Refurbishing your damaged cast-iron skillet


Next to my oven, my cast-irons are my most treasured cooking equipment. This is because it’s very versatile and can stand up to a lot of abuse.

Actually what I love about my cast-irons is the fact that it holds heat very well. I don’t have to worry about dramatic temperature drops when I add relatively cold food to the hot pan. And of course, I can pop it straight into an oven to finish cooking.

However, after a while even the most cared-for cast-iron cookware will need a tune-up. This is especially after cooking acidic food like marinated mushrooms.


Refurbishing a cast-iron skilliet

When you see bare gray metal peeking out at you, it’s time to refurbish your cast-iron. This does not give you a non-stick surface immediately but it’s a start.


  • 1 Cast-iron Skillet
  • 50ml Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Strong Kitchen Paper Towel (or Oil Brush)
  • 1 Oven big enough to fit the Cast-iron Skillet


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200°C.
  2. Scrub your cast-iron skillet with hot soapy water using a sponge.
  3. Dry your skillet thoroughly.
  4. Lightly coat your skillet with the vegetable oil using the paper towel.
  5. Place the skillet cooking surface downwards in the oven.
  6. Bake for 1 hour and leave to cool in the oven overnight.
  7. Skillet is ready for use.


  • If you don’t have an oven, you can do this over a stove fire but I don’t recommend it because it’s tricky and dangerous.
  • I wouldn’t recommend Olive Oil for this because it is very expensive and the smoking point (207°C) is too close to the baking temperature (leaves a rancid smell).
  • The key is to lightly coat the cast-iron surface. Too much and the cast-iron becomes sticky.
  • Don’t bake for more than 1.5hrs or the cast-iron surface will dry out.
  • And no, for obvious reasons, you can’t use a microwave oven for this.



Posted on 6th Dec 2012 in American, Recipes


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