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Heavy duty carbon pan cleaning??

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thespoon124 Jan 19, 2014 01:22 PM

I just "inherited" some ooooooold carbon steel pans from my restaurant that have seen some vastly better days. Not only are they pretty rusty, but the seasoning looks like it's flaking off in some places. Any tips on how to clean them? I want to strip off EVERYTHING and start from scratch.

Has anyone tried heating them in the oven and spraying with oven cleaner?

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    Raffles RE: thespoon124 Jan 19, 2014 01:30 PM

    Yes, a long soak with oven cleaner. Don't overheat them, or the cleaner will boil off and you do not want to breathe that in!
    Also, if you have woodstove,you can throw them in that and everything will burn off. Just don't leave the air inlet on high and melt them!

    1. Chemicalkinetics RE: thespoon124 Jan 19, 2014 02:52 PM

      I have strip one in the oven, but I have not used the oven cleaner method for carbon steel cookware.

      The self-cleaning oven method works.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
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        bkultra RE: Chemicalkinetics Jan 20, 2014 01:28 PM

        Same I use the self-cleaning oven

        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
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          Sirrith RE: Chemicalkinetics Jan 21, 2014 05:30 AM

          Would this be at all bad for riveted handles? Since one downside of rivets is them working loose over time due to expansion/contraction of the different metals at different rates, I'd be worried that the high temperatures of self-cleaning ovens would accelerate that process.

          Or am I completely wrong?

          1. re: Sirrith
            Chemicalkinetics RE: Sirrith Jan 21, 2014 08:20 AM

            <Since one downside of rivets is them working loose over time due to expansion/contraction of the different metals at different rates>

            Hmm. Good question. I suppose that you may be correct about this. I can see repeating this process many times may lead to this possibility. I have only done the oven bakeoff (using the self cleaning cycle) once and the riveted handle is perfectly fine, but I cannot say what would happen if I do this 10-20 times.

            Maybe the chemical approaches (such as using oven cleaner or lye) are better if this is the concern.

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