Can I eat (what I cook in) it?
May 17, 2020 11:16 AM   Subscribe

Chipped out spots in cast iron pan -- does it matter?

I don't usually use my cast iron pans because I have a glass top stove, but I want to use them occasionally and in the oven.
I just took out a long unused cast iron enameled pan. I scrubbed it out, have not yet re-seasoned it. The bottom of this pan has large nicks and almost a scoop mark in the iron. Underneath the chips and cracks of course is just more metal. It's not the outside enamel that is chipped it is the iron inside-bottom of pan.
Should I re-season this and use it or is it not ok?
posted by ojocaliente to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
PS Only the outside of this pan is enamel. The inside is just iron.
posted by ojocaliente at 11:17 AM on May 17


If your concern is that this could be a health hazard don’t worry, this is totally fine. Lots of people with rusty cast iron will grind it down til they get to bare metal and then re-season. If the gouges in yours are large, those spots may not cook as evenly but it’s not going to be a big problem.
posted by theory at 11:23 AM on May 17 [7 favorites]


One of the nice things about iron cookware is that the only danger posed by metal that dissolves into the cooking food through breaks in the seasoning is that you might not like the taste. In the quantities that could feasibly get absorbed by even quite acidic food being cooked in even a completely unseasoned iron pot, iron is good for you.
posted by flabdablet at 12:53 PM on May 17 [2 favorites]


Don't store food in it or it'll become unpalatably rust flavored. Otherwise, cook away. In regions where iron is deficient in the diet, public health authorities encourage people to literally plop a reusable lump of cast iron into their food when cooking. A few chips exposing the iron base of a pan is no different.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 12:55 PM on May 17


Just as safe as cooking in it otherwise, although the obsessive in me would polish it down and re-season it.

Are you sure these nicks and scoops are in the iron itself and not the seasoning layer? It's not particularly easy to gouge cast iron. Like, you can do it with a hammer and chisel, but unless it was thrown in a drawer with a bunch of metal tools or something, it might just be that you need to wire brush that layer away.
posted by aspersioncast at 3:42 PM on May 17


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