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How to Clean and Re-Season a Cast Iron Skillet


  • Author: Melissa Griffiths - Bless this Mess

Description

Here's a simple tutorial on how to clean cast iron which is a great skill to know for when you see cast iron skillets or Dutch ovens at the thrift store. 


Ingredients

  • Cast iron skillet or other cookware pieces
  • Scrubby
  • Soap and water

Instructions

  1. Get your hands on some beautiful cast iron pieces.
  2. Wash them in hot soapy water. If they are rusty or coarse use a copper or untreated steel wool pad to really scrub them. You can scrub inside and out. The goal is to remove any old oil, sticky spots, or general "crud". Don't fear the scrub or the soap. This is a one time deep clean.
  3.  Rinse very well and then pat dry with a dish towel or paper towels.
  4. Evenly coat the inside and outside of the pan with vegetable oil using a paper towel. This is just a light layer, no need to put it on thick. It should be darker in color but not dripping with oil.
  5. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. and place the pan upside down in the hot oven. You can line the bottom of the oven with foil to catch any oil drips if you like. Let the pan bake for one hour. Expect it to be pretty smoky 🙂 After one hour, turn off the oven and let the pan stay in the warm oven until it has cooled (that will take a few hours).

  6.  Your cast iron is now clean, seasoned and ready to use.

  1. Get your hands on some beautiful cast iron pieces.
  2. Wash them in hot soapy water. If they are rusty or coarse use a copper or untreated steel wool pad to really scrub them. You can scrub inside and out. The goal is to remove any old oil, sticky spots, or general "crud". Don't fear the scrub or the soap. This is a one time deep clean.
  3.  Rinse very well and then pat dry with a dish towel or paper towels.
  4. Evenly coat the inside and outside of the pan with vegetable oil using a paper towel. This is just a light layer, no need to put it on thick. It should be darker in color but not dripping with oil.
  5. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. and place the pan upside down in the hot oven. You can line the bottom of the oven with foil to catch any oil drips if you like. Let the pan bake for one hour. Expect it to be pretty smoky 🙂 After one hour, turn off the oven and let the pan stay in the warm oven until it has cooled (that will take a few hours).

  6.  Your cast iron is now clean, seasoned and ready to use.

Notes

  • When you cook with your cast iron skillet, it's best to warm the skillet and then add a layer of fat to the pan before adding your food. This helps things like eggs to not stick. So put your pan on the burner, have it warm up a bit (maybe a minute), add some grease/butter/oil, AND THEN add your egg.
  • When you are cleaning your new pieces of cast iron moving forward - it it's not too dirty, just wipe it out with a paper towel or a damp cloth. If it's quite dirty or things stuck to it, wash it in hot water and use a stainless steel chainmail scrubber. This is a life saver for cast iron and I use mine all of the time. The chainmail scrubs but doesn't scratch and I love it. 
  • You can reoil your cast iron as needed, if it's looking a little dull, add a light layer of oil to the inside and outside and spread it around with a paper towel, no need to heat it again in the oven.