How do we recover our rusted blue iron trays?
Before we start exploring how to recover our beloved rusty blue iron trays, let’s make some clarifications.
Why does rust form?
- Dough or part of the seasoning sticking to the tray during baking. In those spots, the burn may weaken, and rust might develop.
- Proofing in a tray for focaccias or rectangular pizzas. Unfortunately, the acidity of the dough weakens the glazing and burnishing of our tray, and over time, rust may form.
- Long periods of inactivity with imperfectly executed burnishing could lead to oxidation or rust affecting our trays.
So, I recommend, if the trays are stored for extended periods, check that the burnishing is done impeccably, and you won’t have any issues for sure.
For a perfectly executed burnishing, I refer you to my article:The Perfect Burnishing of Blue Iron Trays.
Let’s recover a rusty blue iron tray
Recovering a rusty blue iron tray is the easiest thing in the world and doesn’t require professional bodywork equipment.
All you need is a fine steel wool pad, or wet sandpaper, the kind used under water, with a grit of about 800 or 1000.
- Take your rusty tray and your nice damp fine steel wool pad, and scrub vigorously until you remove all the rust, leaving not even the tiniest bit behind.
- So, go over the entire surface, edges, and corners thoroughly. The more rust there is, the more effort this operation will require.
- Once you’ve completely removed the rust, dry the tray and dispose of the dirty water as accurately as possible.
- Place it in the oven at 250°C for half an hour, and if possible, for 10 minutes, increase it to 350°C. The rust will disappear, and a light patina will appear on the parts where the metal was completely exposed.
- Now take your vegetable oil, generously coat the entire tray, and remove the excess using clean paper. If some dirt still surfaces, don’t worry, keep going over it until it’s completely clean.
- At this point, proceed with the actual burnishing: 20 minutes in the oven at 250°C until the smoke has completely disappeared. If you want a detailed guide on how to best perform the burnishing, you can find it here.
The result won’t be that of a new tray, but of one perfectly usable, perfectly non-stick, and perfectly protected from rust, which you’ll be careful not to let form again.
I almost forgot, I’ve made a video tutorial that explains step by step how to remove rust and prevent it from coming back, I’ll put the link below.
Rust, iron oxide, if ingested in small quantities, is not harmful to the body after cooking. However, of course, it’s not the case to use rusty baking pans, so, I recommend, restore them properly.
I hope this guide can be really helpful for you, and let me know if this article was useful to you by leaving a comment below the video.
…And now knead, enjoy and taste!