How To Clean And Care For Your Cast Iron Skillet: A Complete Guide

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Knowing how to clean and care for your cast iron skillet will protect this wonderful kitchen tool that could last generations.

cast iron skillet on towel with olive oil in a glass jar next to it

Why is cast iron great to cook with?

  1. durable – cast iron is heavier and thicker therefore making it a more durable kitchen tool to cook with and can go from the stove to the oven
  2. long lasting – when seasoned with oil, your cast iron skillet will remain rust free
  3. makes food taste better – retains heat better so it cooks food more evenly which leads to better flavor as it makes food crispier
  4. holds the heat well when cooking – cooks food using more radiant heat than aluminum and doesn’t leach toxic chemicals into food.

What you’ll need

  • cast iron skillet
  • mild dish detergent
  • soft bristle brush – this one holds the detergent in the ceramic dish it comes with
  • any high temperature cooking oil such as vegetable oil, shortening, canola oil, olive oil
  • paper towel


After cooking on your skillet, scrape the crumbs using a soft bristle brush. If you will be using the skillet again that same day, then simply scraping off the crumbs is enough. You don’t need to wash it with detergent after every use. But if you are ready to store it away, then go ahead and clean it up so it’s ready for next time.

Some people will tell you not to use soap to clean it, but if you use a little dish detergent (not lye based detergent) it’s just fine to use. Today’s dish detergents don’t contain lye which would strip the seasoning off. If that were to happen, you just re-season the pan. With a little dish soap and the bristle brush wash the pan. Towel dry and put it onto the stove to heat it up. This will make sure your pan is completely dry. Once it’s heated, remove from heat and use a paper towel to add a thin coating of oil. It doesn’t need much.

Another cool thing to have is this leather handle cover to prevent burns. I don’t leave this on the handle if the skillet is going into the oven, but if I’m cooking on the stove top I’ll keep the leather cover on the handle while cooking. They make silicone ones too, but I prefer the look and feel of the leather. The leather does get a little warm, but it prevents mistakenly grabbing a hot handle. Ask me how I know.

cast iron skillet with the leather handle cover

You can cook just about anything in your skillet. You can make fried or scrambled eggs, stir fry vegetables, sear meats, or make desserts. I’ve made brownies, cakes, and apple pie desserts and they come out delicious.

And there you have it. How To Clean And Care For Your Cast Iron Skillet. You’re going to love cast iron cooking!

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