Rust works wonders on these old skillets. I found this out quite by accident, well before YouTube ever existed. I left a skillet in the sink for like four days, then took it out and neglected it for another couple days. Most of the buildup just flaked off when my lazy rear end finally got around to cleaning the pan. btw... I am the third generation cooking on the cast iron skillets (Wagner and Eire) set I speak of. the set originally belonged to my grand parents (mother's side), then mom and dad, and now me. I can't tell you how many pounds of southern fried chicken, crab cakes and meatballs were cooked in my old skillets.
Honestly though, as long as the cooking surface is clean and properly seasoned, it won't matter a lick how much buildup there is on the sides.
the easy way that works is soak it in vinegar cut slightly with water for 24 hours. it will clean the rust off. then re-season. to re-season put Crisco on the pan and then all but wipe it all off. then put it in the oven and turn it up to at around 350 let bake for about 45 mi. repeat until you have it black and shiny,,,,,,,,,,,
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