Cleaning cast iron: How to

This helpful tip will keep you cast iron pan in working order.

Cleaning cast iron has confused people for generations.  It’s understandable.  Instead of your normal process for cleaning dishes with water and dish soap and lots of frothy bubbles, you have to stay away from soap and water entirely.

Wait, what?

Yes, it’s true. And it’s the opposite of how you care for pretty much every other kitchen item you have, so that’s no doubt where the confusion comes in for most people. But trust us on this: don’t use soap and water to clean your cast iron pan.

The biggest key to this equation is rust. Just understand that rust is the ultimate enemy of good cast iron, and plan based on that knowledge.

But also know that a major reason to use cast iron in the first place is flavor. And the flavor of your food is affected in a very real way by a properly seasoned pan.

What causes rust? Water. And what strips away grease (and by extension flavor)? Soap. Thus, soapy water is the LAST thing you want to use. And no, your dishwasher is NOT a good alternative (it uses soap and water as well).

Alright, so no soapy water. Got it? Good.

So how do you actually get it clean? Don’t worry about it … you’ve got this.

The one trick you need to cleaning cast iron … is using stuff you already have around the house. What stuff? Watch the video for a demo from our cooking expert, Chef Felicia. If you follow her advice, you’ll have a great cast iron situation today, tomorrow, and for a very, very long time going forward. Take good care of your cast iron, and it will take good care of you.

And with that quality cast iron, maybe you can do some buttermilk fried chicken? I mean, why not? It’s what it’s there for.

For more great cooking advice from Chef Felicia, be sure to check out her Southern Weekend series, Felicia’s Kitchen.