Extreme (?) cast iron restore.
My father asked me to restore a Griswold griddle & a Lodge pan for him. They had been stored in an exterior building (shed) for many years. This was the most extreme ci restore that I have done.
This is the “before” pic – I wasn’t sure these pans would make it.
First, I knocked the loose rust & crud off with a bbq brush
Next, I placed them in an oven & ran the self-cleaning cycle. The odor was awful…I had to leave the house while they “baked”
Then I scrubbed them with a coarse, metal scrubber & soap & water. This is the result. Most instructions for c.i. restoration stop here, and go to the seasoning steps. I took the cleaning further.
I soaked the pans overnight in mild acid wash of about 60% water & 40% white vinegar.
I’m so glad I did – the pans produced a very unhealthy, rotted meat odor during this soak. I was also able to remove deep, concealed rust & crud. I don’t want any of that cooking into any food.
Afterwards, I scoured the pans again, this time with soaped, steel wool pads.
The pans were now stripped to bare cast iron & all impurities removed (note the Lodge pan began to rust immediately, just from atmospheric moisture).
Close ups of the finish on the Lodge vs. the Griswold. I love Lodge, but there really is no comparison to the craftsmanship of the older Griswold.
First layer of seasoning. I used flaxseed oil. The pic makes it look a little darker than it actually was.
Final – after 3 layers of seasoning. Not absolutely perfect, but serviceable. A few years of use will complete the seasoning & even out the finish.
I want to thank Mark for this comprehensive tutorial on cleaning. I have included a link below for the actual steps in the seasoning process that I use, applying the oil and baking it in. I did not use flax seed oil that Mark used because I didn’t have it, but it is the superior oil for re-seasoning.