Many a time, an unskilled, forgetful, or uninformed aspiring chef will let the pan soak, leave it in a moist place, or even accidentally run it through the dishwasher. Lo! Ruin and shame! Avert thine eyes!
But no longer!
Bring out the maimed and sad pans from deep within your cabinets! Cast (iron) away your shame!
We can fix this. It'll take some elbow grease, and time. But you'll be back on the cast iron horse in no time.
(This particular pan met its rusty fate when a wet mixing bowl was left on top of it and ignored for a week or so. View my shame, and learn from my mistake!)
Step 1: What You'll Need
- Lard or Shortening
- Scouring pad
- Cast iron pan in need of restoration
- Elbow grease (Now with 100% more elbow!)
Step 2: Soak
Depending on the extent of rust damage to your pan, you'll want to soak just the inside, or the whole pan in a vinegar solution. Anything from an hour to about six hours or so will work wonders to release any caked on muck and loosen the surface rust/damage. Leaving your pan in an acid soak for longer may start to eat away at your pan, so be careful. I used 50/50 vinegar to water, but I've seen solutions that go with a lower vinegar solution and a longer soak- I don't mind the smell, personally, so I went with the 50/50 solution.