How to Clean Cast Iron

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I’ve been using Teflon pots and pans since my wedding eight years ago. They are scratched and I keep using them. Why? I don’t know. After reading Beth’s article on ways to become a healthier kitchen, it woke me up. Every time I cook eggs or pancakes in those pans, my family could be ingesting harmful chemicals. It’s sickening, really. And I don’t want to take that chance. I already ordered my stainless steel cookware and can’t wait to chuck the Teflon ones once they arrive.

Next up is a cast iron griddle for pancakes. Honestly, I am a little intimidated about cast iron and asked Beth to share with me how to clean it properly. So here are some tips from an experienced cast-iron cooking mama. (Beth wrote our post last month on replacing Teflon pots and pans with stainless steel and cast iron ones.)

There are many ways to clean cast iron, but we’ve found that it works best to have a dedicated ‘cast iron’ scrub sponge that is used in combination with hot water to remove any food pieces that are stuck to the surface. Soap should not be used on cast iron because the surface is porous.

Next, we dry the pan very carefully with a towel. Cast iron can rust easily if it’s not dried thoroughly. Finally, we apply a nice, even coat of organic canola oil to the internal bottom and sides of the pan. In the future, we may need to re-season our pans, and that process involves coating the inside and outside of the pan with melted vegetable shortening or oil and placing the pan in a 350-400 degree oven for at least an hour according to the Lodge Cast Iron Cookware.

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