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Mar 2, 2009 11:23 AM

Rusty Cast Iron

I found a listing on craigslist for 2 cast iron pans. They are listed as "new" in that they haven't been used, but they look rusty. Trying to attach the picture here. Are they worth buying? Originally from Crate and Barrel, but how good will they be if I clean the rust and re-season? Are they too rusty.


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  1. I would say yes. I was listening to Mike Calameco's food show on the radio last week and a woman called in about a very rusty cast iron pan. According to him it was not a problem. I'm not 100% sure but I believe he said to put oil in them and heat the hell out of them then just wipe them with a paper towel. I would try googling the remidy as I said I'm not certain but he definitly said it is not a problem.

    1. Nah -- they're fine. Buy them, and then read the post in the last few months about cast iron and re-seasoning.
      I pulled a pan out of someone's trash that was completely covered with rust, took it all off with steel wool, reseasoned, and it's one of my best pans. Just don't wash it with soap, and be sure to dry it on the heat after you wash it. You'll be happy with your pans.

      1. They'll be fine, but unless you're getting a really good price, why bother? You can buy a brand new Lodge pre-seasoned 12" for around $20. The fact that it is from Crate and Barrel is pretty irrelevant.

        1. Nothing like a good old cast iron pan or kettle. If they're seasoned properly they make the best cornbread, stews, fried chicken, etc. You can also find good deals on them at garage sales, avoid the antique markets cause they mark them up too high.
          Easiest way to season - wash and scrub the rust out, let dry. Heat the oven to 250. Spray Pam into the pan, place in the oven for an hour. Remove from oven, wipe out oily residue, spray w/ Pam again, place back in oven, turn oven off, let pan in over night. Wipe off excess oil and it is seasoned.

          1. I saw Christopher Kimball take an incredibly rusty cast iron pan and make it look like brand new by using salt. I think he heated it as well. It was either on ATK or the Country Cooking Show. And he did it in just a few minutes. I'll look around for that.

            4 Replies
            1. re: danhole

              I might have seen that one also. I heard kosher salt scrub and/or steel wool. But somewhere I was reading if the rust is too deep, you can't remove it. From the pictures, can you tell?

              She was $10 for both pans.

              1. re: janetms383


                for $10, I'd go for it. Those don't look that bad. The one he had looked awful. I couldn't find his link but found this one:


                1. re: danhole

                  Thanks for the link. I think I remember the show that CK did - i think it was Cook's Country - but I couldn't find the exact technique.

                2. re: janetms383

                  those should clean up fine.
                  $10 is a good price for those lodge cast iron skillets.
                  offer $7! ;-). then buy them even if she doesn't come down on price. as my friend says, "no" doesn't cost anything.....

                  happy cleaning. i have a cast iron gratin dish that i need to de-rust and season, as well.

                  i was curious to see oneiron using pam spray. that's a new idea for me.