Restore Rusty Cast Iron Cookware Using These Simple Tips
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As most owners of cast iron cookware might be aware, the pans and skillets are tough and might even last for generations, if maintained well. Owning a piece of old-school cookware is great – as an investment and to show off your cooking skills in the kitchen – until there is a moment where you might have strayed along the journey of taking care of an iron skillet, wok or pan. Like most other things made with iron, it is no secret that irregular maintenance might lead to rusting or damage, and repairing it might cost you the moon and more.

Reviving a piece of cast iron cookware involves getting rid of rust as well as removing old seasoning. For whatever it is worth, stripping the cast iron down to its original form, without any seasoning or lye (a form of polymerized oil which gives it a plastic-like sheen), is ideal to help you build from the ground up, all over again. One of the easiest things to do in this case, is to use a foam-based cleaner to spray all over the pan and let it sit for 24 hours, before you scrub every inch of the pan clean.

Using a metal scrubber speeds up the process of cleaning up the rust from a skillet, which would otherwise take multiple attempts to get through. Additionally, to ensure that your cookware is sanitised and free of any harmful residues, soaking the pan in a solution made with vinegar and water, is known to be extremely effective to remove any rusty layers. The key note to take into consideration at this point, is that restoring cast iron cookware is a lengthy process, which might take a couple of days to process.

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Using white distilled vinegar is important here as much as it is important to not let your pan soak for more than 24 hours, thereby increasing its chances of eroding. Once the process of scrubbing any rust off is complete, it is crucial to season the pan with some kind of edible oil immediately after it has been wiped dry, as exposed cast iron might rust simply by coming in contact with air itself.

Once seasoned, it is advisable to wash the pan with a mild dishwashing soap and water, before it is re-seasoned again and ready to be used. That said, cast iron cookware tends to lose its non-stick characteristics and could take a few rounds of cooking in it, before it is restored to its full glory; so be sure to regulate the temperature of your stovetop or oven accordingly.