June 14, 2021
Would you like to know the best way to clean cast iron? It’s not as hard as you might think! Cast iron is incredibly durable, versatile, and non-stick, which makes it a real workhorse in the kitchen. Some people are put off by the need for a little extra maintenance compared to traditional pots and pans. With a few steps and cleaning techniques, cast iron maintenance is easy, and you can keep your pans rust free, well-seasoned, and clean.
To make cleaning easier for you, it is important that you clean your cast iron as soon as possible, preferably while it is still warm. Unlike traditional cookware, cast iron doesn’t benefit from soaking in your sink. Long exposure to water can cause rust problems.
How to wash your cast iron
Hand in hand, wash your cookware with hot water and a scouring pad or hard-bristled brush. You definitely don’t want to put cast iron in the dishwasher.
If you have stubborn food particles that need a little extra maintenance, sprinkle some coarse salt in the pan along with water to make a thick paste the consistency of toothpaste. The salt granules will loosen these stubborn parts.
You can add a splash of dish soap if you’d like – this is optional and controversial, but I like knowing that I used a little soap on our cast iron. If you need a little extra maintenance besides soap and salt, try bringing some water to a boil in the pan and letting it soak.
Dry and oil
Scrub, rinse and dry. When your cookware is completely rinsed and clean, dry it with a towel. Using a paper towel, apply a thin layer of high-temperature oil, such as avocado, to the inside of your cookware. This step will help improve the non-stick properties of cast iron. In addition, it also helps prevent rust. Heat it over the stove for a few minutes or heat it in a 425-degree oven. This also kills germs and spices the pan.
When all else goes wrong
Despite the cleaning techniques mentioned above, there are still times when your pan rusts a little. In this case, you can use steel wool or a raw potato cut in half and salt to remove the rust. Sprinkle some salt on the pan and use the cut side of the potato to gently but effectively peel the rust off the pan. It sounds like an odd cleaning combo, but the potato’s moisture combined with the mildly abrasive nature of the salt to get the job done. You may need to re-season your pan to restore the nonstick surface at this point.
With these cleaning and care techniques, your cast iron cookware should last for many, many years and represent a long-lasting and versatile cooking alternative to conventional pots and pans.