How to Clean & Use Old Cast Iron Skillets

Cast iron skillets are preferred by many because they are durable, they heat food evenly, and when seasoned correctly, they are naturally non-stick. Plus, a cast iron skillet can be restored when it starts to get beat up. If your skillet starts to rust, or food sticks to it, it probably needs to be re-seasoned. Unless your skillet is chipped or cracked, you can take an old cast iron skillet, clean it up, season it, and put it to use in your kitchen.

Wipe the surface of the cast iron skillet with a clean paper towel to remove any loose dust, dirt or debris. Shake it out over a sink or dustbin, so the loosened debris is gone.

Cover the bottom of your oven and the oven racks with aluminium foil. Preheat your oven to 204 degrees Celsius.

Apply vegetable oil to a clean paper towel. Wipe the interior and exterior surface of your cast iron skillet with the vegetable oil until the entire skillet is covered with a thin coating of the oil.

Put your cast iron skillet in the oven. Let it cook in the oven for one hour. Turn off the oven, and allow the skillet to cool in the oven.

Remove the skillet from the oven when it has cooled completely. Repeat the process two or three more times. The more you season your skillet, the more non-stick and durable it will be.

Allow the skillet to cool after cooking. Never pour cold liquid into a hot cast iron skillet or it will crack.

Pour club soda into your skillet after cooking when the skillet is still warm, but not hot. Cover areas that have food clinging to them with the club soda. This will prevent food from sticking and make it easier to clean.

Wash your cast iron skillet with mild dish soap and warm water. Use a soft sponge to wipe the surface clean.

Rinse your skillet under a stream of cold water. Remove all soapy water.

Dry your cast iron skillet thoroughly with a clean, soft cloth.

Things You'll Need

  • Vegetable oil
  • Paper towels
  • Aluminium foil
  • Dish soap
  • Soft sponge
  • Club soda
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About the Author

Hillary Marshall has been writing professionally since 2006. Before writing instructional articles online, she worked as a copywriter and has been published in "Ideal Living" "Sass" "Science Edge" and "Shopping Cents" magazines along with countless websites including Gadling a blog by the Huffington post. Marshall studied early childhood education at the Stratford Career Institute.