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Cast Iron, dinos and rust.

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I have a cast iron cornbread pan that is rusted over to no end. You know the ones with the corn cob molds? It's like that but with dinosaurs instead of corn cobs, neat huh? I've tried scrubbing, but there are so many little crevises that I can't even begin to get to all of the rust. Any suggestions? Perhaps something I can soak it in? Any help would be much appreciated. Many thanks.

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  1. I wouldn't try soaking it in anything. Cast iron is somewhat porous so whatever you soak it in (any kind of rust remover) stands a chance of making your pan toxic.

    You can buy fine guage brass bristle brushes at most hardware stores. Try scrubbing it with one of those in warm soapy water. If that doesn't work (but I think it will), then simply oil it and bake a couple of throw-away batches of corn bread in it. And in the future, always rub it down with peanut oil before you put it away.

    Good luck!

    5 Replies
    1. re: Caroline1

      Your idea about the throw away batches is a great idea, I hadn't thought of that. Thanks.

      1. re: rainbowbrown

        I read in a cast iron cookbook - if you have rusted over pan the best thing to do is to place it on the embers of a dying fire (in the fireplace), after it cools (many hours later) scour it down. This takes it back to the raw cast iron - ready to be re-seasoned and to start anew. HTH!

        1. re: beauxgoris

          The modern-day equivalent of the "embers of the dying fire" is the self-cleaning cycle of the oven. Gets cast iron back down to the raw metal. Most times, it barely needs brushing off. Only light ash remains.
          Then wash well and reseason. Go to go!

          1. re: MakingSense

            Unfortunately I don't have an oven with a self cleaning cycle, nor does anyone I know. Do you suppose 500f would work, or the broiler perhaps? If so, how long do you suppose it should be left in?

            1. re: rainbowbrown

              It's worth a try. The one thing that you can be sure of is that you won't melt your cast iron. Cast iron is cast from pig iron (not pork-pig) that is melted in extremely hot furnaces - much hotter than anything in your home would ever, ever get.
              Throw it in your fireplace if you have one. Or in a charcoal fire in your grill. Try the broiler for awhile or even over an open flame on a gas stove. Just be careful.
              Don't soak it in any kind of chemical like oven cleaner that can get into the pores of the cast iron. And be patient. It may take some time but it will be worth it.

    2. I have one of those too - got it when the kids were little to make dino muffins. The only possible way to grease the darn thing properly is to use Pam - makes it nearly non-stick. And yes, throw away a couple of batches at first until the rust is gone. Then clean well, and spray again with Pam before storing. This will work.

      1. If it's really bad, look in the yellow pages for someone who does sand blasting. I had one that was really bad. For nearly nothing I had it sand blasted & then re-seasoned it. Good as new.

        1. Thanks so much for your advice everyone, I'll try scrubbing with a smaller brush then making some throw away batches and see how it goes. I'll post back and let you know.
          Nyleve - I am pleased to hear that someone else knows the dino pan. I'm excited about making my own dino muffins.