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Brand-new cast-iron skillet: Is it clean yet?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I just bought my first cast-iron skillet. I've been cleaning it (scrub brush, hot water, fifteen minutes in all). When I dry it with a paper towel, the towel comes away looking as though it's picked up dirt. Is that normal for cast iron? If not, how long should the initial scrub take?

 

Thanks.

post #2 of 12

Use some big coarse salt and scrub it good.  The friction from that will take off anything that is stuck.  When you're done, wipe it with some vegetable oil just a little bit should get you a thin layer.  Actually I use pork fat for this.  Then throw it in a 200F oven for an hour or so.

 

That should be cooking ready.

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks very much.

post #4 of 12

It's normal to see that dark residue come off. It 's the carbon build-up that forms the layer that makes it smooth and prevents sticking.

 

I like to use cameo stainless steel powder cleaner with a sponge. It's gentle but removes stuck on residue without scouring off the seasoning. It only needs it once in a while.

 

Try to keep metal utensils away from it. A quick flip of a burger with a turner is ok, just don't scrape on it.

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks, much appreciated. I'll try all your suggestions.

post #6 of 12

And don't worry. You will NOT mess up the skillet. If anything bad happens to it over the course of decades it can be brought back to life. Your children's children can be cooking on it. Great stuff.

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #7 of 12

Sounds to me like you bought a "pre-seasoned" skillet and you are washing off the factory seasoning.  If that is the case you will have to season it again.  Plenty of info on the web, youtube, etc.

post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks. To someone as absent-minded as I am, that's reassuring.

post #9 of 12
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #10 of 12

The only piece of cast iron that I have is my wok. And teamfat is absolutely right, you can not ruin it. It just might need a reseasoning every now and then, if you should destroy the surface coating during cleaning.

post #11 of 12

I like that link, Teamfat. So many people say not to wash with soap and water. Eeeww! I wash mine. Just make sure it's dried well.

 

I have a couple skillets from the 20's. Still going strong.

post #12 of 12

I never use soap on my cast iron.  Just hot water, salt if need be and a little elbow grease like my grandma did.  In fact I have her skillet and it's a beautiful thing to cook with.

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