How to Clean a Cast Iron Skillet

Cast iron skillets are some of the most durable cookware available. They require a little more work to clean than other types of cookware, but it is well worth the effort in order to maintain their lifespan and avoid food-borne illness. Here’s how you can care for your skillet without harming its integrity!.

This article will teach you how to clean a rusty cast iron skillet. It is important to clean your skillet after every use, as rust can build up on the surface and cause damage.

We have you covered with our comprehensive cleaning and maintenance instructions, whether you’ve just bought a brand-new cast iron pan or want to restore a beloved family skillet!


Image of Pan made of cast iron and brush with

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One of our all-time favorite cooking utensils in the kitchen is the Pan made of cast iron. You don’t have to worry about any strange chemicals getting into your food by using the pan since they are economical, versatile, and kitchen workhorses that last FOREVER (in fact, they can even ADD nutrients to your food!).

We have you covered with our comprehensive cleaning and maintenance instructions for a Pan made of cast iron, whether you’ve just bought a brand-new one or want to restore a beloved and cherished skillet that has been handed down to you.

Everything You Need To Clean A Pan made of cast iron Is In This Article

A picture of Pan made of cast iron

Pan made of cast iron

Get It Now Image of Iron Brush in Cast

Iron Brush in Cast

Get It Now Image of Iron Scraper, cast

Iron Scraper, cast

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Why is Cast Iron?

That’s reasonable; it’s a valid inquiry! Particularly in the era of simple, non-stick, non-toxic, and gorgeous cookware that is Instagram-worthy.

It might be old-school (like, maybe you literally got a Pan made of cast iron handed down from your grandmother?), but there’s a reason why it quite literally stands the test of time.

Why we adore our cast iron is as follows:

  • Versatility: This one-pot wonder may be used on the stovetop, in the oven, on the grill, or over a campfire.
  • Flavor: Seasoning is what we name it for a reason! Every meal you cook with cast iron will become tastier and tastier over time.
  • When you want a nice sear on your thinly sliced meat or sturdy vegetables, what do you look for in a sear-ability? This is the lady.
  • It’s the pan we’ve known the longest, and it’s never needed a little sprucing up when it was too far gone.

How To Season Your Pan made of cast iron

Person pouring oil into a Pan made of cast iron on the stove. Person rubbing oil into Pan made of cast iron with a cloth.

How to Season Your Skillet

To do a thorough seasoning of your Pan made of cast iron, we suggest the following about 1x/month, depending on how often you use your pan.

  1. Make sure the pan is dry and spotless.
  2. Add 1/4 cup of coconut or canola oil to the whole pan to season it (top, bottom, and handle).
  3. To completely dry out, place the skillet upside down on a sheet pan in the oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Buying a Seasoned vs. Unseasoned Skillet: A Note

Both pre-seasoned and unseasoned skillets can be purchased when buying your pan. It should clearly list on the packaging what type you’re buying, but you’ll know a Pan made of cast iron is seasoned when it has a shiny coating on the pan. A pre-seasoned skillet is ready to use straight from the package. An unseasoned skillet should be seasoned before its first use.

How To Clean and Care For Your Pan made of cast iron

Crusty food stuck on a Pan made of cast iron.

There always seem to be lots of dos and don’ts when it comes to caring for your cast iron pan. Here are some of the best practices for cleaning your Pan made of cast iron.

After cooking, how to clean a cast-iron pan (Go-To, Everyday Method)

  1. Scrub gently in hot water with a Iron Brush in Cast*.
  2. Pat the pan dry.
  3. To further dry out the dry, empty pan, place it over high heat for three to five minutes; this will help make it “thirsty” so it can absorb a new coating of oil.
  4. 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil or canola oil should be added to the pan. With a paper towel or soft cloth, slowly rub the oil into the heated pan until it is absorbed.
  5. Get rid of the heat! You’ve finished.

Scrubbing crusted Pan made of cast iron under water with a brush.

How to Remove Crusty Food from a Cast Iron Pan

  1. Take a paper towel and wipe out as many big chunks of baked-on food as you can. You can also use a cast iron pan scraper* or Iron Brush in Cast* if you have bits of food that are really tough to get off. If you’re in a pinch and don’t have the scraper or brush, you could also use cut a potato in a half and work the baked-on food out of the pan with a little bit of baking soda.
  2. If more cleaning is required, add 1 or more cups of salt to the pan and scrape it well.
  3. To loosen the food pieces, you may add water and reheat at a low simmer if necessary.
  1. Working outdoors, place your Pan made of cast iron on an extra-large plastic bag or trash bag.
  2. Spray oven cleaner* liberally all over the skillet. To prevent skin irritation from the cleaning at this stage, make sure to put on thick rubber gloves.
  3. After soaking the skillet in cleaning for 24 hours, place it in the garage or outdoors and seal it up in a plastic bag to allow the cleanser sink in.
  4. Scrub the skillet with steel wool and really hot, soapy water after 24 hours. For this stage once again, rubber gloves are recommended. Repeat this action by rinsing the skillet.
  5. 2 cups of vinegar and 2 cups of water should be combined to create a solution. Place the skillet with this mixture inside and let it set for approximately an hour.
  6. Reseason your Pan made of cast iron following the instructions above.

Clean and seasoned Pan made of cast iron.

Preventing Rust On Your Pan made of cast iron

Rust! *cries internally* When you use an iron pan, it could happen. Here are some suggestions for keeping that orangey enemy off your skillet.

  • Put your cast iron pan away when it has completely dried. Any moisture may cause rust.
  • Don’t leave your pan submerged in water for an extended amount of time.
  • Each time you use your pan, season it with oil.
  • Avoid cooking items with high acidity in your pan, such as tomatoes, lemons, or vinegar.

Take your skillet through a thorough cleaning and deep seasoning if you want to get rid of any rust. Use a cast iron chain scrubber* to get rid of particularly tough rust while washing your pan out with salt.

Frequently Asked Questions About Caring For a Pan made of cast iron

How often should you season your Pan made of cast iron?

In general, we advise seasoning your cast iron around once a month, but if you discover that it needs some seasoning, you may also season it after each use.

What type of oil is best for seasoning a Pan made of cast iron?

The ideal oils are coconut, vegetable, or canola.

Can I use soap to clean my Pan made of cast iron?

Please refrain! Maintaining the excellent flavour that comes with using cast iron requires not using soap while cleaning.

Products We Love When Using a Pan made of cast iron

Pan made of cast iron with brush and coconut oil.

Favorite Recipes That Use a Pan made of cast iron

Tater tot hot dish in a Pan made of cast iron.

So tell us – what do you love to make in your Pan made of cast iron?

A cast iron skillet can be re-seasoned by putting it in the oven on a low temperature for an hour. The heat will help to release the seasoning from the pan and make it easier to clean. Reference: how to re-season cast iron.

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