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Salt and Cast Iron

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
For some reason, I always seem to have trouble getting my cast iron pans really clean and with a nice, smooth surface. I guess I'm just a cast iron cooking or cleaning klutz.

The other night I saw Alton Brown cleaning his cast iron skillet by putting a bunch of salt in the pan, rubbing it, removing the salt, and maybe giving the pan a wipe with a paper towel that had a little cooking oil on it.

Can anyone expand upon this cleaning technique. It would be great if I could get my 10" skillet looking (and cooking) a little better.


post #2 of 6
I have used it, it works realy well if you have stuff caked onto the pan, I have also seen heating the pan up really hot and then spraying it out with water and scrubing it down. then putting it back on the head and heat it till its smoking, then put oil on it, and re season it.
post #3 of 6
I usually wipe mine clean with paper towels while it's hot, then sprinkle lots of kosher salt and leave it till after dinner. I'll give it a good scrub, the salt usually does the trick. If not, I'll use soap and water, followed by a film of veg oil and back on low heat for a few minutes. My pan is as good as any teflon pan.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks, guys ... maybe now the pan will look and cook better.

post #5 of 6
Adamm, better do that water trick cautiously.

It used to be a common method for removing stuck-on stuff. And it works. It's just like steam-cleaning your engine block.

But heating the pan, then adding water---particularly cold water---can cause the pan to warp, and even crack.

Many times when you find an older pot or pan that won't sit level on the stove, that's the reason.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Cleaning the Cast Iron Skillet - Happy Day!

I used the 10-incher twice today, both times to practice high-temp searing of meat for the soon-to-follow rib eye dinner. The salt really does the trick, and the skillet is looking and cooking a lot better. It's almost like a non-stick pan. A few more uses and cleaning should really transform that puppy into a more useful and enjoyable piece of cookware. Thank y'all once again

While scrubbing with the salt this afternoon, I was reminded of seeing some Montana cowboys cleaning their skillets using river sand. Perhaps the results are similar.


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