Most American families can’t imagine their lives without a cast iron grill pan in their kitchens. Even though the process of cleaning is a bit different than you are used to because of the ridges in the bottom, it is actually not too complicated at all. Once you figure out how to clean a cast iron grill pan correctly, you will be able to quickly follow it up with proper seasoning of its surface.
Always keep in mind that the only way to use your cast iron grill pan for a long time without a negative impact on your health and the meal flavor is to keep it clean and take care of it correctly. Let’s discover the best ways to keep your cast iron grill pan clean.
This article will cover
- Cleaning Cast Iron Grill Pan
- 7 Ways to Clean Your Cast Iron Grill Pan
- 2 Ways to Get Rid of Rust from a Cast Iron Grill Pan
- 5 Ways to Maintenance a Cast Iron Grill Pan
Cleaning Cast Iron Grill Pan
Before the first use, wash your grill pan in soapy water, rinse thoroughly, and dry it with a paper towel. Then, evenly apply a thin coating of oil over the bottom. Put the cookware in the oven and heat it on 400 F (205 C) for about one hour. After cooling it gradually, you can consider that your pan is seasoned well and ready for cooking.
The only thing you need to do in the future is to wipe down your cast iron grill pan after every use, while it is still slightly warm. Avoid using a stiff wire brush to prevent leaving small metal particles from ending up on the surface and transferring to your food. Let’s see what to do.
Always start with washing your pan before using it to prepare your meal. Do it by hand since it is not recommended to put your cast iron grill pan in a dishwasher. However, you can use a small amount of soap. There are a few efficient methods of cleaning this cookware we will talk about.
Dry your pan thoroughly with a clean cloth or paper towel to prevent rust.
It is time to rub a thin layer of cooking oil over the pan surface. The best option is to do it with a paper towel. It will make a necessary coat without any oil residue on the surface.
The Best Ways to Clean Your Cast Iron Grill Pan
1. Boiling Water
Never put this type of cookware in the dishwasher. In most cases, hot water is everything you need to clean your cast iron pan. Keep in mind that you can use this method only when you have a model with high sides.
Throw warm grease in the trash. Avoid pouring it down the drain to avoid clogging. Plus, it is an environmentally unacceptable solution given that grease is a significant contaminant of running water.
Pour 2 to 3 inches (5 – 7.6 cm) of water in the pan and set it on the stove. Let it boil until food particles start floating on the surface. Then, use a spatula to remove the burnt grease and food stuck between ridges.
Let the pan cool before spilling dirty water down the drain, rinse it with hot water, and wipe away the food scraps with a paper towel.
2. Salt and Water
Since you need to keep the seasoned surface intact, it is better to clean the cast iron grill pan with salt instead of detergent. The coarse kosher salt is an excellent abrasive cleaning solution for removing food scraps from the pan surface.
Pour off grease and allow your pan to cool to the touch after use. Cover the surface with salt and add a little boiled water to get a paste. Start scrubbing between the ridges, all the corners, and over the sides with a sponge or a nylon brush.
Add more salt if necessary. Then, rinse it with hot water and repeat if necessary. Dry the pan with towel paper. Reestablish the seasoning before storing your cookware.
3. Salt without water
Some chefs avoid cleaning their cast iron grill pans with water to prevent rusting. If you have the same opinion or have no access to water, you can clean your cookware with salt without pouring any liquid inside it.
Sprinkle the pan bottom with a generous amount of salt and rub it over food scraps with a paper towel. Add more salt when needed and keep scrubbing until cleaning all the residue. Wipe down the dirt with a clean paper towel.
4. The potato and salt
Slice up an old potato in half or into thick pieces. Sprinkle plenty of coarse salt over the pan ridges. Then, scrub the pan with salt by rubbing the cut side of the potato over the surface. Rinse your skillet thoroughly and dry it with a paper towel.
5. Salt and Oil
Pour some oil over the pan surface and spread it evenly with a paper towel. Then, add a generous amount of kosher salt and scrub food scraps with a stiff nylon brush. Use an absorbent cloth to remove all the debris.
6. Soap and Water
Most chefs avoid washing their cast iron grill pans with soap and water to prevent rusting. However, it is an effective method to remove food scraps between grids when done right.
Keep in mind that you will remove all the flavor-enhancing seasoning from the surface with water, so you should avoid this style of washing whenever possible.
Add some non-abrasive soap to the hot water, pour it between the grill pan ridges, and start scrubbing with a sponge or a scrubber. Rinse your cookware with warm water and repeat the process once again. Take care to rinse off all the remaining soap from the surface.
Another way is to fill a plastic bucket with hot water. You will need one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid per one gallon of water. Dip a sponge or brush into the soapy water and then clean the pan. Rinse it with hot water and dry the surface carefully with a paper towel.
7. Cast Iron Brush
It is not complicated to clean your cast iron grill pan with a brush after use. That way, you will expand the lifespan of this useful cookware without altering the food taste.
Let the pan cool down for approximately ten minutes and remove as much leftover food from your grill as possible. Pour a little hot water into the pan to loosen the stubborn leftovers for a few minutes, then start scraping. In the end, dry the surface thoroughly with a paper towel and wipe it with some oil to prevent rust and retain the seasoning.
Getting Rid of Rust from a Cast Iron Grill Pan
It is crucial to remove rust from the surface of your cast iron grill pan as soon as you notice it. Use one of two proven methods to do that.
Lemon Juice and Baking Soda
Clean as much rust as possible with a plastic scraper. Then, make a paste of a cup of baking soda and a tablespoon of lemon juice. Apply it to the affected area and cover it with plastic wrap.
Let it sit for 24 hours and then scrub the pan with a stiff-bristled brush. After removing all the traces of the rust, rinse and re-season your cookware well.
Q12 Rust Remover
Try to remove most of the surface rust with a brush. Then, apply a coat of Q12 between all grids with a paintbrush. Let the agent sit for at least 15 to 20 minutes and rinse the pan thoroughly under running water.
Always clean your skillet with a non-solvent-based cleaner and sponge, then rinse it. In the end, pour some oil over the surface and wipe it with a paper towel.
5 Ways to Maintenance a Cast Iron Grill Pan
- Dishwasher – Unfortunately, a cast iron grill pan is not dishwasher friendly cookware. While some non-stick pans only stay without protective seasoning after such a cleaning, a grill skillet will probably rust after a few cycles.
- High heat – Luckily, cast iron grill pans can take high temperatures so that you can prepare your food even on an open flame.
- Metal utensils – If your pan has a non-stick coating, you should avoid metal utensils while cooking to prevent scratching the surface. On the other hand, plastic won’t damage your skillet.
- Steel scrubbers – Never wash your pan with steel wool to prevent any damage to the surface. Wash it with nylon scrubbers instead.
- Lid – Never store your skillet with a lid on to prevent trapping moisture from the air inside. The result will probably be the appearance of rust on your cookware.
- Water – Never leave water in your cast iron grill pan after cooking. Unlike other cookware, which you can wash after soaking, this skillet will probably rust instead of becoming clean.
- Acidic food – It is highly recommended to avoid preparing acidic goods in a cast iron grill pan, especially before seasoning. You can wait for a while until a seasoning builds up. So when you get a new cast iron pan, you should season it first. After that, even tomatoes can’t ruin the protective coat.
Always keep in mind that the method you use to clean your cast iron grill pan is not crucial. You need to be consistent with after-cooking care, and your skillet will stay well preserved for a long time.
Michael Johnson is the founder of The Pan Handler, Inspired by his blacksmith grandfather’s legacy has a deep appreciation for hand-crafted pots and pans, he provides invaluable guides, reviews, and recipes to enhance your culinary journey.