"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Cookware and Accessories > Cookware
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-16-2013, 08:50 AM   #1
Senior Cook
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 349
How "clean" is your cast iron?

I recently got a few cast iron pans (two skillets and a grill pan) and love how they cook, but the whole cleaning situation I can't quite get because of the instructions to not use soap. I have a dedicated brush for scraping clean the cast iron, but no matter how clean it looks, when I dry it with paper towels, I always get brown residue on the paper towels. This is especially the case for the grill pan.

Is your cast iron as clean as your other cookware like non-stick pans and stainless steel pans? I just don't see how it's possible without scrubbing with soapy water... Especially when there isn't visible dirtiness on it, it's like that brown/food residue is cooked onto the cast iron. I suppose it shouldn't be an issue since I pre-heat my cast iron to very high temperatures whenever I use it for searing meats, but it's just a little disheartening to feel like my cookware isn't clean.


crankin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2013, 09:48 AM   #2
Assistant Cook
iamafoodie's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: New England
Posts: 17
There is a wonderful group page on Facebook called
Cast Iron Cooking that has LOTS of information about cooking with cast iron. Great people who are diehard CI users.
If you are not on Facebook I'm sure there are others websites where you can get answers.
I suspect your cast iron just isn't seasoned correctly. I don't know much about it but this facebook page will guide you.
As you said it is not recommended to wash your CI in soapy water but a good food scraper and hot water you should be able to get it pretty clean. I think the next step is to put your cleaned CI piece in the oven maybe 300 deg. for twenty minutes or until nice and hot. This will open up the pores and then you take a papertowel with some kind of cooking oil. There are many opinions out there on what is best but I have heard people say lard is the best. Wipe your cast iron thoroughly with this lard and then wipe out any excess with a clean paper towel till your cast iron has a shiny black sheen. Once you have used your CI a few times it will automatically be seasoned. Cooking bacon often in your CI also keeps your CI seasoned well so I've been told.
If I have mis-spoken anyone, please chime in and correct me

iamafoodie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2013, 09:53 AM   #3
Chef Extraordinaire
Dawgluver's Avatar
Site Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 23,779
I think you got it, Foodie.
She who dies with the most toys, wins.
Dawgluver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2013, 10:27 AM   #4
Certified Pretend Chef
Andy M.'s Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 41,085
After using my CI, I rinse it out and sometimes use a soapy blue scrubber sponge to get out any stubborn bits. Then I rinse it out and put it on a burner turned up high. When it's all dry and starts smoking, I wipe in a few drops of oil with a folded paper towel and let it smoke for a few minutes. Then I wipe it again. Sometimes the paper towel has a little brown on it. That's just some of the smoking oil residue. I don't see that as a problem.

Properly seasoned CI is tougher than you think. That black surface on your CI is hard and durable. Don't worry.
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2013, 02:41 PM   #5
Master Chef
jennyema's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Boston
Posts: 9,199
Once it's seasoned dish soap and hot water can be used on it.
Less is not more. More is more and more is fabulous.
jennyema is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2013, 07:09 PM   #6
Master Chef
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Park Drive Bar/Grill Los Angeles
Posts: 9,584
Contrary to the instructions I use dishwashing detergent on mine all the time, no problem.
roadfix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2013, 07:25 PM   #7
Head Chef
salt and pepper's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Montana
Posts: 2,006
Add water to the pan and bring to a hard boil, then scrub with a stiff brush. Oil and store. Don't use animal fat to store as it can turn rancid.
You can also use berlap to scrub & oil , instead of papper towels.
salt and pepper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2013, 11:14 PM   #8
Sous Chef
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: California's Big Valley
Posts: 810
I've washed my cast iron skillet with hot soapy water for over 55 years with no problem. However, I do not let it soak in that hot soapy water and dry it immediately over a flame on top of the stove. Cast iron like to fry bacon.
Oldvine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2013, 11:42 PM   #9
Sous Chef
no mayonnaise's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 553
If I wipe with a paper towel I still get a bit of brown coming up on mine. never thought much of it, figure it's some oil residue from the seasoning.

no mayonnaise is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:13 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.