How to Clean a Cast Iron Grill Pan

Written in 2024
by Adam

    A cast iron grill pan is an essential piece of equipment to have in your kitchen, whether it has been passed down through generations or was recently purchased. But, once the meal is finished, do you know how to clean your cast iron grill pan properly? These pans can outlast even the most durable non-stick or stainless steel pans with proper care. After you've finished cooking with cast iron, take these steps to clean a cast iron grill pan and keep your robust cast iron a fixture in your commercial kitchen.

    How Do You Clean a Cast Iron Grill Pan?

    The methods listed below are some of the most effective ways of cleaning cast iron grill pans. Continue reading to learn how to preserve the integrity of your pan by eliminating excess water and re-seasoning after each use once it has been properly cleaned.

    1. Boiling Water

    This easy procedure may be the best option if you're short on resources if your pan contains a lot of huge food particles. This method will only work with grill pans that have tall sides to keep water in.

    • Fill your grill pan with two to three inches of water and place it back on the stove.
    • Food particles should begin to float to the surface after a few minutes of boiling.
    • Scrape any excess stuck-on food out between the ridges with a spatula.
    • Allow the pan to cool for a few minutes before draining the water and residue.
    • Fill the empty pan with hot water and rinse it out.
    • Wipe away any residual food particles with a dry paper towel.

    2. Water and soap

    The belief that you should never use soap with cast iron has been passed down through the generations, much like your cast iron. When done correctly, however, soap and water can be an efficient way to remove rust and clean new cast iron. Because this procedure has the potential to break down and remove the flavour-enhancing seasoning you've built up over time, it's best to apply it only when absolutely required.

    • In the centre of your grill pan, put a little amount of non-abrasive soap or detergent.
    • Scrub all surfaces of the pan with soap and a tiny amount of hot water using steel wool, a scrubber, or a sponge.
    • Using hot water, rinse the grill pan.
    • Scrub the pan with soap and a sponge or non-abrasive pad one more time.
    • Remove any residual soap residue by rinsing.
    • Using hot water, rinse the pan.

    3. Water and Salt

    Because preserving the seasoned surface of your cast iron is so vital, many chefs prefer to clean with salt rather than soap. The coarseness of kosher salt makes it an abrasive cleaning solution for removing stuck-on particles from your pan. Here's how to scrub your cast iron grill pan using salt and water, which is often regarded as the finest way to clean it.

    • Allow the pan to cool slightly before handling, but not totally.
    • Using coarse kosher salt, liberally coat the surface.
    • Pour a tiny amount of boiling water on top of the salt to make it stick together and form a paste-like texture.
    • Scrub the salt all over the pan with a sponge, going in between the ridges and all the way around the sides.
    • Remove the salt and dirt from the pan by rinsing it with hot water. If required, repeat the process.

    4. Salt Without Water

    This method may be ideal for you if you're a big believer in keeping your cast iron away from water. It provides the same abrasive scrubbing as the previous procedure, making it excellent at removing stuck-on food.

    • Using a significant amount of coarse kosher salt, season the top of the pan.
    • Rub the salt into the stuck-on food using a folded paper towel.
    • As needed, add additional salt and scrape the pan with the salt and paper towel.
    • Wipe clean the surface with a new paper towel and toss all residue and salt into the rubbish.

    5. The Potato And Salt Method

    An old potato can be cut in half or into thick slices. Season the ridges of the pan with a generous amount of coarse salt. After that, salt the pan by rubbing the cut side of the potato across the surface. Clean your pan by rinsing it completely and patting it dry with a paper towel.

    6. Salt And Oil

    Apply a thin layer of oil to the pan's surface and distribute evenly with a paper towel. Then, using a stiff nylon brush, clean food leftovers with a generous amount of kosher salt. To remove all the particles, use an absorbent cloth.

    7. Cast Iron Brush

    Cleaning your cast iron grill pan with a brush after each use is simple. This means you may extend the life of this valuable equipment without affecting the taste of the food.

    Allow ten minutes for the pan to cool before removing as much remaining food from the grill as possible. Scrape the obstinate remains with a little hot water for a few minutes to loosen them up. Finally, completely dry the surface with a paper towel before wiping it with oil to prevent corrosion and keep the seasoning.

    How to Clean A Cast Iron Grill Pan of Rust

    As soon as you see rust on the surface of your cast iron grill pan, you must remove it. To do so, use one of two tried-and-true approaches.

    Lemon Juice And Baking Soda

    With a plastic scraper, remove as much rust as possible. Then, combine a cup of baking soda with a tablespoon of lemon juice to produce a paste. Wrap it with plastic wrap and apply it to the affected region.

    Allow 24 hours to pass before scrubbing the pan with a stiff-bristled brush. Rinse and re-season your cookware thoroughly after eliminating any indications of rust.

    Q12 Rust Remover

    With a brush, try to remove the majority of the surface rust. Then, using a paintbrush, apply a layer of Q12 between all grids. Allow the agent to remain for at least 15 to 20 minutes before thoroughly rinsing the pan under running water.

    Before rinsing your pan again, clean it with a non-solvent-based cleanser and a sponge. Finally, apply some oil to the surface and wipe it clean with a paper towel.

    How To Season Your Cast Iron Grill Pan

    How long your cast iron grill pan lasts in your kitchen is determined by what you do after cleaning it. You'll be able to pass down your pan for generations if you take adequate care of it in between uses. After using any of the methods above, make sure to drain the water from your pan and properly reseason the surface.

    Because cast iron is particularly prone to rust, it must be completely dry before being stored. Set your cast iron on the stovetop or in an oven set to 450 or 500 degrees Fahrenheit after cleaning it to evaporate any remaining water. Using a paper towel, scrub the entire pan with neutral oil or shortening of your choosing. Make sure the cooking surface, sides, bottom, and handle are all covered.

    After that, grab another paper towel and wipe away any remaining oil. Allow the pan to remain on the burner for a few minutes until it starts to smoke. If using the oven, turn it off after an hour and leave the pan in the oven to cool.

    Maintaining Your Cast Iron Grill Pan

    Here are a few ideas for extending the life of your cast iron grill pan, regardless of the method you choose to clean it:

    Rusting can occur if water is left in the pan or if it is allowed to soak.

    Allowing the heated pan to come into touch with cold water might cause warping. Allow the pan to cool to the touch before cleaning it with very hot water to avoid this.

    When seasoning, don't forget to brush away any extra oil or your pan may become stuck. The solid shortening should be used wherever possible.

    If your cast iron grill pan has a lid, remove it before storing it. This can cause rust by trapping moisture from the air between the lid and the pan.

    To avoid scratching the bottom of your pan when cleaning it in the sink, line the sink with towels.

    When re-seasoning the pan, get your oven as hot as possible. This causes the oil to break down and pass its smoking threshold, bonding it to the cast iron and providing a smooth surface.

    Set the pan upside down and place foil below to enable excess oil to drain off while reseasoning in the oven.

    In Conclusion

    It's important to remember that the method you employ to clean your cast iron grill pan isn't important. If you follow the after-cooking instructions consistently, your pan will last a long time.

    Written by Adam

    Adam is the creator of the SmokeGuys website, running it since 2016. Hater of coriander, lover of all things meat... Adam currently works in marketing with a dream of being able to make food his full-time 'job' in the longer term.

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