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Oct 23, 2009 08:52 PM

Cast iron question!

So the other day I accidentally left my cast iron skillet on a hot element with nothing in it. I realized it a little too late and now I have a circle at the bottom that is ash/white where it was seated on the element.

Is my skillet damaged? Can I still use it? Any help would be great.


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  1. Jag,

    This is the bare cast iron, right? Assuming, you were not heating your skillet at high heat for a long peroid of time, I don't think you would have damaged your cast iron skillet. Can you take a picture of the bottom of your pan.

    1. I own 33 pieces of cast I ron and I love it! If your pan is not warped don't worry about it. My grandmother taught me that if your pans get too much of a cooked on - baked on crust just throw them in the campfire, fire place, trashfire or whatever and let them get red hot then take a stick and rake them out to cool naturally. The will have the grey white color you see in the bottom of yours. Just re- season and they are good as new. This is with plain unfinished cast iron like Lodge sells today if yours is a coated or enameled like the Belgin or French ones you may have seperated the coating and I would contact the maker but I think that may be un repairable. By the way the cleaning method was taught to me back in the late fifties, I am 66yrs old.
      Good luck

      5 Replies
      1. re: OldGringo

        Old Gringo--where do you store it all? :-)

        1. re: OldGringo

          The modern version of the camp fire is the self cleaning oven. As OldGringo says - your cast iron has no problems. I am just confirming his advice to re-season it.

          OldGringo: I don't think given by the description that it is an enameled pan, but I wouldn't worry about tit either. Enamel is a paste or powder that is baked on in an oven at about 1500F where it melts.

          1. re: OldGringo

            Well OldGringo...You top me by 5 pieces..(and a few years) I can only muster 28 pieces currently--- Eighteen months ago before I set up 2 of my kids kitchens with iron I would have kicked you in your pants however...Hahahahaha!!

            Jagbbq....Don't fret over your pan. Re-season it a couple of times and you are good to go. Use the pan as normal...In time the "circle" will disappear....Cast iron will "heal" itself in time.. and with use.


            1. re: Uncle Bob

              Thanks everyone for your help! I looked up the maker of the pan and it was only seasoned with oil (no other waxes etc) before it was shipped out so I should be fine. Looks I'll re-season it and cook away today!

              1. re: Uncle Bob

                Hah! Well, it's a lazy Sunday evening and the pork roast is still in the oven (in the old Piqua Ware #9 dutch oven) so I just had to go count... 47 pieces, not counting the two skillets in the lye tank awaiting refinishing, and the #7 Griswold tite-top still on its way from Ebay....nor the 5 skillets under the bed, awaiting gifting. I blame this addiction entirely on the blogger at because before I stumbled on his wonderfully seductive site, I had only the Piqua and a few skillets. Now, I have (all vintage; from about 1880 to pre-WWII) two griddles, a waffle iron, two muffin pans, six dutch ovens and god only knows how many skillets with lids. I have serious storage issues already and yet still have trouble passing up another poor, unloved, "cruddy" piece of cast iron in need of TLC and refurbishment.