Cleaning an Iron Cast Pan

I hope you guys enjoy my tips and tricks, because I have quite a few I'd like to share. Here's an other one:

How To Clean An Iron Cast Pan

My boyfriend has recently gone on a kick of cooking with the iron cast pan. Might have to do with the fact that he just found out that my grand-ma gave me an old one.

Now, my parents cook with an iron cast pan, so I've been washing these things for years. BUT we've been doing it the wrong way all this time. They use a specific cleaning product(cannot remember what just now), and it completely removes the seasoning.

My boyfriend likes to read up on things, and he was telling me that the seasoning of the iron cast pan is the most important part, and he forbade me from washing it with any kind of soap.

So in that case, what was I to do?!?! I started washing it with water only... Wasn't working too good, let me tell ya! And I always forgot to check on the internet when we had access to it.

Finally, finally, one day I remembered. What I found was that you could wash it with big grain salt (or kosher salt). I couldn't find any pictures proving this (pictures are worth a thousand words aren't they?!) but I had to try it.

And it worked beautifully!! And so, I am sharing this advice, with pictures, so you can see just how well this really works.

Edit: Just a quick note, this method of cleaning is for after you've actually cooked in the pan, not for old and rusted pans! Check out this post for more information on that!

After a yummy stir fry that the boyfriend made, I had a dirty iron cast pan to work with! Not the dirtiest it's ever been, but you can still see the majic :)

First, remove what you can with a clean sponge (as in rinsed out so there is no soap in it), or with paper towels.

Then, all you need to do is pour a bit of coarse salt in the pan and scrub away!

I use a plastic scrubbing pad or sponge to help with this part. DO NOT use metal scrubbing pads on cast iron pans!! And you'll want to rinse the pad or sponge out to get all the soap out again. Leave a bit of water in it, but not too much, just enough to help scrub.

Get up on the sides, too. I like using the sponge to move the salt around so it stays as a pile as much as possible. Works much better.

When you'll be done, your salt will be kinda gross... but you can see the clean pan underneath already! 30 seconds of scrubbing and you are good.

You'll just rinse out the pan with water, and you'll be left with a nice and shiny, still seasoned iron cast pan!

See how the water just glistens on the surface? That's a sign that it's still seasoned and you didn't remove the coating.

Once in a while, you'll also want to reseason it with a bit of oil after washing it. If you don't see the water bead on the surface after you rinse, reseason it. I think we reseason every 5 times we wash it.

Did you like this tip? Already know about it? If you have tried it out, let me know how it worked out for you in the comments!!

I party at these parties.

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  1. What a great tip. I feel silly but I don't even own a iron cast pan. I think it would be perfect, though. I could cook and get a work out in with lifting that heavy pan :). Seriously, though, great tip, great pictures, wonderfully informative.

  2. I'm just about to make the plunge into cast iron! I'm getting one to replace my nonstick skillet. This tip couldn't have come at a better time!

  3. Oh!! Gotta get me a cast iron pan!!! My mother in law has one.. and it's in BAD condition!! I'm going to test this out on hers and see what happens :)

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality!

  4. How do you re-season the pan after you clean it five times? What do you use? Bacon grease? Olive Oil? Plain Oil? Crisco?
    Thank-You! :-)

    1. I use just plain vegetable oil, but you can use any of the ones you mentioned. Just pour a bit in, turn on the heat for a few minutes and spread it around. Great question, should've covered that it the post, hope you see my answer!

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. I heat the pan, on medium, for a minutes. Turn the heat off, leaving the pan on the burner. Take a piece of paper towel, put a little vegetable oil on it and wipe the inside of the pan. Works great!!! Have tried olive oil but didn't coat as well.

  5. Thanks for posting this, we just got our first cast iron pan and we've been arguing over how to clean it (I was right!) I'd love to have you link this up at my party!

  6. This is a great tip! I have a couple cast iron pans, but never use them, because I knew you weren't supposed to use soap, but didn't know how to get them clean. Now I know. Thanks for sharing at Terrific Tuesdays.

  7. I love cast iron. You did a great job demonstrating how to clean it!

    I would love it if you would share this at the Smart Solutions linky party. You can link up here:

    Have a great day!

  8. great tips! now I know how to clean my hubby's cast iron skillet:)

  9. Great tip! We have cast iron and never use soap, but I did not know about using the salt. Thanks!

  10. Great tip! I'm featuring you today! XO, Aimee

  11. I just got my first cast iron skillet & I've been wondering how best to clean it - thank you!


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