Cast iron chicken fryer - can it be fixed

I have the two piece cast iron chicken fryer that my mother used to use for everything. It’s one deep skillet, with another, shallower one that doubles as a lid. I think I washed that thing every night of my life for about 12 years growing up, and apparently Mom never heard about seasoning cast iron, since it went in with the rest of the dishes and got scoured when necessary.

All of which is just lead-in to this: I got the skillet when Mom died, and I didn’t have any place to store it. It sat around for a while, and then somehow got set out in the carport. Without going into details, my mental state was not so hot for a while and I neglected the poor thing out there, meaning to bring it in, but just not getting around to it. Well, you probably guessed it, it’s rusted. The bottom is pitted, and it just isn’t in good shape. It still seems to be solid, and I think the structure is okay, but the surface is bad. Is there any way to save it? Could it be, I don’t know, sanded down or something? I know that isn’t the right word, but you get the idea. I doubt I could find one as good now, at least for less than the cost of a small car, and besides, there’s a lot of sentimental value there. I don’t even know where to start looking for someone to do this. Help, please. I’m feeling guilty as heck here.

Yes, it can probably be re-seasoned. Scrub it with wire wool and detergent, then follow the seasoning instructions here:

That’s right. You’ll find that maintaining the seasoning is easier than all that scouring you did in your childhood.

The current issue of “Cook’s Illustrated” magazine has a really good article on seasoning and maintaining cast iron. It’s a great read, you should pick it up if you’re interested in cast-iron.

Here’s what they say about heavy-duty cleaning:

Okay. I have one to deliver to college this weekend, and my husband will be home for the weekend. So first thing Monday I’ll give it a try. And then report back. Thanks for the help. If these don’t work I’ll be up for more.

I keep hoping to happen upon rusty old cast iron cookware just so I can attempt to restore it.