When using a cast iron skillet as an oven, making sure it is well-seasoned is of the upmost importance! If you find that your pan becomes warm or hot when baking in the oven, it may be time to say goodbye.
Why are most seasoned skillets not washed with water? Because cast iron can become reactive due to its composition. The coating actually helps promote sticking around excess food bits so they do not burn in the high heat of use. This process changes how the pan reacts to things like water!
When washing a cookware item, no matter what type of material it is, there should always be a small amount of liquid involved. No lathery mud-like substances, just water! That’s why it is important to wash a cooked cast iron pan with water; nothing thickened or gel-type. Just clean water!
Sadly, this isn’t the case for all types of pans. Some brands seem to believe that leaving their pan hangry (hungry and angry) is a good way to season them! Unfortunately, I have to call bs because that doesn’t work on us normal humans.
It’ll damage the pan
After using your skillet, you will most likely leave some food in it. When washing the pan, make sure to scrape all of the dried food off as well as possible.
If there is still leftover burnt or greasy material, wash the pan with a soap solution to remove any lingering oils that have been cooked out.
After this, dry the pan thoroughly and warm up the handle before use. This helps restore the balance of the metal and prevents rusting.
Once again, be careful not to soak the pan in water! A soft wipe-down is enough to clean it properly.
Why don’t we tell people about cleaning their skillets more often? Because many people either don’t know how to take care of them or they are too lazy to do so.
Skillets can easily be saved by taking just a few minutes every couple days to wash them and keep them clean.
It’s too heavy
If you like to cook with butter and oil, then a non-stick skillet is not for you. A thin layer of fat will burn very quickly in a poorly cleaned pan. This can result in burned food and poor taste or even dangerous levels of chemicals if there are leftover ingredients in the pan.
A well-oiled cast iron pan will never require any cleaning. Over time, the grease from cooking seeps into the surface where it solidifies and becomes part of the pan. When this happens, the pan needs only some warm water to be properly seasoned and ready to use again.
However, just because a pan gets dirty doesn’t mean it’s discarded! In fact, most professional cooks keep their pans at room temperature until they’re washed and dried thoroughly. This allows the metal to soak up residual oils as well as possible cracks that may form due to using the pan.
It’s too small
The best way to clean a cast iron skillet is by using either a metal brush or, if you have no other option, boiling water! Obviously, both of these are not practical when it comes time to use the pan.
In fact, even having a second pot can be impractical because most people don’t own one unless they are already running low on things. This means that instead of simply washing the pan, you have to soak it in soapy water which takes longer and doesn’t really do anything good for the pan.
Also, leaving the pan out while drying might cause the coating to break down which could result in rusting or chipping. All of this would eventually ruin the quality of the pan and maybe even hurt someone else who uses it.
You should only use new pans
While it’s true that old, dirty pots are totally okay to use for washing down ingredients or pre-heating foods, using an already used pan is not.
That pan will now hold onto food residue more tightly than a freshly washed one, which can result in burned, greasy cooked oatmeal or burnt broccoli florets. In fact, dried leftover bits of food in a cast iron skillet may even continue to burn when heated again because there’s more resistance. This could potentially cause explosions or flames!
If you find that your pancakes get stuck or your fried eggs take longer to cook due to dryness, then it’s time to wash (and eventually refresh) your cooking equipment.
After taking care of all of your dishes, start with your skillets! They’re probably your most important piece of culinary ware, so don’t let poor hygiene detract from great meals.
You should only use seasoned pans
While not totally necessary, it is recommended that you wash your pan once every month to keep it in good condition. To season a new pan, there’s an easy way to do it. Simply bake dry ingredients (such as white sugar or baking soda and cream of tartar) in the pan and then wash with hot water. This process removes any leftover bits of food and also adds some non-stick quality to the surface.
You should oil and flour the pan before use
When washing a cast iron skillet, you do not need to soak it in water first like regular cookware. This is actually very unnecessary because all metal pans require an initial coating of either olive or coconut oil to prevent sticking.
Olive oil has a higher smoking temperature than coconut oil so when heating up your pan, only apply enough for the coat to burn off.
You should only use high heat
When washing your pan, make sure you are not using water to wash it! That is never a good idea. Using very hot or even boiling water will remove most of the protective coating that comes with having a cast iron skillet.
This can sometimes be tricky to tell if your pan has dried out. If the handle does not feel solid when pressed down, this is an indication that the pan needs a cleaning.
To clean a dry pan, start by scraping off any burnt-on food pieces. Next, add some olive oil and run a warm bath of water over the surface of the pan. This creates a non-stick coat for the pan to keep foods from sticking.
Once all traces of burned onto food have been scraped away and the pan is fully coated in oil, put the pan into the oven at 350°F (177ºC) until it is completely cooled.
You should only use low heat
When washing your pan, you want to make sure that it is clean, but you do not need to worry about removing any of the protective coating or altering the texture.
A good way to wash your skillet is in water with some dish soap. Make sure to scrub the pan thoroughly and rinse well.
When drying your pan, make sure to let it air dry or use a towel to prevent steam burns.
Why don’t we ever wash our skillets? I think sometimes people get so attached to their pans that they feel like they can never part with them.