Cleaning cast iron skillets and pans is a piece of cake, but it is a slightly different method from how you clean other kitchenware. For example, you can’t ever soak your cast iron; you must only rinse it instead. Read on to discover exactly how to clean a cast iron skillet or pan, so it’ll last you for years to come...
Cast iron skillets and pans are honestly game-changers in the kitchen. There are a multitude of reasons why cast iron is an absolute must-have; even for amateur cooks. They’re extremely tough, provide even cooking temperatures and are naturally non-stick, just to name a few.
However, there seems to be a slight confusion over how to properly clean cast iron cookware; or whether you should even clean them at all. So, if you’ve got a cast iron skillet and pan but you’re not one hundred per cent sure what’s the best cleaning method, read on my friend (and if you haven’t bought yourself cast iron cookware yet, we highly recommend this skillet).
After using your cast iron skillet or pan, let it cool down. Cast iron retains its heat for quite some time, and you don’t want to burn yourself. So let it sit for a while before you do anything.
Then once it’s cooled, rinse – and only rinse; never let your cast iron soak in the sink as they are not rustproof – your cast iron with warm water to get rid of any food residue that may be stuck in the pan.
If you’re finding that a lot of food residue is not coming off with just plain water, you can use a tiny bit of dishwashing soap and scrub gently to remove it; although never use something abrasive like a scouring pad or steel wool to scrub your cast iron as this will get rid of the seasoning.
After rinsing and/or scrubbing, simply dry your cast iron with a clean rag or paper towel; if you use a teatowel it’ll get stained. Also, make sure you do actually dry your cast iron right after you’ve rinsed/scrubbed it; don’t leave it to dry on a dish rack as, again, cast irons are not rustproof. The last step is to reinforce your seasoning by applying a light coat of vegetable oil to the skillet/pan with paper towel before you pack it away.
Wondering what seasoning is? When you first purchase a cast iron skillet or pan, you have to season it before you start using it to cook. All that involves is applying a thin coat of vegetable oil to the whole skillet/pan; this includes the outside and handle too.
Then you want to bake your skillet in the oven; place it upside down on the top or middle rack (place foil on the lowest rack to catch any oil dripping) and leave it for an hour in an oven that’s roughly 180 degrees celsius.
After an hour, turn the oven off but leave your cast iron in there to cool. That’s essentially it; your cast iron is now seasoned.