Do You Know How To Clean Your Cast Iron Pans?

@gtargirl (5385)
United States
August 18, 2012 8:44pm CST
My friend told me once, but was I listening? Well I meant to write it down later. So much for that. So do you know how to clean a cast iron pan? All I remember is use olive oil or something. I'm clueless. Thanks for your help.
2 people like this
6 responses
@GardenGerty (105151)
• United States
19 Aug 12
I think you are actually asking about seasoning them. When you clean them, never soak them, many people do not even use soap on them. They can do that if they are well seasoned. There are a lot of instructions, even videos about it. It generally consists of using either shortening or oil and melting it in the pan. You can either keep it at about 350 on the stove top, or most people put it in the oven. I have read everything from thirty minutes to an hour. When it is through baking the oil in wipe it with a paper towel and store it for the next time. I saw on a video, probably Martha Stewart, that you should put it upside down on a cookie sheet in the oven so all the sides are evenly coated and the excess grease runs off.
@gtargirl (5385)
• United States
19 Aug 12
So once it is well seasoned this way cleaning becomes easy? Just use water and wipe clean?
1 person likes this
@gtargirl (5385)
• United States
19 Aug 12
Thanks GardenGerty.
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (105151)
• United States
19 Aug 12
If you need to scrub use a pad without soap, or even crumpled aluminum foil. When camping people often use sand. You will reseason it periodically, especially if it shows any sign of rust. People who cook with iron cookware are seldom anemic. That is another plus.
@mtdewgurl74 (18118)
• United States
23 Aug 12
Well I was taught you can clean it with anything but curing it so it won't stick or rust is different. My grandmother taught me to dry it in a oven then cool but while still warm enough to take a paper towel with shortening or lard and swipe around till it's thoroughly coated then set back in the oven and cook on 350 for awhile. I usually do this while I'm cooking something else to save money.
1 person likes this
@gtargirl (5385)
• United States
27 Aug 12
Cleaning and curing. I'm telling ya, it's complicated and simple at the same time. I'm gonna have to print up everyone's advice. Thanks, my friend.
@marguicha (105772)
• Chile
20 Aug 12
I only use water for them and dry them with heat over the stove so they donĀ“t rust. The oil must be for seasoning the pan. I use a teeny bit of oil in a paperfor my cast iron skillet when I make there those awesome T bone steaks.
@gtargirl (5385)
• United States
27 Aug 12
Thanks. Somebody should write a tutorial on how to keep clean our cast iron skillets.
@millertime (1398)
• United States
19 Aug 12
I try to clean mine right after I use it while it's still hot. I run water in it and wipe it out before the stuff cakes on. If it's really junked up, I do use a scrubber and a little soap, but I make sure I re-oil it with cooking oil before I put it away. It's better if you can do it without soap though and that's what I do most of the time. If I only used it for frying and it's just got oil, butter or grease in it, I just wipe it out with a dry paper towel. Again, this works best while the pan is still hot. As long as you keep them coated with a little oil, they will work great and last forever.
@gtargirl (5385)
• United States
27 Aug 12
It actually sounds easier to keep cast iron pans clean. Taking a dry paper towel sounds easy enough.
@carmelanirel (20979)
• United States
19 Aug 12
The first two responses are correct. I dry mine differently though. Since I wash my pans immediately after I use them I just put them back on the burner or in the oven, where it is still hot, and let them dry that way. I was told, besides soap, to never use a towel to dry them, that is why I do this and they have last me many years..
@gtargirl (5385)
• United States
27 Aug 12
It's weird to not clean up with soap and water but that's the way it has to be done. And not drying with a towel ... hope I remember all this. Thanks Carmelanirel.
@rocketj1 (6960)
• United States
19 Aug 12
I think olive oil is for seasoning your pan. To clean my pan, I use only water (NO SOAP, or your food will taste soapy!). I use a soap free scouring pad. Then after rinsing with water, I dry my pan thoroughly immediately. If you don't dry it right away, it will rust.
1 person likes this
@gtargirl (5385)
• United States
19 Aug 12
I'll have to remember not to use soap. Thanks.