Cast Iron Skillet: Like New to Like Old, Re-finishing and Reseasoning


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Cast iron cooking ware used to be polished smooth before leaving the factory. The final polish creates a surface that when probably seasoning is very non-stick.

However, that polish step has been removed from most factories to keep the price down. The result is that new cast iron is not quite as nonstick as the old stuff. That is why old cast iron is so coveted - plus expensive and hard to find.

If you want a cheaper and more affordable route to cast iron that is almost as nonstick as the Griswold and Wagner you can get a new inexpensive pan and polish it yourself.

This task could be accomplished by hand, but it will go faster if you have a sanding pad for a drill, and you'll be done in no time with a flap sanding disc in an angle grinder.

This process will also strip any season (polymerized oil that prevents rusting and makes the pan nonstick) off the pan, so re-seasoning is a must.To season cast iron, you just need to wipe in oil with a high smoke point (I like peanut oil) and bake it at 350 for about an hour and then let the pan cool in the oven.

Some people like to place the pan upside down so any excess oil drips off to prevent a sticky season. If a pan comes out sticky, just heat it up again and wipe it down before the oil cools.

Always preheat cast iron before cooking in it. The best season will not prevent sticking if the pan is used cold.