Caring For Cast Iron Skillets
Cleaning your cast iron skillet can seem like a challenging ordeal at times. Most people would agree that you shouldn’t use steel wool or harsh abrasives on your cast iron skillet. My wife even tells me that I shouldn’t wash the skillet in water. All of it makes sense, of course. Water will rust iron, and steel wool would scrape off that layer of black goodness that you’ve worked so hard to create. Right?
One of our themes at Men in Aprons is “moderation is the key.” In my experience, large amounts of washing or scrubbing can be bad for your cast-iron skillet, but in limited amounts, you can benefit.
In our house, we love to cook “grizzly” eggs in our Lodge cast iron skillet. After we cook a batch of bacon or sausage for breakfast, we throw in the eggs right into the dark, flavorful grease. Mmmm … such tasty scrambled eggs. But after we’re done cooking, the egg residue can tough to scrape off the skillet, especially if we don’t clean it right away.
In these instances, I usually take it right to the sink and wash and scrape out the egg. Sometimes a light scrubbing with an S.O.S. pad can help scrape off that pesky stuck-on egg. I wash and clean with hot, soapy water, then dry it right away. Finally, I finish off with a light rub down with oil.
This is my method for cleaning out our cast iron skillet.
You will need:
1. Set your cast-iron skillet over medium heat and add the coarse salt. When the skillet heats up start stirring the salt around. The salt acts as an abrasive to gently srub any goop off the surface.
2. Add the vinegar and stir to dissolve the salt. Don’t stand too close to the skillet at this step so as not to asphyxiate yourself. The vinegar at this step is going to complete the cleaning as well as remove any embedded smells and flavors in the iron.
3. After about a minute, pour out the vinegar into the sink and give the skillet a light rinse with water
4. Dry thoroughly with a paper towel.
5. Pour about a teaspoon of oil into the skillet and give it a rubdown. The oil is going to help protect the skillet from drying and rust.
6. Store in a dry area.