Cast iron pans are a versatile and durable cookware option, known for their heat retention and even heating properties. However, cleaning cast iron pans can be a bit different than cleaning other types of cookware. Here are the best ways to clean and maintain your cast iron pans to ensure that they last for many years to come.
Steps to Clean Cast Iron
By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your cast iron pans will last for a lifetime.
- Scrape off any stuck-on food or debris: Use a stiff brush, wooden spoon or a plastic scraper to remove any food that is stuck to the pan. Avoid using metal utensils, as they can scratch the surface of the pan.
- Clean the pan with hot water and a stiff brush: Fill the pan with hot water and scrub thoroughly with a stiff brush. Avoid using soap as this can strip the seasoning from the pan and leave it vulnerable to rust.
- Dry the pan thoroughly: After cleaning, dry the pan thoroughly with a cloth or paper towel to prevent rust.
- Coat the pan in a thin layer of oil: Use a paper towel or a cloth to apply a thin layer of oil to the entire surface of the pan, including the handle and the legs if it has any. Buff well to remove any excess oil. This his will help maintain the seasoning and prevent rust.
- Store the pan in a dry place: Store the pan in a dry place away from moisture. It's also a good idea to avoid stacking cast iron pans on top of each other, as this can cause scratches and damage the seasoning.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use soap on a cast iron pan?
It is generally not recommended to use soap on a cast iron pan. Soap can remove the seasoning on the pan, which can affect the pan's non-stick properties and make it more difficult to clean in the future.
Instead, use hot water and a stiff brush to clean the pan. If there are stubborn bits of food stuck to the pan, you can add a small amount of salt to the pan and use a stiff brush to scrub it clean. Then rinse it with hot water and dry it thoroughly with a towel before storing it.
What do I use to clean a cast iron pan?
To clean a cast iron pan, you should use hot water and a stiff brush or a plastic scraper.
Can I use metal utensils on my cast iron?
To avoid scratching the surface of the cast iron pan, avoid using metal utensils where possible. Instead, use wooden, plastic, or silicone utensils to avoid scratches. Scratches on the surface can lead to rust and make the pan less non-stick over time.
Why should I use salt to clean my cast iron?
Using salt to clean a cast iron pan is a gentle and effective way to remove stuck-on food and other debris. The salt acts as an abrasive and helps to scrub away any build-up without damaging the seasoning on the pan.
Can I put my cast iron pan in the dishwasher?
Cast iron pans should not be put in the dishwasher as the detergents can strip the seasoning and cause rust.
Why Use Cast Iron Pans?
Cast iron pans are known to have excellent heat retention and even heating properties, durability, versatility and can even add iron to the diet, making them a better option than normal pans for certain types of cooking.
Read our full write up on using cast iron pans here.
Recipes We Love
- Cast Iron Garlic Butter Dinner Rolls by Girl With The Iron Cast
- Jalapeño, Cheese and Corn Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread by Seasons and Suppers
- Cast Iron Baked Brownies by Slowpoke BBQ