Cast-iron cookware is one of the most flexible kitchen alternatives. It is long-lasting, resilient, and simple to clean.
A typical cast-iron skillet may be used for both cooking on the stovetop and baking. Cleaning a cast-iron skillet, on the other hand, is a chore.
Although cleaning the interior is obvious, the outside of the cast-iron skillet requires your attention. Stains and oil may form on the outside surface over time.
So don’t be concerned! Continue reading to learn how to quickly clean the exterior of a cast-iron pan!
How to Clean a Cast-Iron Skillet’s Outside
It’s simple to use a cast-iron skillet. It is, however, difficult to clean and maintain.
Cooking oil fats and grease do not simply adhere to the inside of the pan. They often spring out and discolor the outside of your kitchenware.
This is particularly true when using cast-iron cookware. The heat from the fire chars and hardens the grease.
As a consequence, soot accumulates and might be difficult to remove. It is critical to care maintain your cast-iron skillet if you primarily use it for cooking.
A cast-iron pan is very popular for making skillet cookies and brownies.
The oven’s high temperature might potentially burn the outside surface. Yet, soot accumulation is not the only concern. Rust may build on the outside of your cast-iron skillet.
While rust is not dangerous, it might be ugly on your formerly smooth black skillet. Rust normally appears when your skillet has been exposed to damp for an extended period of time.
You should anticipate some rust spots if you maintain your cast-iron skillet in a humid area.
Many individuals fail to clean the outside of their skillets. They solely concentrate on scouring and scraping away the grease that has been embedded within.
Yet, if you’ve discovered stains and patches on the outside surface, it’s time to take action.
Fortunately, there are several techniques available to rescue your cast-iron skillet.
We’ll guide you through some of the greatest and simplest approaches. So, without further ado, let’s get started on cleaning the exterior of your cast-iron skillet!
Scraping with a Putty Knife is the first method.
This strategy is both simple and effective. If you see soot accumulation or a black film on your skillet, follow these steps.
To begin, heat the bottom of your cast-iron skillet. Make it over a stove with a medium-high heat.
This is necessary in order to warm up the hard soot accumulation.
The soot coating will begin to separate from the skillet’s surface as it heats. With a sharp putty knife, carefully remove the pan from the heat.
To prevent burning your hands, use gloves or a cloth to handle the pan. Begin scraping the soot deposit at the bottom of the pan with the putty knife.
You may want to begin slowly and gently. The knife will not leave scratches or markings on the skillet’s exterior surface this manner.
If you don’t have a knife, a wire brush will suffice. The goal is to scrape off the black, charred layer underneath the pan using a steel implement.
Scrape away in smooth, circular strokes. You should plan on performing this for at least 5-10 minutes. This ensures that all of the buildup is removed, presenting a clean outside surface.
Cleaning the Skillet
It’s time to rinse your pan now that the soot has settled. To remove any black residue from the surface, use a moderate dishwashing soap.
The majority of people believe that putting soap on the skillet would ruin its coating. A cast-iron skillet, on the other hand, is very tough and long-lasting.
It has enough of a covering to tolerate contact with mild surfactants. It is critical to carefully clean the skillet.
That will guarantee that all of the oil and food particles have been washed away. This must be done before seasoning your skillet.
This will result in a clean, smooth coating on the cast-iron skillet’s outside surface.
Seasoning Your Skillet Again
You’ll need to re-season your pan after it’s clean. It must be entirely dry.
If necessary, return it to the heat to dry out any remaining moisture. Seasoning the outside of your skillet is just as crucial.
For this, you may use high-quality vegetable oil or shortening. The procedure for seasoning the outside surface is also quite similar.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Rub the oily layer all over the exterior surface with a towel or clean cloth. After that, place the skillet in the oven.
Place it over a larger pan or skillet while doing so. You can simply prevent the oil from leaking and dirtying the oven this way.
Let the freshly cleaned plan to cool for a few hours after completion. This allows the seasoning layer to settle and adhere properly. The cast-iron skillet may then be used for stovetop cooking and baking.
The second method is using a natural lemon scrub.
While steel wool is good for cleaning the skillet, there is another option. Many of the items in your kitchen aren’t strictly for cooking. They are also excellent for washing and exfoliating.
Lemon is an excellent natural astringent and cleaner. It is very acidic and includes high levels of citric and malic acid.
As a result, lemons are an excellent DIY option for cleaning a cast-iron pan.
To make this procedure even more effective, add some cream of tartar. This material is very corrosive and adheres to dirt.
Scrubbing this solution on the exterior of your skillet will quickly remove any oil or corrosion. This is what you’ll need.
- Juice of two lemons (medium-sized)
- 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
Combine the two thoroughly. If desired, add extra water to dilute the solution and make it easier to apply. Heat the skillet over the stove before using the solution.
The heat will further solidify the soot and grease. This will ultimately make scraping off the layer in one go simpler.
The lemon solution will have a strong acidity. As a result, avoid using it directly. Instead, apply the solution using a soft sponge or steel wool.
Be careful to coat the whole outside of the skillet. With the natural lemon scrub, cleanse the charred and corroded upper layer.
You’ll be able to remove the filth quicker if you use steel wool. Scrubbing too vigorously, on the other hand, might result in scratches.
Continue to use gentle, circular strokes until the dead layer falls off the skillet’s surface. Scrub for at least 5 minutes, or until the skillet is clearly clean.
Now, wash it well and re-season it according to the instructions above!
Lastly, use a baking soda solution.
If lemons are not available, baking soda may be substituted.
Baking soda is an excellent alkaline cleanser. It neutralizes all of the oil, fats, and food residue that has accumulated on the bottom of the pan. It also has antibacterial effects.
Baking soda also aids in the removal of unpleasant odors from your skillet.
You will need the following items for this method:
- 3-4 tablespoons of baking soda
- 2 tablespoons of a solution of dish soap and warm water
Warm water with a few drops of dish soap. Add the baking soda to this solution and thoroughly mix it in. Baking soda’s gritty particles will function as a natural scrub. Dish soap, on the other hand, will aid in the removal of grease.
Wash your skillet well. Next, coat the bottom and sides of the pan with a thick coating of the baking soda solution.
Coat the whole exterior surface, paying careful attention to any obvious rust areas. Scrub the solution with a scouring pad in moderate, circular strokes.
Baking soda will aid in the removal of any residue and expose a smooth surface.
Use dish soap if necessary. It will not harm your cast-iron skillet as long as it is mild. Scrub for around 5-10 minutes, no longer. Scrubbing too hard might produce scratches on the skillet’s surface.
Wash the skillet once it seems clean and smooth. To remove the residue or bits and pieces of food, use mild dish soap. Avoid soaking your skillet in warm water, since this might develop rust streaks.
Before re-seasoning the skillet’s exterior surface, completely dry it.
How to Care for Your Cast-Iron Skillet
Any of the procedures listed above will undoubtedly work to clean your skillet. Yet, the only certain method to keep your skillet’s brilliance and longevity is to clean it on a regular basis.
It is critical to thoroughly clean your skillet with mild soap and a scouring pad.
If you can’t do it every day, make it a point to clean it at least three to four times every week. Cleaning on a regular basis will keep any oily residue from solidifying at the bottom.
Second, never keep your skillet in a moist environment. When cast-iron is exposed to moisture over an extended period of time, it may readily rust.
After each wash, be sure to completely dry it with a towel or cloth. Keep it in a cold, dry kitchen cupboard.
A Final Thought
Cooking with a cast-iron pan is simple and enjoyable. Its adaptability allows it to be utilized for a wide range of culinary applications.
You must, however, take care of your cast-iron skillet. Maintain a clean and well-seasoned inside and exterior. Follow the steps outlined above to ensure that your skillet looks fresh new!
Additional cooking pan articles you may be interested in:
- Do Pans Need to Be Sanitized?
- How to Tell How Old is a Cast Iron Skillet?
- Is Black Residue On Cast Iron Skillets Harmful?
- Why Do Cast Iron Pans Crack and How to Fix It?
- Why Is Cast Iron Pan Sticky After Seasoning?
- How to Get Burnt Sugar off a Cooking Pan?
- How to Clean Le-Creuset Grill Pan
- How to Keep Food from Sticking to Cast Iron Pans?
- Is It Safe To Cook in a Rusty Cast Iron Pan?