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I ruined my new cast iron skillet - help!

I finally received a cast iron skillet for Christmas this year. Everything was going along swimmingly until I took it off the stovetop. I accidentally set it on a rubbery-type potholder/trivet type thing. Now, I can't get the bits of potholder off the bottom! I tried reheating it to melt the rubbery stuff, but it just won't come off... thoughts? suggestions? Thank you in advance.

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  1. If it won't scrape off with a scraper, or hammer and scraper, you might wanna bring it in to one of those problem solving dudes at Home Depot...
    They might look at it as a project and knock it out for you...

    1. Cast iron is pretty much indestructible. I believe the traditional method for "starting from scratch" is to simply toss it into a roaring fire in your fireplace or barbeque pit, dig it out of the ashes when the fire has died, and then reseason it.

      4 Replies
      1. re: tanuki soup

        Do you have an oven with a self-cleaning cycle? Stick it in there and turn the thing on.. when its done, don't touch it for like a day (I am being facetious, but don't touch it..let it cool at its own pace)..

        You'll probably have to re-season the thing, of course..

        Anyone have an issue with this approach?

        1. re: grant.cook

          That will probably do the trick, as long as the item has no other materials in it's make up (no enamel...no wood!) The "toss it in a fire" trick often cracks cast iron, or turns it a weird, rosy color. NOT recommended at all for anything particularly valuable or vintage.

          The friendly people at the Wagner and Griswold Society's forum may be able to help, if those options don't work. They've taught me so much in the past year!


          1. re: grant.cook

            I'd do it on the bbq outside so you're not fuming up your kitchen. Otherwise, same as everyone else. Bake the crap out of it for a couple hours, then clean off the pan, and make a fresh batch of bacon in it to re-season the pan.

          2. To be sure..... is the outside of the skillet cast iron, or is the outside enamel?

            4 Replies
            1. re: mtpaper

              The outside is cast iron. It seems just getting it super hot is the answer?

              1. re: wino22

                I didn't ask the question properly.

                I don't have a solution for you (I'm inexperienced too), but I'm just trying to be sure that the answers you get are appropriate for the skillet you have.

                Is the entire skillet cast iron, or is it cast iron combined with something else?

                1. re: wino22

                  The blow torch idea is a decent one.

                  You want to get it hot enough to incinerate the bad stuff without melting the skillet. Cast iron melts at about 2100 degF, so you pretty much are never going to hit that temp. But, as other posters have asked, if this has anything NOT cast iron about it - enamel'd interior, wooden handle, etc., those will probably not do well when you are talking the 900 deg that an oven gets to in cleaning mode, or the hot spot generated by a blow torch.

                  if this is a bare-metal Lodge cast iron skillet, go for it.. if this is a nice colored Lodge enameled skillet, then don't..

                  1. re: grant.cook

                    It's ALL cast-iron - no other metals/enamels/wooden handles.

              2. Just take a blow torch to the bottom and you'll be all good to go.

                1. Take it to the boyz at the local auto body fix it school/shop. They can use a grinder on it, or some such tool. Please don't tell me you're the first person in the whole history of the world to ruin the oldest practical and indestructible vessel ever utilized by mankind?? oh no!! The end is nigh!! :)

                  1 Reply
                  1. nobody has yet mentioned what would be a concern to me and that's whether the fumes from what you're going to burn off might be toxic. i'd pass on trying the self-cleaning cycle of your oven. and avoid standing over it wherever you deal with it.

                    1. To remove stuck on gum or others sticky problems (like the melted Junior Mint on my daughter's fabric hair band) I always toss the "problem" into the freezer until it freezes, and then it's usually easier to scrape off the offending substance. At least it's worth a try, and you don't have to worry about blow-torch accidents...

                      1. Use steel wool, or some other heavy duty abrasive like coarse scotch-brite or even sandpaper. You will take the seasoning off as well as the rubber, but you can just re-season the pan.

                        1. If you just abrade the bottom then you shouldn't have to re-season the pan. But putting some oil on it would be a good idea.