Vintage Kettle

Cast Iron Restoration

By Lodge Cast iron / November 2, 2016


A few months ago, our product research and testing coordinator Kris Stubblefield was at the home of our CEO, Henry Lodge, and noticed an old piece of cast iron in the yard. The piece was a large 12 gallon pot, overturned and rusted on the inside. With Henry’s blessing, Kris decided to try and breathe new life into the forgotten casting.

an old catalog page

Weighing over 30 pounds and measuring nearly 20 inches across, the piece most closely resembles a number 12 sugar kettle in a Lodge catalog from the 1930s (see the old catalog photo above).

While a piece this large takes a lot of work to restore by hand, a rusty skillet or Dutch oven is not difficult. Here's a short video showing how we recommend doing it with just steel wool:

rusty kettle and drill with wire brush

Kris decided to remove rust from the kettle using a wire wheel brush and a mixture of vinegar and water. (And LOTS of elbow grease!) To season it, he rubbed it with coconut oil and hung it upside down from a tripod over a gas burner in the yard. In total, it took him a few Saturdays to finish the job. 

frying donuts

Shortly after he restored the kettle, Kris and his wife hosted a back yard party to put the old kettle into action. Kris made donuts and topped them with everything from bacon to sprinkles. Lodge employees can attest — they were delicious!

For more tips on how to care for cast iron, head here

table full of donuts and toppings
Lodge Cast iron

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