Boiling cast iron to clean

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by redvan, Mar 5, 2018.

  1. redvan

    redvan

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    Hello again,
    I heard that boiling a cast iron skillet to clean it is a good thing and that boiling prevents losing the seasoning.

    I asked for further clarification and was told "fill the skillet with an inch of water and bring to a boil on the largest burner. Repeat again if necessary."

    Any truth to this?

    Regards,
    Red
     
  2. don rich

    don rich

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    I learned no water ever. Use salt and maybe a little high temp cooking oil.
     
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  3. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    It will slightly degrade the seasoning patina.

    It's best if you do this while the pot is still warm from cooking and the food isn't dried out yet. Wipe out what you can before hand. And use as much water as needed to cover all the residue.

    I do prefer more traditional methods generally.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2018
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  4. sgsvirgil

    sgsvirgil

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    There are a lot of myths about cast iron and not using soap and water to clean them is one of them.

    The seasoning on a cast iron pan is not oil. Its a polymerized layer created by high heat during the seasoning process. This substance is a lot like plastic that has literally bonded to the surface of the iron and cannot be removed with just soap and water. In fact, if you ever wanted to strip your cast iron and re-season it, you will need something strong like oven cleaner to break down the seasoning. Regular dish soap and water is not going to do it. So, go ahead and wash it by hand. Its not going to remove the seasoning.

    If you want to remove caked on bits stuck to your pan, deglaze the pan while its still hot with a cup or so of water. Use a spatula to scrape the bits if necessary. The caked on bits should come off rather easily. Wash the pan with regular soap and water and dry immediately. Do not let your cast iron soak in water or remain wet for any extended period of time. Once dry, apply a thin coat of oil that will not turn rancid such as coconut oil or any nut oil.

    Cheers! :)
     
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  5. Tristen

    Tristen

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    In class we just re-season after every use. After you're done cooking, soak the pan in water for about 15 minutes. Rince it out and scrape any debris thats left. Bring it to the stove and brush it in a good high temp oil. Then just heat it up until nearly smoking then cool. if you want, you can repeat the oiling and heating process.
     
  6. maryb

    maryb

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    Toss a cup of water in the still hot pan then clean after supper. Rinse, scrub with salt and a paper towel, rinse again, dry on a medium heat burner and re-oil it. Soap is not needed and will strip seasoning!
     
  7. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    After cooking I rinse with hot water and coarse salt. If that doesn’t cut the grease I use a little soap. The most important step is to dry thoroughly in a hot oven after a light coat of oil and let it smoke.
     
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  8. redvan

    redvan

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    Thank you everyone.

    Red
     
  9. veganhunter

    veganhunter

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    One thing I find after cleaning with water at any time is how to oil it again. A paper towel that’s wet with water and wrung out hard will apply a perfect coat of oil better than any other method. To much oil and your pans a magnet for dust and pet hair. Not enough and you pans never performing right.
    Heavy grained salt is great to use some things require water and even soap so be it. Oil it right and youll always pull the cast iron out before any other pan.
     
  10. chicagoterry

    chicagoterry

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    The seasoning on all of mine is a very polymerized, hard, slick layer that is is no danger of being stripped by soap and water. I use dish soap all the time. I even lightly use a metal scrubby sometimes, if something is really stuck. I never let it soak. I do wash it right after using, as soon as the meal is over or the pan is cool enough to handle--whichever comes first. I dry by heating up on a medium-hot burner and then wipe it down while hot with a light slick of corn or peanut oil. I wipe that off until it's not tacky anymore. I've never understood how salt is a good idea. I grew up in Detroit, during the era of rotting, rust-bucket cars. Road salt was the enemy of all metals. Rust never sleeps.
     
  11. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Coarse salt helps because it is abrasive and it doesn’t melt. I’ve never had a problem, just rinse it away. Besides, the food you’re cooking has salt and that doesn’t damage it either.