Awesome way to reuse a broken cast iron pan

Originally published at: Awesome way to reuse a broken cast iron pan | Boing Boing


All you need is a blast furnace and some casting sand and a cast iron pan is infinitely recyclable


Would like to see the process whereby the iron pan was cut down. If it required $70 worth of blacksmithing tools I’d be less impressed.


I think he ground it down.


Thanks…is he saying he wore out his grinder?


I read what you did. He is saying the bearing went out on his grinder. I do not know what model grinder, its age, or condition at the beginning of this project.


Quite nice, but the other commenters have a point: unless you do it purely for the fun, this sort of recycling hits a wall of diminishing returns. And not everyone has a forge at home. (If only. Bang! Boom! Wooosh!).


It’s thick, inflexible and conducts heat in exactly the way you wouldn’t want for a spatula, making this probably one of the worst possible uses, but I guess if you’re desperate to reuse a cracked pan and can’t think of anything else to do with it…


Pedantic note: Cast iron pans are cast, not forged. So you’d need a home foundry, not a home forge.


i never use metal spatulas. I refuse to keep them around because I can’t trust other people not to use them without scratching everything to hell. Especially if you have any nonstick surfaced cookware, but Even on a cast iron pan, which can withstand a metal spatula, once you start getting gouges all over the seasoning stuff starts sticking again. and the seasoning scrapings are probably ending up in your food.


I exclusively use metal spatulas on my cast iron pans, and haven’t had issues with them, but I only use the flexible kind. I don’t think that a totally rigid spatula like this would be very useful at all.


For some reason, I find both the unseasoned pan (if cast iron, not needed if the pan is aluminum or stainless) and unseasoned pantula/spatulan disturbing. I get not seasoning the pantula/spatulan, but seasoning the pantula/spatulan and then taking the seasoning off the working edge, or letting it come off naturally seems like it would better protect the cast iron, plus it will be more tactacool.

I still want to know, “pantula” or “spatulan”.

Edit to add: Happy mutant Spetrovits has likely solved question of the bright finish. See below.

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Spatulas don’t need to be flexible and there are plenty of uses for a non-flexible spatula. Just as an example stiff paint scrapers are often used for smashed burgers. And cast iron heats up slow enough that you’re not going to have an issue with the heat conduction. Just like the steel spatulas everyone already owns, which are thinner and thus heat up faster.

I recently was gifted 2 large griddle spatulas (cause we have a restaurant blacktop as part of our stove), they’re pretty specifically on the stiffer side and a good gift because they’re stiffer than our existing spatulas. The flexy guys lead to issues with stir fries and heavier food (and smashing burgers). Similar reason that grill spatulas are often stiffer.

Flexy spats are for delicate foods and getting into narrow pans with tall sides. Wider, shallower cooking surfaces and heavier foods often call for something stiffer.

Though that’s a little narrow for larger burgers it looks like just about the perfect thing for smash burgers.

If the season can be easily gouged by a metal utensil it hasn’t been applied correctly. Usually need more heat, or heat for longer in that situation.

Carbon steel that can happen, but it does’t hold season particularly well to begin with. I’ve had plastic utensils rub the season off the carbon steel pans and griddle. Regular re-seasoning is part and parcel of use with carbon.


Can someone explain me how exactly one breaks a cast-iron pan? If a pan were to break at all, I’d expect it to break at the base of the handle, which is exactly the wrong place to salvage a spatula out of it.

Anyone come across the original post mentioning this build? Maybe that explains the fate of the original pan.


OP bought the pan broken for a few bucks. No explanation other than:

Found this griswold on the floor of the antique store for $8 (cracked good for decor) and figured it needed a new chance at life in the kitchen


Does unintentional melting count as breaking?


I sure hope that wasn’t a Griswold.

man, i love this. i would use this in a heartbeat. it’s perfect.

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Cast iron is very brittle, so it can be cracked. Older pans that haven’t been maintained and get rusty have a tendency to be cracked or to crack during seasoning.

It’s one of the few things, besides rust pitting, that can actually ruin one.

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I mean, I totally understand the relative fragility of cast iron. I just don’t understand what part of a cast iron pan would be susceptible to cracking other than the handle snapping off, since it’s really the only stress concentrator. I guess if someone really messed with it, the base could crack? I just have trouble envisioning it.