How to clean cast iron and maintain the pan ???

Help Support Ruger Forum:

Joined
Nov 5, 2007
Messages
9,937
Location
Dallas, TX
I know many here cook in cast iron. I have a few cast iron pans and also a carbon steel skillet.

I prefer the carbon steel but both cook very similar and I've been cleaning them the same.

To clean a pan I wipe out all the crud and then boil some water. Then brush out all the crumbs. Then dry and oil.

But I'm curious about those "chain mail" scrubbers.

Does anyone use one? Or the expensive oils they sell for keeping the pan nice. I know they talk about flaxseed oil or grape seed oil. Those have a high polymerization advantage.

I've always used regular oil, usually Olive oil or various vegetable oils.


I cooked bacon this morning for breakfast and was thinking about all this as I was cooking.
 

cowboycopus

Single-Sixer
Joined
Aug 11, 2013
Messages
360
Location
The South Coast of Mississippi
To season after misuse.
Coarse steel or brass wool, no soap. Get it VERY VERY hot, then 1 inch of oil ( I use veg. ) and heat like you are going to fry chicken and even hotter. Won't matter I throw it away anyway. Let it cool in the pan or pot, empty and wipe with paper towels. For me it turns out like non-stick. I wash when finished using it. Dry on the stove with heat then spray with pam. I don't let my wife wash my cast iron.
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2005
Messages
11,002
Location
Greenville, SC: USA
I have a cast iron skillet that was my fathers... I actually clean it ever couple of months, whether it needs it or not ;-). About once a week or so I will take a paper towel and wipe it off.... but then my house is a little different from most. My wife, being a strict vegitarian, she has the pots, pans and such that she cooks food for both myself and her. I cook only items for me in this skillet. We also have his and hers dishes and utensils. Also, same with bathrooms... this is the reason we've stayed married for 42 years this March.
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2007
Messages
9,937
Location
Dallas, TX
I have a cast iron skillet that was my fathers... I actually clean it ever couple of months, whether it needs it or not ;-). About once a week or so I will take a paper towel and wipe it off.... but then my house is a little different from most. My wife, being a strict vegitarian, she has the pots, pans and such that she cooks food for both myself and her. I cook only items for me in this skillet. We also have his and hers dishes and utensils. Also, same with bathrooms... this is the reason we've stayed married for 42 years this March.
Blume I totally agree with you about the his and hers. My wife and I do the same. She bought some new dishes I don't like. I use the old dishes and she uses her new stuff. We each have coffee mugs etc. It works.

And thanks for all the ideas. I actually never considered steel wool to clean the pan. Hmmm.
 

BULL'S-EYE

Buckeye
Joined
Dec 2, 2021
Messages
1,181
Location
Indiana
Kent Rollins has many informative articles and videos on the subject. I have a couple of skillets that I never clean with anything but salt and a wad of aluminum foil, and others that I wash, dry and give light coat of oil after each use.

 

Ethang

Blackhawk
Joined
Jun 1, 2009
Messages
791
Location
Michigan
People make far too much out of using cast iron pans... do you think our grandparents had this discussion about their pans... I have a Lodge that I used to do all the worrying and inter-netting about it... when I stopped all of that and just started using the darn thing it did what cast iron has done for centuries... it got worn and non-stick. I wipe it out with a towel or some hot water, hit it with bacon grease and wait until I need to cook in it again.
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2007
Messages
9,937
Location
Dallas, TX
People make far too much out of using cast iron pans... do you think our grandparents had this discussion about their pans... I have a Lodge that I used to do all the worrying and inter-netting about it... when I stopped all of that and just started using the darn thing it did what cast iron has done for centuries... it got worn and non-stick. I wipe it out with a towel or some hot water, hit it with bacon grease and wait until I need to cook in it again.
Good point. On the other side of that argument, like with shooting, I do like to break down all the steps and analyze each step, stock, bullets, trigger, barrel, to see how to make improvements.

When cooking, it's interesting to cook the exact same recipe in different pots to see how it turns out differently.

I'm agreeing with you. But also I like to try out different cast iron pans just to experiment. I've sanded down cast iron to smooth it out for instance.

Or use antique Griswold pans compared to new Lodge. I don't care for the older stuff. It's thinner and that afforded heat distribution. Just my preference.

I started this thread mostly thinking about the chain mail scrubbers they sell. I'm going to order one and see how it works. 😀
 

Johnnu2

Hunter
Joined
Jun 26, 2003
Messages
3,103
Location
NYS
I had no idea that people actually worried about cast iron pans.... I know my grandfather may have even been a little lackadaisical in his cleaning chores in the kitchen...my mother hated when she found out I had a meal with him...:) Me, I just used to wash with anything I had handy, wipe and put away. After I remarried, I lost all interest in anything related to cooking (besides EATING). I am fortunate..........
J.
 

woodsy

Blackhawk
Joined
Jan 5, 2012
Messages
985
Location
Seymour, CT
I have tried cast iron several times, going by all the rules, both published and on cooking shows. JUST NOT WORTH IT.
For me it's stainless steel pans, or recent non-stick. I do all the cooking here, like forever. The only other coating worth having is the porcelain used for Dutch ovens.
 

eveled

Hawkeye
Joined
Apr 3, 2012
Messages
5,621
I scrub mine clean with hot water and a scrub brush.
IMG_6128.jpeg


Then put them onto the stove top, medium heat until the water evaporates off.

My egg pan, only sees eggs. If I sear meat in it, the eggs stick the next couple times.
IMG_20180415_084333801-1968x2624.jpeg

Also you want a real heavy stiff spatula. One you can scrape with if you need too.

My pots are stainless, my pans are cast iron. I avoid teflon and aluminum.

I've wondered about those chain mail scrubbers, but don't seem to need it.

IMG_2467.jpeg

IMG_2468.jpeg
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 5, 2007
Messages
9,937
Location
Dallas, TX
I had no idea that people actually worried about cast iron pans.... I know my grandfather may have even been a little lackadaisical in his cleaning chores in the kitchen...my mother hated when she found out I had a meal with him...:) Me, I just used to wash with anything I had handy, wipe and put away. After I remarried, I lost all interest in anything related to cooking (besides EATING). I am fortunate..........
J.

Yes, you are lucky. I've always loved browsing those expensive kitchen stores like Sur La Table or Williams Sonoma. Browse not buy!

I did go to culinary school though. So sometimes eking out the very best flavors when cooking is a journey for me.
 
Joined
Dec 8, 2005
Messages
4,539
Location
Lemont, PA, USA 16851
Kevin, I have several of the "chain mail" scrubbers for my cast iron and I like them. If I cook something that leaves something that doesn't just wipe out I put the pan in the sink, run hot water in it and scrub with one of the scrubbers, dump it out, rinse with hot water, dry with a paper towel and then put some oil in it, wipe it around and put the pan back on the rack until next time.
 

Topfueler1

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 29, 2023
Messages
49
Location
Arbutus, Maryland
I just clean mine with hot water if need be. Sometimes just with a paper towel. Then coat the pan inside and outside with vegetable oil or peanut oil whatever I have on hand. I keep it simple you do not have to complicate it. Store it until next use and I'm good to go. By the way my wife and I have been married since 1981. We both cook and she likes wild game meat and isn't afraid to try something new.
 

Garth69

Single-Sixer
Joined
Aug 21, 2017
Messages
371
I know many here cook in cast iron. I have a few cast iron pans and also a carbon steel skillet.

I prefer the carbon steel but both cook very similar and I've been cleaning them the same.

To clean a pan I wipe out all the crud and then boil some water. Then brush out all the crumbs. Then dry and oil.

But I'm curious about those "chain mail" scrubbers.

Does anyone use one? Or the expensive oils they sell for keeping the pan nice. I know they talk about flaxseed oil or grape seed oil. Those have a high polymerization advantage.

I've always used regular oil, usually Olive oil or various vegetable oils.


I cooked bacon this morning for breakfast and was thinking about all this as I was cooking.
I wipe my Cast Iron pots clean with paper towels if cooking with grease or oil and let it go unless the pot has stuck particles or something that needs a scrubber on it. I use hot water and a scotch brite pad if necessary than lighly oil it again and put it up.
 
Joined
Nov 18, 2002
Messages
2,156
Location
The living corpse of San Francisco Ca USA
I have and use a chain mail scrubber and it works fine. I don't need to use it often though...I use my cast iron skillets a lot, and they've become pretty much nonstick. Best way to maintain it is to use it, wipe it out and hit the pan with a leetle oil.
Gonna do a roast chicken in my 12" Victoria skillet tonight!
 

jav

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 19, 2023
Messages
299
Location
California
I have one cast iron pan I oil it every once in awhile mostly just use dish soap and soft sponge I do wipe off the excess fist and sometimes I do boil in in water works well it's about 30 years old
 

jkbrecht

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 29, 2022
Messages
17
Location
Florida, USA
I cook with four different sizes of cast iron skillets and I have one of those chain mail scrubbers (gift from my daughter). It doesn't look like it should work (all rounded edges), but it does work for everything but burned on food. When I do burn something (hey, I'm not perfect), I soak the pan with boiling hot water, scrape it with a spatula, and finish it up with steel wool. The final treatment is placing the pan over heat with some shortening or bacon grease in it; cool, remove the excess grease, and put the pan away.
 

Mike J

Hunter
Joined
Aug 5, 2007
Messages
4,300
Location
GA
My wife came in with a cast iron dutch oven someone had given her. It was very, very filthy. It had
a lot of build up on it. I lit up the grill & put it on it. Burned all the residue on it down to nothing. Then it was easy to finish cleaning up & re-season. If you ever get cast iron cookware that is rusty that is relatively easy to clean up also. You just soak it in vinegar for a day or so. Then you might have to go over it with a wire brush. Wash & season & it will be good as new. Cast iron is the original non-stick cookware.
 
Top