Skillet dinners, brunches, and even desserts are nothing without our dearest Cast-Iron Skillet. It is undoubtedly a sturdy, easy-to-use, easy-to-cook, and multipurpose non-stick pan.
But cleaning a cast-iron skillet is not forgiving. Thus, we are here with a handy guide that not only gives you a quick and easy way to clean your cast-iron skillet but also some useful cleaning and maintenance tips.
A Guide to Clean Cast-Iron Skillet
In an era of nonstick and stainless steel cookware, cast-iron skillet still makes its way but with some definite rules. It has to be seasoned properly before cooking something in it. Further, you have to be careful in cleaning the cast-iron skillet to maintain its all-natural nonstick coating.
So, let’s go through our step-by-step cleaning guide for rescuing your sticky rusted fellow!
Step # 1: Gather the Cleaning Material
Cleaning will become much easier and hassle-free if you gather all the necessary cleaning items in advance.
- Of course, the Cast iron skillet
- Sponge or Cast Iron Skillet Brush
- Hot handle holder
- Paper towels or a dry clean piece of cloth
- Vegetable oil
Step # 2: Cleaning
After cooking, leave your buddy to cool down a little. Now let’s kick start our cleaning process by taking the skillet under running tap water to scrape off any loose food burnt residues.
Next, put some hot water in it and handwash it with the help of a sponge or cast-iron skillet brush. Make sure to use gloves and a hot handle holder if the water or skillet is too hot.
Step # 3: Scrubbing
For cleaning those pesky food scraps, put some scratchy salt and water paste in the pan. Scratch it with your hand with gloves or a cast-iron skillet brush. If you still see some stubborn food residue, put some water in the skillet and boil it with the help of a stove. This will help you in loosening those stickies.
After proper scratching, rinse it well under running water. Then wipe it with a paper towel or clean dry cloth.
Step # 4: Drying
There are two options for drying your skillet. The first one is wiping it thoroughly with a dry towel or microfiber cloth the skillet and the second method is to dry it on the stove at a low heat setting.
For the second drying method, place the skillet on low heat for a few minutes to make it absolutely dry. Now, leave it for some time to cool down, then wipe it again. The stove-drying method is not only useful for more thorough and quick-drying but it also maintains and preserves the seasoning of your skillet.
Step # 5: Seasoning & Storing
Seasoning the skillet is different from salt n pepper or herb seasoning. So, let’s find out how to season your cast-iron skillet!
After thoroughly drying the skillet, apply a little coat of any good vegetable oil inside the skillet with the help of a paper towel or a clean cloth. You can also use melted shortening as an alternative for vegetable oil. It is also good to season outside the skilled. Finally, buff it to get rid of any excess oil with a paper towel.
For storing the skillet, choose a dry place to avoid molds, rust, and bad odor.
Cast-Iron Skillet Cleaning & Maintenance Tips
- First and foremost, immediately clean the cast-iron skillet after cooking to avoid stubborn burnt food residues.
- Never let it soak in the sink for long as it causes more damage as compared to any tomato sauce, soap, or any other acidic food. As cast iron is indeed a porous material and it absorbs more moisture while soaking for long and ends up rusting.
- Don’t use soap, steel wool, and other abrasives as they rip off the natural seasoning. But if you mistakingly use them then don’t forget to reseason it.
- Regular cooking, frying, searing, and sautéing will maintain the cast iron cookware for years to come. On the other hand, occasional cooking will make the natural “nonstick” coating thinner and causes sticking.
- Don’t store your skillet in the oven as people often do. Because mistakingly preheating the oven while forgetting about the skillet inside will cause damage to your cast iron skillet.
- While storing multiple skillets, always try to place a slip or paper towel between the skillets to secure them from friction and natural air moisture.
- For getting rid of the rust, rub the skillet with half a raw potato and a pinch of baking soda. Make sure to re-season it after rinsing and drying well.
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