In this article, we are discussing how to clean cast iron and best ways to clean it. Cast iron cookware has a special place in our kitchen because it’s economical, versatile, durable, cooks food evenly and holds heat well. Properly maintained and seasoned, cast iron can last for ages and longer-lasting. It has an easy-release surface than modern non-stick pans. In order to success in all these things, then you have to take extra care of cast iron to maintain for a longer period of time. But is not a small task, because no other piece of kitchen cookware makes you panic over its maintenance and care. Sometimes, you confuse to soap or not to soap? Follow this article to know how to clean cast iron in some easy and simple steps.
Why Choose Cast Iron?
Cast-iron cookware is durable and versatile. It can go from oven to stove top and back again if required. It heats consistently and holds the heat well, making it brilliant for simmering stews or browning meat and soups. A cast-iron makes you fabulous French toast and pancakes. With a little care and proper treatment, a cast iron can give you same surface just like a non-stick as modern cookware. Once you find it rusty, filthy and you see a need of restoration. Get up and do some work. Depending on what filthy problems you’re facing, you have numerous options to restore cast iron.
Best Ways to Clean Cast Iron:
Method 1: Cleaning Your Cast Iron the Traditional Way
Step-1: Wash the skillet out with hot water after cooking. If your skillet is still hot, this is the best time to clean it. If your skillet has a separate “lip” to hold water, you can put water directly into the hot pan, do not try this with other cookware. It will slush and steam dramatically, but that is fine. Make sure you do not get in contact with the hot steam as it may lead to a burn on your skin. Rinse it out to remove all the food residue.
Step-2: Then fill your skillet with water and bring it to a boil. If your skillet still requires cleaning, then heat up the pan again. Now, put the pan again on the stove and heat up the water until it reaches a boiling point. Boil it until it dissolves all the food scraps.
Step-3: With the help of a wide spatula, lightly scratch the bottom and sides of the pan to remove any remaining food scraps. Do this while the water is still on boiling, but only for a short time. Too much contact with metal objects can take off the pan’s seasoning.
Step-4: Now, dump the dirty water in the sink. Be careful when moving the skillet back to the sink. Because cast iron is a superb conductor of heat, the handle and the other portions of the skillet might be extremely hot. Use an oven mitt or cloth to carry the skillet.
Step-5: Now, take a some wet couple of paper towels and immediately wipe the surface of the skillet. If done properly, the base of your paper towel should have a dark layer of residue.
Method 2: Clean Cast Iron with Oil Coating
- In this method you need to apply a thin coating of fat, such as shortening or vegetable oil, to the surface of the skillet. Vegetable sprays work great for this purpose. Spray or apply a dab of fat into the base of the pan with the help of a paper towel, wipe the fat on the sides and the bottom of the pan. This process will help you turn the pan’s surface into a glossy, smooth finish.
- Now, store it in a cool, dry place and cover with a towel.
- Avoid covering it with a lid to prevent build up of moisture inside the pan.
Method 3: Clean Cast Iron with Potatoes and Baking Soda
To clean cast iron with baking soda and potatoes is the best way to clean and maintain the seasoning of the pan. To use this method, follow the steps given below:
- Take a potato and cut it in half or lengthwise, depending on the size of your Cast Iron. Larger pans need you to cut the potato lengthwise for the more area.
- This method of cleaning your cast iron pans and pots works amazing for removing rust.
- Now, take that sliced potato and apply baking soda at the bottom of the potato. The baking soda is both rough and a light but efficient cleaner. Baking soda is known for its cleansing properties.
- Now, rub the pan with baking soda and potato, rub properly on all the areas of skillet. Also, scrub the base of the pan, as well, as the sides. If the potato gets too smooth, simply cut it a bit and apply another coating of baking soda.
- Season your skillet after cleaning. You maybe need to re-season your skillet after cleaning it once with a potato and baking soda solution.
3.) Methods That Do Not Help Clean a Cast Iron Skillet
Avoid using detergents and soaps. Soaps and detergents are good at cleaning most cookware, but they should be avoided when you need to clean cast iron pans and pots. The sulfides present in most detergents hold to the oils in the pan and strip them, leaving your skillet as vulnerable and naked as it was on the first day. If you want, you can re-seasoned it, but it ends up being more work than required.
Never clean the skillet in the dishwasher. Different process, but same reasons. Because cleaning in the dishwasher will take off the non-stick coating you have created and leads to rust it soon.
Never use steel wool to clean cast iron cookware unless in terrible need of cleaning. While steel wool is helpful at removing food and another residue, it takes off all the seasoning and makes you season it again and again. It is better to use all the above solutions instead of steel wool. So try the above remedies to clean cast iron.