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Cast Iron Cleaning Tip: How To Clean Stuck On Food From Cast Iron

Cleaning cast iron cookware can be a major pain in the behind sometimes! When food gets stuck, it sometimes feels like there wouldn’t be enough elbow grease in the world to get it off. Luckily, with this one simple tutorial you can learn how to easily clean stuck on food from cast iron. This Cast Iron Cleaning tip has been passed down for many generations and is a total time (and elbow-grease) saver.

How to clean stuck on food from cast iron.
How to clean stuck on food from cast iron.

Many years ago I started cooking with cast iron. Though at the beginning, I kind of gave up for a while because it can be hard to clean and you really shouldn’t soak it.

Which is hard for me because I frequently am too tired to do one more load of dishes after cooking from scratch all day and so the dinner dishes become my morning chore) so I kinda felt helpless over what to do.

Even though I consider cooking in cast iron one of the more healthy ways to cook (no bpa like in non-stick cookware, and no copper toxicity that can happen when using copper), I figure that iron is an essential nutrient that we need so it suits me just fine cooking with it… but there just had to be a way to make it a little easier to clean.

As luck would have it, I was watching someone that has cooked with cast iron for a very long time (40+ years) & they showed me a little cleaning trick that has been passed down from one cook to the next for countless generations.

Even now, years later, I still consider myself a newbie to cast iron, so I just had to share in case any of you other “newbie’s” out there need this tip too.

How to get stuck on food off cast iron:

  1. Start out with a pan that has the food on the bottom that just won’t budge. Put it on the stove and let it heat up for a couple of minutes. I put it on medium heat.

(Yes, my cast iron pan is way old and worn…I got it at a yard sale in my early 20’s and I’m too practical/cheap to replace it just to show you guys how to do this)

Food stuck on cast iron, how to get it off easily.

What cleans cast iron best? WATER!!!

2. Once it’s nice and warmed up, take a mug or pyrex measuring cup, and fill it with water (the temperature of the water doesn’t matter too much, I typically use luke warm though). 

3. Then quickly drop enough water to just cover the food mess.

how to clean stuck on food from cast iron. Easy cleaning tip.

It’s going to sizzle like crazy, just make sure you let it do it’s thing for a few seconds.

4. Then, using either a high temp silicone spatula or a wooden one gently scrape off the food. If you must use metal, be super gentle…

I had to use metal this time and it did just fine. This old beat-up pan is one that I found at a yard sale years ago and it still needs to be re-seasoned…otherwise I wouldn’t dare use metal.

Easiest way to clean off food stuck on cast iron.

This stuck-on food  was really bad so I had to repeat the process, but just once.

After trying out this tip a few times, I found that you don’t need to wash out all of the food that got scraped off each time you do this, just slide the loosened food out of the way, let the pan warm back up a little and do it again.

5. Repeat until all the food particles have separated from the pan.

It only takes me a minute or two tops to clean a skillet, even on a really dirty pan.

Once you’re done, wash like you normally would, grease it, and thank your lucky stars that you aren’t still scrubbing ten to twenty minutes later.

After removing stuck on food with the best and easiest cast iron cleaning method/tip.

I hope I explained it well enough for you all to understand…it’s pretty simple and makes cleaning cast iron a breeze…instead of a majorly time-consuming chore!

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! If you liked what you read, could you please make sure to share it via social media, or send a link to your family/friends via email?

What cleans cast iron best? Find out how with the best cleaning tutorial to remove stuck on food from cast iron.

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P.S. You may also want to check out my entire cleaning section.

Here are several of my other cleaning tips that you’re also going to find handy:

For those of you that would like some more options of a “pinnable” image to share on Pinterest, here you go. Thanks so much for the support!

How to clean stuck on food from cast iron.

How to remove food stuck on cast iron. The best cast iron cleaning tip.

The best cast iron cleaning tip on the internet.

*Reposts: Please note that this article was originally posted to this website on 04/13/2016, however it was in great need of a refresh, so it now is more user friendly and shareable, (and just plain looks better;).