Are you intimidated by a cast iron skillet? If you’re reading this there is a pretty good chance that you are and don’t worry I was that way too. I’ve thrown out a couple cast irons in fear that i ruined them by using soap. If I had known how to clean and season a cast iron skillet I would have saved myself the guilt of throwing away a pan that can always be saved.
I’ve been cooking in the kitchen for about 11 years now, and I’ve used about every kitchen gadget you can think of. I can remember the day I registered for my wedding. I was so proud to scan every single item I could find and couldn’t wait to run home and call my husband (away on military duty) to tell him the news and have him look up our registry. Of course I thought I was going to to get a telephone high five and all the praise in the world. You can imagine the surprise on my face when he said “Take it off, take all of it off.’ along with this “Who needs an ? Step 1: grab a fork. Step 2: scoop out the avocado.”- if you know my husband you’re probably laughing because you can hear his voice right now when reading that. Nowadays I have to agree with him. In the end it worked out because my mother in law felt bad for me about the slicer and bought me one for Christmas. (It did actually make more of a mess than what it was worth!)
One piece of equipment I didn’t register for though was a . This is hands down the most used pan that I own. You use pots and pans every day and good quality pans are a must for good quality food. The best thing about cast iron is the longevity of it. I started with one pan that sat in my cabinet for years before use. Why, do you say? Because, I had no idea how to clean and season a cast iron skillet. It said it was pre-seasoned but everything stuck to it. It wasn’t until I figured out how to clean and season a cast iron skillet that it started to become a non stick pan. It is best to not use soap when cleaning a cast iron skillet, but don’t be discouraged if you do or if soap accidentally gets on it. Just don’t make a habit of it. Also, the salt method if so for stubborn stuck on foods. Eventually your pan will become non-stick, and all you’ll need to do is use a scrapper and water for light stuck on food. Always finish by drying your pan and coating with a light coat of reserved grease. Follow these care instructions on how to clean and season a cast iron skillet and I promise you’ll be able to cook an over easy egg and have it slide right off and on to the plate.
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This is what my pan looked like after cooking a chicken dish. Normally I would love all these browned bits for when I deglaze my pan, but this particular dish didn’t need that so it’s ready to be cleaned. Never use soap on a cast iron. It will ruin the seasoning.
First give your pan a quick rinse, leaving about 1/4 cup of water.
add about 1/2 cup of salt to the water to make a salt scrub. Over time you wont need to use salt. This is just for stubborn stuck on food. I recommend a for daily use when cleaning.
Grab a paper towel and rub the salt scrub all over the surface of the pan. Rub vigorously over browned bits.
Your pan should look like this when finished.
Spray with water and dry with a paper towel.
Spread a thin layer of grease on the surface with a clean paper towel. We usually reserve our bacon grease in a mason jar for this exact purpose.
Admire your shiny . Repeat steps after each use.