Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cabin Cooking: Restoring a Cast Iron Frying Pan

I've mentioned before that my favourite thrift store is the Powell River Hospital Auxilliary Economy Shop. Every chance I get, I pop in to see what's on the shelves and racks. Over the years I've found lots of "treasures." This week I scored big time. I have a regular route. First the caps, next the baskets, then the kitchen items. There on the bottom shelf was an 10 1/2 inch cast iron frying pan.

The price was right at $2.00, but when I picked it up the old oil was gummy. It felt really yucky, but I knew I could take the pan home and restore it.

I looked online and found "The Irreplaceable Cast Iron Pans." It wasn't exactly following the directions, but the first thing I did was get out an SOS pad I knew was hiding under the sink. I also grabbed the Comet even though I knew it was a drastic move. I ran some really hot water, soaked the pan for a few minutes, and then started adding some grease of my own, elbow grease.

Several soaks and scrubs got me down to a clean, smooth surface. The next step was to lightly oil the pan inside and out. Then it went into a 450 degree oven for thirty minutes.

After cooling in the oven, I repeated the oiling and baking process two more times. Now I have a clean, well seasoned cast iron frying pan that will serve me well for many more years up at the cabin. Thank you to whoever donated it to the shop. Both the hospital and I were winners. -- Margy


  1. Well done! Looks great! I'm not supposed to use cast iron on my glasstop stove, but I certainly miss it. (I used to want a glasstop stove, but after having one, I don't really recommend them. They're easier to clean up usually, but I can't slide stuff on it, I can't use cast iron stuff or woks, and cleaning up after making jelly is crazy.)

  2. Jena - In Bellingham we have a glasstop and it is my least favourite stove. The condo in PR has electric burners as you can see, also my my favourite. I do love my propane stovetop. I can make it do exactly what I want. The oven, however is tricky. The oven control isn't perfectly tuned for propane, so it is hotter than the dial. I use an oven thermometer to control the heat better. - Margy

  3. Love, love cast iron. I know exactly which shop you are talking about, too -- we hit it whenever we are in town. Thanks for the restoration tips.

  4. That looks great! I love reusing things and giving them a new life and use. Wel done, I feel inspired.

  5. That's so great. I love cast iron pans and I'm always watching for another one to make part of my collection. They are so timeless, I got my parents after they were gone and fully intend to pass them on to my kids. Good post. Grizzly

  6. Thanks all for stopping by and commenting on my great pan. Now if only I could find a great thrift store in Bellingham that doesn't want and arm and a leg for great stuff. - Margy


We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy