One of the significant reasons behind using a cast-iron skillet is its longevity if properly cleaned and seasoned. Furthermore, you shouldn’t throw a rusty cast-iron skillet because it’s extremely easy to restore it.
Many people don’t opt for a cast-iron skillet after listening to the long list of don’ts associated with the cleaning process. The primary purpose of this article is to remove the misconception about tedious cleaning and share the best way to clean a cast-iron skillet.
Table of Contents
- How to Clean a Cast-Iron Skillet?
- The Best Cast-Iron Skillet Cleaning Tools
- How to Season a Cast-Iron Skillet?
- Video: How to clean a CAST IRON PAN after cooking
How to Clean a Cast-Iron Skillet?
You can make a list of all the materials required before cleaning a cast-iron skillet. You need a stiff brush or a sponge, paper towels, and vegetable oil. Moreover, stove and kosher salt are optional.
- It’s essential to clean the skillet right after cooking when it’s still warm or hot. Moreover, you should never soak the skillet in soap water or leave it in the sink as prolonged water exposure may rust the skillet.
- Pour hot water into the skillet and use a stiff brush or sponge to scrap the food remains from the surface. Furthermore, you can also wear gloves if the water is too hot.
- If you can’t remove the stuck-on food bits using the brush or scraper, you can make a thick paste of coarse kosher salt and water as a scrub. You can also boil water in the skillet to remove the baked-on bits and food residue.
- After scrubbing, you can rinse the cast-iron skillet and wipe it using a paper towel.
- To ensure no moisture is left in the skillet, you can heat the skillet on low heat.
- Lastly, you can use a paper towel or a dry cloth to coat vegetable oil on the inside of the skillet. You can also coat the wall and exterior of the skillet to prevent rusting.
The Best Cast-Iron Skillet Cleaning Tools
Before learning how to wash a cast-iron skillet, you should know about the best cast-iron skillet cleaning tools:
Lodge Scrub Brush
The premium-quality Lodge Scrub Brush comes with a plastic head and nylon bristles, specially designed to clean cast-iron cookware. Moreover, the ten-inch rubber wooden handle offers the desired grip to clean a skillet’s corners and interior.
Full Circle Tenacious C Cast Iron Brush and Scraper
As the name suggests, the Full Circle Tenacious C Cast Iron Brush and Scraper come with a broad brush head to clean the cast iron cookware while preserving the finish and seasoning. Furthermore, the bristles are relatively stiffer as compared to the Lodge scrub brush. That’s why you can use this sturdy brush to scrape the tough burnt-on bits.
Lucky for you, the brush is made of bamboo recycled plastic and a BPA-free coating.
Lodge Polycarbonate Red and Black Pan Scraper
The Lodge Polycarbonate Red and Black Pan Scraper is a multi-purpose scraper featuring four different shaped corners to clean all types of cast-iron cookware. Moreover, these polycarbonate scrapers are effective in removing stubborn baked-on bits.
A pro tip: It’s better to heat the pan before scraping to make the cleaning effortless.
The Ringer Original Stainless Steel Cast Iron Cleaner
The patented extra-large design of the Ringer Original Stainless Steel Cast Iron Cleaner features high-quality stainless steel chainmail resistant to rust and corrosion. One of the main reasons behind using this unique chainmail scrubber is its flexibility to fold and bend for deep cleaning the pan’s crease without scratching the seasoning.
Lodge Rust Eraser
If you want to restore your cast-iron skillet, you can use the Lodge Rust Eraser to remove the rust. Moreover, it offers accuracy and precision while removing tarnish and rust.
You should know that using the rust eraser may sometimes remove some portion of seasoning; however, it’s absolutely fine when it comes to restoring a rusted skillet. Moreover, you can always season it afterward. Lastly, you should never use the Lodge rust eraser on hot cookware, whether cast-iron or copper.
How to Season a Cast-Iron Skillet?
Before seasoning a cast-iron skillet, you need to make sure the following materials are available with you:
- Mild dish soap
- A stiff brush or a sponge
- A dry cloth or paper towel
- Vegetable oil
- Aluminum foil
Once you have all the above things, preheat the oven at 350F degrees and get ready to clean a cast-iron skillet:
- You can use soapy water and a sponge to wash the skillet. Of course, we all know that you don’t need to wash a cast-iron skillet; however, we’ll be seasoning right after it.
- You should rinse the skillet and thoroughly dry it using a paper towel or dry cloth. Additionally, you need to make sure no moisture or water drops are left behind.
- You can pour one or two tablespoons of vegetable oil into the skillet. Moreover, you can use a melted shortening of your choice.
- Take a paper towel and a clean cloth to gently rub the oil all over the skillet surface to form a uniform coating. Additionally, you shouldn’t forget to coat the outside and the bottom of the skillet.
- It’s time to heat the skillet by placing it upside down inside the oven. You can also place the aluminum foil under the rack to catch the extra oil drippings.
- You should bake the skillet for a good one hour.
- Lastly, you need to turn off the heat and let the skillet completely cool before taking it out from the oven.
- Voila, your cast-iron skillet is perfectly seasoned if you can see a shiny and smooth non-stick surface.
You must be wondering when to season the cast-iron skillet again. If the food sticks on the surface or you see the surface rusted or dull, it’s time to season the skillet.
Additional Notes on How to Season a Cast-Iron Skillet
- The reason for cleaning the cast-iron skillet right after use is that it’s relatively easy to remove the stuck-on food while the skillet is still warm.
- You should never soak the skillet in the water as it increases the likelihood of corrosion and rust. Furthermore, you should never place a cast-iron skillet in a dishwasher.
- You should always use a mild soap if necessary to clean the skillet to preserve the seasoning. However, it’s not recommended to use harsh cleaning chemicals or soap to clean the cast-iron skillet.
- Kosher salt and water paste is the best method to remove the stuck-on food. You can use a damp sponge to rub the salt on the pan and later rinse with warm water.
- If you are concerned about food safety as you don’t wash the skillet with soap, you can heat it in the oven at 212F degrees. It’s the best method to sterilize the cast-iron skillet.
Video: How to clean a CAST IRON PAN after cooking
After reading the above article, you know how to season a cast-iron skillet, clean it, and wash it. Moreover, you are also well aware of the best cleaning tools and when to use them.