Cast iron skillets have been used for hundreds of years and are known to be passed down from generation to generation. I've been lucky enough to inherit one from my Great Aunt Irene and my sister recently gave me two. Cooking in cast iron skillets is such a dream...they cook more evenly than typical pans, can work on the stovetop, in the oven, on the grill and even over fire if you are camping out. I've cooked everything from restaurant style steaks to cornbread with mine...I just love them! Cast iron does require a little different care than your regular pots and pans though. You should NEVER wash them in the dishwasher or soak them, and dish soap is a no, no too. I'm going to share a super easy way to clean cast iron skillets whether it be in between uses or if you are like me and let yours sit a little too long in between uses and they have built up rust. This method also works for cooked or burned on food.
What you will need:
Salt (I use Kosher Salt because it's more coarse)
Cooking Oil (I use Vegetable Oil)
This is my largest cast iron skillet...it's been sitting in the drawer underneath our stove for a few months and has a few rust spots on it. Start by using a clean cloth to wipe any loose dust or bits off of the skillet.
If you'd like to skip the pictures and just see how easy it is to do in real time, check out this quick video I put together showing just how easy it is to clean your cast iron skillets and how clean they actually get!
Next, pour enough salt into the skillet to cover the bottom.
Now, pour some vegetable oil onto the salt. You just need enough to dampen the salt.
Use your cloth to massage the moistened salt into the skillet all over, especially any area that may have rust or burned on food bits.
Once you have cleaned your entire skillet, use your cloth to remove all of the salt and oil. Then use a clean cloth or paper towel to wipe away any excess. Do not rinse under water. The oil you used will help to season the cast iron skillet and make it perfect for the next use.
See...all clean! I'm going to place a soft cloth in between each skillet for storing this time so they don't get damaged or rust any more. If you don't own any cast iron skillets, they now sell them at almost every grocery and big box store. I've seen tons of different sizes and varieties at Cracker Barrel Stores and you can also find them at yard sales and thrift stores!
You can find this tip and hundreds more Cleaning Hacks and Home Tips HERE on my Home Tips Page!