How to Clean Cast Iron Pots and Pans

Learn the very best way how to clean cast iron pots and pans. Bring your cast iron cookware back to life with these simple tips!

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How to Clean Cast Iron

If you’re someone who’s planning to purchase a cast iron skillet for the first time, or have just got your hands on it, the cleaning part may have possibly scared you a bit. There are quite a lot of don’ts involved- don’t use a steel wool, don’t use soap and even don’t put it in the dishwasher- it can all definitely get a bit too much to handle.

But don’t let that scare you away- it can actually be one of the most wise investments you could possibly make when it comes to cookware.

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Camping essentials for skillet/dutch oven recipes

So here’s guiding you through the right way to clean a cast iron skillet, along with some cool tips and tricks.

Cleaning it the Right Way

Cleaning your cast iron skillet after every use is an absolute must. You can make use of a soft sponge or a special brush, but stay away from highly abrasive cleaning tools like steel wools. If the skillet doesn’t seem like it needs a lot of rubbing and cleaning, you can make use of a couple of wet paper towels too- it should work just as well.

Scrub the skillet under warm running water to remove all food particles thoroughly.

Seasoning it

After your cast iron skillet is washed and all dried up, you’ll need to lightly oil it aka season it. This can make sure that it lasts longer, becomes easy to clean and stays stain-free and rust-free for a longer period.

Even if your brand new cast iron skillet claims to come pre-seasoned in the box, it is best to always season it first before you begin using it, and then season it again once you’ve cleaned it after cooking in it.

This little extra step can work wonders and can help your cast iron skillet last for decades. You can use any oil you prefer- flaxseed oil usually works best, but if you don’t have that, you can stick to the regular sunflower oil too.

Removing the Rust

If you have a cast iron skillet passed on to you by your mom, or you just forgot to season the one you had, and it ended up getting all rusty, wait a bit before you decide to let it go. You can actually revive a rusty and old cast iron skillet pretty easily. Here’s how!

1. Start by heating the skillet over medium high heat and meanwhile, dip a couple of paper towels in some oil, spread them over the entire inner surface of the skillet using a pair of tongs.

2. Do this until the oil starts to smoke and no residue remains.

3. Do this again and continue doing it for at least 3-5 times, allowing the skillet to cool down every time after you do it.

4. Another way to do this is by using an oven instead of a stovetop. Start by rubbing oil over the skillet using some paper towels, wipe out the excess and place the skillet in the oven for an hour. Remove the skillet, allow it to cool down completely and then repeat as needed.

Tips for cooking with cast iron

  • When cooking with cast iron, be sure to season the surface first.
  • Always use gloves or oven mitts while cooking as the surface of the iron will be hot.
  • Cook the recipe over an open fire using hot coals, not open flames.  A fire that is too hot will burn the outside of your recipe and not cook the inside.
  • Be sure to clean the cast iron with a rough vegetable scrubber, rinse and dry thoroughly before storing.

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