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Cast Iron Cleaning and Seasoning Help With and Tips & Techniques For Cast Iron Cookware Restoration

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  #1  
Old 05-11-2017, 08:09 AM
JMarten JMarten is offline
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Default Cleaning and Stripping "Wild" Found Skillets

Hi there everyone!

In my previous post it seems to be decided that my old cast iron skillets have seasoning not paint (Yay!). Some is peeling some is not. There are a few places I can see rust.

Is it bad to take off the old seasoning? The cooking surface (inside the pan) is very smooth with no peeling. The peeling is around the sides and the handles and on the bottom of one there is charring.

I would feel comfortable safety-wise cooking with the old seasoning and not having to build up that years of work and history. However it's a little weird using someone I have no idea about pans.

So, is it best to take off the seasoning of an old wild find and start over, take off the seasoning in areas that are peeling but leave the rest, or strip and re-season entirely.

I will be using lye if I need to strip and soap and a sponge if no stripping is needed to at least take a little off and get any dust off. They were apparently found in a storage unit so nothing is known about their history

Thank you for your expertise, I am so excited to start cooking with these!
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  #2  
Old 05-11-2017, 08:55 AM
Ty L. Ty L. is offline
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Default Re: Cleaning and Stripping "Wild" Found Skillets

If I know the owner of the pan, and it was always used for cooking I'm generally OK just giving it a good washing with a nylon brush and a few drops of Dawn, followed by a round of manual seasoning to patch up any bare spots. If there's a small spot of light rust I'll scrub it with steel wool. I got some #14's and a couple large DO's from my kid's Boy Scout troop back into good working order doing that. For stuff I buy at a flea market or antique store I always strip it. There's no way of knowing if someone used it as a catch pan when changing the oil in their lawnmower or if it was previously seasoned with something non-food grade for display purposes.
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Old 05-11-2017, 09:14 AM
JMarten JMarten is offline
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Default Re: Cleaning and Stripping "Wild" Found Skillets

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ty L. View Post
If I know the owner of the pan, and it was always used for cooking I'm generally OK just giving it a good washing with a nylon brush and a few drops of Dawn, followed by a round of manual seasoning to patch up any bare spots. If there's a small spot of light rust I'll scrub it with steel wool. I got some #14's and a couple large DO's from my kid's Boy Scout troop back into good working order doing that. For stuff I buy at a flea market or antique store I always strip it. There's no way of knowing if someone used it as a catch pan when changing the oil in their lawnmower or if it was previously seasoned with something non-food grade for display purposes.
Thanks for your response, that answers my question great! Do you think oven cleaner would work or do I need to set up a lye bath? I would prefer the oven cleaner but I can do the bath if the oven cleaner won't get though all the layers. Thank you!

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Old 05-11-2017, 09:48 AM
NateN NateN is offline
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Default Re: Cleaning and Stripping "Wild" Found Skillets

Oven cleaner will work, but a bucket of lye is overall cheaper because if you use e.g. a 5 gallon paint bucket when you're done you can put a lid on it and save it for the next project. No problem leaving iron in lye for as long as it takes to get clean.
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