season as normal.
Dear Eric (& Tracy??wife/camera operator?)
I just watched you scrubbing rust in your 'cast iron seasoning' video, and wondered if you're interested in using products instead of just processes in your show. When I left dry Nevada 1 yr ago for rainy Washington where just exposure to air makes rust, within a month every hand, garden & farm tool I owned rusted frozen and useless. I tried everything - 'Evapo-Rust' was the only thing that dissolved rust quickly & totally - like other stuff claimed to do but didn't, plus is environmentally friendly & non-toxic to animals (evapo-rust.com). With severe rust, pitted damage and discoloration remain, but no rust, plus they make an inhibitor coating - don't know yet how effective or how long it lasts - just Tung oil may work as well, and itself removes more rust than the vinegar you used on the cast iron pan. No, I do not own stock, but after how well it works, I can't believe it's not more well-known. Maybe you could do a fall season video on 'how to care for and store tools' - sharpen, remove rust, sand & oil wooden handles, etc.?
Keep up the great work, informal presentation, humor & common sense. I enjoy all the shows - have Goldens but love your Labs too. Your loyal fan, Jeanne Kingsley in Sequim, Washington
I just about died when you soaked your cast iron in water and vinegar -- two huge no-nos!
When we find nasty cast iron we put it into the bonfire (the one in the back yard, not the brush burn which gets way too huge) and burn off as much rust, then once it has cooled give it a good scrub and reseasoning.
Most beginner cast-iron users don't realize they want to use very thin layers of oil/lard/shortening to season their pans or else it can get 'gooey' or even go rancid... I prefer spray oil which I wipe around with a paper towel.
BTW, that type of pan is called a "Hoe Cake" pan and they are perfect for not only pancakes, but 2-egg omelets & grilled cheese sandwiches too. anything you have to get a turner under that isn't going to ooze all over.
Use a sander on the rust. Much better than a wire brush, removes rust and other buildup and you have smoother surface to season.
Hi I am a new fan. Found yr blog by accident. Restoring old cast iron pots is something I do too. I worry a little about what they might have been used for. But basically what could hurt this original no-stick pan??! No I have 3 fry pans - small, med, and large. I just scape the rust out with a stainless steel round thing (a strainer thing) and scrub with Brillo pad. Then rub with oil and put In a warm oven. I do wash the pots after cooking with scraper and Brillo if they need it. Then oil up again and into the oven so they will by dry.
Just watched your tutorial. Seems like you spent more time than you needed to working on this. As other folks mentioned the best way to clean a rusty and/or crusty cast iron pan is to burn it in a fire of some kind. No wire brush no vinegar just fire. You don't have to do anything. I took my worst ones camping with me and left them in the coals over night. Next morning they were smooth as could be and covered in ash. Wrapped them in newspaper until I could get home and re-season with thin coats of oil. I'm thinking next time you fire up that portable brick pizza oven you made on another show you can just throw that cast iron skillet on the coals overnight and get it even cleaner than you got it this time.
I was really excited about watching your video but couldn't get far watching your dogs play. I'm a dog person myself but when mine make a nuisance of themselves, I take them out of the picture. If you want your next video to be watchable, you should secure your dogs away from where you're filming.
I found your blog via Google while looking to restore my rusty cast Iron skillet. I enjoyed this video so much because of the dogs. The web is FULL of amateur videos trying to pretend that they are professionally edited - it was fun to just watch something real and something not overly produced. Good job and thanks for the help with my skillet. Keep the dogs, I thought it was a very nice touch!
Could not get the video on cleaning very rusty castiron to play. Is there a problem with it?
I couldn't get the video on removing rust either. Would appreciate seeing it.