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Old 05-31-2012, 01:30 PM   #21
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It's fine to use dish soap and a scrubber on well-seasoned cast iron.

I do it all the time and my pieces are still very slick and shiny. I dont do it every time I wash them up, but sometimes there is too much gunk for water alone.

My mother put hers in the dishwasher once in awhile. I dont recommend that.
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Old 05-31-2012, 02:53 PM   #22
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It's fine to use dish soap and a scrubber on well-seasoned cast iron.

I do it all the time and my pieces are still very slick and shiny. I dont do it every time I wash them up, but sometimes there is too much gunk for water alone.

My mother put hers in the dishwasher once in awhile. I dont recommend that.
I could be wrong, but I think the issue with soap is that it could soak in and make your food taste soapy.
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Old 05-31-2012, 03:55 PM   #23
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I could be wrong, but I think the issue with soap is that it could soak in and make your food taste soapy.

No, the concern is that the soap may remove some of the seasoning.
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Old 05-31-2012, 04:22 PM   #24
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When my ancestors left Virginny and traveled to the Territory.. arriving in the Spring of 1800 they brought with them cast iron cooking vessels. ~ Along the way had they stopped by a creek and washed their pots using what was common at the time...Lye soap (lard and lye from wood ashes) I have no doubt it would have harmed the finish/seasoning of the pots..Old granny knew this...So she didn't do it. ~~ That was then...and this is now. Today modern dish washing soaps.. Dawn, Joy, Palmolive etc... advertized as gentle to the modern housewife's hands... are mostly rinsing agents and pose no problems to well seasoned cast iron.

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Old 05-31-2012, 04:41 PM   #25
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I use coarse salt and a nylon scrubber to clean my CI pans, I also use a broomstalk brush--I've had it forever, I think I brought it home from Sweden a gazillion years ago. Once I'm happy with how clean the pan is, I wipe with paper towel, and heat up with a bit of oil in it after each use. I use CI a lot. I prefer it over SS for skillets. I also have a CI grill (a flat one) that I forgot I owned. It hasn't been seasoned (I used to use it for lefse), but now that I have an electric lefse griddle, I can re-purpose the griddle.
I use salt and a broomstalk brush too. It came with a wok set.
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Old 06-02-2012, 07:07 AM   #26
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Lye soap (lard and lye from wood ashes) I have no doubt it would have harmed the finish/seasoning of the pots..Old granny knew this...So she didn't do it. ~~ That was then...and this is now.
Usually the fat left over in the pan after frying meat, was mixed with the wood ashes, and THAT, is how soap was invented. The wood ash part when mixed with water is the chemically caustic part of the solution, when mixed with lard/fat, it changes (saponifies) and becomes soap. Given the right proportions, it will not even hurt your skin. Given the wrong proportions, it will eat through anything.

As a side note, I use homemade soap and haven't bought soap in 10 years. I've run out of dish soap, and found that homemade soap does a fabulous job on washing dishes in the sink--who's have thought that?

My cast iron frying pan lives in my oven (gas) covered in foil, and I cook it every time I use the oven. (even when it is not my cooking vessel)
If I see a BIT of burned on anything, or a BIT of rust (on the bottom maybe), I'll rub it hard with a metal scrubbie (I know no one will agree), then rinse, dry quickly, cover the surface of the pan with oil from an oil soaked cloth and bake it for 30 minutes at 400 degrees F. It's always ready to go.
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Old 06-02-2012, 11:03 AM   #27
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It seems to me that the burned on stuff is the coating, it's more or less carbonized fat. It's only a problem when it gets really thick. IMO a thin layer of burned on coating is good. That's the "seasoning" that washes off if you use soap or overly-aggressive mechanical methods.

I think that it's possible that some people are too aggressive in cleaning their iron cookware. If it has gobs and globs and chunks of burned on stuff that needs to be cleaned off. If it's a thin layer of burned on stuff that is what keeps food from sticking.

If food does not stick to your iron cookware then you are probably using it right and cleaning it right.
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Old 06-15-2012, 07:39 AM   #28
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Here's a link to a book on caring for and cooking with cast iron.

Cast-Iron Cooking - A. D. Livingston - Google Books
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Old 06-15-2012, 08:29 AM   #29
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Read what the guys who make it have to say:

Lodge Cast Iron Cookware - America's Original Cookware - South Pittsburg, TN USA
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Old 06-15-2012, 08:39 AM   #30
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I hide the CI skillet I use for my eggs when I'm not home--I guess one of my pet peeves is having to re-season the CI pans because s/one washed the pans in the dishwasher or with soap, but that little one is seasoned perfectly and I don't want s/one to ruin that. When I go to MN, I hide all the CI pans so s/one will use the SS pans instead. There are some arguments that just aren't worth the effort.
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Old 06-15-2012, 08:41 AM   #31
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I've had a 12" CI skillet I've been using for about 5 years and sometimes wash it with soap. It's well seasoned and survives the soap well. I'm not ready to put it in the DW yet.
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Old 09-09-2012, 04:33 AM   #32
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Not sure if this is the thread I should bump or not. I have 3 CI skillets. Even though I clean each of them the same way, one of them always sticks. Should I put it in the DW and re-season it in the oven? It is not a Lodge pan--the other two are.
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:22 AM   #33
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Not sure if this is the thread I should bump or not. I have 3 CI skillets. Even though I clean each of them the same way, one of them always sticks. Should I put it in the DW and re-season it in the oven? It is not a Lodge pan--the other two are.
I have but do not use the DW for any cast iron. To thoroughly clean a cast iron pan in preparation for re seasoning I either use a stiff and then a softer bristled steel wire cup brush on an electric drill and then (or instead), LOTS (several hours) of elbow grease and upwards of 1/2 dozen Brillo or SOS steel wool pads.
I had to resort to the above described to rectify the crummy, gummy and pitted finish on a new 7 quart Lodge 'pre seasoned' Dutch Oven. Doing so resulted in a finish almost as good as that on our Griswold and Wagner cast iron ware.
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:52 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by CWS4322
Not sure if this is the thread I should bump or not. I have 3 CI skillets. Even though I clean each of them the same way, one of them always sticks. Should I put it in the DW and re-season it in the oven? It is not a Lodge pan--the other two are.
You could bake the CI at a higher temp to burn off the seasoning, then re-season. It might be easier on the pan than the DW because you wouldn't have issues with rust or anything like that...
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:08 AM   #35
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I wouldn't use the DW either. Many years ago I tried putting one of my enamelled CI Dutch ovens in the DW. The unenamelled bottom got rusty. I tried again and pulled it out as soon as the cycle was over. It was rusty again. Never tried that again.
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Old 09-09-2012, 11:43 AM   #36
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If it's a cheap casting, you probably will have to live with it. I have a cast iron skillet that been working great for 55 years. If it needs a good cleaning I boil some water in it with a dab of dish soap, rinse it, wipe it out with paper towel and turn it up over a flame for a few seconds and leave it to dry. Cast iron doesn't like the dishwasher and most pieces will have instructions not to wash in a dishwasher.
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Old 09-09-2012, 02:52 PM   #37
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I have had it about 30 years--it isn't branded, so not sure what kind it is. It is only recently that it has been sticking (last couple of years)...since the DH got his hands on it and washed it with dishwashing detergent. I guess I better plan on hitting it with the Dremel...sigh. Oh, maybe the DH could tackle it in his machine shop--he has all those tools for working with metal...hmmmmm.....and then I could re-season it.
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Old 09-09-2012, 05:21 PM   #38
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I have had it about 30 years--it isn't branded, so not sure what kind it is. It is only recently that it has been sticking (last couple of years)...since the DH got his hands on it and washed it with dishwashing detergent. I guess I better plan on hitting it with the Dremel...sigh. Oh, maybe the DH could tackle it in his machine shop--he has all those tools for working with metal...hmmmmm.....and then I could re-season it.
If it's a rough casting, he should be able to refinish it with a surface grinder. He should be able to get it flat and as smooth as a baby's butt. Would help if the exterior bottom and interior bottom were cut parallel and your stove's heating surface was level; this promotes even distribution of shortening liquids.
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Old 09-09-2012, 05:41 PM   #39
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Oh he's got a surface grinder. He has 4 or 5 lathes (I lose track of what is in that building), and all kinds of metal-working toys (just got another DRO). Unfortunately, he's rebuilding/refurbishing/modifying a stone-cutting machine right now and that is keeping his shop quite busy. Then he has to design and fabricate an autofeed on the guy's punch (?) press. But since he ruined the pan's seasoning, well, enough said.
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Old 09-09-2012, 05:55 PM   #40
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Oh he's got a surface grinder. He has 4 or 5 lathes (I lose track of what is in that building), and all kinds of metal-working toys (just got another DRO). Unfortunately, he's rebuilding/refurbishing/modifying a stone-cutting machine right now and that is keeping his shop quite busy. Then he has to design and fabricate an autofeed on the guy's punch (?) press. But since he ruined the pan's seasoning, well, enough said.
Do not make me jealous. Next you're gonna tell me he getting into powdered metal parts fabrication using 3d printing technology.'
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