How To Clean Cast Iron Cookware The Right Way

cleaning cast iron

Cast iron cookware has always held a special place in my heart because it’s economical, durable, versatile, retains heat well, and cooks food evenly. And when it is properly cleaned and cared for, cast iron can last for generations—quite literally!

I use my cast iron skillets to make all sorts of delicious creations, like pan-seared steaks, berry cobbler, and chocolate fudge skillet cake. I’ve even turned a cast iron skillet upside down and used it in my oven as a makeshift “pizza stone!”

And although I’ve mentioned cooking in cast iron skillets several times in blog posts over the years, I realized I had neglected to share how to clean cast iron or care for it—until now, that is! So today I’m going to do just that by sharing my super simple guide to cleaning and caring for cast iron cookware.

Related: Problem Solved! The Best Way To Reheat Leftover Pizza

cleaning cast iron

How To Clean Cast Iron

When you clean a cast iron skillet, the more gently you can do it, the better off you’ll be. If your cast iron skillet isn’t all that dirty after cooking in it, you may find that you can clean it up simply by wiping it out with a paper towel or a dish cloth!

cleaning cast iron

If you need a little more cleaning power, pour a handful of coarse kosher salt into your still-warm pan, then add enough vegetable oil to the kosher salt to form a gritty paste. Use a clean, dry dish rag to scrub the kosher salt and oil paste around the inside of the pan.

cleaning cast iron

The salt will provide the extra scouring power you need to remove those stuck-on food bits, while the oil soaks up the grime and helps to build up the seasoning on your pan. When you’re done scrubbing, dump the salt mixture out and wipe up any residual salt and oil with a paper towel or another clean rag.

Related: How To Clean And Care For Your Butcher Block

cleaning cast iron

4 Rules To Remember When Cleaning Cast Iron

As I’m sure you can gather from the instructions above, cleaning cast iron isn’t exactly complicated. But there are a few rules you should follow in order to avoid damaging your cast iron in your quest to keep it clean:

  1. Clean it promptly after each use.
  2. Don’t soak it.
  3. Use the right tools.
  4. Dry it thoroughly after cleaning.
cleaning cast iron

Rule #1: Clean It Promptly

Cast iron is easiest to clean while it’s still hot or warm. And lest you worry that means you have to clean the pan before you can sit down and enjoy your meal, keep in mind that cast iron holds onto heat a lot longer than other materials, so it will stay warm for a lot longer than you might think!

cleaning cast iron

Rule #2: Don’t Soak It

Raw or exposed cast iron can easily rust if it’s exposed to too much moisture. And although a pan that’s properly cared for won’t usually rust because of its protective seasoning, even that will start to break down if the pan is submerged in hot water for too long.

For those reasons, you should not clean a cast iron skillet by soaking it. Even if there are stubborn stuck-on food bits, soaking it in hot water will do more harm than good! (And even if it seems obvious, it bears repeating—avoid using the dishwasher at all costs!)

cleaning cast iron

Rule #3: Use The Right Tools

When tackling more serious messes in a cast iron pan, using the right tools will make all the difference. If the mess is more than a paper towel or a salt-and-oil scrub can handle, use the scrubby side of a sponge or a heat-safe brush designed specifically for cast iron to remove stuck-on food bits. (This brush even has a handy scraping edge for tackling particularly stubborn gunk.)

If those don’t get the job done, you can use hot water, a small amount of mild dish soap, or even a piece of steel wool to clean your cast iron pan. Keep in mind that both dish soap and steel wool can wear down the seasoning on your pan over time. So just don’t use soap or steel wool any more frequently than you have to.

(If you accidentally scoured off more of the seasoning on your pan than you intended to, never fear! You can easily restore it by following the instructions under “How To Season Cast Iron” below.)

cleaning cast iron

Rule #4: Dry It Thoroughly

When you’re finished cleaning your cast iron pan, it’s important to dry it thoroughly right away. Use a lint-free cloth or paper towel to dry the pan inside and out to prevent any rust from forming due to lingering moisture.

cleaning cast iron

What Is Seasoning, And Why Is It Important?

When it comes to caring for cast iron, keeping it clean is only part of the equation. Seasoning cast iron (or maintaining a well seasoned skillet) is equally important, but what exactly is “seasoning” anyway?

Well, when fats and oils are heated to their smoke point in a cast iron vessel, the fatty acids oxidize and reorganize in a process called polymerization. This new, plastic-like polymerized layer adheres to the pitted surface of the pan, creating the dark-colored, non-stick coating known as seasoning.

And the more you use the pan to heat fats or oils to high temperatures, the more durable and non-stick the seasoning on your pan will become. That’s why it’s important to build that layer up so that it becomes more well seasoned over time, even though many modern cast iron skillets come “pre-seasoned.”

cleaning cast iron

How To Season Cast Iron

To season a cast iron skillet, start by applying a light coat of oil or fat to the entire pan, including the inside, outside, bottom, and even the handle. Vegetable oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, corn oil, and canola oil all work well here, because they are high in polyunsaturated fats that polymerize readily.

Preheat your oven to 350°F, then “bake” your oiled pan or skillet for one hour. To help keep your oven clean, you may want to place a baking sheet lined with tin foil on the rack beneath the pan to catch any oil drips. (But as long as you haven’t gone overboard with the oil, it shouldn’t drip much at all as it bakes!)

After an hour, turn off the oven and let the pan cool inside. Then when it’s cool enough to handle, remove the pan and remove any excess oil with a lint-free cloth or paper towel. Read more here!

cleaning cast iron

How To Remove Rust From Cast Iron

Whether you’ve inherited an old, rusty cast iron skillet, or you accidentally broke Rule #2 of cleaning cast iron, the good news is that it isn’t too difficult to restore rusty cast iron. And all you need is some fine steel wool, a bit of soap, and a sponge to do it!

  1. Start by using steel wool to scrub the rusty areas of the pan. Add a bit of water and scour until the raw cast iron is exposed. (Look at the color—the raw cast iron will quite a bit lighter than the dark seasoned layer.)
  2. Once the rust is gone, wash the pan with soap and water, then dry the pan right away. Take your time and make sure the pan is completely dry, otherwise the rust might return and you’ll have to start all over!
  3. Once your pan is dry, you’ll need to season it again following the instructions provided in previous section. Once you’ve done that, your previously rusty cast iron will be fully restored and ready to use again!

With the help of these tips and techniques, your well-seasoned cast iron will serve you well for decades to come. Oh, and one last thing before you go… give this cast iron skillet cookie recipe a try, and you can thank me later! ;-)

What’s your favorite thing to cook in cast iron?

Read This Next

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Homekeeping Tips

  • I’m the cook in the house and I cook a lot. I put literally everything in my dishwasher because, I guess, in the back of my mind the dishwasher “sanitizes”. It’s very foreign to me to think of using an item and not washing it with soap and water each time I use it. I’m going to pop over to my local Goodwill and see if they have any for sale. Is there anything you shouldn’t cook in cast iron skillets?

  • When I have really stuck on food bits, the easiest way to remove them is to add a little water, place on a warm burner on the stove and bring to a boil. The bits come right off!

  • I recently inherited a cast iron pan which needs seasoning. I do not purchase any of the oils you mentioned. Is there a more natural method but not horribly expensive? I cook with coconut oil, avocado oil, and olive oil. All 3 are more expensive. I’m guessing the coconut oil will be my best bet?

  • This is my first time to watched your video and read all different interesting articles.
    They are very useful and would like to thank you for sharing all these awesome ideas and techniques.

  • The stickiness is because you didn’t get the cast iron hot enough. You need an oil or fat that has a high smoke point. You need to season at approximately 500 degrees for an hour and then let the oven cool with the pan in it. This guy shows you how to season your cast iron.

    And please, please, please don’t throw your cast iron into a fire or a self cleaning oven. You will ruin your iron. It could crack or warp. And if you throw it into a fire you can change the quality of the iron. I have frying pans that are 100 years old and they cook better than a modern, non-stick pan.

  • I remember watching my mom clean her cast iron skillet and I always wondered why she used salt but now it makes sense. Thanks for the lesson on keeping my cast iron clean and seasoned.

  • So in moving I knew I needed new cookware. I started with the basics and got a 9.5 inch cast iron skillet because, well $10 from the dollar store was a steal! Plus my grandma raves about cast iron skillets, she’s who turned me onto them to begin with. I just went back to them after years and I have to ask, what’s the best way to cook and clean with greasy foods? Particularly bacon (and soon hamburgers). The bacon stuck like crazy. Though I’ve admittedly yet to season it, about to do so now that I’ve read your article. But preventative tips for naturally sticky foods is what I’m looking for? Thanks.

    • Matt, once you season your pan, the bacon won’t stick. Just follow her tips above and continue to oil it after each washing (and thoroughly drying).

  • I have a cast iron skillet that has a very hard crust on the sides of it , I don’t know how to remove it.CAN some one help me with this problem . Thank you. LINDA

  • My cast iron 10″ skillet has spots on the cooking surface. I think it might be water but not rust. Is this surface damaged? If I season again will the spots go away?

  • OMG, I had to comment again to first say, I can kick myself for not asking a before picture of my very rusty skillet. I bought a new skillet from target or Walmart years ago. All of a certain it started rusting. I was ready to just throw it out. You posted how to make a rusty skillet look new again. Being a little sceptic, because my skillet was so rusty, I still decided to give it a try. What did I have to loose, but everything to gain, right? I followed your directions to the teeth, and my almost trashed skillet looks new again! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am in love with my skillet again, thank to you Jilee. People, it works!

      • Another way to clean of stuck food is to heat the empty pan and while still heating it put about an 1/8 cup of tap water and when it’s steaming scrape it with a spatula. Then wipe it clean with a cloth. Then put some oil to coat the pan to resaeson it. This is a cooking trick to make a sauce of sorts using meat stuck to the skillet for gravy

  • Thank you so much, just yesterday I was faced with the problem of my skillet rusting after I washed it. Now, thanks to you, I know how to remove the rust. You save me from buying a new skillet, because I thought there was no hope for my old iron skillet.

  • While cast iron is by far the most well known of the ferrous pans, don’t forget steel. Steel has some advantages over cast iron, in that it is lighter and not so likely to mar induction and ceramic stove tops. Not as useful for “baking,” but much easier for general cooking and sauté.

    The easiest cleaning method is to remove the contents from the pan, and de-glaze under medium heat with stock or wine, using a wooden utensil to loosen any stuck on bits. This ‘fond” can be enriched with butter or cream, if you wish, and then simply added as a pan sauce to the dish you cooked. After removing the fond, simply wipe out, dry and oil.

    Another cool trick for both types is to use one of those “brushes” they use for woks (professional woks are always steel), which consist of split reeds of some sort connected at a base to form a “brush.” These have long been the solution for cleaning steel and iron pans without damaging the seasoning.

    Amazon also sells a “chain mail” device that works in much the same way, and is stainless steel so you don’t have to worry about it. It can go directly into the dishwasher, while your precious ferrous pans cannot.

  • We heat with wood, and have taken “rescued” cast iron pans and “burned them off” in the wood fire. Then a light pass with steel wool, a treatment of two with oil in the oven, and they look like new, only better!

  • Any hope for an uncared-for, rusting cast iron skillet? I’ve procured one in hopes of salvaging it. I’m pretty sure it’s been left to soak numerous times and fear it is a lost cause.

    • Unless there are cracks or holes in your pan you can refresh, rescue and re-season it. Use steel wool to remove the rust or you can even have it sand-blasted or sanded with sand paper. Once the rust is gone oil it well with shortening, vegetable oil or the best is linseed oil, inside and out. Then put it in the oven at 450 for an hour (it will smoke some), let it cool and done!

    • I bought a 12″ cast iron skillet that was filthy and rusty at a yard sale. I cleaned the rust off with a steel wool pad, washed it once in soap and water, and started seasoning it. An easy way is, every time you use your oven, grease the clean pan lightly and stick it in after taking the food out and turning off the oven, but while the oven is still hot. Leave it in there until the oven is cold. Repeat this process several times when using your oven, then start cooking with your skillet. It does take a little time, but I now have a fabulous 12″ cast iron skillet with a smooth non-stick finish – and it only cost me $1.00 and a little time.

  • I have only used my cast iron skillet a time or two. I have seasoned it but I am still getting black residue on a cloth when I wipe it down. I am not sure what this is and if it is still okay to continue cooking in it. It is a Lodge. Any suggestions?

    • the same thing with mine! and I have cooked lots of bacon in mine, but still can’t get to a nice stick free surface where I feel comfortable frying my eggs! do I need to “re-season” mine with hours in the oven like I’ve read? I don’t clean it after every use, but when I do, I only use hot water and a nylon brush, and then I dry on a low burner until all water is evaporated and lightly coat with a paper towel and canola oil. And like Sharon said, I continuously get black residue from my pan. Please advise!!

  • folks after a while… cooking oil will build up a film… just use bacon grease… the same as she told you….. it may take more than one season to get it right…FRY SOME CHICKEN IN ONE… they love it… or pork chops .. frying is cast iron’s best friend… but the oil will cause a mess after a while… been using my iron for many many years now.. good luck it is still the best going…

  • Instead of using the salt, I also have some silicone pan scrapers and chainmail to scrub out the inside of my cast iron pans if the food ends up sticking. They work really well too. I love my cast iron–only have two pans, but sure would love more!

  • As long as the pan is not cracked or warped, it can be saved. I know an older couple that does most of their cooking outdoors over an open fire. They collect old rusty and “junk” cast ironware and restore them to give away. They simply put the ironware down in the coals of a campfire and leave for and hour or two, then remove it and let it cool. It will now be a bare metal pan and you can rebuild the seasoning from the ground up. There are very good videos on YouTube about how to season a pan from scratch.

  • When my mom married in 1922 her mother gave her iron skillets that she used for many years. When I married my mom gave them to me in 1957, I am still using them. I’d be lost without them. Also iron skillet are healthy, they keep the iron in your body balanced.
    An old wives tale? Nope just common sense.

  • Do you have any suggestions for good cast iron skillet companies. I have heard very mixed reviews of different skillets. I was wondering if you had a preference!

  • I have been really enjoying all your posts. Do you have any suggestions for non stick fry pans that have begun to stick? I have tried using baking soda with a bit of water to clean it but am finding that food is sticking and that it’s no longer non stick.
    Thanks for all the marvellous ideas.

  • I had a great little cast iron skillet which I used for years, but eventually I found it too heavy even though it wasn’t that big. Ordinary table salt is fine for cleaning. I used to heat the dirty skillet and pour in about a tablespoon of salt, no oil, then scrub it with a folded paper towel. This method worked fine for me and was less messy.

  • Just found your website tonight and have been devouring your “solutions” section for over and hour!! Such great info.

    I have a problem with my cast iron pan that I can’t seem to resolve. I always clean with oil and coat with oil when storing. However, a year or so ago every time I wipe it there are black specks in it as though the seasoned part is coming off. I’ ve also noticed this on my pancakes.

    What can I do to resolve this. I doubt the black stuff is good to ingest. I’ve tried, steel wool and scraping it and then re-seasoning but it doesn’t solve this problem. What should I do?

    Thanks for any help, suggestions.

  • Made the jump to “the dark side” about a month ago and have wondered why I hadn’t made the switch sooner.

    LOVE cooking with cast iron. I don’t have gas where I live and miss the gas stove, but with the cast iron on an electric stove, hot/cold spots are gone.

    Thank you for the cleaning ideas, as well as recipes; can’t wait to try them.

  • I recently discovered a large pot my mother used to use when I was a small child. She used it daily…. it was the potato kettle, soup kettle, spaghetti kettle. It is not cast iron, it is as heavy however, it is silver. It is in very, very sad shape; it has been neglected over the years and shoved back in the corner of a garage. I just found it recently. I’m wondering if I should use the method you are suggesting with salt and oil? I know my mother used soap and water on this kettle all the time.

  • I just bought a cast iron skillet with a porcelain coating outside. I seasoned it, but when I fried meat in it, it stuck BAD. I couldn’t get it clean with just water and a plastic scraper so I cleaned it with soap and reseasoned it again. Then I tried to fry eggs in it. Big mess! They stuck terribly. I cleaned it and reseasoned again twice. I haven’t used it again because I’m really tired of everything sticking. Do you think the porcelain outside makes any difference? If I just keep seasoning it several times before I use it will it help?

  • Just 2 comments about cast iron. Cast iron does not heat up real evenly so you need to preheat before starting to cook. Once it is at the right temp they hold the temp ( heat) better then any other pan. I don’t know if I am just lucky but cast iron pans do not need all the delicate work everyone seems to advise. They are kitchen work horses and almost indestructible. I agree NEVER clean in dishwasher. They stay and sit damp. Otherwise clean as you see fit. I wash mine with soap and a nylon pad at least once a week. You must dry as soon as you are done or you will get rust. I guess my point is never let them sit or put away damp. But water does not hurt them otherwise you couldn’t cook wet things in them. Great site!

  • Thank you so much for this!! I’ve been cleaning my skillet with a Dobie pad (scrubber) and wiping it with oil, but it never really looked like it was doing much good, seasoning-wise. I just cleaned it per your instructions, and it looks SO MUCH BETTER!!! Thank you for all that you do, Jillee, we love you!!

  • I love my cast iron skillets too (yes plural!!!) I have my “go to” flat pan and skillet, my Dutch oven skillet, and then skillets in several sizes, and my dads camp Dutch oven.

    My youngest daughter, a senior in college, has learned to appreciate them too and asked if I would leave mine to her in my will, lol! Hah, I think I will print your post here and put it in with the will too…

  • I read this today and had to try it. I’m tired of frying my eggs and having them stick and everything else. I decided to just do it.

    I didn’t have kosher salt but I did have canning salt so used that and olive oil garlic flavored (all I had).

    I followed the instructions and after leaving it for a couple hours, I oiled it then warmed it up and fried and egg. It came out perfect with nothing stuck and this was an old pitted skillet. I am so thrilled. Thank you for sharing this. Now if I can fry potatoes and they don’t stick I will love my iron skillets too.

  • Love my cast iron and have a smooth top stove. I pan sear steaks on each side a couple minutes to get that great sear and then put the pan in a hot oven for a couple to 4 min depending on how thick they are, to finish. They must rest a few minutes before you eat them or all the good juice will be on your plate. I’ve never had a better one than one I can make at home. I take the steak out of the fridge about 30-45 min before cooking, depending on thickness. Put a few drops of oil on them and rub around to cover each side. Then season and let come to room temp and cook. I use a mixture of kosher salt, ground black pepper and garlic powder mixed together and put on the steak.

  • Jilllee, I cleaned my frying pan in the oven, I oiled it all over and wiped out the excess and turned it over, i put a piece of aluminum foil on the shelf below to catch any drips. when I took it out it was all spotted, looked like grease burned on it. I am about to give up on this pan I just can’t seem to get a good results in seasoning it. any suggestions?

  • I’d sure like your recipes – in this ad, it sez they are below but I don’t find them! Would love the chocolate cake and the cookie recipe. Thanx

  • I just can’t get enough cast iron.
    Using the oven for the first seasoning process can produce a lot of smoke. If you can, bake it on the outside grill instead.

  • I have old & “new” cast iron and I am very happy to get all the good info on them. We are about to purchase an induction cooktop and I am wondering if they are okay on them as well as “glass tops”? Is that the same?

  • I inheirited a cast iron bean pot from my dad. It hadn’t been used in a couple years and it smelled terrible – like the oils on it had gone rancid. I have re-seasoned it, put it in the oven, on the stove over high flame until it smoked, even gone so far as to scour it with a soap pad and re-season it all over again. The smell is better but still there. Any advice from anyone?

  • I too love my cast iron skillets and use them all the time. I hadn’t heard of the salt/oil paste before for cleaning, have got to give that a try. Love to bake in cast iron, just have to remember not to over bake as the cooking process will continue after removing from the oven!

    I can’t find the recipe either!

  • I love my three cast iron skillets. Yesterday I added a large dutch oven to my collection and can’t wait to try it out!
    My daughter in law uses her cast iron on her glass cooktop all the time. She said just remember to lift, not slide and it will be fine.

  • I have my Mom’s 3 pc. set of cast iron frying pans. They almost went in the trash after she passed away. Mom took the “do not wash” rule way too far. If she fried something, grease and all went into the oven for storage. I got them with the outside peeling chunks of burnt on grease, nasty. I put all 3 of them in a plastic bag with a little ammonia. After 24 hours, the outsides were almost clean, repeated that one more time. Compared to what you can buy now, the cooking surface on these is like glass! I do occasionally let them soak in hot soapy water, scrub, and reoil. One note: Tomato sauces shouldn’t be cooked in iron….the acid in the tomatoes gives off a metal taste.

  • There is a wonderful group on Facebook called Cast Iron Cooking that has many knowledgeable members! They post very often with all kinds of information on recipes, cleaning uses of the various sizes and shapes of cast iron~~anything you can thinkof! As i was reading through all of the previous questioning comments here, I could remember every single one of them having been answered on this site! My advice is join it!

  • Hi Jillee!
    I received a Le Creuset cast iron pan with ridges on the bottom for Christmas. Is it okay to season it ( the outside of the pan has the familiar orange coating, but the inside is black cast iron)? Also, I’m puzzled by the ridges (for searing , I assume ). What should and shouldn’t I cook in this pan, aside from steaks and fillets?
    Thanks for your advice!

  • Please don’t put your CI’s in a fire. You risk warping them. Facebook has several CI sites that give much better ways of cleaning your precious pans, from an E-tank to vinegar baths. I’ve also washed mine in soapy water many times but made sure to dry and season it quickly. I have a large collection and value them above any pans made today. Check out the other ways to clean off the crud correctly…

  • Thank you for all the iron fry pan instructions. I have my mother’s pans and use them, but I had forgotten some of these cleaning processes. I am 85 years old.

  • Hey Jillee, Thank you for the great tips on cleaning my cast iron pans. Just a thought for you in case you didn’t already think of it–remember not to use your pan for cooking anything for your son with celiac disease unless you are cooking completely gluten free in this pan…too many chances of cross contamination otherwise.

    • I would use a fine grit sand paper to remove the rust (there may be other methods, but I know this works fairly quickly) then go through the entire seasoning process as if it were new. I’ve had to do this before (my husband thinks it’s “ok” to leave a pan in the sink.

    • Place your iron skillet in a “camp fire” – right in the flames. Let it burn on the bottom for a few minutes, then turn over and let the inside burn. Carefully remove from the fire and after it cools, wash it with HOT SOAPY WATER WITH VINEGAR INSIDE. Then, start with Jillee’s instructions as though it were NEW. NEVER use soap again, and NEVER put cold water in it when it’s hot.


    • Throw whatever cast iron you need to restore or season on your BBQ grill. Works with both gas and charcoal grills. You Tube has a lot of videos on how too!

    • This is in reply to Joan; I too have a glass top stove and own two cast iron pans … My go to fry pans are and will always be “cast iron”. These pans are on the heavy side so be careful when placing them on your glass top stove, and don’t slide them, lift them! Enjoy your pans … don’t be afraid!

      • First, I did not answer any you in an eariler post because I work all day. Second, I have always had the old stove with “eye.” Just bought a new stove with a smooth top (Two weeks ago and the manufacture’s instructions says “No cast iron pans on the smooth top.” Have wanted to but did NOT want to negate the warranty.

    • In reply to Joan, why can’t you use your cast iron pans on your smooth cook top? I use mine all the time, couldn’t stand to be without my cast iron pans. As long as your pans do not wobble and you do not scrape them across the cook top, you should be fine. Cook away!

      • I’ve used my cast iron pans on my glass top stove all the time. You just have to be careful as mentioned above.

      • Joan – I have a glass top stove as well… I use my cast iron pans all the time. Just ensure there are no burrs on the bottom of the pan(s) – if there are, use a file to remove them. And yes, lift the pans, don’t slide them. I wouldn’t encourage using a grill-bottom pan as a friend tried this and the heat buildup shattered the glass. May have been a defect in the glass, but no warranty coverage.

      • Joan hasn’t answered yet, but I’m betting it’s because her cast iron pans aren’t smooth on the bottom, but have a ridge about an inch inside the outside edge of the bottom. My Mother’s are like that. Very disappointing — I wish I could use them. I have bought a smooth-bottom one that I use a lot, but hers are so much better quality.

    • I use my cast iron skillets on my smooth top stove. I had heard that, but no issue I am just very careful when sitting it down. Better than the toxins from the ‘non stick’ So mine is Rusty inside I guess from a bit of time of no use. I rubbed oil on it and placed in oven. don’t have fireplace Any suggestions? Thanks Jacalyn

  • Miss Jillee, Where have you been all our lives! Your topics are timely, effective, fun! You encourage us to reach our potential. YOU are one great thing! xxoo M

  • Do you have any thoughts about how to clean a cast iron skillet that has a grill bottom? We have one that we use all the time, and it’s getting a build up in the ridges. I’m thinking about putting it into my oven during a self-clean mode, and starting the seasoning process over again with it.

    • My MIL had a cast iron pan that was “forgotten” during a move and sat for years in their barn. It was rusty and gross and I thought it would never be good again but she threw it in the bonfire one night until it glowed red from the heat. It was quite a sight. Everything burned away and all that was left to do was to give a good scrubbing and re-seasoning. After watching all of that I realized that cast iron pans are forever!

      • Thanks Stephanie,

        I also have a very old rusty dutch oven. I have tried several ways and only had a small change in the appearance. I definitely will try this method.

    • Similar to Stephanie, I just put mine in the fireplace and burn all that junk off! Then go ahead with the seasoning. I usually use a higher heat, like 400 or so to season it. Also, I use coconut oil for the seasoning oil. Love my cast iron! And Jillee, love your suggestion about turning it over and using it as a pizza stone!

  • Yes! I hope folks who are new to cast iron heed this … no soap … sigh.

    I have my mother’s pans (two of them) and she used to have my stepfather take them out to his shop and grind them totally smooth – then she’d do the seasoning with oil in the oven. They are remarkably “non.stick” to cook in. (I used to keep a rag to wipe them out with and when it got a funky oil smell I’d compost it). When something is a bit stuck on – I just put some hot water in – while the pan is still hot and scrape around with one of those plastic pan.scraper.outer.thingys — works a charm.

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