How to Clean the Outside of a Cast Iron Skillet: Different Methods Explained
Taking care of a cast iron is tricky. However, if you own one, you must be familiar with how useful it is for a cooking utensil. They produce the best fried meals and stakes you can ask for. And this makes cast irons are one of the most traditional cooking utensils.
But if you want to keep your iron cast going for a long period, there are some complications.
Since the outside of the iron cast is put directly over a flame, it develops black burned residue over time. This can easily damage your iron cast and hamper your cooking experience.
Over the internet, you’ll find various techniques on how to clean the outside of a cast iron skillet. But for you, I pulled together three of the easiest and most effective methods for the best results. So, tag along as I provide a step-by-step guide that will ensure you the cleanest skillets every time.
How to Clean the Outside of a Cast Iron Skillet: Top Three Method Explained
Down below, I listed three of the most effective methods. Follow the steps carefully to ensure the greatest results.
Method: Using Baking Soda
This is the most popular and widely used method for cleaning iron skillets on the internet. All you need is salt, baking soda, and vinegar, and the procedure is quick and easy.
To begin, sprinkle some salt on the back of your skillet; normal table salt will suffice. After that, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda all over the back of your iron before smearing it with vinegar. You may also use dish soap to get rid of the oil. Cover the pan completely with kitchen towel tissue and set aside for 10-15 minutes.
The science behind this experiment is that mixing baking soda with vinegar causes a chemical reaction that produces carbon dioxide. This will dislodge all of the heavy material from the bottom of your skillet. The salt and dish soap are mostly used to help cut through any remaining fat.
After you’ve applied everything to the skillet, leave it alone for a while. The scorched residue on the skillet’s back may now be easily wiped away. The solution will break all of the debris from your skillet that can be removed. Wash your cast iron skillet with water to clean it even more.
Note that if you use the dishwasher, the helpful grease may be wiped off as well. This will necessarily require re-seasoning the iron skillet, which I’ll go into in greater detail later.
Method 2: Scrubbing Off the Debris
For middling level burnt deposits, this is the most straightforward technique at the expense of human labor. Scrub any black deposits from the back of your cast iron pan by heating it first and then scraping it clean. However, follow the steps below if you want to do it securely.
To begin, preheat your skillet. You can either heat it in the oven or just place it over a direct flame. This loosens the black particles, making it simpler to scrape away.
You may now proceed to clean; however, keep in mind that the pan will be quite hot, so take measures. You can use any steel object to remove the residue, such as a spoon, knife, or steel scrubber.
This procedure is quite lengthy and might take you up to 30 minutes. But hold on to it and try to do this precisely, so you do scratch off any surface during the process.
Lastly, wash off your skillet. Simply rinsing with hot water should be enough; however, you may also use dish soap for it, but it will require re-seasoning the cast iron.
Method 3: Using Dishwasher and Kosher Salt
This approach is extremely similar to the first, but it will offer you the best results with the least amount of work. Unlike the first method, this one requires kosher salt rather than regular table salt to achieve the greatest results.
Soak your iron cast in hot water for a few minutes to ensure a successful outcome. Even though you’ll just be cleaning the outside of the pan, you should submerge the entire skillet for the best results.
After a time, sprinkle a generous amount of kosher salt over your skillet, and then use any dishwasher to clean it. This will break up all of the black debris and remove the oil from the rear. Scrub it clean with a normal or steel dish scrubber before washing with warm water.
This should give you a clean skillet in no time. However, you must re-season it since the grease will also cut off all the useful oil on the back. And so, let me talk about re-seasoning cast iron in the next segment.
How to re-season your cast iron skillet?
Re-seasoning your cast iron is a straightforward process that must be done with caution. If you’ve used any of the ways listed above, you may have become overly reliant on it. So, allow me to walk you through the steps.
To begin, preheat the outside of your iron skillet. Even though many sources advise you to heat in the oven, do not do so in this situation. The heat from the oven will melt all of the fat, both inside and out, necessitating a re-seasoning of the entire skillet. To heat the exterior half, simply lay it over the gas.
Be cautious since the skillet will be hot. Apply any oil of your choosing to the skillet using a dry towel. Try to avoid vegetable oil for this and the greatest results; I recommend Crisco, which consistently delivers the best results.
After you’ve finished applying, use a dry towel to wipe away any remaining oil. This eliminates all of the surplus oil, leaving only a thin film on the surface. After that, just warm the skillet to ensure that no oil remains adhered to the pan, leaving a matt black surface.
Repeat this method two to three times for a better and longer-lasting outcome. However, you should now have a fantastic new-looking skillet.
Tips To Take Care of Your Cast Iron Skillet
Here are some useful tips to take care of your cast iron skillet so it lasts longer.
- Clean it as soon as you’re done cooking with it. This way, it is much easier to clean off, and no burned residue is built upon it.
- Never soak your cast iron overnight. Long time exposure to water cause cast iron to rust.
- Never put your cast iron in the dishwasher. Mainly since dish soap cuts grease, it will completely damage the skillet coating.
- Cover your skillet with a very light layer of oil every time you use or clean it. This protects the seasoning for a long time.
Frequently Asked Questions
How frequently should I season my cast iron skillet?
Cast iron skillets should be re-seasoned every time you wash them off. However, it is advised to re-season the entire cast iron once every year.
Can I apply dish soap to my iron skillet?
Dish soaps are the most harmful to your cast iron coatings. They easily cut through grease, and you must re-season your cast iron every time you apply dishwasher soap to it.
How to clean my cast iron?
Cleaning your cast iron with soft scrubs and warm water is the best and safest method. Always apply a bit of oil after cleaning to preserve the coating.
How long does cast iron last?
If taken care of, cast iron skillets can last a lifetime. It would be best if you kept it well seasoned and rust-free.
In this article, I discussed the different methods on how to clean the outside of a cast-iron skillet. I also provided guidelines on how to re-season your iron skillets. Furthermore, I shared tips for you to take care of your skillet to make it stronger and long-lasting.
Hope you found how to Clean the Outside of a Cast Iron Skillet and will be able to apply methods to solve your cast iron problems as well. Bear in mind to take necessary precautions when dealing with hot iron pans.
Until next time, stay safe and Bon appetite.