Why Your Cast Iron Skillet Needs to Be Clean Before You Cook

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Cast iron skillets are an affordable and important cooking tool in the kitchen that can be used for making a variety of dishes. They are heavy-duty equipment that will last for a long time if properly cared for. They have an incredible ability of sustaining heat and cook with less oil which gives it a big plus in terms of health. 

If you have a cast iron skillet, high chances are that you know how crucial it is to keep your skillet in good condition for it to serve you best. Proper maintenance of your sturdy kitchen appliance begins with making sure it’s clean after use.

Here are a few reasons why you need to make sure your cast-iron skillet stays clean before you get cooking with it. 

1. For Hygiene Purposes

It’s very important that you have a clean cast iron pan skillet before using it. Cleaning it will help prevent harmful bacteria or toxins from spreading to your food.

The last thing you’d want is for you or your family members to fall sick from something that could have been very well easily avoided.  

2. To Help Heat Food Evenly 

The truth about cast iron is that it is not so good at heating food appropriately even when it is clean, let alone when it has food particles around it. Aluminium conducts heat three times better than cast iron. 

As such, preparing a meal on a cast iron skillet with food particles could mean the food doesn’t get to the surface of the skillet as well as you’d like. Cast iron does, however, do a great job in retaining heat. 

Once it’s hot, it stays hot. 

3. Avoid Compromising the Taste of Your Meals

Cooking with an unwashed skillet could mean compromising on the taste of your meals. Imagine making some really delicious lasagna only to have your meal have a distinct flavor of pancakes you made a few mornings earlier. 

This may sound like a subtle issue but it could really ruin the entire meal for a lot of people. 

How to Clean Your Cast Iron Skillet

Cleaning a cast iron skillet is not a tough task but it has a lot of don’ts that can scare anyone from ever completely cleaning their cast iron at all especially since they are highly prone to rust. 

Below is a mini-tutorial of how you need to clean your skillet after use but first, let’s look at the materials that you will need: 

  • Sturdy brush
  • A clean and dry cloth or paper towel
  • Vegetable oil
  • Some hot water

How to Achieve a Clean Cast Iron Pan

After using your skillet, you want to clean it when it is still warm or hot. Avoid soaking it cause it can easily develop rust. Pour some hot water on the skillet and use a sturdy brush or sponge to clean it. Avoid using soap, steel wool, or the dishwasher as they may dent the pan’s seasoning. 

Carefully scrub off food particles with the sponge/brush and rinse off any food residue. If there are some stuck-on bits, you can loosen them by boiling water in the skillet. Use the paper towel to apply vegetable oil across the inside surface of your appliance and store it in a dry area. 

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