Washing your cast iron skillet

How To Clean A Cast Iron Skillet & Restore It To Its Glory!

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How To Clean My Cast Iron Skillet?

I need to fess up!  I bought a lodge cast iron skillet and never used it for the first six months!!! 

Why you ask?

Well, I didn’t know how to properly clean a cast iron skillet and I was too intimidated to look it up!  There I’ve said it out loud lol.  

I really wanted to get one because I love the versatility of being able to cook with it both indoors and outdoors.  We made breakfast outside on the fire and it was DELICIOUS, but that’s when the fun stopped.  

Every time I thought about using my cast iron skillet, it looked like this and so I reverted to my regular pans. 

I finally decided enough was enough and took the time to find out how to properly clean a cast iron skillet and how to care for an cast iron skillet moving forward!

Cleaning a dirty cast iron skillet

How To Restore A Cast Iron Skillet

As you can see my cast iron skillet was covered in rust so I needed to get rid of that before I could ever cook with it.  It looked like a big job and I knew I would have to run and get cleaning supplies, so I kept putting it off, until I didn’t!

If you like are like me and you keep putting things off.  STOP right now and make a mental note to stop putting things off and take care of them immediately.

I am going to show you how to clean the rust off a cast iron skillet and make it look new again!

What You Need

  1. Steel Wool Pads
  2. Dish Soap (I recommend Dawn)
  3. A scrubbing brush, sponge (whatever you have on hand)
  4. Vegetable Oil
  5. Aluminium Foil

It turns out that cleaning a cast iron skillet is not as difficult as you think!  I was shocked at how easy it was to clean the rust off my cast iron skillet. 

Follow these instructions for cast iron skillet care and soon you will have your cast iron skillet clean and ready to be used again. Once you have it seasoned properly, care and cleaning is a breeze. 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Use the steel wood pad to clean the rust off your skillet.  This is done before the skillet enters the water.
  2. Fill up the sink with warm water and dish soap and scrub the entire cast iron skillet using a scrub brush or sponge, and rinse with warm water.
  3. Dry the skillet with a towel, or paper towel to ensure it is completely dry.
  4. Now you are going to cover the entire cast iron skillet with oil, including the top and handle.  PRO TIP: I like to use a piece of kitchen paper to ensure the oil gets all over the skillet and NOT your hands.
  5. Put the cast iron skillet in your RV stove upside down for 1 hour at 350 degrees.
  6. Put a sheet pan with aluminum foil on the bottom rack to catch any drips.
  7. Once the hour is up, turn off the oven and allow the cast iron skillet to cool.

Now you can see how easy it is to clean a cast iron skillet.  Had I stopped to take the time to research “how do I clean my cast iron skillet”, I would have seen how ridiculously easy it was to wash and I could have been using my skillet this whole time!! 

Lesson learned, don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today

Washing your cast iron skillet

BONUS TIPS: How Do You Clean A Cast Iron Skillet?

When it comes to cleaning a cast iron skillet there are a couple of things you need to be made aware of.

  • Cast iron isn’t like other cookware, it doesn’t ‘like’ to be soaked in warm water. It likes to be taken care of immediately, for best results, rinse it in warm water directly after cooking.
  • If you end up with some burned on food, use some coarse salt (kosher works well), and a nonmetal brush or scrubbing sponge to clean it with.  
  • Most importantly DO NOT USE SOAP to clean your cast iron skillet.
  • So a lot of people ask how often should you season your cast iron skillet, I season mine when I notice the shine diminishing.  Now that I know what I am doing, it takes me 5 minutes and it’s done!

5 Reasons To Purchase A Cast Iron Skillet

I know a lot of RVers that don’t feel the need for a cast iron skillet, because they think it’s too heavy and bulky to carry in an RV or a camper.

I disagree with this statement and here’s why!

Today I am sharing the top 5 reasons I believe a cast iron skillet is an essential item for an RV kitchen.

Cast iron skillets are widely considered one of the most prized possessions of Southern cooks. Often skillets are handed down by families as heirlooms and after years of cooking and seasoning the flavor they produce is difficult to top.

Melissa Sperka, Melissa's Southern Style Kitchen Tweet

1. Versatile

A cast iron skillet is an extremely versatile RV kitchen tool because it can be used both inside and outside the RV, as well as on top of your RV kitchen stove and in the oven!  Any RV kitchen essential that can used in this many ways is a win-win in my opinion! 

2. Best Cast Iron Skillet Recipes

One of my new favorite things about cooking with a cast iron skillet is the insanely good meals you make with it!  These recipes are so good and you only have to clean up one pan!  Check out our favorite cast iron skillet recipes, I guarantee you’ll love them.

3. Nonstick

One of the huge benefits of using a cast iron skillet is the fact that once you have ‘oiled’ your skillet and it has a nice sheen to it, you use less oil when cooking. 

I seem to always have issues with ‘nonstick’ pans because well, my food seems to stick to such pans.  This means I end up having to switch out pans and buy another ‘nonstick’ pan in the hopes this one might actually be a nonstick pan!

You don’t have this issue with cast iron skillets because they do what they say and are nonstick.  Enough said! 

4. Longevity

It’s a fact that cast iron skillets last longer than other cookware.  In fact many people still use skillets inherited from their parents or grandparents.  I hate spending money on cookware so I love that cast iron skillets will last  a long time! 

5. Affordable

Did you know that cast iron skillets are surprisingly affordable!  Another reason why I put off buying a cast iron skillet was because I thought they were super expensive!  turns out they are quite the opposite!  I could have saved money on buying other cookware that didn’t last as long, and just bought a cast iron skillet!

How to properly clean a cast iron skillet properly

Where To Buy A Cast Iron Skillet

Honestly you can find a cast iron skillet in most places like Camping World, Target, WalMart, and other places.

We purchased ours at Dicks Sporting Goods. That wasn’t the plan but it jumped off the shelf at me and I thought ‘why not”.  I grabbed it because the price seemed ridiculously low at $20, I have in fact seen it for even cheaper online!  It’s one of the best buying decisions I ever made!

I recommend also purchasing a pair of pot holders so you don’t burn your hands.  I use a pair of pot holders I found in my drawer, but I found these on Amazon that come with rave reviews.  Previously I used my tea towels but they ended up getting ruined.  These might work for you.

Please remember that cast iron skillets are way heavier than ordinary cookware – Learned that the hard way!

How Do You Season A Cast Iron Skillet

Apparently you need to season your cast iron skillet before you start cooking with it. who knew, not me!  When we talk about ‘seasoning a cast iron skillet’, all we mean is following my instructions above and covering the pan with oil and cooking it in the oven for an hour!

Although that is not the case with all cast iron skillets.  If you don’t want to worry about pre-seasoning before you cook with your cast iron skillet, you can purchase a Lodge Cast Iron Skillet and they have done all the work for you.  

The more you use the pan, the more seasoned it gets and the better it works!

I hope that I have managed to convince you to give a cast iron skillet a try for cooking in your RV or tiny home (or any home for that matter).  Please share your favorite cast iron skillet recipes below, I’m always on the lookout for new ones to try.

Here are some of our favorite Cast Iron Skillet Recipes

Or you might prefer these recipes instead:

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