Monday, April 19, 2010

Rusty on My Cast Iron

It appears I'm rusty on my cast iron care as rust continues to mock me from deep inside this cast iron pot.  Please... can anyone out there help?

Last week, while scavaging around in a junk store, I found these two cast iron beauties. Four dollars each. Heavy as yours truly after her marriage ended. Problem? Rust. Rusty Rust Rusterson.

I've tried scraping it off. I've tried boiling it off. I've tried reseasoning these pots with oil in a hot oven. Still the rust persists. What's a girl to do?

Anyone with advice on how to cure my cast iron woes is encouraged to write, comment, or come over.

My sincerest thanks,
Brin
(Cast Iron Obsessed FarmGirl at Heart)



29 comments:

Susan said...

here's hopin' this recipe works ...


www.ehow.com/how_114309_remove-rust-cast.html

Sue@CountryPleasures said...

I've never tried this yet, but I've read that ketchup works, used as cleaner? Good luck, they are beauties!

A Touch of Country said...

try Brillo steel wool soap pads...i have done so on mine and it worked for me. When done, wash thoroughly and then season it with a couple coats of cooking oil in a low temp oven. Not sure of the exact directions to season it it's been so long since I did it.

BUT the Brillo pads work for me.

buy them in the cleaning aisle

Hope this helps,


Natalie

Sherry said...

Look on the bottom. Are they made overseas? If so, not good.

Did I see wooden handles? You can't throw them on a good outside fire on in a self-cleaning oven...So...scrub the pot well with an SOS or Brillo pad. Dry well on the stove top. Cool. Smear with a solid shortening like Crisco or good old bacon grease. (Cooking oil has a tendency to gunk up.)

Once again the wooden handles are a problem because you can't put them in the oven. Put them on the lowest heat setting possible on top of the stove. Leave the pan on there as long as possible without smoking the house up and setting off the smoke alarm.

Don't use water anything in it for a while. Fry a couple of pieces of bacon every so often. Drain the grease out, wipe the pan with a paper towel...no water.

If they are from overseas and you just can't keep the rust out, they make a good watering dish for your baby.

Sheila said...

According to The Tightwad Gazette: fine steel wool and hot water. Season it afterward.

Tammy said...

You really have to go at it with steel wool...I have also heard of folks who soak it in Easy Off oven cleaner in a bag outdoors all night, then do the steel wool...but I have never done that.

Karen Deborah said...

scrub off all you can with steel wool and then bake in the oven well oiled or use bacon grease to seal it. IF you didn't have the wooden handle you could put it in the oven on the self cleaning mode. Once it comes out the whole thing looks rusty but scrubbing and oiling restores them. No harm done. If you dry it in the oven everytime with fresh oil on it, you'll get a great finish.

Lynne said...

Brin, I think your frugal purchase is not the best. For the most part, cast iron pans/pots should NEVER have a wooden handle. You can try with lots of elbow grease using steel wool pads but in my opinion, (after trying to salvage camping cast iron pots and pans) that's it's better to purchase something new. I know this is not your intent and you are trying to be frugal, but I've never had a rusty cast iron pan that ever "right" again.

Victoria said...

I have tried "seasoning" mine with olive oil in a low temp oven and my rust persists. :( I will be anxiously reading all the comments.

FYI, my Mom has used cast iron for YEARS and hers NEVER rust and she is not into high maintenance!

l said...

I have found good results with scrubbing them out with vegetable oil and salt. HTH

Shan

Lochlanina said...

Cast iron? Relax, I've run mine through the dishwasher -- which everyone says not to do, it's worse than *gasp* wooden handles. (:

From experiance I'd say you can just use it rusty and the rust cooks off eventually... If the "a little rust never killed anyone" idea is too hillbilly for you... give it a good scouring and then let it sit somewhere warmish with crisco slathered on. ... if you can convince yourself it's clean most people reccommend Not washing cast iron -- just wipe out with a paper towel after use.
Personally, I'd rather wash it and cook with a little rust (but maybe that's just me).

If you want to avoid rust do make sure you dry it thoroughly and Do Not use it for acidic things. Tomato anything will eat any seasoning off again (and ketchup has added vinegar as well, great for cleaning copper but not good for cast iron).

Debbie said...

Google it Brin. There's a tutorial on the web regarding the care and 'breaking in' of cast iron pots that will be just what you're looking for.
Debbie

Brin said...

Thanks, gals! :)

Debbie - I did. I do my research; I was just looking for some reader tips to see if I could find some clear winner of a way to go before trying them all. ;) Working girl on the road, you know. :D

Thanks!

carla said...

I agree with the suggestions about using steel wool (I use SOS pads), then rinsing well and setting on a low burner to dry, then using bacon grease. That's what I've always done.

However, I would not use the oven cleaner. That would put toxic chemicals on something that you're going to have food in. The iron is somewhat porous (or the seasoning wouldn't be helpful). I just don't want strong chemicals on anything that touches my food.

Susan said...

I bet you could replace those darn wooden handles ... know anyone who welds ? winking ;-)

ML said...

Wrinkle up a piece of aluminum foil and rub the skillet. The rust will come off on the foil. Magic!

pk said...

I have cast iron and they must be lodge cast iron usa or.......We make sure to dry them all the way on our gas stove after use. Most people never used water to clean them but we just cannot wash after using so..... no rust as yet though. You can check underneath if they say lodge usa if not.....have you tried kosher salt scrub ? I'd just get some new pans.

It's Just Dottie said...

soak the pan in a solution half white vinegar and half water to remove accumulated rust completely submerge it into the solution. Let soak for one to four hours.but no longer.The more rust the longer the soak. Dry then place in an oven set on a low temperature to make sure the pan is dry.Immediately coat the pan with a thin layer of shortening and place in an oven 400 degree F about 45 min.Make sure the pan is upside down. Dottie ♥

Laura said...

Yes, it happenes when the pot is left out there dry for too long. Indeed: use Brillo soap sponges, use the easy touch. Then rinse it with hot water and then use olive oil to rub it in softly completely, also the inside of the topdisk (?)( deksel ).
Then leave it that way. Before using it, cleanse it with hot water, make a nice meal and after using it rub it in with olive oil again before putting it away...always keep it oily, but clean with hot water and a little dishsoap after cooking, then rub it in always with a littleoliveoil always.
Good luck.
Beautiful pots, these are, for slow cooking I use them to shimmer and never let it cook or fry dry on the stove.
Lieve groet
Ariadone

Vee said...

I recommend sandblasting them...you'll need some handy guy somewhere to do this for you...my hubby would be able to do this for me, but you must know somebody. Then I'd season them using edible mineral oil. I have a namebrand product that I like a lot from Tree Spirit. It doesn't gum up the pans the way many oils do. As for the wooden handles, even they can be used in the oven if you wrap them very well with heavy-duty foil. I use a teflon pan with a plastic handle in the oven using this method and there's never a problem. Okay, guess that's a lot of advice to check over.

Patty's Stitches said...

I had a cast iron skilled that rused once. I scrubbed it will SOS pads and that didn't work as well as I wanted. I built a fire and but the skillet in the fire. Messy, but effective. After the fire, I coated it was a nice thick coat of Crisco shortening and justlet it hang out for days like that. I would periodically let it sit in a warm oven and then wipe clean with paper towels; re-slather with Crisco shortening and let hang out a few days, back in the warm oven, wipe with paper towels, repeat this process over and over. Eventually you will have it seasoned to perfection. Since yours has a wooden handle you can't just simply put it in a fire. You might try just building a VERY small fire inside the pot and let it burn a few minutes. Cover the handle with foil or something and don't let the fire get large enough to hurt the handle. Clear as mud???

Patsy said...

Try everything listed above and if nothing else works, use an electric hand drill with one of those thick steel brushes. Be careful and make sure you do it evenly to keep the cooking surface even. Cast iron is so tough, nothing much can hurt it.

Cathy said...

Brin,

Crisco is the answer. Fist wash with hot soapy water. Then liberally rub in the crisco with an old terrycloth towel or wash cloth. (you can add salt for an abrasive if you need to) You can't put these in the stove because of the handles, but place on a stove eye and heat up on medium heat. Let cool, wipe down and do it again until clean. Then wash a final time in hot soapy water and season with the crisco again. They are ready to go! It will work. I have rescued many! : )

J Fritz said...

I had this same problem once and tried everything I could find on google and eventually gave in and sold them on craigslist. I haven't heard of the ketchup or aluminum foil, but, honestly, new ones are not that expensive and this is a lot of messing around for $4. And with having to wrap the wooden handles, that might be a pain. I'd just cut your losses and buy new. Or better yet, get enameled cast iron!

Katy said...

This is just my two cents, but I remember reading on apartment therapy that a raw potato, cut in half and rubbed on rust on cast iron brought it off.

Fortunately I haven't yet had to try it!

Christina said...

I have had some pretty rusty cast iron pieces in my day. I never use steel wool on mine! Definitly not an SOS pad. You should not use soap on them ever. I use extra coarse sea salt and and a very damp cloth to wipe any loose bits off. Then coat it with solid coconut oil on the inside and out. Coconut oil has a higher smoking point. Then place it on a medium hot grill with the handle sticking out. Be sure to watch that handle so it don't burn. Then I just leave it on the grill until it has cooled completely. I hope that helps you out some!

Mattisse said...

Soak for up to 60 minutes in white vinegar and water. I want to say 1/4 solution of vinegar to water. The rust will loosen then scrub like mad with a brillo or SOS. Oven cleaner and baking only help with old cooked on junk. Have to do that first to get to the rust sometimes, but I have tried this and it really works. I learned this from the black iron man at: blackirondude.blogspot.com

KK said...

Try using Bon Ami & lots of elbow grease. Best of luck!

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