Camping Cookware

How to Restore An Old Cast Iron Pan

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Learn how to restore your old cast iron pan.

How to Restore Old Cast Iron Pans

If you are anything like us, you ADORE your Cast Iron pans, pots and skillets.   Cast Iron cookware is long lasting and can be passed down from generation to generation.   Caring for cast iron cookware is not as hard as it may seem.  It is even possible to restore old rusty skillets with just a little bit of elbow grease, some steel wool and cooking oil.  Follow along to find out how to restore a cast iron pan.

Old Cast Iron Pan - Cleaning Instrucitons

What you will need to restore a cast iron pan:

  • Steel Wool or  Wire Brush
  • Scouring pad, brush or sponge
  • Dish Soap
  • Dish Towel
  • Water
  • Vegetable Oil, Coconut Oil or Oil of your choice with a high smoke point
  • Oven heated to 350 degrees


  1.  Pre-heat your oven to 350.
  2. Scrub the pans with a wire brush or steel wool. You can use some dish soap if you find it helpful to degrease and remove the old seasoning / rust.  You will really need to put your back into it depending on how bad the pan is that you are starting with.  You will may need to spend a good 15-20 min scrubbing your cast iron.
  3. Rinse with cold water.
  4. Thoroughly dry your cookware with a towel before proceeding.
  5. Cover the cast iron pan with oil.  Make sure to wipe the whole skillet down with oil and a clean towel (paper towels work well for this step). Gently rub in the oil on the surface of the pan including the bottom and the handle.
  6. Place a cookie sheet or aluminum foil on the bottom rack of the oven to catch any drips from the oil.  Gently turn the cast iron pot upside down and set it on the top rack.
  7. Leave the oven on at 350 degrees for one hour to season and seal the pan.
  8. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool before using.
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