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DIY: Restoring a Cast Iron Skillet.

April 4, 2011

 I have been on the hunt for a cast iron skillet for about two months now…problem is I didn’t want to pay BIG BUCKS for one. So you can imagine my excitement when I found one for $8 Saturday. (It was the most expensive purchase of my $50 thrifting trip! WOO HOO!) Problem was, it was covered in rust and all seasoning that comes with an old cast iron skillet was gone.

Determined to fix it I did a little bit of research…and now I present you with a quick and easy DIY project. Big thanks to the Mr. Mister for being my oh-so-fashionable model (ha ha ha…)!


1. It all starts with a skillet that looks something like this:

…for a closer look…

2. Put about 4-5 heaping tablespoons of salt into the pan along with an equal amount of vegetable oil

4. Using a paper towel spread the salt and oil mixture throughout the entire inside of the pan taking care to cover every part of the inside of the pan

5. Let the pan sit and soak in the mixture (we let ours sit for about five minutes). In the meantime let the oven heat up to 250 degrees F

6. Next wash the pan with hot water and soap, using your hands or a paper towel. Be sure to not use a brush or towel

7. After throughly drying the skillet…

(I promise this face was staged 🙂 ha ha)

8. Coat the inside of the skillet entirely with a thin coat of vegetable oil

9. After your oven has heated, place the skillet in the oven for half an hour at 250 degrees. After half an hour take the skillet out (it will be hottttttt, whew!) and re-coat the pan again with a thin layer of vegetable oil

10. Once the skillet has heated let it cool throughly and sop up extra oil with a paper towel

To ensure that your pan stays in tip-top shape be sure to not clean it with soap after each use. Typically you can get away with just rinsing your skillet well with hot water. If there are still leftover food on the skillet you can repeat this process with salt and oil again. Always dry the pan completely (over heat if possible) before storing it!

We now have an awesome (and cheap!) cast iron skillet perfect for camping, cooking on the grill and even for use on a standard stove top!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Chimbo permalink
    April 4, 2011 6:18 pm

    Shawn & I registered for a cast iron skillet! I’ve always wanted one!!

  2. Niki permalink
    April 4, 2011 7:08 pm

    Totally did this on Saturday, how funny! Question: Did yours come out with some sorta sticky spots (almost like the oil layer was too think to season in parts?

    • April 4, 2011 8:35 pm

      Hi Niki! We didn’t have a sticky problem with it, but this morning when we cooked with it and then wiped it clean we did have some food stick to it, so it looks like we are going to have to re-oil it up! I have however cooked with skillets that have had sticky spots on them, I don’t know what causes it though?

      Let us know if you find a solution to fix it! We’d love to hear!

  3. bonnie henderson permalink
    April 5, 2011 1:16 pm

    Hi, I reviewed your informtion on cast iron skillets. Enlightening. Do you know of any way or anyone that can take an existing cast iron skillet or cookware and dip the cookware in enamel, so that it is like Le Crueset?
    thanks for reviewing

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