Many people simply rinse their cast iron pans and dry them — hoping for the best. However, cleaning your cast irons doesn’t have to be a drag. In fact, all you need are a few common household items to do the trick. The Huff Post details a cleaning hack that you may have never guessed — and it involves using a potato.
Start by gathering coarse salt, a potato and any type of oil after you’ve used your skillet or pan. From here, preheat your oven to 400 degrees, the outlet suggests. Begin by adding salt to the cast iron and cutting the potato in half so you can hold it in your hand. Essentially, your potato becomes the sponge and scrubbing agent.
Rub the flat side of the spud over the salt granules in circular motions to loosen debris. You’ll need to rub pretty hard here and you’ll notice build up gathering around the sides of the pan. Then, once the pan looks clean, rinse it and dry. From here, you’ll put it in the oven with the oil layered on top.
Once your pan looks clean, put it in the oven
Now that the starch from the potato has effectively cleared the surface of your cast iron, smooth it out by adding the oil. The Huff Post recommends adding a small amount of oil onto the pan and covering the whole surface with a thin layer — you can use a paper towel for this or simply move the oil around. Then, let it sit in the oven for an hour and rinse it off after it’s cooled. Your pan should look as good as new!
If your pan or skillet still has food bits stuck to it, you can also use boiling water to do the trick, The Kitchn adds. Of course, waiting until the particles have cooled off is the kiss of death. Make sure to handle your pan when it’s still warm enough to remove spots with ease. Don’t soak it either as this can create rust, according to the outlet. Your common household cleaners like dish soap and steel wool can also take off your pan’s seasoning, so it’s best to avoid using them too.
Unlike any other kitchen item, cast irons need a special level of care. Make sure you do your research and stock your home with the items you need to clean them properly!
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