Cast iron cookware are so popular, every kitchen use at least few pieces. They are so versatile and offer many features and qualities that can be used in almost every heat sources. I myself love to cook with my cast iron pans or skillets in every occasion possible whether on grills, campfires, gas, electric or even induction stovetops. So, How to clean a cast iron grill pan? It is very simple and easy to clean any cast iron pan, here is how to do it the right way
Things you need to know before cleaning your cast iron grill pan
Cast Iron grill pans come pre-seasoned naturally with some sort of vegetable oils. Usually, the first seasoned the pan comes with equal 10-15 rounds of normal home seasoning. Which means, it is completely safe to cook using grill pans on both low and high temperatures. So, you don’t have to worry about health risks from damaging the coating. However, it is important to preserve the quality of the nearly nonstick surface to benefit the most from your pan.
What You Should Be Aware of To Clean and Maintain Your Cast Iron Pan
Here are few tips to avoid to maintain high quality cast iron pan for the long run:
Never ever wash your cast iron grill pan in a dishwasher.
The quality of the stick-resistance surface differ from pan to another, depends on the quality of the natural oil used to make the first seasoning and also depends on the procedure used. While all of them offer high resistance, most of them are still not dishwasher safe since their pre-seasoned layer can be easily damaged and destroyed during the process.
Never leave your cast iron grill pan wet
You should always hand dry your pan immediately after you finish cleaning it with a piece of cloth. Leaving or storing your pan wet will cause the iron to rust after time which will make it harder to clean.
Never cool or wash your hot cast iron pan with cold water
After every use makes sure to let your pan to cool gradually. In the case of re-seasoning, let it cool inside the oven. Just give it a few minutes and it will be all set and ready to go.
One iron rule you need to remember during cleaning “ you can wash your hot cast iron pan with only hot water”. If you attempt to clean your hot cast iron pan with cold water, the iron will crack and you'll need to get a new pan as a replacement.
Cast Iron pans get better over time
Cast iron pans are built and designed to deliver a better performance after every use if properly maintained. Re-seasoning will help a lot to improve the stick-resistance surface to make your cast iron pan even more nonstick.
Pre-heating Cast Iron pans during use
Cast iron pans deliver high performance when it comes to distributing heats evenly and retention. However, these types of pans require pre-heating to achieve perfect cooking.
Any utensils can be used during cooking
As I have already mentioned, cast iron pans come with a natural pre-seasoned which mean you can use any type of utensils to cook with, such as wooden, silicone or even metal spatulas, etc. There is no chemical coating to damage or react with your food.
Easy Steps To Clean Cast Iron Grill Pans
Cleaning cast iron grill pans can only be done with hands. It may sound hard task for people who are lazy or used to wash their cookware with dishwasher, but the truth is, it is an easy task that can be done by anyone while it’s not time-consuming. Follow these simple steps to clean your pan.
First Method To Clean Cast Iron Pans
This is my favorite and ideal way to clean any cast iron pan. However, it requires you to do it right after you finish cooking with your pan while it’s still hot or you need to preheat the pan until it gets warm enough.
- Heat up your water until it reaches a level that you can’t withstand touching it
- Grab your hot cast iron pan using your kitchen mitten to hold its handle for safety (you can use silicone protective handles as an alternative) and bring it to your sink under the hot water.
- Once the surface touches the hot water, steams will come out. All you need to do then is rub with a wooden spatula or a scrubber ( i prefer a spatula to avoid any burns)
- Once you reach the clean level you desire, turn off the hot water and dry it with a towel or piece of cloth.
- Once it’s all good, re-season the pan with any vegetable oil to maintain its coating and get it ready for re-use.
Note: Sometimes there are hard sticks which may require to repeat the process more than once to remove them and get a 100% cleaned pan.
Second Method To Clean Your Cast Iron Grill Pan
This method is an advanced form of the previous one. It helps to get rid of the hard residues left on the surface such as burnt food, hard sticks, etc.
- Heat up your water until it gets hot enough.
- Pre-heat your cast iron pan if it is cold.
- Bring it to your sink and place it under the hot water.
- Once the surface touches the hot water, steams will come out. Start rubbing the surface using a wooden spatula or a scrubber ( i prefer a spatula to avoid any burns since your hands will be in direct contact with the hot water)
- Once you notice some sticks cannot be removed, take it out from the sink and let the pan to cool.
- Once your pan is cooled, put some coarse salts and a dab of cold water around the sticks (to loosen the sticks and residue).
- Rub around the pan to cover the whole surface.
- Rinse the pan, you’ll notice all sticks have been completely removed
- Dry the whole pan
- Re-season the pan
For more information about my cast iron skillets recommendation and re-seasoning procedures, check out this article: best cast iron skillets
These methods work great on any cast iron pans, not just the grill one. It would take only a few minutes to get your cast iron grill pan as clean as new. I hope this guide served its purpose to help you learn how to clean your cast iron grill pan. If you have any further questions, leave a comment and I’ll answer them for you.