Cleaning Cast Iron Pans Is Super Easier Than You Think!

cleaning cast iron pans

Hi there! I’m here to help you clean your cast iron the right way! And cleaning cast iron pans is pretty easy. First off, let’s get to the don’t list. But don’t worry if you’ve done any of these things, because it is fixable. Don’ts: Don’t use soap. Don’t use steel wool. Don’t put it in the dishwasher. I’m guilty of doing all of this! 

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Cleaning Cast Iron Pans The Wrong Way:

A couple years ago I bought a cast iron pan without knowing anything about it. I didn’t know that doing any or all of these things will strip the pan of its seasonings. When I hand washed it, I didn’t notice anything, because I dried it right away. But when I ran it through the dishwasher, it came out all rusted! So then I thought, shoot, well I ruined it! I almost threw it away! But then I had another silly thought! I could use some steel wool to get the rust off! OMG! Well most of the rust did come off, but of course the seasonings were stripped too lol!

What do I mean by its seasonings? So, as a total newbie I thought they meant that they put actual seasonings in it. I was thinking, what kind of seasonings? Garlic or onion powder lol? Looking into I learned that they just coat it with layers of oils and bake it in. This is the seasoning. And I’ve learned that it protects the pan from rusting and keeps food from sticking! So stripping the “seasonings” will take away the non-stick quality and make it rust.

Cleaning Cast Iron Pans the Right Way:

When cleaning cast iron pans it’s best to use a good strong brush, hot water, and a little elbow grease. 

So I have learned the dos, which I will share with you. 

It’s best to scrub your pans with the scrub brush when the pot is still hot or warm. What I do is keep my pan on a burner that’s on low (warm) while I eat. Then after dinner I will go back and scrub that pan down. Only using the brush and hot or warm water. I scrub until all the sides and bottle are clean of stuck on food. I then pour it out and wipe with a paper towel. And then coat with oil and put away.

Pro Tips:

You can use any oil or fat of your choice, but don’t use any animal fats unless you use your pan frequently. If you don’t use your pan frequently, the fat could go rancid.

If you notice a sticky substance on your pan, place your pan upside down in the oven at 400 degrees for an hour. The reason for this sticky substance is that your pan is gathering oil, and that oil is not converting into seasoning. But baking it upside down for an hour will remedy this.

If you notice a brown substance while wiping it down, it just means that seasoning is reacting to very high heats, or acidic foods. It’s okay, it will stop doing that with regular use and care.

Signs that you may need to season your pan: Foods are starting to stick. It’s rusty. Or has a gray dull color.

If you need to season your pan, read the directions below.

Seasoning Your Pans

Scrub it with hot soapy water. I know I said not to use soap, but at this point it’s okay, because you’re preparing to re-season. Scrub it nice and good with a stiff brush.

Rinse and dry completely.

Apply a very thin, but even coat with any of your choice to both inside and outside of the pan. Too much oil will give a sticky finish, like I mentioned earlier.

To catch any drips from the pan, place tin foil on the bottom of your oven.

Preheat oven to 350 to 400 degrees

To prevent pooling of oil in your pan, place it upside down on the top rack.

  • Bake for at least an hour.
  • Let cool in the oven
  • Repeat if necessary
  • Store uncovered.

Now It’s Your Turn

If you liked these tips comment “yes” and share with your friends. If you have any questions please ask and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you!

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