Soap is designed to remove oil, therefore soap will damage your seasoning. … This is what gives well-seasoned cast iron its non-stick properties, and as the material is no longer actually an oil, the surfactants in dish soap should not affect it. Go ahead and soap it up and scrub it out. The one thing you shouldn’t do?
Soap doesn’t remove seasoning, but it can remove some oil.
Cast iron is beloved for its natural non-stick quality. This is built up over months and years of use, as a layer of seasoning develops on the pan’s surface.
The first is that since oil is used to season the cast iron skillet and create a nonstick surface, soap would effectively wash away the cure that you worked so hard to build.
“You can’t clean cast-iron the same way you clean stainless steel,” kitchen expert and author of “Kitchen Matters,” Pamela Salzman says. “It’s very porous,” Rach adds. “That flavor will stay in there and literally bake into the pan.”
Avoid using the dishwasher, soap, or steel wool, as these may strip the pan’s seasoning. Scrub off stuck-on bits: To remove stuck-on food, scrub the pan with a paste of coarse kosher salt and water. Then rinse or wipe with a paper towel. Stubborn food residue may also be loosened by boiling water in the pan.
Famously durable, these pans are often passed down through generations. With proper reseasoning care, years of frequent use can actually improve the pan’s “seasoning”—its natural nonstick coating. But sadly, cast iron skillets can indeed break.
So, how often should you clean a cast iron pan? Clean your cast iron pan after every use. Most of the time, wiping it down with a paper towel will do the trick. However, if your skillet is still dirty, wash it briefly by hand in soapy water before patting it dry for storage.
Preheat your skillet before adding any oil, fat, or food.
You always want to preheat your skillet before cooking with it on the stovetop. Putting cold food in a cold cast-iron pan will make your food stick. Cast-iron skillets don’t heat as evenly as nonstick or stainless steel pans, but they keep their heat very well.
1. Clean cast-iron skillet after every use. Wipe interior surface of still-warm skillet with paper towels to remove any excess food and oil. Rinse under hot running water, scrubbing with nonmetal brush or nonabrasive scrub pad to remove any traces of food.
This advice is a myth. Soap isn’t going to hurt your pan. Iron is pretty tough, and polymerized oil is almost like a plastic, so a quick scrub with soapy water and a sponge isn’t going to hurt either.
3 | Don’t overheat your cast iron.
Don’t overheat it. Sticking your skillet into a roaring fire might seem like a good way to heat it up in a hurry, but overheating or uneven heating can cause your skillet to take on a permanent warp, or even crack. … Let the pan cool a bit before you wash it.
To clean, just use mild dish soap (that’s right, it’s okay to use a little soap!) and a scouring pad or a cast iron pan cleaning brush. Wash it, scrub it, rinse it, then wipe it out well and season it with a few drops of oil and store with a paper towel covering the cooking surface.
All cooking oils and fats can be used for seasoning cast iron, but based on availability, affordability, effectiveness, and having a high smoke point, Lodge recommends vegetable oil, melted shortening, or canola oil, like our Seasoning Spray.
They suggest there are really only five foods you should never cook in cast iron: tomatoes, wine braised meats, omelets, delicate fish, and desserts. Tomatoes and wine braised meats should be avoided because they are acidic and do not react well to iron.
In my experience, it’s reasonable to reseason a cast iron skillet once to 2-3 times per year. If you cook fattier foods in your skillet and avoid cleaning it with soapy water, the seasoning could last for years.
Yes, and we’ll explain how often to season a cast iron. Don’t worry, re-seasoning is easy and if you maintain your skillet, then future cleanings and seasonings will be a breeze. After the skillet is clean, it’s important to do a quick re-oiling and heating before storing to get the skillet ready for its next use.
So, Is Cooking in Cast Iron Healthier than Cooking in Other Pans? In short: No. You’d have to be mouse-sized to see quantifiable health benefits from mineral intake exclusively with cast iron. Because mineral transfer happens at such a small scale, it’s safe to say that cast iron is not any healthier than other pans.
Cast Iron Skillet Cleaning Method: Boiling Water
The method: Fill the pan with a few inches of water and boil over medium heat. Use a wooden spoon to scrape off the burnt-on bits. How it went: This method worked well with removing cooked food bits, however, it only really worked on the bottom of the pan.
Can I use steel wool or a metal scrubber to clean my cast iron pan? No! We recommend using a pan scraper or the Lodge Chainmail Scrubber to remove any stuck-on residue. We only recommend using steel wool or a metal scrubber to remove rust before reseasoning.
Sprinkle an even layer of salt on the inside of the pan. Add just enough water to make a paste and rub the salt on the inside surface of the cast-iron pan to scour off carbon. Rinse the pan and scrub any remaining carbon off with a wire scrub brush. Wash the pan with soapy water and dry thoroughly with paper towels.
Things You’ll Need
Part of caring for your cast iron skillet is seasoning it to keep the surface smooth and to give it a non-stick sheen. Although you can use oil or shortening to season your cast iron skillet, bacon grease works just as well.
As an added bonus, the cast iron is oven-safe, so you can take it from the stovetop directly into the oven.
You place the pan upside down so that any excess shortening drips off instead of pooling inside the pan. Bake for one hour. While the cast iron cooks, you may notice a slight smell and perhaps some smoke. Fortunately, the smell and smoke dissipate pretty quickly.
Do not try to use nonstick sprays like Pam to season your cast iron skillet, as they contain other ingredients that aren’t good for your pan. … No more trying to pour oil into the pan and pouring too much.
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