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What is the best way to clean & season really old rusty cast iron pans?

I have some old cast iron pans that were passed down to me. They are pretty crusty, rust spots and everything. Are they salvagable?? How should I clean them and what is the best way to season a cast iron pan after cleaning?

Asked By: Kim K - 9/2/2007
Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
Scrub the heck out of 'em with a scouring pad, at least until the rust comes off. If you get down to the metal that's OK, but you just want to get off anything that's going to add an off flavor -- rust and burned on crud would qualify... More
Answered By: Mr. Knowitall - 9/2/2007
Additional Answers (5)
steel wool - like s.o.s. pads, then coat liberally with oil and back in the oven. This is called 'seasoning' if it is a truly bad scenario - try this: http://antiques.about.com/cs/miscellaneous/ht/CleanCastiron.htm
Answered By: Susan M - 9/2/2007
 
The best way to eliminate the rust is to spray them with "Pam". Or you can spread cooking oil over them. Then place them in the oven for 15 minutes at 150 degrees. This will help bake in the oil. Do not put them in the dishwasher. Always wash them in the sink with a dish-washing soap and dry with a cloth or air dry... More
Answered By: Jana M - 9/2/2007
 
Roll up your sleeves and get your soap pads out or a wire brush and scrub like hell. Re season several times before use. Been there, done that.
Answered By: Historyman. - 9/2/2007
 
If you live where you can do it just build a bonfire & throw the pans in there & leave as long as you can. That burns off the rust & carbon. Leave in the bonfire several hrs. Then pull them out, let them cool & oil liberally. I cleaned up my great-grandmother's that way. Good luck.
Answered By: tinkerbelles.mama - 9/3/2007
 
Follow these directions and you'll have great cast iron pans ready to cook your favorite meals in... More
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Answered By: David H - 9/3/2007
 
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