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Old 07-17-2007, 03:44 PM   #21
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the pan is fine, keep cooking.
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Old 08-22-2007, 02:58 PM   #22
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I have a quick follow up question.

When you clean a cast iron pan (either with warm water or with salt like I sometimes do), how do you know when to stop? I've always been concerned with crust left over from what I had just cooked that by the time I get it cleaned off, there's no seasoning left on it.

So, when do you decide your cast iron is clean enough?
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Old 08-22-2007, 03:20 PM   #23
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I've never cleaned my CI pans with salt; I don't think I'd do that unless it had been extremely neglected and was rusty, etc. I use a Pampered Chef plastic scraper and hot water to clean my pans. Remember that some of that crust is new seasoning so don't scrub too hard.
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Old 08-23-2007, 06:07 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipotle Tom View Post
I have a quick follow up question.

When you clean a cast iron pan (either with warm water or with salt like I sometimes do), how do you know when to stop? I've always been concerned with crust left over from what I had just cooked that by the time I get it cleaned off, there's no seasoning left on it.

So, when do you decide your cast iron is clean enough?
if you clean you pan right after cooking by putting hot water in the pan, the hot water takes any crust off almost immediately. if there's still some sticking scrape it off with a wooden spatula or let the water simmer a bit more on the stove. after that i just use a kitchen sponge to wipe off remaining dirt. everything done under a minute. but if you leave your pan and come back later to clean you'll have to heat the pan up again and put hot water in, takes much longer.

in the beginning i found it a nuisance to have to clean immediately after cooking cos the first thing you want to do is go eat but i have since adjusted since it is so much easier to clean right after than to wait till after dinner.
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Old 08-23-2007, 07:59 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by g23 View Post
if you clean you pan right after cooking by putting hot water in the pan, the hot water takes any crust off almost immediately. if there's still some sticking scrape it off with a wooden spatula or let the water simmer a bit more on the stove.
This is the method I use, too - it's just like deglazing the pan, adding liquid and then scraping up the browned bits.
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Old 08-23-2007, 08:49 AM   #26
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First off you can't "scrape" the seasoning off of a cast iron pan. The oil or fat that is used to season it is used so that it soaks into the pores of the pan and seals the iron. Using salt and/or soap can remove that seasoning because they both will remove oil substances. The more you cook with your pan the better it will get. If food is stuck on the pan after cooking, simply soak it in very hot water til dinner is over and the food will fall right off, just as GotGarlic suggests. Letting it sit and cool with food particles will cause them to stick. But the more you use your pan, the less it will cause food to stick.
After washing my pans with a stiff brush and very hot water, I simple dry thoroughly, put them on the burner with a thin coating of Crisco only on the inside, then leave on the burner on high for about 60 seconds. Off the heat and let it cool on the burner. It's a constant seasoning process without having to go through the whole oven thing. I use my cast iron in the oven often - even roasting chickens in the pan makes for a beautiful crisp, mahogony colored bird and at the same time it does wonders for the pan. All of my cookeware is cast iron and the black Lodge pots and pans are a gorgeous, smooth black from the constant use and no soap ever. The splotchy look will go away once the pan gets more use.
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