Are these Wagner skillets worth saving, and how?

I have two Wagner skillets from my mother-in-law. One is labelled 10B and the other 1088. They have heavy, heavy encrustations on the outside, and in one case, moving over into the boottom. How do I get those off, if it is even possible?


Thanks for your thoughts.

Hi palomalou,

You could treat them like you would an oven in need of cleaning: coat them, cover them, wait for the magic, and, wearing gloves and a mask, wipe off the encrustation and rinse.

Easy off is the typical solution.

Ray

1 Like

What do the insides look like?
That’s what’s important.
Looks like a griddle and dutch oven?
Both worth saving for sure.

1 Like

I don’t have a self-cleaning oven so I’ve never tried this method, but I’ve read that it is a simple way to refurbish cast iron like yours. Then you just need to re-season it.

I would buy a can of Carbon Off. Most restaurant supply stores carry it. It is almost magical on heavy, encrusted carbon.

1 Like

There’s a crazy expensive laser thing option too.

1 Like

I have cleaned a few cast iron cookware. Usually, it comes down to three approaches: (1) Physical cleaning (use sander or sandpaper), (2) Chemical (aggressive chemical to remove) and (3) Temperature (High temperature baking to evaporate).

1 Like

There are several methods. If these are collectibles. it makes sense to use the one that involves removing accreted crud and rust in an electrochemical bath.

See, https://www.castironcollector.com/electrolysis.php

Thanks to all! A big help. I would try the self-clean oven thing except my brand-new oven says do not leave racks in during self-clean. I also found a service in Brooklyn that might do it–perhaps easier than dealing with the mess of some of the other methods in an apartment. Are the collectibles? No idea! I would say one is a skillet and the other perhaps a small chicken fryer, but I don’t have a lid.

1 Like

Still need to see the insides/cooking surface. They don’t look so bad. You can always use Easy Off.
Spray everything and seal in a trash bag.
The main thing to look for I whether they’re flat and not warped.

I have picked up encrusted cast iron pans at tag sales (for use, not collectables). They cleaned up in the self cleaning oven cycle when that still worked in our old oven. Since then I have used a garbage bag and oven cleaner. I coat the pan in oven cleaner, then leave it over night in the garbage bag, then rinse off the gunk with a garden hose outside. If not totally cleaned, i repeat. After cleaning, I immediately heat the pan dry on the stove, or else they rust very quickly. Light oiling and then season.

3 Likes

A warning to those who use their self cleaning cycle. It is pretty widely acknowledged in appliance repair circles that the extreme temperatures generated can destroy the mother board in a modern stove. Replacement is quite costly.

Sorry it took me a while to get these up. The bottom of the skillet is completely flat, the “chicken fryer” not entirely.


1 Like

Are those radial cracks in the skillet’s walls?

I have a Le Creuset oven that suffered a drop onto a tile floor. There is a crack from the rim down to about an inch from the floor. It doesn’t leak though.

Another warning:

Mine has 3 self cleaning oven settings I usually use 1 or 2.
This time it was set on the highest setting because my oven was quite dirty.
It ended up ruining the finish on the bottom of my oven.

1 Like

I have “degunked” several cast iron dutch ovens by using them for 18 hour bread. They are heated at 450F-550F for roughly an hour and a half at a baking. Works as long as inside is currently usable.

1 Like

Sounds like an excellent question, and I don’t know for sure. I can run my fingernail into them a little, but they don’t seem to go to the outside. If I fill it with water and observe will that tell me for certain? Or might they be so miniscule that I still won’t know? Thanks!

1 Like

Hi lynn see,

It’s not a thought puzzle: just get rid of the crap on them and find out what you have–or throw them away.

Ray

:rofl: :rofl:

1 Like

Yes, even if they’re cracks, they may not leak. It wouldn’t bother me, but there are people who won’t cook in pans where there are cracks that can’t be cleaned inside.

This afternoon, I started an attempt to clean a CI grate in the electrolytic bath method. The grate is giving off very small dirty bubbles, so it’s definitely doing something! I’ll give it overnight and report back. Basically, all you need is a tub, a car battery charger and some washing soda.