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:

Sue said...

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.

Dawn McHugh said...

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

Michelle said...

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.

Leigh said...

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!

Leigh said...

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. :)

Leigh said...

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

MaryP said...

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.

Farmer Barb said...

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.

Jason and Michelle said...

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

Erika Keller said...

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.

Ed said...

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.

Louise Houghton said...

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.

Louise Houghton said...

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.

Adrienne said...

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/

Renee Nefe said...

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. ;)

DFW said...

Lard!

Leigh said...

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

Leigh said...

Which is excellent support in favor of seasoning.

Leigh said...

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

Leigh said...

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

Leigh said...

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.

Leigh said...

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

Leigh said...

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.

Leigh said...

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

Leigh said...

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.

Judy said...

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.

Henny Penny said...

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.

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

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

Mary P. said...

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

Leigh said...

And we're going to have our own soon!

Leigh said...

Good to know! Thanks for the input.

Leigh said...

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.

Leigh said...

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

Robin Follette said...

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.

Renee Nefe said...

Thanks Mary!

thecrazysheeplady said...

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 :-).

Leigh said...

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

Leigh said...

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

Kev Alviti said...

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!

Clara Teixeira said...

I use either lard or coconut oil with great results.

Kris said...

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.

Kris said...

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

Velva said...

Totally impressed. Thanks for sharing. Note made.

Velva

Leigh said...

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

Leigh said...

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

Leigh said...

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

inquisitive1ady said...

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

Elaine said...

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