Have you ever been frustrated by rusty cast iron pans and skillets? You might think they are ruined, but they aren’t. It is actually super easy to clean rusted cast iron skillets and restore them to their former glory. It takes just a couple of minutes and 2 things you probably already have in your pantry.
When I went to use my cast iron flat skillet today, I was not pleased to see its condition. Evidently the skillet was put away when it wasn’t completely dry, and a couple of spots of rust had formed. Fortunately my pantry contains just the things to remove rust from cast iron cookware – olive oil and coarse salt.
To clean rust spots on cast iron cookware, just pour a tablespoon or 2 of oil on the pan. Sprinkle liberally with the coarse salt. Use a stiff brush to scrub until the rust is gone. It doesn’t take long at all. This method also works to remove burnt-on food.
After all the rust has been removed, rub some oil into the cast iron to season it. (I use coconut oil.) Put the cast iron pan into a 450 degree oven to dry completely. I put the pan in the oven for 5 minutes at that temperature and then turn it off. I allow the pan to cool in the oven.
Hint: Don’t ever use soap on cast iron as it destroys the seasoning. I have a dedicated cast iron scrub brush that I use with water. That’s all I ever need. You can also use one of these cool chainmail cast iron scrubbers.
After your cast iron skillet is cleaned, just make sure it is absolutely dry before you put it away. Then you won’t have to clean rusted cast iron skillets ever again!
Hopefully this trick is helpful to anyone who needs to clean rusted cast iron skillets. So tell me… What tricks do you use to keep your cast iron cookware looking good as new?