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Have you come across a vintage cast iron frying pan in a garage sale, only to be dismayed to realize that years of neglect has turned it into a pile of rust and crud?

With just a basic edge grinder with a wire brush head (and some good PPE - Personal Protection Equipment!), you can quickly turn that rust bucket into a gleaming utensil that you are sure to enjoy using - whether on a camp fire or on the stove top!

Step 1: Get Ready

We can assume you've already rescued this gem from a garage sale, or maybe from under the sink in your log cabin.

Organize yourself before you get started on the project - find a safe place to work so that the noise, dust won't bother others (or put them at risk).

Tools:
- Basic edge grinder (e.g. 4 1/2");
- Wire brush head for the grinder (preferably brass);
- Extension cord, if necessary to make your work space safe;
- Appropriate protective gear:
- hearing protection;
- safety glasses;
- dust mask;
- gloves;
- long sleeve shirt, long pants, boots, etc.

Step 2: Start Grinding!

The key here is to be patient - and keep a firm grip on the edge grinder because it is sure to "kick back" once in a while as you press the brush into the edge of the frying pan.

Take a break if you start to get tired - there's no need to rush this step.

You will be amazed how quickly a hopeless mass of rust starts to reveal the utilitarian beauty of cast iron underneath.

Step 3: Review Your Handiwork

When you've got all the rust off, take a good look at all the corners and edges - including the handle. It's better to finish the grinding properly than having to come back to it after you've gone to the washing step.

Step 4: Washing and Oiling

Next carefully wash/scrub the frying pan with soapy water, rinse well and dry thoroughly.

The last step is to put a good coat of oil in the pan. A heavy oil like peanut oil, works best for building up the layer of carbon that gives a cast iron frying pan its characteristic "natural non-stick" surface once it is properly seasoned.

Here's a great link to learn about the science behind a properly seasoned cast iron pan .

Congratulations - you're done - now get cooking!

never use soap when cleaning cast iron. The cast iron will absorb the soap and pass it onto your food.
<p>Redweaver, you might want to read this great article at Serious Eats about myths related to cast iron cookware... Soap isn't an issue; leaving a cast iron pan soak is:</p><p><a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/11/the-truth-about-cast-iron.html">http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/11/the-truth-about...</a></p>
<p>He's in the <strong>restoration </strong>phase of the project, it's a good idea to give it a final soapy washdown before seasoning it and putting it into service. As far as soaping a working cast iron pan, many believe that is permissible (even desirable) on an occasional basis and does not affect the non- stick aspect. When I restore C.I., I use my oven at self- clean, and brush off the resultant debris at the end of the cycle, then season it.</p>
<p>MY final step before seasoning, is to stick my cast iron in a turkey fryer, and boil it for a half hour or so. Any soap that made it into the metal will surely come loose, along with the last bits of iron dust, and any remaining bio material. For &quot;lesser&quot; cleaning, I just stick it on the stove top, fill with water, and simmer. works pretty darn well.</p><p>For seasoning, my latest try is coconut oil (been using it for all my cooking lately). Works pretty well, and doesn't seem to have made a negative taste impact to anything I've cooked.</p><p>But Lodge has a specific seasoning spray they sell. 100% canola oil. And cast iron is what they do. So, if you don't want to experiment, follow the experts, and use canola.</p>
<p>I am now prepaed to rescue stray cast iron.</p><p>Thanks for sharing</p>
<p>That's the spirit! - cast iron is so much happier when it is put to work in the kitchen, surrounded by a loving family.</p>
<p>A real shame what people do to good products. I have 3 iron cast pans in almost daily use and they have the same condition as when I bought them many years ago. I'm pretty sure they will last more than a generation unless a tank will drive through our kitchen some day. I know this pan will serve you a long time :) Well done!</p>

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