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Nov 20, 2010 12:13 AM

Please Help: Scratches in my Cast Iron pan. What do I do?

We love cast iron cookware, and have a collection of several sizes that we use for almost everything. I've never had to go through an initial seasoning process, however, because all our pans have been hand-me-downs.

Recently I baked a pizza in our largest pan (a real monster -- I love it), and cut it in the pan, using a wheel-blade pizza cutter. Big mistake! Now there are deep scratches in the cooking surface of the pan where I pressed especially hard with a pizza cutter.

I followed the instructions here:
which basically say to rub in oil, heat in the oven at 400 fro 30-40 minutes, and then allow to cool in the cooling oven. But when I took it out, I saw no improvement, and if anything, the scratches look a little angrier -- orangish in color.

Is there any way to restore the surface of the pan? Please? I am sick about this.

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  1. Does this cause sticking or problems with rust? I've cut cornbread in my cast iron pan hundreds of times, with no ill effect. I've never actually looked for scratches, though.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jay F

      When I left the pan soaking with water for several hours, rust did show up in the scratches. (I don't normally leave my pans soaking, but I got a phone call in the middle of washing up, and cest la vie.) By the looks of the scratches, I'm afraid that they will cause sticking as well.

      I think the difference between cutting cornbread and cutting pizza is that cornbread is fairly soft, whereas in order to cut the pizza, I was pressing directly down, very hard, going back and forth with a sharp blade. (I *hope* you don't have to do that with your cornbread!) I didn't have to *look* for scratches -- they are, like, big gashes staring me in the face.

    2. Don't worry. Just keep using it for cooking.

      1. Crisco would of been a better choice instead of oil for reseasoning the scratches.

        1. I agree with Chemical Kinetics that the scratches will slowly fade as you continue using the pan. Frying up a couple of batches of bacon might do the trick. You could also stick the pan on the stovetop, heat it up, and rub it with lard on a folded-up paper towel held in a pair of tongs.

          1. Many times the first amount of seasoning on bare cast iron will be an orange hue in color and not rust. Repeated seasoning through use will turn it brown and then black. You may feel sick but the cast iron isn't angry, it just asks that you use it more.