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How to Clean a Cast-Iron Skillet In 3 Easy Steps

Scrub off the baked-on food residue and prevent rust with this tried-and-true method.
cast iron skillet with vegetables, herbs, and spices

You know that a well-seasoned cast iron skillet goes a long way. However, the boatloads of flavor it adds to your food doesn't mean you should be deterred from cleaning it. In fact, you should be cleaning your skillet after every use. Wondering what's the easiest way to do so? We've enlisted the help of Claudia Sidoti, Head Chef and Recipe Developer at HelloFresh, to show us how to clean cast-iron cookware.

How to clean cast-iron skillets and pots

"Make sure to clean the skillet immediately after use, while it is still hot or warm," Sidoti says. "If you soak the pan or leave it in the sink, it may start to rust."

  1. Wash the skillet using hot water and a stiff mesh brush. Avoid using the dishwasher, as it can ruin the pan's coating.
  2. To remove sticky food, scrub with a combo of coarse kosher salt and water. Then, wipe with a paper towel. Food that doesn't want to come off can be removed by boiling water in the pan.
  3. Thoroughly dry the skillet. Using a paper towel, apply a light coat of oil to the inside of the skillet. Buff to remove any extra grime.
  4. Store the skillet in a dry place.

RELATED: Easy, healthy, 350-calorie recipe ideas you can make at home.

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Looking for an alternative way to get your skillet scrubbed clean? Sidoti recommends one trusty tool that never fails to get the job done: "Another amazing tool is using a chain mail-style scrubber (like this one on Amazon), which gets rid of the most stubborn foods on skillets," Sidoti says. "The stainless steel rings create a textured surface that's ideal for heavy-duty scrubbing. Once the pan is cool, fill it up in the sink with warm water. Then, use the scrubber to get every inch of the skillet. Rinse and repeat if food is still caked on. Dry with a cloth before storing to prevent rust."

Now that you know how to clean your trusty pot, put it to good use by searing a rib-eye to perfection, whipping up a veggie and cheese omelet, and trying your hand at these cast-iron skillet recipes.

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