I read your blog post a few weeks back, about cleaning a Weber kettle cooker, and I’m wondering if you can help. I’ve got a really old cast iron griddle pan that I once used for camping, but the plate has stood (unused) behind my garden shed for a few years now.
Needless to say, the griddle pan is badly rusted; despite my best efforts I can’t seem to restore it. I’ve tried soap and water, sand paper, steel wool, and cooking oil, but a dark residue seems to remain on the surface and coat any food I cook. Any suggestions?
Ordinarily, warm soapy water would do the trick, or you could use the salt and potato method – see details at the end of this post. However, because your pan is badly rusted, you’re going to need a heavy-duty rust remover to restore your griddle pan. Let’s get started…
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
- A wire brush
- Q12 Rust Remover
- A small paint brush
- Flight Spray Klean
- A sponge
You need to remove most of the surface rust before you can apply the Q12 Rust Remover, so start the cleaning process with a wire brush.
First blow, or wipe, the loose surface rust off the pan. Then, using a smallish paintbrush, apply a generous coat of Q12. Be sure to shake the bottle beforehand and apply the gel between each rib of the plate.
Allow the Q12 to stand and soak into the rust for at least 15 to 20 minutes, then rinse the plate under running water to remove any sign of the Q12. You’ll notice that the rust will wash right off too.
Now it’s time to clean your pan using a non-solvent-based cleaner, such as Flight Kleen. Spray the pan generously with undiluted cleaner and use a sponge to scrub the pan clean. Rinse the soap off when you’re done.
Finally, apply a thin coat of cooking oil and wipe the pan down with a paper towel. Make sure to store the pan in a dry area so that the cleaning process is quicker and easier the next time.
THE POTATO AND SALT METHOD
If you use your pan regularly and there is no sign of rust, then frequent cleaning with salt and half a raw potato will keep it clean and in good condition.
- Sprinkle a generous amount of coarse salt onto the griddle pan.
- Cut a raw potato in half and use the cut side to scrub the salt over the pan.
- Rinse the pan with water and dry with a dish towel.
- Pour in enough cooking oil to cover the base of the pan and (if possible) heat the pan in your oven (or over hot coals) so that the oil thins and penetrates the cast-iron pores of the pan.
- Wipe dry with a sheet of paper towel and store away from moisture.
NOTE: Don’t put your cast iron griddle pan in the dishwasher, and never leave it to soak in water.