If you have ever wondered how to clean a cast-iron skillet, then you’re in for a treat. The first rule is simple – always use soap and water. Second, make sure that the soap you use is all-natural. Cast-iron skillets can get very dirty. Soap residue makes them look old and crusty, so it’s good to know that there are ways to clean them that won’t damage the pan.
The first step in learning how to clean a cast-iron skillet is to gather together all of your cleaning supplies. You’ll need two to three bar soap brands, a cotton towel, and preferably a pot or bowl to soak the soap in. A soft, dry cloth is best. Next, wash your skillet is hot, very hot water. (You’ll want to rinse your skillet under hot water with plain soap and then rinse it again under cold water with mild soap to remove soap residue.)
Once your pan is clean, take it out of the water and set it aside. Let it air dry for about five minutes. If you’re cooking something that will be cold when you put it in the oven, set the oven to its proper temperature and preheat the oven. Once it’s ready, remove the pan from the oven and set it aside. You can now safely remove the soap from the bottom of the pan.
Now it’s time to get serious about how to clean a cast-iron skillet. First, remove any residual soap with a sponge and then wash the iron skillet with cold water. This will help loosen any remaining bits of food. Don’t scrub at the pan or else it will leave spots that are much harder to remove. Rinse the skillet well.
Once the entire pan is rinsed and dried, you can dry it using a hairdryer on low. Once the skillet is dry, you can place it back on the heat source and gently turn it over until it is dry. Once it is cool, remember to always apply a protective, even coating of oil onto it before reusing it. Cast iron skillets must be oiled prior to use otherwise they can rust and turn brittle. Once they’re cool, store them in a zip lock bag wrapped with paper towels.
If an accident occurs and you have to clean your cast-iron skillet, try not to rub it hard. Instead of wiping the skillet, dip it into a bowl of soapy water or dish detergent and gently wipe the skillet. Never wash a hot skillet with water. After the skillet has dried, store it in a sealed container until it is ready to be used again.
For seasoning, your skillet, first, soak the skillet in olive oil for a couple of minutes to soften the pig iron. Then add spices such as oregano, thyme, and/or sage and cook on medium heat. If the seasoning seems to be burning quickly, add a bit of oil. When done, dip the skillet in olive oil and season again.
To clean up, just wipe the entire skillet with a towel. Then allow it to dry thoroughly on a rack. Cleaning your skillet is quite easy if you follow these simple instructions. The result is a skillet that is ready to use and looks great.
How often you have to pre-heat your skillet will depend on how often you cook and how big your pan is. A medium-sized skillet will take approximately three to four hours to heat up. Smaller pans may need less frequent heating but it all depends on the type of skillet you are using. Using a skillet with an aluminum or copper bottom will take less time to heat up.
In addition to being sure that you regularly clean your cast-iron skillet, you will also want to make sure that you give it a thorough seasoning before using it. Seasoning your skillet will allow it to continue to cook evenly and prevent it from sticking to the sides of the pan. You can season your skillet using any amount of olive oil, salt, pepper, and any other spice that you desire.
Other types of metal cookware do not require seasoning, but they may need to be seasoned before use. Aluminum and copper pans will start to shine after being used for several months and you can season them as well. It is not necessary to season copper or aluminum pans, but it does add a special touch. How to clean a cast-iron skillet really depends on the type of skillet that you have, the way you use it, and where you store it.
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