How To Clean Cast Iron?
- 1 Why don’t people clean cast iron pans?
- 2 Should you boil water to clean cast iron?
- 3 Do you need to wash a cast iron skillet?
What should you not clean cast iron with?
Scrape with a wooden spoon or soft-bristle brush – With the hot water having loosened food from the pan’s surface, now it’s time to use a wooden spoon or soft brush to remove whatever’s left. I like this $10 Oxo cast-iron brush for cast iron. It works great on a classic flat skillet but has separated tufts of bristles so it’ll work well on cast-iron grill pans or grates. This $11 Oxo brush is tough and especially good for cleaning between the grates of cast-iron grill pans. David Watsky/CNET
What can ruin cast iron?
Rust – The Cause: Rust forms when the cookware is exposed to moisture for extended periods of time and is not harmful in any way. If cast iron is left in the sink to soak, put in the dishwasher, or allowed to air dry, it will rust. It can also happen when you store your cookware in moisture-prone environments, such as a cabinet near a dishwasher, an open cabinet in a humid location, or stored outside. Step 1
Why don’t people clean cast iron pans?
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing. Cast iron care is something that cast iron-lovers take quite seriously. There are strict rules to follow depending perhaps on where you live and where you were raised. Some myths of cast iron persist even though they are tirelessly proven untrue. So consider this a public service reminder on the “reported dangers” of washing your cast iron skillet with soap.
Yes, you can actually use soap on your cast iron! The myth that you shouldn’t wash your cast iron skillet with soap is just that — a myth. It’s driven by two theories. The first is that since oil is used to season the cast iron skillet and create a nonstick surface, soap would effectively wash away the cure that you worked so hard to build.
The second reason that this myth persists is that soap isn’t the most efficient cleaner of cast iron.
Why don’t people wash cast iron pans?
Can You Use Soap on Cast Iron? – Yes, you can absolutely use soap on cast iron. But before you go squeezing out a deluge of Dawn, you should know a few things about using soap on cast iron. Cooks for generations didn’t use soap on cast iron pans because the soaps were made with lye and vinegar, two ingredients that will absolutely strip seasoning and can even damange the pan’s iron.
Today’s aerosol oven cleaners are often made with lye, or sodium hydroxide. While these cleaners are great for cleaning messy ovens and even getting burnt-on gunk off Pyrex, they can rapidly destroy seasoning on cast iron pans. But today’s dish soaps just don’t have that kind of power. These milder soaps will rinse away surface oil and food debris, but they aren’t strong enough to touch the nonstick seasoning.
So you can safely use your favorite dish soap to clean up after making Potato-Bacon Hash or Skillet Caramel Apple Pie,
Does cast iron last a lifetime?
Don’t let that scare you off— a cast iron skillet can last a lifetime (or longer!) and is easy to maintain if you remember a few simple cleaning tips. If you ever mess it up, don’t worry: The great thing about cast iron is that it’s easy to restore.
How many coats of oil on cast iron?
SEASONING YOUR CAST IRON: – 1) Most modern cast iron cookware comes pre-seasoned these days, but don’t be fooled, this doesn’t mean it’s ready to go. Often the “oil” on the surface is industrial grease and those pots need a damn good clear. So, using steel wool and soap (this is the ONLY time you get to use either of those on your pans), scrub the skillet trying to reveal as much of the bare grey metal as you can. 3) Using a dishcloth, wipe out ALL excess oil, leaving only a thin layer on the pan. For the first seasoning, put it on the outside of the pan too. You may even think you’ve wiped most of it off, but I promise there’s enough there. 4) Place the skillet in a cold oven, upside down. Many people tell you to put down foil to catch any drips, but in my experience if your layer is thin enough there won’t be any drips. 5) Turn the oven on to 250c/480f (pretty much as hot as it can go), and bake for 50 mins.6) Using proper heat resistant gloves and being extremely careful of the searingly hot iron, take the pan out, pour in a tiny amount of oil and use the dishcloth to quickly distribute it around the cooking surface, again making sure it’s just a thin layer.
- Return to oven for a further 40 minutes (you’ve just managed to squeeze in two seasonings for the effort of one!) 7) This step is optional, but if you have time, you can repeat step 6 another 1-3 times to bolster your coating and speed up the seasoning process.
- If you don’t have time, go straight to the next step.8) Turn the heat off, and allow to cool for at least two hours – do not open the oven during cooling.
And here’s the really sucky part that you probably don’t want to hear, but it makes all the difference. You’re going to have to give your skillet at least six coats of oil and baking to create a hardwearing non stick base. Basically, new cast iron needs some intense TLC for the first year or so of it’s life.
After the initial seasoning, you really just need to use the skillet lots and cook up a lot of greasy food to help reinforce the layer. Or in short – bacon is your skillet’s best friend. Roux is also a great way to build up seasoning, as is popcorn! In fact, I’ve not had to re-season my dutch oven once because I constantly make old fashioned popcorn in it.
During the first year, your skillet will likely need an additional seasoning every 2-3 months until it starts to build up. See, that’s what most people don’t tell you! That amazing black glass finish and non-stick surface doesn’t magically appear after one session in the oven.
Will baking soda clean cast iron?
How to Get Burnt Food Off a Cast Iron Skillet – If you’ve burnt food in a cast iron skillet or dutch oven, keep water, soap and acidic items such as vinegar or lemon juice away from your pan as they can create rust and destroy the pan’s seasoning. Baking soda, however, is still your friend when it comes to cleaning up a burnt food mess from your cast iron pan.
- Remove as much food and debris from the pan as possible.
- Cover the bottom of the pan with baking soda. Then add 2-3 tablespoons of water until it is moist but not a liquid. You want the consistency of a sandy paste.
- Scrub the pan with a stiff-bristle brush or scouring pad. Do not add soap. The baking soda is a mild abrasive to help remove stubborn burnt on food and the alkalinity helps neutralize odors or flavors that can be cooked into the pan.
- Rinse and repeat if necessary to remove any remaining burnt food. The more you scrub, the more of your good seasoning you will remove, so don’t go overboard.
- Fully dry the cast iron pan and then rub with vegetable oil applied to a paper towel. Coat the bottom of the pan and up the sides.
- Place the pan on a stove burner and heat over medium-low heat for about an hour, or place it in your oven at 400 degrees for the same amount of time. The pan may smoke as it seasons, so turn on your vent hood to help prevent setting off your smoke detectors.
Should you boil water to clean cast iron?
Can you boil water in cast iron? – Yes, you can boil water in cast iron. To keep the layer of seasoning intact, don’t boil water for more than 10 to 15 minutes. You can heat water to a gentle boil or simmer dishes for over 15 minutes – sometimes up to an hour. Be extra careful with acidic dishes like tomato sauce. They will wear down the seasoning quickly.
Are you supposed to wash a cast iron skillet?
1. Wash while it’s still warm. – Start the process soon after cooking to prevent any food remnants from getting stuck as the pan cools. While your pan is still warm, take it to the sink and wash it with a drop of dish soap. (Yes, despite popular belief, a little soap is fine if you remember to re-season your cast-iron skillet as needed.
- The water should be warm too, as you never want to shock cast iron with a sudden and drastic temperature change from cold water, since this could cause warping and even cracking.
- Wash with something that will scour but not scratch.
- Avoid steel wool and go with something like a Dobie sponge, a stiff brush, a chain-mail scrubber, or our favorite, a Kamenoko Tawashi scrubber made from palm fibers.
Gently scrub off any food bits and oil, then rinse thoroughly and move on immediately to drying. Kamenoko Tawashi Scrubber
Should cast iron be cleaned right away?
Step 1. Rinse your skillet after use – Mackenzie Williams/Taste of Home After your cast iron has cooled down a little bit (you don’t want to burn your hands!), rinse your cast iron in the sink with warm—never cold—water to dislodge clingy food scraps like eggs, and prevent them from hardening and sticking to the pan.
Do you need to wash a cast iron skillet?
More on Cast Iron Storage – Once you’ve washed, seasoned, and properly stored your cast iron, you’ll probably want to cook with it. May we suggest eggs? More on that below, but it is helpful as a newbie to know how you’ll clean and maintain your skillet on a daily basis.
Rinse with warm water and use a brush or scraper to remove stuck-on bits, If you used enough fat for cooking, you might not need more than a quick rinse with warm — but not soapy — water and a gentle scrub. You can also use a gentle brush or plastic pan scraper to remove stuck-on food. For really stuck-on food, scrub with salt and oil, rinse and wipe clean. If rinsing and scrubbing aren’t enough, pour a few tablespoons of canola oil and a few tablespoons of kosher salt into the pan and use a paper towel to scrub the pan with this mixture until it comes clean, then rinse. Dry the pan and coat with a thin layer of oil. Dry the cast iron with a clean towel and then place over low heat. Add a thin coat of more oil, but make sure the oil doesn’t pool anywhere — one teaspoon wiped across the entire cooking surface is just right for most pans. Store until ready to use. Cool the pan and store until ready to cook again.