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Cooking with cast iron and flying through paper towels

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  • Cooking with cast iron and flying through paper towels

    Since going primal, I've fallen in love with cooking in cast iron. From the taste to the ritual of cleaning and re-seasoning, I enjoy every aspect.

    However, the one thing I'm not excited about is how many paper towels I'm using to clean and re-season. Before now, I hardly used any at all, preferring cloth napkins.

    Any thoughts on how to reduce paper towel use while working with cast iron? Somehow I doubt that our cloth napkins will stand up to this.
    My blog: Regular Guy Paleo and please feel free to "like" my Facebook page.

  • #2
    wash rags specifically for cast iron seasoning
    yeah you are

    Baby if you time travel back far enough you can avoid that work because the dust won't be there. You're too pretty to be working that hard.


    • #3
      I clean mine with either salt or a copper scrubby thing, then rinse. Rarely use paper towels. I suppose you could use newspaper.


      • #4
        Ah, this is a piece of cake. IMMEDIATELY after you are done using a cast iron pan, heat the water in your sink to get as hot as possible. Place a little splash of very hot water and swish it around. Then, after a few swishes, dump the water and immediately place it under the piping hot water and scrub away with this brush:

 Full Circle Be Good Dish Brush, Green, FC10108: Home & Kitchen

        Or an equivalent heavy bristled brush. I have this exact brush and it works very well for cast iron. Now, you don't want to IMMEDIATELY transfer the hot cast iron into the water because your 400+ degree cast iron coming into ~150 degree water is such a temperature shock, it could warp it over time. This is why you buy a heavy, good quality pan like a Lodge Logic, and why you give it a little swish with some hot water first before completely submerging it. I usually give it 15 seconds before I give it the first "swish" and by the 30 second mark it's under hot water being scrubbed. Any debris will immediately come off. It'll be spotless in less than 60 seconds.

        From there, let the pan sit on the burner for about a minute or two until it's completely dry. Take a fat low in saturated fat (I use olive oil) and put a teaspoon in the center of the pan and let it sit for a minute to become runny. Take a silicon brush that's high heat resistant and brush the oil around completely and evenly (your coating should be as thin as possible to completely cover the pan). This is a good brush to use:

 OXO Good Grips Silicone Pastry Brush: Home & Kitchen

        Every now and again, I'll stick it in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes just to bake the coating on.

        That's pretty much it.
        Last edited by ChocoTaco369; 03-10-2013, 07:45 PM.
        Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.


        • #5
          as soon as I have finished cooking with mine, I fill with water, and leave while I eat my yummy goodness. When I go back to clean the pan, all the remnants just wipe off.
          "never let the truth get in the way of a good story "

          ...small steps....


          • #6
            Or just don't clean them so much.

            No, seriously.

            I've been cooking on cast iron most of my cooking life, and I don't clean that crap every single time. Now, I'm not leaving gobs of food stuck to the pan either, but shoot, a little grease left in the bottom isn't gonna hurt anything. I throw a lid on it and toss it in the oven, cuz I'm just gonna heat it up and cook in it again the next day. After a few uses I look at it and say "Huh... I should rinse that out." I rinse it with hot water, maybe use a scrubby brush, and heat it up on the stove to get it good and dry. Then I cook on it again. That's how grandma taught me to do it.


            • #7
              Honestly, I just rinse it off about once a week. If it needs more than that, I'll rinse all the soap out of the scrubby by the sink and go after it.
              Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, steak in one hand, chocolate in the other, yelling "Holy F***, What a Ride!"
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              • #8
                we do a quick rinse with hot water; scrub if need be. Usually it's just rinse and then wipe dry with one of the raggedy towels.


                • #9
                  I've actually been wondering about cleaning cast iron after use... I seasoned a lodge pan in the oven for an hour or so per nomnompaleo's suggestions. Worked great. Made eggs and they didn't stick using only ~1 tsp of added rendered bacon fat to the pan (it is one of the 6" skillets, so a small pan). I started using it more and always used a metal scrubby thing (no soap) to rinse it off and get the stuck bits of onion, meat, etc off. Now it isn't non-stick at all - even though after each rinse/scrub I add oil to the pan and let it sit on the stove on a low light for 10-15 minutes. I thought maybe I was cleaning it too often...?


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the tips. I like the brush combos as well as cleaning less often. Usually, my cleaning has been a simply swipe with a paper towel to get out any "chunks."
                    My blog: Regular Guy Paleo and please feel free to "like" my Facebook page.


                    • #11
                      once a cast iron pan is seasoned, very little cleaning is required. just wipe it out when done. if you're using a proper amount of fat to cook with, getting the pan to the proper temperature, and using proper cooking techniques, cast iron is basically as non-stick as any teflon pan. all the water, scrubbing, etc is just washing off the seasoning.