How to Clean Your Cast Iron Skillet Without Removing Years of Seasoning
Seasoning a cast iron skillet has nothing to do with herbs and spices; instead, it's all about using oil to build up a nonstick surface and prevent rusting. While you should clean the skillet after each use, season it as often as you like by rubbing a small amount of cooking oil on the inside of the pan using a paper towel or dish cloth. Jan 11, · Begin by pouring a bit of oil into your skillet. Take a paper towel or dish rag, and rub the pan until clean, wiping out any food pieces. It’s as simple as that! And since you used oil to clean your pan, it’s all ready for the next time you cook!
Cast iron is definitely my favorite cookware. It retains heat very well. But when I first started cooking with cast iron, I was a bit mystified as to how one is supposed to clean it. This method is best for lightly soiled pans. Begin by pouring a bit of oil into your skillet. Take a paper towel or dish vast, and rub the pan until clean, wiping out any food pieces. This method is best for pans that are a bit more soiled, or have food lightly stuck to them.
Begin by sprinkling an abrasive agent into your skillet. You can use coarse sea salt, cornmeal, etc. Scrub the pan with a paper towel or dish rag. Scrape any food pieces into the trash. This method is best for pans that have food that is really stuck on, or if you cooked something smelly in the pan like fish. This is my cast iron cleaning secret weapon: steel wool. Put your pan in the sink, run some hot water in it, and scrub off all the stuck-on irob.
If the food is really cooked on, you can always let the pan soak for a bit. Now, if you wash your cast iron with water, it is imperative that you dry it as soon as possible. Otherwise you ho turn your best towels black. Not like I speak from experience or anything. Do you have any tips for easy cast iron cleanup?
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How to Season a New Cast Iron Skillet
Apr 17, · Try to rinse your cast-iron pan right after cooking. This’ll prevent clingy food scraps like eggs or sauces from hardening and sticking to the pan. (You can also pour a glass of hot water into the pan while it sits on the stove.) Wait until the cast-iron has cooled enough to . Mar 07, · Clean your cast-iron skillet while it’s still warm. Wipe out any food with paper towels, a rag, or sponge and gently scrub any stuck-on bits with a brush or coarse salt. Rinse the skillet with hot water. Thoroughly dry with a rag or paper towels, or place the skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat until dry, about minutes. Mar 25, · Place still-warm-from-cooking cast-iron skillets and pans in the sink and rinse with hot water. Wipe all surfaces clean using a non-abrasive sponge.
Proper cleaning and ongoing care ensure your cast-iron skillet will last a century or more. Learn how to clean a cast-iron skillet with these strategies for preserving the pan's good looks and no-stick properties. Cast-iron skillets are a true workhorse in the kitchen. The benefits include even heat distribution and retention, nonstick cooking surface, cooktop-to-oven versatility, and many lifetimes of utility.
In fact, a cast-iron skillet and other types of cast-iron pans perform best when frequently used and regularly maintained. And if you're wondering how to clean cast iron, it's not as difficult as you might think. Three simple steps—rinse, dry, and oil—are easily outweighed by cast iron's many attributes. With that said, cast iron's benefits rely on surfaces retaining their seasoned coating oil that has been baked into the finish at a high temperature , which in turn relies on specific cleaning methods.
The methods are not complicated but work best when put into play right after cooking. Use this guide to learn how to clean cast iron, including cast-iron skillets and enameled cast-iron cookware. Seasoned cast-iron skillets should have smooth, shimmering, rust-free surfaces that quickly release cooking foods and post-cooking grime. The idea is to begin cleaning a cast-iron skillet directly after cooking to prevent rust from forming and enhance its nonstick character.
Never use strong detergents, metal scouring pads, or the dishwasher to clean cast-iron skillets. Dish-washing soap removes oiled finishes and might leave a residue that will cause your cooked foods to have a soapy taste. The experts at Lodge Manufacturing , a maker of cast-iron cookware, remind cooks that cast-iron skillets are sterilized during the cooking process, reaching degrees Fahrenheit in 4 minutes at medium heat; at degrees Fahrenheit, the surface becomes sterile so germs should not be an issue.
In general, a good scrubbing with hot water is all you need to clean a cast-iron skillet. If you're wondering how to clean rusty cast iron, reach for some kosher salt instead of soap. Follow these steps to keep your cast iron in top shape. Place still-warm-from-cooking cast-iron skillets and pans in the sink and rinse with hot water.
Wipe all surfaces clean using a non-abrasive sponge. Rinse surfaces again. Then, thoroughly dry the skillet with a clean cloth. When the pan is completely dry, use a paper towel to apply a thin coat of cooking oil to the interior. This will help restore its sheen and reenergize its quick-release qualities. Be judicious with the application; too much oil can result in sticky surfaces.
For hard-to-remove food bits and rusty patches, grab kosher salt and a wet sponge. The salt will act as a mild abrasive that can be used to gently buff away cooked-on foods and small bits of rust. Stubborn food residue can also be loosened by boiling water in the pan for a few minutes.
Rinse the pans under warm water, dry thoroughly, and coat with cooking oil. Maintain the cleaned and seasoned finish by keeping cast-iron pots and skillets away from moisture. Store the pans without their covers in a dry area away from cooktops, sinks, and dishwashers. If you notice the pan's surface rusting, graying, or dulling, or if food starts to stick, you will need to re-season the surface. To restore your cast-iron skillet's seasoning , start with the steps above to clean, dry, and lightly oil the pan.
Set the skillet upside down on the oven's top rack and bake for an hour. Turn off the oven and let the pan cool down inside before removing and storing it in a dry place. Continue to use your cast-iron skillet often and re-season as necessary to maintain the slick coating. Enameled cast-iron cookware, including Dutch ovens, is generally easier to clean than regular cast-iron skillets. In addition to adding a shiny, often colorful glaze, the enamel coating forms a protective barrier around the cast iron, which means you don't have to worry about re-seasoning the pan or avoiding soap.
However, you need to be careful not to crack or scratch the surface while cleaning enameled cast iron. Some pieces are labeled as dishwasher-safe, but it's best to follow these instructions for hand-washing your enameled cast-iron cookware. Always let enameled cast iron cool completely before cleaning, or the sudden temperature change could cause the enamel to crack.
Use a non-scratch sponge to wash the pan with warm water and dish soap. Avoid using steel wool or abrasive tools that could damage the surface. Loosen stuck-on messes by filling the pan about halfway with water and bringing it to a boil for two to three minutes.
If stains remain, mix baking soda with a bit of water to form a thick paste. Apply to the stained areas, wait a few minutes, then gently scrub in a circular motion to lift stains. After the final rinse, thoroughly dry your enameled cast-iron cookware before storing in a dry place. Take care not to let these pieces scrape or bump against metal pans or utensils, as this could cause the enamel to chip or crack.
Regardless of the work involved, remember as you sear burgers, bake crunchy crusted cornbread, or rinse, dry, and oil your cast-iron skillet, you're creating an heirloom that your kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids will put to good use.
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View Comments. June 27, I've done it: I purchased a cast-iron skillet. Now I learn how to clean , season, and maintain my cast-iron skillet so it will last me a lifetime. Share options. Back to story Comment on this project Rate Review Comment on this story.
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