Cast Iron Pan Cleaning 101

Tuesday, July 10, 2012
I gave away a cast iron skillet awhile back and I've been meaning to have a little cast iron cleaning session 101. 

I remember when we first became married we had a cast iron skillet and at the time I felt everything needed to be soaped to be clean. I truly struggled for a long time with the thought of not soaping a pan and how could it ever be clean.  That pan is long gone and I swore I would never use a cast iron pan again. I mean after I totally destroyed the pan I just couldn't understand why anyone would want to own a cast iron pan. Everything stuck and I never could seem to get it clean!

Fast forward to about a year ago when we decided a cast iron skillet was the way to go for camping. I really didn't want to lug around my all clad to the camp ground and after doing a little research decided cast iron was the way to go but I would have to conquer my obsessive compulsive disorder with the soap. It was baby steps to begin with. 

Then one day I gave in and accepted the fact soap would ruin my new pan I was not going there again! 

Now I use my cast iron more then my all clad dependent on what I am cooking and it has a home in the oven.

Salt dirty pan well with about 1 tablespoon sea salt and allow to sit on the pan for about 5 minutes to soften grim. Then use a soap free scrub brush to scrub the baked on bits off of the pan. Rinse pan well with clean hot water.
Dry pan well. I like to leave my pan in my oven for storage. The other wonderful thing about storing in the oven is it cooks in the grease if the ovens warm and leaves a wonderful non stick finish...

Whatever you do NEVER use soap in your cast iron pan. 
I AVOID placing tomatoes into my cast iron pan because the acidity removes the nice non stick finish.
ALWAYS make sure you cast iron skillet is dry to prevent rust!

One last bonus about cast iron is it adds iron to the food that you cook helping to prevent anemia.


  1. Thanks for the tip. I never knew this is how to clean a cast iron skillet.

  2. I didn't know this! I have one cast iron pan that my grandma gave me. :) Thank you for the info! Have a wonderful week!

  3. Great tips! Thanks for sharing:)

  4. Thanks for sharing this. Really helpful.

  5. My hubby does the dishes, but he always leaves the cast iron for me. He knows I do something special with it...and it's the same treatment you do :)

  6. I love these tips! I love cooking with cast iron but I stink at cleaning it:/
    I'm going to try your cleaning advice with the salt right now!

  7. Ah! Where were you two weeks ago when I needed this tip! Luckily, I still have that dirty cast iron pan sitting beside the sink! Yay! I'm going to try this now!
    Visiting from SITS!

  8. Helpful hints: Rub the inside of the cast iron skillet with Olive oil which helps to protect the integrity of the interior finish! Spaghetti sauce/tomato recipes are better in flavor when simmered on a low stovetop temperature. Oven baked cornbread is delightful especially the recipes that include creamed corn and buttermilk. Bacon fries up crispy and the bacon grease can be used for other recipes and coating the interior finish too.


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