Earlier this week I shared with you our family’s favorite Sweet Cornbread recipe. That inspired me to do this next post about how to clean a cast iron skillet.
My husband loves to use our cast iron skillet for just about everything he cooks. To clean it, he just wipes it out with a paper towel when finished. It really grosses me out to pull it out and still find remnants of his last meal in it. In the early days of our marriage I would just wash it with soap until he caught me doing it. Yikes! Don’t mess with a man and his skillet.
So, I had to come up with a better way to do it. One a little more sanitary than a paper towel swipe and one not as harsh as soap. So I researched and researched and found all these different methods and this is the one that works the best for me.
Pour 1 cup coarse kosher salt into a still-warm skillet. If your skillet isn’t warm anymore, just heat it back up for a minute to two before you dump the salt in.
Scrub the salt around in the pan using a kitchen towel or sponge (soft side, not scouring side). This will help remove and baked on food.
First, dry skillet with a kitchen towel. Then heat skillet over medium low heat to evaporate any remaining moisture. This last step is especially important because you need to thoroughly dry the pan to avoid rust.
Apply a thin layer of oil to the inside of the pan. I use maybe a teaspoon of oil and rub it along the bottom and the sides of the pan. Buff with a cloth or paper towel to remove excess.
If not using soap still gives you the heebeegeebees, don’t worry! Soap and other abrasives like steel wool or scouring pads aren’t the end of the world. Just make sure you oil the skillet when finished. You will also need to examine your skillet from time-to-time to make sure none of the pan’s seasoning has been stripped away. If that’s the case, you will need to re-season the skillet.
Looking to get the most out of your cast iron skillet? Here are a few things I can’t live without:
- Silicone Hot Handle Skillet Sleeves – These go over the handle of your cast iron skillet which will allow you to hold the handle or move the pad without burning yourself.
- Lodge 10-Inch Scrub Brush – I like to use this scrub brush to help get some of the caked on bits. It has very dense, soft plastic bristles. It’s not a super powerful brush because you don’t want it to scrape off all your seasoning. It will do a good job loosening things so that when you dump in your salt, you probably only have to do that step once.
- Lodge Grill Pan Scraper (2pk) – If you particularly stubborn spots, you might want to grab these little scrapers. They have two different teeth sizes as well as straight and curved edges. These make it super easy to scrape your pan clean. If you prefer, you can also grab a 2-pack of scrapers without teeth.