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Old 05-30-2012, 10:23 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, 10:31 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, 10:38 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, 10:42 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, 10:47 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, 10:47 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, 10:49 PM   #7
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...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, 10:52 PM   #8
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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.
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, 10:56 PM   #9
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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 05-30-2012, 11:05 PM   #10
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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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Old 05-31-2012, 08:41 AM   #11
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I use a nylon scraper to scrape off as much as possible then use the Scotch green scrubber/yellow sponge to clean it with hot water. Scrub with green side then wipe down with sponge side.
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:08 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Who Cooks
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.
I like Teflon because cast iron pans are so heavy. But I am too hard on cookware to use it, so I have plain stainless steel. Works fine for me. I do also have a few cast iron pans, but seldom use them.
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:14 AM   #13
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If you overheat Teflon it chips off and poisons you. How's that? :)
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:19 AM   #14
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If you overheat Teflon it chips off and poisons you. How's that? :)
Nice try but no.

1. Overheating releases gases that cause flu-like symptoms.

2. Mechanical damage causes pieces of coating to break off and mix with the food where it can be ingested.

1=danger
2=nothing at all.
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:38 AM   #15
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How about when overheating causes pieces of coating to break off and mix with food?
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:55 AM   #16
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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.
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Old 05-31-2012, 11:10 AM   #17
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I use a dry plastic or nylon scrubbie first. If that doesn't get it all, I move on to a copper Chore Boy scrubbie. If there is still stuff stuck to the pan, I resort to these stainless steel scrubbies (not Brillo pads!) I bought at a warehouse/restaurant supply store that always gets the junk off.




If you consume teflon that's flaked off your pan it won't hurt you, but food will no longer stick you your ribs.
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Old 05-31-2012, 11:23 AM   #18
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Quote:
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How about when overheating causes pieces of coating to break off and mix with food?
Doesn't work that way but keep trying...
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Old 05-31-2012, 11:31 AM   #19
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If you consume teflon that's flaked off your pan it won't hurt you, but food will no longer stick you your ribs.



Will it prevent food from sticking to my hips as well?
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Old 05-31-2012, 11:36 AM   #20
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Doesn't work that way but keep trying...
Okay I give up. Eating Teflon flakes is good for you as long as they haven't been overcooked.
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