How To Clean Cast Iron Pots and Pans

I’m sure you’ve heard plenty of tips on how to clean cast iron pots and pans. There are a lot of do’s and dont’s, but after a while you might not see the forest for the trees. So how can you keep your iron cast cookware clean and rust free? Let’s find out…

Cleaning Cast Iron Cookware

Cast iron pots and pan are porous, which means that they have minuscule holes in its surface. That’s why you should avoid soap. The soap can get into the pores and come out when you cook. As you might imagine: that’s not very tasty.

So how should you clean cast iron cookware?

First of all they should be seasoned. This creates a hard layer of oil/grease on the surface that prevents food from sticking on it. To season your cast iron pots and pans: cover them with cooking oil and bake them in the oven for three hours. The oil will fill the pores and create a smooth cooking surface.

After a while, the ‘seasoning’ begins to wear off, so you should repeat this procedure.

When it comes to cleaning, you can follow these steps:

  1. Immediately after cooking: clean the pot / pan with water while it’s still warm (this makes it easier to remove sticky food bits). You can scrub the surface with a wooden spatula or sponge. Don’t use soap or steel wool!
  2. If that doesn’t help you can scrub the surface with some salt and a paper towel.
  3. Rinse the cast iron pot or pan to remove all the salt. Use a towel to dry it off.
  4. Use a paper towel to apply a light coat of oil to the inside.
  5. Store the pan / pot in a dry place.

You can remove rust by rubbing it with half a raw potato and a sprinkle of baking soda. Yes, this might seem strange but it works! Don’t forget to re-season the pan afterwards.

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