November 11, 2015

How To Clean Cast Iron Without Soap and Water (Even after Cooking Scrambled Eggs)








TIP: It's easier to clean while the pan is still warm.

Now, any idea as to what is considered the "best" oil for seasoning cast iron?

48 comments:

  1. For seasoning-from-scratch on stripped bare iron, I prefer Crisco in a 450 degree oven. I've tried the other fancy methods like flaxseed and grapeseed oil, and don't like the way the seasoning holds up. It flakes off for me over time.

    For maintenance seasoning, I just use whatever oil I have handy- lard, bacon grease, olive oil, vegetable oil, Crisco, whatever I just used for cooking and happen to have next to the stove.

    Whatever type of oil you use, and whether you're seasoning bare iron or doing maintenance, remember that it only takes a TINY bit and make sure to wipe it thoroughly so that there is just a thin film and no puddles of oil. Pretend you're trying to wipe all the oil back off.

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    1. Sue, good to hear from you! Interesting that you've had trouble with the flaxseed oil. I have mostly used whatever's at hand, but recently found two pretty convincing articles for the flaxseed oil and ordered some to give it a try.

      You are absolutely right that it only takes a tiny bit. Good advice!

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    2. I second Sue's recommendation on Crisco and the hot oven. That is what Mother used and all of her skillets were none-stick. She also washed her skillets after use in soap and water. Then we dried them on the stove and re-greased them before storing in the oven.

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  2. Thats great will have to give it a try :-)

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    1. Scrambled eggs has always been the toughest for me, but I find this method is the absolute best for preserving the seasoning. Cheap too with only the addition of elbow grease. :)

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  3. Olive oil works best for seasoning iron cookware. It won't go rancid on you if you happen to need to store the cast iron pieces at any time.

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    1. This is turning into an interesting discussion! Olive oil is great for not going rancid quickly.

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  4. I use leftover bacon grease. I always have some in a jar since it is my fat of choice when frying most things. I swipe a paper towel over the top to pick up a small amount of the grease and then spread it over the surface of the skillet. I have never had a problem with it going rancid. I used to use oil, but it tended to get gummy even if I heated my skillet after applying.

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    1. It's interesting the different results that folks have had. Thanks for your input, MaryP!

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  5. I'm with the animal fat group. Clarified butter, bacon grease, lard... I have iron handles on my cooking pots and sometimes my children don't dry them off. I wash the rust off, dry and then rub a little reserved fat on and buff. It seals it back up. The only one that I don't have trouble with is the one that was seasoned that way to start.

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    1. Which is excellent support in favor of seasoning.

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  6. I have a mason jar with bacon grease that I use or my skillets.

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    1. I do know that scrambling those eggs in bacon grease usually means they don't stick to the pan!

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  7. I've been using coconut oil for the past year or so and getting the best results of anything I've ever tried. I agree with the sentiment that olive oil makes things "gummy."
    Salt is great for scrubbing/cleaning things.

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    1. It's true not oils are the same. I like salt for cleaning things like wooden cutting boards too.

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  8. We don't use our cast iron very often so I usually go with the olive oil too. However, when we are using it regularly, I prefer meat fats like bacon grease, etc.

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    1. I seem to use my cast iron skillets more than my dutch oven or pot. Not sure why, maybe it's the things I'm cooking.

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  9. I swear by baking soda. Just put a little water in the pan then sprinkly the crystals so it makes a bit of a paste. Leave it for about minutes and it should come off quite easily. I also use old fashioned green soap for washing pots, making the bathroom cleam and the cooker tip shine. Pefection for peanuts with both.

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    1. I do like baking soda as a cleaner too, but I've not heard of green soap. I must look that up!

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  10. Oh I also LOVE your Thomas quote. We hope to develop some land in the Spring and will surely be following you now for lots of hints and tips.

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    1. Louise, that's exciting! I hope you do find some useful things here, but so much of it we have to work out for ourselves. Just like seasoning cast iron, there's no one-size-fits-all.

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  11. I found this very good article on the science of seasoning cast iron. It was an eye-opener for me. Give it a read:

    http://sherylcanter.com/wordpress/2010/01/a-science-based-technique-for-seasoning-cast-iron/

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    1. That is the exact article I'm going to blog about when I answer the question myself. :)

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  12. I don't have any cast iron, but I'm tempted. I should check out if it's okay to use on my glass top stove though. ;)

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    1. Good question, but I would worry it's too heavy for a glass top stove. At least I'd be worried, but then, I'm a bit of a klutz.

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    2. I have used mine on glass top stoves for years without a problem.

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    3. Good to know! Thanks for the input.

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    4. I have 2 iron skillets and a heavy cast iron dutch oven and use them all on my glass-top stove. You just have to be careful not dropping them.

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    5. P.S. I've been using avocado oil - it can take really high heat.

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    1. And we're going to have our own soon!

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  14. I'm a little late here, but I use (as we call it) fat back grease, or salt pork. I fry the meat and save the grease in a jar in the refrigerator for seasoning. I really appreciate your suggestion for cleaning cast iron. Can't wait to try the salt.

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    1. Never late. :) From reading the Little House and Little Britches books I know that salt pork was once a mainstay, but I didn't know it could be bought any more. I'll have to look for it, or even try to make our own.

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  15. Hi! I have never tried the salt method to clean it. I use canola oil to rub on it after use. Have tried coconut oil and olive oil and crisco I think but like the canola oil best. Nancy

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    1. It's been interesting how different people define "best" oil for seasoning. I can't help but wonder what makes the difference(?)

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  16. I use lard or olive oil most often and avoid all oils from genetically modified plants. I hadn't thought of coconut oil and will give that a try next time.

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    1. I'll be interested in your results, especially since there is such a variety of opinion here on the subject.

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  17. Never seen the salt method, but one thing I do when cooking scrambled eggs is add whatever salt I want to the pan before I toss in the eggs. I have no idea why that works or where I picked that up, but it does :-).

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    1. And I didn't know about that! Definitely will try it next time I scramble eggs. Thanks for the tip!

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  18. Amazing! /i have a cooking pot/dutch oven I need to clean and I've been putting it off. Must tackle it over the winter now!

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    1. That reminds me that I have a cast iron dutch oven in pretty bad shape too. Must find it and clean it up!

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  19. I use either lard or coconut oil with great results.

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    1. Thanks for that Clara. I have a mental survey going on. :)

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  20. Totally impressed. Thanks for sharing. Note made.

    Velva

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    1. I've been really happy with this method. It keeps my cast iron away from wash water and rust.

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  21. Delurking to say there is an interesting article here

    http://sherylcanter.com/wordpress/2010/01/a-science-based-technique-for-seasoning-cast-iron/
    Happy seasoning, Pat

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  22. That is amazing! I am so glad I read this, I had no idea Thank you for posting this

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