- Home Cleaning
Good Friday morning, Moppers! We’ve finally reached that day of the week where even if it’s raining cats and dogs, who cares? It’s almost the weekend, and nothing—not even a torrential downpour—can ruin our good mood.
Lately we’ve been talking a lot about toxins and the different ways they can harm you, as well as the benefits of essential oils. Today we thought we’d bring go back to the basics for a moment, because earlier this week we were cooking on the grill with one of our favorite items to use, a cast iron skillet, and that got us thinking about stuff.
Cooking on the grill, you ask? That’s right! The beauty of cast iron skillets is that they’re very versatile. You can cook on the stove top with them, make pizza and cakes in the oven, take them camping for use over an open flame, and yes…cook on the grill.
Though one of the ways they are absolutely not versatile is in the way you clean and maintain them, and that’s what we want to talk about today, because unbeknownst to some—you can’t just stick a cast iron skillet in a sink full of soapy dishwater and hope for the best.
So here is how we clean our cast iron skillet, and it’s the way you should be cleaning yours, too!
Step 1: Brand New Shine
If your skillet is brand new right out of the store, this is the only—and we mean ONLY—time you can wash it with mild soapy water. After you wash and dry it, it’s time to season it for the first time, even it it reads “pre-seasoned” on the label.
To do this, simply coat it inside and out in cooking oil, and place it in the oven at 350 for one hour. Turn off the oven, and let the skillet cool before removing. Wipe of the excess oil, and voila! It is now seasoned, which basically means you’re baking fat or oil into it to create a natural, non-stick coating.
Now you’re ready to cook!
Step 2: After the Meal
Now that you’ve cooked an awesome meal with your cast iron skillet, it’s time to clean it. You’re going o want to do this while it’s still hot, or at least while it’s warm. Do not soak the skillet in the sink, but rather wash it by using hot water and a sponge, or stiff brush. Stay clear of steel wool, as this will strip the skillet of its seasoning, and you’ll have to do that process sooner than expected.
Step 3: Stubborn Food
For food that’s being particularly stubborn, and won’t come off with just hot water and a brush, pour a bunch of kosher salt into the skillet and use hot water to make a paste. Put some elbow grease into it with your brush or sponge, and this should take care of those nasty bits.
Bonus Tip: If there’s still food that refuses to come off, it may be loosened by boiling some water in the skillet for a few minutes, then you can use your kosher salt paste to easily remove it.
Step 4: Dry
Now it’s time to dry your cast iron skillet, and there are two ways to do this. You can either a) dry it throughly with some paper towels, or b) dry it on a stovetop burner over low heat. You never want to let it air dry, because this will cause your skillet to rust, and that’s a big ol’ no-no.
Step 5: Coat
Once your cast iron skillet is clean and dry, take a paper towel or clean cloth, and apply a light coat of vegetable oil around the inside and out to keep it seasoned. Give it a good buff after that to remove any of the excess.
From there you can store it in a dry place at the ready to use the next time you need to cook a delicious meal.
If that seems like a lot of work for one skillet, trust us, it’s totally worth it. Food cooked in a cast iron skillet just tastes better. From steaks and fried chicken, to pizza and desserts, there’s virtually nothing it can’t cook.
Depending on how much you use it, you might have to re-season it as described in Step 1 from time to time. We like to do that about every six months just to keep it nice and coated, giving it a healthy non-stick shine.
That’s it for this week, folks. Have a fantastic weekend, and we’ll talk to you again on Monday!