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Giving a Cast Iron Skillet New Life

Make sure to go to the end of the post to find out about a cool giveaway…… Some of my favorite memories from my childhood are set in my grandparents kitchen. My Granny cooking on their gas stove….fried chicken, fried okra, cornbread, biscuits. Almost everything was made in a cast iron skillet of some sort. Who knew that cooking in cast iron would be all the rage again. Unfortunately some of the prices for cast iron are a bit ridiculous so I love scouring garage sales for cast iron pieces than can be refurbished and given new life. Just this past weekend, we participated in a community-wide yard sale. I told myself that I was NOT going to go buy other people’s junk and fill my house back up again but after a customer told me about a cast iron cornbread pan at a neighbor’s sale, I had to have it. I sent Dewey over and he was able to snag it. It wasn’t much to look at, covered in rust and with it’s tag still on.

Rejuvenating a Cast Iron Pan

I knew that with a little TLC that I would be baking cornbread  in no time. It is actually a pretty easy (though a bit stinky) rejuvenation process.

How to Rejuvenate (Season) a Cast Iron Skillet/Pan:

  1. Clean your pan with hot water and a stiff brush or steel wool to remove any dirt or rust. (this may take a bit of elbow grease)
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Coat the pan inside and out with cooking oil.
  4. Put two racks in your oven. On the bottom one, place a layer of aluminum foil to catch any oil that may drip off the pan.
  5. Bake upside down on the top rack of your oven for 1 hour.
  6. Remove from oven with a thick pot holder. Cast iron gets very hot!

Other cast iron tips:

  • Your cast iron won’t look nice and black like you expect after this process. However, it will get that way as you use it. Remember that you are increasing it’s non-stick seasoning every time you use it.
  • After each use rinse with hot water and wipe out with a paper towel. I like to use a rubber scraper or nonstick safe scouring pad (but gently!). If you use steel wool or the like it will take the seasoning away.
  • Don’t ever let your pan sit in water. It will rust.
  • Make sure to dry your pan before you put it away to keep rust at bay.
  • Cast iron increases the iron content of your food. Another cool perk.

Now my $3 pan is ready for use. After I find a new place to buy cornmeal in Calgary, I will be in business. I’m not the only one that likes to give something classic a new life. The folks over at General Mills are releasing the new Honey Nut Cheerios Hearty Oat Crunch celebrating the classic Honey Nut Cheerios you know and love, and mixing it up with crispy oat flakes and delicious nut clusters along with 7 additional new products.

Now for the free stuff!

The first 25 lucky readers to visit will receive a free box of the new Honey Nut Cheerios Hearty Oat Crunch cereal. It is delicious so definitely sign up! If you don’t get one of the free boxes, Like the Life Made Delicious FB page for a chance at free coupons for their new products.

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Disclosure – I am participating in the Honey Nut Cheerios Hearty Oat Crunch Blogger Campaign by Mom Central Canada on behalf of General Mills, and received compensation as a thank you for participating and for sharing my honest opinion. The opinions on this blog are my own.


Monday 30th of June 2014

I use oil and course salt as a scouring agent to rub out the rust on the ones we have.

FWIW, I've also used cast iron on a ceramic stove top (didn't know you weren't supposed to) and it didn't seem to damage the stove top.

Merry Kuchle

Monday 30th of June 2014

Great tip Doug! I think so many people are put off by any rust and it is really easy to get them back in shape.


Thursday 6th of June 2013

I've never known what to do with cast iron. It's always been a rusty mess for me. Thanks for telling me how to save it!!

Merry Kuchle

Monday 30th of June 2014

Another great way to keep it from becoming a rusty mess is to never, ever let it sit in water or stay wet. Dry it immediately and give it a coat of oil if it starts looking dry.


Tuesday 4th of June 2013

I love cast iron! I find animal fat works even better to season it - I use lard, and roast chickens in my cast iron.. seasoning it while getting dinner made!


Tuesday 4th of June 2013

I agree, Julie! I used what I had on hand. My granny would have used Crisco shortening.


Tuesday 4th of June 2013

Cast Iron is another one of the reasons I hate my ceramic stove top so much. I would love to have more of it and use it more but can't without ruining my stove top. Are you going to post a cornbread recipe once you find the cornmeal you're after? I love cornbread and have a decent recipe but being Canadian I'm sure it's not true Southern tasting!


Tuesday 4th of June 2013

I must admit that I am partial to cornbread mad with White Lily cornbread mix (I know, I know). Since I can't get that here, I will be testing recipes myself. The big thing for me is that cornbread is not supposed to be sweet (or at least not the kind I make). I've heard that the Pioneer Woman has a great recipe so I'll be trying it first.


Tuesday 4th of June 2013

I love this new pan-- nice score!