The holiday season is almost ending. It is time to clean and care for cast iron cookware that is every home chef’s best friend. Whether you hosted a lavish party or an intimate gathering, cast iron pots have been lying there waiting to go back into the cabinets, but not before you’ve cleaned them. If you regularly use cast iron pots – skillets, Dutch ovens, grilling pans, or bakeware – you know that there are three essential steps to maintaining those hardy utensils. The rule of three: wash, dry, and season each cast iron pot after every use.

If you have used cast iron cookware for the first time this holiday season, you could be unaware of the rule of thumb. At first, maintaining a cast iron pot can seem daunting to you, but it is as simple as the words – wash, dry, and oil. It helps your pans remain in their prime and have a chance of becoming a family heirloom lasting for generations. Yes, your cherished pots can be heirlooms, too!

How to Clean Cast Iron Cookware?

Cast iron cookware is strong and timeless, provided you give them little love and care. It is of utmost importance to choose the best new cast iron with due consideration and research. Once you have your new pot or pan, you may want to perform an initial seasoning, even on a brand-new one, to ensure it lasts longer.

The tough part comes after you have cooked in it. Sometimes the greasy food bits can be difficult to remove from the pans. Rough scrubbing can damage the cast iron cookware, stripping it off the protective layer of seasoning. So what do you do? Clean it of course, gently, using the rule of three.

When it comes to washing cast iron pots and pans, there is a widespread belief that using soap on it is not a good idea, it can scrape the seasoning. It turns out that the seasoning – essentially baked-on fat – becomes stubborn after being cooked on but modern dish soaps can mildly clean without stripping away that protective layer. Soap will not work against the seasoning. The trick is to use a non-scratch sponge. Dump a smidgen of regular dish soap on the sponge and get to work.

In case you want to remove the seasoning, scrub it with steel wool or soak it in a strong lye solution. Stripping it with electrolysis will work fine.

The Rule of Three to Clean Cast Iron Cookware

Step 1: Wash the Cast Iron Cookware

After cooking, you can simply wash your pans and pots with some warm soapy water and a soft sponge. For indelible burnt-on bits, use the synthetic scrubber on the back of kitchen sponges, which is not as abrasive as steel wool.

Even then, for some reason, if you have tougher stains and food bits stuck to your pan, pour salt into the pan and set it over heat. As the pan starts to heat, rub the charred portions out using paper towels. The salt will act as an abrasive – without stripping the seasoning – while the heat will make it easier to scrub the food bits away by carbonizing it. Once the gunk is removed, rinse the salt and wash your cast iron with warm soapy water.

Step 2: Pat Dry Thoroughly

Here is the grave mistake that novice cast iron users make; they leave their pots and pans dripping with water. It is important to understand that water is an enemy of your cast iron cookware and leaving them wet after washing can cause rusting. Although a seasoned pot is less susceptible to rust, it is wise to pat it dry.

After washing your cast iron pots, make sure to dry them thoroughly with a towel. Once you have hand-dried your pan well, you can set it over a high flame to speed the evaporation of any remaining moisture.

Step 3: Top it With Seasoning

You may not have stripped the seasoning layer off of your cast iron pots during the washing process, but it is always recommended to lightly oil the pot and heat it after every wash. This process helps prime the pan for its next use and the bonus layer of seasoning helps keep it in its finest state for extended periods.

For seasoning your cast iron cookware, you can rub a light coat of any unsaturated cooking fat such as canola, corn, or vegetable oil. Make sure to lightly dab the layer away before putting it to heat so that the oil won’t clump in places. Put it on your stove for five to ten minutes, until the pan is heated enough to start blithely smoking.

We have also found that putting your upside-down oiled pan on a baking rack in the oven for an hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit helps achieve a matte finish without oil pools sticking to it.

And that is how you clean and care for your cast iron cookware, whether it is a skillet or bakeware. Let us know if you have an alternative method below in the comments and we will give it a whirl.

Follow Homecrux on Google News!


Listening to her grandmother weaving nighttime tales to penning down her own thoughts, Priya developed a penchant for stories and their origin early in her childhood. After her master's in literature, she started writing copiously on diverse topics including architecture, interior design trends, and home improvement while learning the ropes of copyediting. For the past couple of years, she has been crafting DIYs for Homecrux. Reading novels, painting, and baking are her favorites on her long list of hobbies. She also loves to eat, travel, meet new people, learn about different cultures, and listen to stories.

Leave A Reply

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

Exit mobile version