How to clean your Cast Iron Skillet

I think I’ve lost track of the amount of times I have been asked how I clean my iron skillet.  The actual process is very easy and doesn’t take as much time contrary to what many people believe.  It does seem daunting and intimidating, but trust, cleaning an iron skillet is simple.

Here are a few rules to remember:

  • Don’t use soap and water to wash your skillet.  This will actually create rust which is the last thing you want to worry about.
  • Don’t use steel wool for those stuck on foods – that will actually strip away the seasoning of the pan.
  • Don’t put it in the dishwasher
  • Clean your cast iron after every use.  You don’t have to season it after every use but definitely clean it to prevent ruining your seasoning layer

There a few tools that you will need to clean your skillet.

That’s it!  That’s all you need to clean your pan!  Now let’s get to it!

Here are a couple of examples of food really crusted on.  I made sure I used these as examples because I wanted to show that even with food stuck to your skillet, it’s still pretty easy to clean.
There are two options to cleaning a skillet with food crusted to it.

  1. Heat it up over the stove and use a spatula to scrape off the the food.  Then remove the skillet from the heat and gather the remnants with a paper towel to toss in the trash.
  2. Sprinkle coarse sea salt liberally over the skillet and scrub lightly with a microfiber cloth or chainmail to loosen the food particles, then use a paper towel to gather them up and toss in the trash.

It’s kind of gross but so satisfying to see it clean!

Look at how good that looks!  Now all you need is a little oil on a paper towel, rub it lightly over the pan and heat the pan on high flame for a few minutes to re-season it.  You’re done!

It really is a very simple and easy process!

I know this is not a typical food blog recipe but I believe that your tools should be taken care of too!  The type of equipment that you use makes a huge difference in the outcome of any meal you make.

Here are the tools I used: