Use a Potato to Restore Rust Cast Iron Skillets [HACK #108]

Boil 'em, Mash 'em, Stick 'em in a Stew!

We have all been there. You forget about an old skillet in the back of a cabinet somewhere or get an awesome deal on one off Craigslist, but it needs a little TLC. Not a problem! Here is what you need: a potato (yes, a potato), vegetable oil, and salt. That’s it.

Start by slicing an end of the potato off so that it is rests flat. Add some oil to the pan and spread it around evenly. Once the pan is coated with oil you can add some salt (and maybe a touch more oil) and start scrubbing away with the flat side of the potato.


Don’t go too heavy on the oil at first. You need to make sure the mixture of salt and oil is relatively granular enough so that it can work as a scrub. This packs an additional punch because the potato contains oxalic acid which helps break down the rust along with being a great vehicle for the scrubbing solution.

After you scrubbed whatever light rust there was you can put your pan in the oven as is to season it! To season properly: preheat your oven to 350 and place your pan in face down with something to catch any potential drips below. “Cook” it for about an hour, remove the pan carefully with gloves, and place it somewhere safe to cool. Simple as that!

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