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Cast iron skillet restore

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by 22hornet, Jan 10, 2011.

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  1. 22hornet

    22hornet Well-Known Member

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    I picked up a beautifully seasoned Griswold cast iron skillet a while back. Mrs. Hornet, who is a city slicker, didn't know any better and put it in the dishwasher!!!

    The resulting mess is a pitted skillet. I know how to season cast iron...but any suggestions on how to get rid of the pitting would be appreciated. What a shame...that pan was so well seasoned, it shone( is shone a word?)
     
  2. noknock1

    noknock1 Active Member

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    I restored a pan I picked up for 8 bucks that is about 80 years old as far as I can tell from the markings. It was in bad shape.

    I would suggest completely stripping it to bare iron and then using some 000 steel to get rid of the pits.

    I followed the instructions on the website.

    I did not get into a hurry. Every 3-4 days for 3 weeks I rinsed off the skillet with water in the drive way and then dried with paper towel.

    I then sprayed with easy off and then put back into trash bag and set on work bench in garage.

    The pan came out completely bare, it looked great.

    I then recommend using vegetable or canola oil and rubbing a thin oil on the pan, crank up the bbq outdoors and burn on high (BUT NO MORE THAN 500 DEGREES WITH AN OLD SKILLET) until one hour passes OR until it stops smoking.

    Important step, let the pan cool down completely on its own until room temp. and then repeat another couple times.

    Your skillet will turn out SUPER BLACK AND SMOOTH with the carbonization that occurs. If they are minor pits they will totally absorb the carbon if that is a correct term and "fill in" if you will with out notice of the average eye.

    If it is deep pits, well you might consider a true buffer after the pan is completely stripped.
     
  3. Mapper

    Mapper Member

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    22Hornet,
    You might be able to slick it up some with a power sander, orbital or jitterbug.
    We wash ours all the time, but don't recall ever putting one in a dishwasher.
    The steel varies some with maker, But Griswold is about the best. Explain, politely, to your spouse that they went out of business in 1952 and it is an heirloom. Keep it oiled and future generations of Hornets can fry their eggs with ease, and that steel doesn't flake off like teflon.
     
  4. 22hornet

    22hornet Well-Known Member

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    noknock, thanks for the link. Mapper...I know. She can't help it. She is from New Jersey. I keep my cast iron stuff away from her, but I cooked hash and eggs for breakfast, and she said she would clean up. I wasn't thinking, and next thing you know...rusty pan. I love her, though.
     
  5. shootintom

    shootintom TS Member

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    If you have any contacts at local machine shops have them glass bead it for you. It will strip it down to the bare metal.

    Tom
     
  6. porky

    porky TS Member

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    If you know anyone with a wood stove that is willing to place it in their stove for approx an hour, it will burn all the grease off and burn the grease out of the pores of the cast iron. Then you have to season it. Use olive oil and an oven of 350 degrees F for about an hour to start the process. Never use soap on the cooking surface in the future.
     
  7. Tron

    Tron Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    Why not just buy a tephlon skillet and get rid of the iron one?
     
  8. oldgahchamp

    oldgahchamp Active Member

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    22Hornet, If I remember right, my Grandmother would "season" new cast iron cookware by cooking bacon in it. I have her wood burning kitchen stove and my wife cooks a Turkey in it every Thanksgiving. I'll heat your skillet in my wood stove if you want, but no guarantees on the results. Larry Evans
     
  9. porky

    porky TS Member

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    Larry, Cast iron can take the heat. You can't ruin a cast iron utensil by placing it in a fire, that is to say a wood fire.
     
  10. JerryP

    JerryP Active Member

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    Mrs. Hornet probably realized that the skillet was nasty. Those pits were covered with years of grease, grime and Lord knows what else.

    I would sand blast it with a fine medium and start over. I wouldn't scratch it up with sand paper or other abrasives.
     
  11. lostandout

    lostandout Member

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    the bottoms of cast iron pans are ment to be rough go to a store and look at a new pan and you will see machine marks in the bottom this holds the grease in the cast grooves and makes the pan non stick bacon grease in the bottom heated until it smokes and then put in the oven for about an hour works the best for mine and never wash it just pour water in it and boil it out and wipe dry
     
  12. Jim Porter

    Jim Porter Well-Known Member

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    Having not seen the skillet, I do not know how bad the "pitting" is. If it is minor, just re-season it as detailed above. DO LET it cool completely after an oil coat is applied and heated. AND if you can find some, use burlap as in a burlap feed sack to wipe it out. Obviously, you may need to wash the burlap before useing it and then keep it for further use. This was the old medium for cast cleaning and a piece of burlap will last almost as long as pan. I have and use both grandmothers, mine and wife's mothers and my own skillets and they are prized possessions. My kids know that to touch my cornbread skillet is to die on the spot! By the way my Grandmothers cornbread skillet is square and she milled her own corn meal until she was no longer able to do so. Her bread on the old wood stove was fit for royalty!--to her that meant--grandchildren.
     
  13. Catpower

    Catpower Molon Labe TS Supporters

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    City slickers? Use a wood fire to clean a cast iron skillet? To clean it right you need a cob fire LOL

    But I've made alot of them like new with a cob fire, no matter how nasty, but I guess since they quit shelling corn quite a few years ago, wood would work, start a good fire set the skillet in there and let the fire burn out, you will pull out a new skillet, when it cools, then reseason
     
  14. Agitator

    Agitator TS Member

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    Rub it out as best you can with some 000 or 0000 steel wool,re coat it with some UNSALTED lard, you can get a small 1 lb. tub at the supermarket, put it in the oven at high heat and let it 'cure' or 're-season' itself again filling in the pits or dimples and you will be 'good to go'.
     
  15. porky

    porky TS Member

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    The problem that you have with steel wool is that you find it in the pot or pan after you clean them and they dry. When I was in the service, any pan or pot cleaned with steel wool had a residue of steel wool underneath it after it dried and had to be washed out again with no guarantees the steel wool was gone. But I guess everyone needs a little iron in their diet.
     
  16. GrubbyJack

    GrubbyJack Member

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    Bead blast (sand if it really bad) the inside only and then see the link, they are the ones that make them....Really Good Stuff..... Grubby
     
  17. Recoil Sissy

    Recoil Sissy Well-Known Member

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    Hey Tron, I'm with you.

    Cast iron? Only if you sand it (or don't), steel wool it (or don't), bead blast it at a machine shop, or wear yourself out rubbing it with a chunk of some mouse chewed gunny sack.

    Then you smear it with lard (salted or not), or bacon grease, or olive oil, or canola oil, blah, blah, blah.

    All that followed by burning it in a wood stove, or a bon fire, or with corn cobs, or in the oven.

    Sounds like a lot of trouble for a danged old pan. I'm thinking you can't beat microwavable plastic.

    sissy : )
     
  18. BIG PAPA

    BIG PAPA Member

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    How many of you have every heard of Wagnerware cast iron. Well I only live 10 miles from where that product was manufatured for many years before going out of business. In fact the buildings are going to be demo this spring. Let me give you the BEST way to cure on of these wonderful skillets. You put it in you ladies self cleaning oven and turn the oven on the clean cycle. When the oven finally gets done cleaning and will permit you to get the skillet out be prepared to wipe out the skillet and oven. All of the crude etc will come clean from the skillet and will be laying in the oven. Clean this mess up with a couple of paper towels. Now coat the skillet with any oil although good ole fashion lard is the best. Now put the skillet back in the oven, set the temp for 225 degrees and bake for an hour. Turn the oven off and let everything cool back to room temp. Take paper towels and wipe it out. You skillet will now be cured and like a brand new one. I have cured MANY of these skillets and they will last a lifetime. NEVER cook cured bacon in a good cured iron skillet. The cure in the meat will ruin the cure for sure in your skillet. I think I have collected over 50 of them now and everyone of them will make teflon look like an antique!
     
  19. neofight

    neofight TS Member

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    Quote from TRON:Why not just buy a tephlon skillet and get rid of the iron one?




    Blasphemy!!!!!!!! : ) That would be like trading in your 1967 Triumph Bonneville on a Hodaka 90.There is endurance and then there are things we have to endure.( i just made that up!)
     
  20. lostandout

    lostandout Member

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    i traded my 1969 triumph daytona for an 870 tc and a hunting trip to th u.p
     
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