No kitchen instrument or style of cookware has quite the same vocal, enthusiastic community as cast iron. They write books about cast iron. They write love letters to cast iron. They sing the praises of the metal with a religious fervour, and they want to convert you. Since you’ve come here to learn how to clean cast iron, you’re probably already a disciple. Cast iron does have some unique properties, some of which we’ve listed below.
- It can withstand extreme heat, making it ideal for frying and sautéing.
- It also distributes heat with perfect uniformity, preventing hotspots and burns. This also helps for making crusts and baking in the oven.
- Because of its seasoning, cast iron is also non-stick
- Cast iron is porous, and these pores are sealed with cooking oils. Not only does this create the non-stick surface and prevent rust, it adds flavour and verve to your food.
You wouldn’t use a metal pretreatment in one to clean your kitchen equipment, but you might choose to use them to clean your medical equipment if you were in a hospital or a dentist. So how do you clean this wondrous metal? Well, cleaning cast iron is different. The dishwasher is out of the question. Soap is frowned upon. Don’t be alarmed: the heat of cast iron cookware will kill any germs. Read below to learn how to clean cast iron – a versatile metal, well-suited for both professional kitchens and campfires.
- Never use a dishwasher to clean cast iron. One drawback (a minor one) of cast iron is that it rusts easily. Once your cast iron skillet, Dutch oven, kettle, griddle, or other cookware develops rust, you’ll have to strip the cast iron’s cherished seasoning to get rid of it
- To clean cast iron, you’ll need salt, cooking oil, and your stove. Many cast iron enthusiasts will insist that water and soap are never needed for regular cleaning. Instead, they rub their cookware with salt and then put it over a low flame to evaporate any moisture from cooking.
- Lastly, apply a very thin layer of cooking oil all over the cast iron with a paper towel. This will prevent rust and protect the seasoning. It is best to clean cast iron when it’s warm; just like our skin, heat opens the pores in cast iron and helps it to release food and built up fat.
- Store cast iron cookware in a cool, dry place. You don’t want to remove rust and re-season often – the seasoning grows more precious and flavourful with age. Keeping your cast iron cookware in a cool dry place, and using it often, will prevent rusting. If your cast iron piece has a lid, place a paper towel inside to absorb any moisture that may accumulate. If you don’t have much room, the oven is a great place to store your cast iron.
Just don’t forget that it’s in there when preheating the oven for dinner!