I'm very pleased with the results of a little restoration project I just completed on a frying pan I found amid some of my dad's junk. It is a beautiful older Le Creuset omelet pan from the days before they coated the cast iron with enamel. It had a nasty burned-on mess in it that defied all my efforts at scrubbing, in spite of the pride I take in my ability to solve such problems with elbow grease. Knowing there are people out there who have restored cast iron in far rougher shape than this, I took to the Google, and learned spray on oven cleaner can help in such situations, and sure enough, a couple of applications got me down to basically bare metal. It was then a simple matter to unscrew the wooden handle, which I worked on cleaning up while the cast iron re-seasoned in the oven. I now have an as good as new omelet pan for my effort, or arguably better than new, since the non-stick properties of cast iron cookware improve with the addition of a little patina, and this pan seems to fall into the category of "they don't make them like that anymore."
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