Just what is the proper way of cleaning a cast iron skillet? I've heard to
merely wipe it clean and allow the oil build-up but then, I've also hear to
clean it in light soapy water, rinse, whip, and set it on a hot burner just
long enough to evaporate all the moisture that may be left in the pores of
Using very hot water and a scrubber (I use a plastic bristle brush) scrub out
the pan and
it usually gets the crusty stuff. If that doesn't get all of it, put in some
and scrub with that (using a paper towel) until clean.
Heat the pan gently to drive water out of the pores and then, carefully, so as
not to burn
yourself, wipe a bit of peanut oil, or whatever fat you are using to season the
over the surfaces of the pan. All of them. Let cool, and store.
At the bottom of this page is a section on "caring for your cast iron"
When new iron cookware must be seasoned. Once that is done, food
won't stick and you can wash it in sudsy water, rinse, dry on the
stovetop, and coat lightly with shortening. It may rust if you don't
dry it quickly.
If it must be washed, as when you cook spaghetti in it or some other
sticky thing, then do use soapy water and after you've put it on the
hot burner and it's dry, oil it and wipe out the excess. Otherwise,
if it can just be wiped out, if you've fried something in it or made
cornbread, etc., do that. Never, ever put one in a dishwasher.
Hope that helps.
What's the big deal about these things anyway? I know they disburse heat
more evenly and I can understand that benefit, but I can't understand what
damage a good cleaning will do; the stuff is cast iron for cryin' out loud!
So what if it gets scour with steel wool, rinsed, and heated on the stove to
dry (that does make since ... otherwise it will surely rust in the pores).
But to let the thing accumulate a coating of grease as I've heard told by
some over the years... my god, it's not mad cow we should fear. It's eggs
and beacon from a cast iron skillet!
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