Need to clean up your cast iron pan? Don’t reach for the Dawn and sponge just yet. Soap will actually strip your pan of its most valuable asset, the “seasoning” that accumulates on it over time.
We’ve found that the best way to clean cast iron skillets is to use heavy duty tinfoil and hot water. Just crumple up a foot or less of tin foil and use it like a dish brush, with really hot water. Scrubbing with the rough metal will scrape away any stuck-on food without stripping the pan of the oils that give it its non-stick properties. To protect your hands, we recommend using these gloves (they come in both pink and aqua blue). An alternative to using foil is to use a generous amount of kosher salt (1/2 cup or more) as a mild abrasive cleanser.
For super-tough baked on messes, Lodge Cast Iron recommends simmering a little water in the bottom of the pan for about a minute to loosen any cooked-on food.
Regardless of how you scrub your pan, always make sure you dry it immediately after you wash it. We typically use a paper towel to dry the pan and then use a second clean paper towel to add very thin coat of oil to the inside of the pan. We usually use olive oil, but if you intend to use your pan for high heat cooking, you can use canola or grapeseed oil.
Finally, keep your cast iron pans in a cool dry place. We keep ours in the oven when it’s off. If you have multiple sizes (we have this mini one, this medium skillet, and this large one), you can stack them inside of each other.
Try these easy cast iron skillet recipes:
- Cast Iron Skillet Roasted Fennel with Goat Cheese
- Cast Iron Skillet Roasted Manchego Cheese Potatoes
- Cast Iron Skillet Roasted Potatoes