Introduction: How To: Clean Your Cast Iron Pan (including How NOT To)

About: Alton Brown taught me how to cook, now I want to tackle diy projects.

Season It
First of all, is your cast ironed seasoned properly?  Check out my Instructable on how to season your cast iron and why I prefer Flax oil.  Done?  Good, let's go.

Now, let's clean it.
Cleaning cast iron is not difficult. So many people over complicate the matter, or worse yet, do detrimental things to their iron without knowing. You essentially just need two things.

  • Heat
  • Water

Step 1: Let's Get Into It. Watch the Video or Follow the Steps Below.

The video is better than the guide below, trust me. There is an entire section of "do not do"

Step 2: Get Your Pan Dirty.

I threw an egg into a pan with no butter cooked it on high.

It didn't stick too much because my pan is seasoned well, but some small bits stuck.

Step 3: Scrape the Big Chunks Off First.

I made a bamboo scraper out of some shish kabob skewers I bought on Amazon.

Basically wrap them up in a few rubber bands and you are set.

Are you REALLY lazy? $6 & your can buy it pre-made one.

Step 4: Hit the Hot Pan With Some Water and Stand Back

It's going to sizzle and go nuts so be careful, but you are effectively deglazing the pan and this will remove 90-100% of the crud stuck to your pan in most cases.

I've received a lot of feedback about this step. Some important things to remember is to NEVER dunk your sizzling hot pan into a sink full of water. It will crack eventually. Also use a small amount of water for the deglazing, not 2-3-4-5 cups. That will crack that pan too.

Step 5: Hey Little Particles

If you have any little particulates still left you can wipe them off now with a towel.

Step 6: Do a Quick Season and Walk Away.

Everytime I use my pan I do a real quick season just to maintain the surface.

  1. Get the pan hot
  2. Pour in a dollop of Flax Oil
  3. Rub it around.
  4. Wait till the pan smokes.
  5. Take it off the heat.
  6. Wipe the pan one more time.
  7. Walk away and let it cool.

Step 7: What About Salt?

Kosher salt works get as well, but you are throwing away salt every time you use it so save this method for when something is really stuck in deep.

  1. Throw some Kosher salt into your hot and dirty pan
  2. Rub it around with a cloth
  3. Pour the excess salt down the drain
  4. Hit the hot pan with water and let it deglaze
  5. Put it back on the stove and do a quick season
  6. Walk away and consume hoppy beverages.

Step 8: Go With Old School Cast Iron If You Can

If you don't already have cast iron it's time you tried it. It better for your health than the non-stick stuff you have been using from the store. I have a lot of Lodge, but if you want that mega shiny and slick surface you see in my steps above you are better off looking for an old Wagner/Erie cast iron pan on eBay. They might even be cheaper than a new pan. You won't regret it, and you can pass the pans onto your kids someday too.

Step 9: Check Out My Other Instructables Too

Don't forget to check out my other Instructables:

How to Season Your Cast Iron

How to Make Sriracha Salt

Or my YouTube channel: