Can a cast iron skillet be cleaned back to almost-new and re- seasoned, and if so, how??!?!
Put the cast iron pan in an open fire. Wait till the fire is cold next day. Wash it with water. Season with Crisco in an oven. It should come out like new. I did this to a dutch oven that was really cruddy and it came out like new
I have also cleaned and maintain my cast iron with a bit of oil and sea salt. I rub it all over the warm pan, then wipe it out with a paper towel. Water should never touch a cast iron pan. After you use it, you should always season it with oil by rubbing it all over the pan with a soft cloth before you store it. Good luck!
Thank you for the suggestions but this doesn't answer my question because the gunk is on the outside of the pan. Very sticky and yucky, I don't want to set the skillet down anywhere because the gunk transfers easily and is very hard to remove!
You can clean the outside with the sea salt and oil rub. You might have to do it a few times until the gunk comes off. Good luck!
Take on a picnic, and place directly on top open flames to burn of crustys, then take home and season it , the crustys turn to black powder..
I think it was mentioned above to throw it in the old fire and allow it to stay in that fire while all the gunk burns off. Leave it till morning, then season it again. I have done this to a few of my in-laws hand-me downs and they are like new. So what that means is you need a campfire and some patience a little elbow grease and you will be loving your old pans!