What Is The Best Way To Clean Cast Iron Pans After We’ve Cooked Our Favorite Meals?
Do you wash cast iron skillets in soapy water? Do you scrape them with a metal spatula or do you use a scouring pad?
So. how do you clean cast iron skillets? What is the best way to clean cast iron pans? How about using steel wool?
Have you asked yourself, or anyone else for that matter, “what is the best way to clean a cast iron skillet?” Have you wondered if you were doing the right things by your cast iron pans?
Well, let’s take a quick look at how to maintain a cast iron skillet. Maintaining cast iron begins with proper cleaning.
How Do I Clean A Cast Iron Skillet?
Cleaning cast iron skillets and pans is not really all that hard when you know how.
Probably one of the biggest questions we get is, “do you wash cast iron skillets in soapy water?” Now, I’m sure I’ll get some feedback here but that’s ok, YES YOU CAN WASH CAST IRON IN SOAPY WATER!!
Oftentimes all you really need to clean your pans is a little hot water boiled in the pan itself and wiped dry. Sometimes, though, a little soap helps too.
The key here to remember is, cast iron will rust. So, you need to dry your skillets and pans completely after washing them. Or the next question you may ask will be, “how to clean a rusty cast iron skillet?”
The best way is to dry any cast iron is with a soft-clean cloth. Use a paper towel only if you have to. Paper towels can leave a slight residue in the pores of the pan and who wants to eat paper anyway?
When Should I Wash My Pans?
If you have cake-on baked-on food left in your cast iron after cooking, it is a sign your pans may not be seasoned properly. But, then again, some foods just naturally stick when cooked. Seems like to me eggs are the absolute worst.
So, again, what is the best way to clean cast iron pans and skillets in this dreaded baked-on caked-on condition?
If you find yourself in this position, you need to wash them fairly quickly. Rather than waiting, at the very least, fill your pan or skillet with hot water and let them soak until done eating.
As a result of soaking them, this will loosen some of the caked-on food. Afterwards you can take the back of a plastic spatula or use a scouring pad and scrape off as much of the remaining food as possible.
You can use a metal spatula too if you like. The thing about using metal is, you can scrape off some of the seasoned finish, which is called patina.
Most of all, the lack of proper seasoning or patina is reason why many foods tend to stick. As a result, the pans begin to rust almost immediately. If rust occurs after washing, I suggest you re-season your pans.
Should I Use Steel Wool Or Aluminum Foil?
I do not use steel wool on any of my cast iron pans even if they become rusty. I do not suggest you use steel wool either.
The tiny steel fibers can get stuck in the pores of the pan and consequently end up in your food. THIS WILL NOT BE A GOOD THING!
Alternatively, aluminum foil and coarse salt can be used together effectively to clean your pans.
Simply take a piece of aluminum foil and wad it up in a ball. Add some coarse salt and warm water to the skillet and scrape the pan to remove any baked on foods.
Wash and rinse as you normally do and then completely dry before putting your cooking utensils away. OOPS, but first, do you season cast iron pans after cleaning them? Oh yes! Let’s re-season them!
Re-Seasoning Your Pans:
One final thing to remember, after a good cleaning, add a little vegetable oil or bacon grease and season your pan before putting it away.
Always wipe any excess oil from the pans or skillets and then you may store them away until next use. This is a good habit to get into for the best iron skillet cleaning care! Below is a video walk-through of how to re-season your pans:
In conclusion, I hope this article has been helpful to you and for you. And remember, If you need to add to your collection of cast iron cookware, you can do so here through my affiliate link.
Have a wonderful day!