Cooking is one of the best hobbies you can invest your time in, as it will allow you to relax and prepare an exquisite meal that is going to be the star of the whole evening with your friends and family. Whether you are an experienced home cook and you enjoy much more than preparing comforting meals, or you are just starting off your adventures and learning how to properly grill a steak, there is one kitchen tool that may come in really handy. Yes, we are talking about a cast iron skillet. While cast iron is a material that many different products are made from, it is the skillet that is most popular. Why? Because it is perfect for just about anything — from scrambling eggs to preparing that steak.
As we mentioned above, cooking is a great hobby, but there is one problem — it includes a lot of cleaning afterwards and, for most people, it is not the most satisfying part of the whole process. That is why investing in something like a cast iron skillet may save you the time and energy that you would usually spend rubbing off that grease and food residue. There is no doubt that it is much easier than if you were using a metal skillet, but the question remains — what to use to clean cast iron. Well, we have the answer for you, so just keep reading.
Benefits of Using Cast Iron
Before we move on to what to use and how to clean cast iron, it is important to discuss certain benefits that come with using this material for your cookware. First, a great thing about such a skillet is that it doesn’t release any PFCA or other harmful substances (like Teflon pans do) that may potentially harm your health.
On the other hand, if you know how to properly season a skillet, you shouldn’t have a problem with the nonstick part. Another great thing which we will discuss further in the section below is that it is easy to clean — at certain times it can be as simple as putting it under hot running water and scraping the food remains off the pan.
Additionally, these skillets are cheap and almost indestructible, making them the perfect choice if you are on a tighter budget. Last but not least, taking into consideration that it is iron we are talking about, you will be preparing your food on an even temperature, and believe it or not, it will add some iron to your food in the process.
How to Clean a Cast Iron Skillet
There are a number of effective tips that should be taken into consideration when it comes to cleaning a cast iron pan. As we mentioned above, the question what to use when cleaning cast iron seems to be quite a common one, yet not many articles give a definite answer.
The first thing you should always do is put your skillet under hot running water once you are done with the cooking process. Using a nonmetal brush or scrubbing pad, you should remove any residue or grease that may have stuck to your pan. This is where it can get quite problematic though, especially if you were preparing dense scrambled eggs.
Still, if you aren’t able to clean the whole pan immediately, you can leave it to soak for a few hours in a mild soap — this will loosen up any stubborn residue and allow you to end up with a clean cast iron pan. When it comes to cleaning, people always seem to go for a dishwashing soap — still, this is not necessary and unless you are dealing with some heavy fat, a regular scrub under hot water should be fine.
Of course, you shouldn’t forget to wipe the pan dry with a towel once you are done so it doesn’t stay wet for further cooking. On the other hand, if you need to use soap, we recommend using a mild one that can’t harm your pan or leave potential rust. If your pan starts to rust, that kind of problem is solvable as long as you have the right equipment.
What you should remember is that after any cleaning session, whether it is a thorough or a light one, you should cover the cast iron in a thin layer of oil. This is the so-called seasoning process that protects the material and allows you to end up with a long-lasting pan.
There is nothing complicated about cleaning cast iron. In fact, it should be one of the easier things to do when it comes to the maintenance of your different kitchen utensils. With the help of a few handy tricks and the right equipment, your pan should last you for years.