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Old 05-30-2012, 11:23 PM   #1
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Is it okay to use foil to clean cast iron?

If not it's too late. :( It is a brand new Lodge Logic pre-seasoned grill pan. I just cooked in it and some stuff wouldn't come off and I remember I read somewhere that I could use foil. I know I should have used a brush but I forgot to get one to go with my grill pan. I kept scrubbing under water and wiping with a paper towel to see if there was any more burnt stuff left. But it got to the point that went I smelled the paper towel the burned looking stuff had no smell. So at that point I stopped. I didn't have any plain vegetable oil (not sure what kind of house my mother is running here) so I used butter flavored Crisco spray.

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Old 05-30-2012, 11:31 PM   #2
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Don't use foil. You do not want to remove the seasoning.

Boil some water in it for 15-20 minutes to soften any food particles left in the pan. Scrub it with a blue scrub sponge (safe for non-stick surfaces).

Once it's clean using this process, give it a light coating of vegetable oil and heat it up on the stove until it's smoking. Let it cool and wipe it with a paper towel.
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:38 PM   #3
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I don't see any real problem as a one-off or seldom used, but you'll be better off with a plain nylon scrubber and no soap. IMO a wire brush is an equally bad idea.

Really, you can't destroy a cast iron pan or anything else iron unless you let it rust for long periods.

Next time just use a nylon pad and no soap. Let it sit in warm water for 30 minutes or an hour if it needs it to loosen browned stuff. In extreme cases you can use Easy Off or other oven cleaning spray, but not recommended for regular usage.

You don't need to oil it every time you use it. It's fine to just scrub it with the nylon pad and water, and put it away when it's dry.

Cast iron is the original non-stick pan. It's surprising that most people have forgotten this, or never knew it.
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:42 PM   #4
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Using an oven cleaner will remove the seasoning. I'd make every effort to clean the pan by less aggressive means so you don't have to re-season the pan.
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:47 PM   #5
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Yes, using an oven cleaner will definitely remove the seasoning. That's why I said not recommended for regular usage.

I have found it easy to restore the seasoning. In fact that will fix itself if you just use it regularly and scrub it with a plain nylon or other plastic pad and no soap. (You can accelerate the seasoning process and there is plenty of information on the Internet about how to do this, particularly if you have blown it off with oven cleaner.)

I sometimes wonder why we ever bothered to invent Teflon. They already had non-stick pans hundreds of years ago, and the coating didn't chip off and poison you.
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:47 PM   #6
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Grill pan...one with raised ribs in the bottom? I wouldn't even bother about a little bit of carbonized meat/fat in the bottom. I would consider it seasoning.
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Who Cooks View Post
...and the coating didn't chip off and poison you.
Teflon flakes are completely inert and pass through your digestive system doing no harm.
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gadzooks View Post
Grill pan...one with raised ribs in the bottom? I wouldn't even bother about a little bit of carbonized meat/fat in the bottom. I would consider it seasoning.
ditto

We're not doing brain surgery in our cast iron pans. Sometimes it's better to just ignore stuff unless it gets serious.

In fact I think carbonized meat and fat is the seasoning. The non-stick surface is carbon and various carbonized substances. That's what makes food not stick to it.
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Teflon flakes are completely inert and pass through your digestive system doing no harm.
Unless you heat them to an extreme temperature in which case they become toxic, like when you put a Teflon coated pan over high heat without food in it, which is why we're warned to not do that. (Extreme = 500-650 degrees F., easily achieved on stove tops.)

On the other hand, do it with an iron pan and no harm is done.
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Old 05-31-2012, 12:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Who Cooks View Post
Unless you heat them to an extreme temperature in which case they become toxic, like when you put a Teflon coated pan over high heat without food in it, which is why we're warned to not do that. (Extreme = 500-650 degrees F., easily achieved on stove tops.)

On the other hand, do it with an iron pan and no harm is done.

That is correct but not the issue you raised. That was about flaking coating.
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