One of the many advantages of cast iron skillets is the seasoning that results in a naturally non-stick surface. This buildup of oil is so essential to cast iron cooking that the pan requires specific care to properly preserve it. So how to clean a cast iron grill pan and season it correctly?
From soap and water to proper drying and seasoning, we’ll illustrate how the right methods can preserve your pan for a lifetime.
The Basics of Cast Iron Care: How to Clean a Cast Iron Grill Pan
Proper cleaning and maintenance are vital to preserving the versatility and longevity that make these pans so beloved. But how to clean a cast iron grill pan? Can you use soap on cast iron? What does seasoning involve?
We’ll answer these questions with easy-to-follow steps and simple tricks and tips.
Step 1: Wash After Each Use
Wondering how often to clean cast iron? Just like any other cookware, it should be washed after each use. While an excess of soap and water can strip the pan of its seasoning, small amounts that are used correctly can keep your pan clean.
Here’s how to clean a cast iron grill pan with soap and water:
- After use, wait until the pan has cooled down to where it is just warm.
- Rinse under hot running water, scrubbing with a drop or two of dish soap and a non-abrasive scrubbing pad.
- Rinse away all soap residue with hot water.
What about how to clean a cast iron grill pan with stuck-on food? Simmer 1 cup of hot water in the pan for 3-5 minutes. Scrape with a pan scraper and wash with the above methods.
Step 2: Dry Completely
Leaving a cast iron pan to air dry will eventually lead to rusting. Instead, dry the pan as soon as it’s washed with a paper towel or lint-free cloth. But what can you do if your pan develops rust?
Follow these steps to clean rusty cast iron:
- Scrub the pan with hot water, soap, and a steel wool pad.
- Dry completely with a clean cloth or paper towel.
- Use another paper towel to rub a thin layer of cooking oil onto the pan’s interior and exterior.
- Place the cast iron skillet upside down on the upper rack of your oven. Position a cookie sheet or aluminum foil on the rack below.
- Heat the oven to 450-500°F and bake the pan for 1 hour.
- Repeat, as needed, until the pan is smooth and black.
Step 3: Rub with Oil
The final step in how to clean a cast iron grill pan preserves the seasoning with an additional coat of oil. Rub a small amount of cooking oil or seasoning spray into the pan’s interior with a paper towel. Continue to wipe the surface until no oily residue remains.
How to Season a Cast Iron Grill Pan
Seasoning simply means that oil is baked into the cast iron, creating a naturally non-stick cooking surface. Repeated use of your cast iron grill pan and applying oil after each cleaning should keep it adequately seasoned. However, if your pan is brand new or hasn’t been used in a while, it can require seasoning.
Here’s how to season a cast iron grill pan:
- Scrub the pan with warm, soapy water and a non-abrasive pad.
- Rinse and dry with a clean cloth or paper towel.
- Apply a thin layer of seasoning spray or cooking oil to the pan’s interior and exterior. Wipe down the pan with a paper towel to remove excess oil.
- Place the skillet upside down on your oven’s top rack.
- Place a cookie sheet or layer of aluminum foil on the rack below.
- Heat the oven to 450-500°F and bake the pan for 1 hour. Allow to cool before storing.