Question about cast iron care?

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BAPyessir6

Senior Cook
Joined
May 15, 2020
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191
Location
Prior Lake
Had cast iron pan for like 2 years. I try to not use too much soap when washing, not too much acids or liquids when making sauce in them, never tomato sauce, etc.

I have grey residue coming off my cast iron every time I wash it after I oil. This is how I wash.
1. I try to hand wash as soon as it's cool so I don't have to scrub too much.
2. I put the pan into the sink, maybe add a small dash of soap, then scrub with either a green scrunge or a silicon bristle scrub brush.
3. After it's clean, I immediately throw it back into the stove on medium to low heat for a minute or two, dabbing extra water off with a paper towel and letting the cast iron dry (generally it gets to like 300-400 F then throwing some oil (vegetable or canola) and rubbing it all over using another paper towel. But the paper towel comes out with grey residue most of the time! I don't know if it's always, but I wonder if I'm doing something wrong. Help!

(I also do the same procedure with my carbon steel wok and have similar issues. Had 3 years. I don't think it's rust though? Or maybe it is?)
 

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IMO, you are doing everything properly. And your skillet looks great.

I wouldn’t worry about the residue. Seasoning is polymerized fat so it will give that off.
 
I rarely resort to the green scrubber. You can usually get it done with the blue scrubber sponge. When you add oil and heat the pan, then wipe the pan with paper towels, you get some of the new oil rubbed off because you didn't polymerize all the oil.
 
Had cast iron pan for like 2 years. I try to not use too much soap when washing, not too much acids or liquids when making sauce in them, never tomato sauce, etc.

I have grey residue coming off my cast iron every time I wash it after I oil. This is how I wash.
1. I try to hand wash as soon as it's cool so I don't have to scrub too much.
2. I put the pan into the sink, maybe add a small dash of soap, then scrub with either a green scrunge or a silicon bristle scrub brush.
3. After it's clean, I immediately throw it back into the stove on medium to low heat for a minute or two, dabbing extra water off with a paper towel and letting the cast iron dry (generally it gets to like 300-400 F then throwing some oil (vegetable or canola) and rubbing it all over using another paper towel. But the paper towel comes out with grey residue most of the time! I don't know if it's always, but I wonder if I'm doing something wrong. Help!

(I also do the same procedure with my carbon steel wok and have similar issues. Had 3 years. I don't think it's rust though? Or maybe it is?)
The gray residue after cleaning could be built-up grease or just signs of use. Over years of use, cast iron can develop a variety of appearances, but this is normal and not related to cleaning mistakes.
 
I always wipe my cast iron down with vegetable shortening before I use it. Then I can clean it with a quick wipe of a paper towel.
 

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