Tuesday, July 14, 2015

How To Wash Cast Iron Cookware

If you cook with cast iron you know it is a great kitchen tool. Here is how I wash my cast iron pans.

My mom prepared almost all of our meals in a large cast iron pan. She never ever used soap. She was from the school of thought that iron absorbs flavors, hence the reason for seasoning cast iron cookware.

I have two cast iron pieces that are seasoned and I follow my momma's rule. Here is how our family cleans cast iron cookware. First off, I would never wash cast iron in the dishwasher. Cast iron needs to be hand washed.

Here is what I do. When I am done cooking in a cast iron pan, I immediately put enough hot water to cover the stuck on food left from cooking. I then set it back on the stove burner and bring to a simmer and turn off the flame. I do this right after I plate up what we are having and let the pan soak while we are eating dinner.

When I go to do dishes, the cast iron skillet is ready for washing. To wash, all I do is take my plastic dish washing brush and brush off the food under hot running water. When the pan looks clean, I dry with a paper towel or lint free dish cloth. The pan may have a slight amount of oil on it still. This is normal. The seasoning builds up in the oil and that oil coating keeps your cast iron from rusting.

The slight amount of oil on the cast iron skillet or cookware will not become rancid and you heat cast iron up to a high temp before cooking in the next time anyway. Now if you really have something stuck on the pan you can use some salt to clean cast iron. Just sprinkle and scrub with your kitchen brush. This will not ruin the seasoning of your cast iron cookware.


  1. Great tips!
    I'm with you... NO SOAP!
    In fact... Honey got busted down to Trash Captain because I caught him twice using soap on my cast iron skillets!
    He being Trash Captain...no good either. He doesn't like my paper clutter. :/
    It's a work in progress!

  2. Thanks so much for this post - I have a great cast iron skillet that we use at the lake and I always wondered about the soap thing.

  3. Hi There :)

    I never knew that before about cast iron pans. I didn't grow up with them in England but I have used them in the U.S.A - oops! Guilty on the soap using :(

    Happy Wednesday, cheers, T. :)

  4. I knew about not using soap, and I do soak my pan in hot water but never thought to heat it up on the stove. Great tip!

  5. I use my cast iron to make jalapeno cornbread and not much else. Just like you, my Mom instructed me not to use soap either, but I did not know about using salt as a cleaner-such a neat tip!

  6. Thanks for the tip. My new stove has a grill pan in the center. I haven't used it since I had no idea how to clean it.

  7. We use salt too, when food is stubborn. I'll have to tell my hubby (he's the dishwasher) about putting it on the stovetop. Thanks!

  8. Thanks for the tips. I use my cast iron pan so much more now since you've made it so much easier to clean up. Thank you.