Last Updated on November 21, 2022 by Lauren Beck
Have you noticed a buildup on the outside of your cast iron skillet? It’s important to maintain the seasoning and cleanliness of cast iron skillets, so it’s important to know how to remove buildup from the outside.
In this article, we’ll cover how to clean the exterior of your skillet, how to prevent future build up and how to re-season it if needed.
Ways to Clean the Outside of a Cast-Iron Skillet
Here are some tips to help you keep your cast iron skillet looking brand new:
- Use a dry cloth or paper towel to wipe away any excess grease, oil and grime.
- For tougher buildup, use steel wool to scour off the residue.
- If there is still leftover residue, soak the pan in soapy water and use a sponge to gently scrub away it away.
- To get rid of tough rust spots, use a soft nylon brush and baking soda paste.
- After cleaning, dry the pan with a towel or paper towels and heat it on the stovetop until all moisture is gone.
What Is The Black Residue On A Cast Iron Skillet?
The black residue that builds up on a cast iron skillet is the result of fat, oil and seasoning burning onto the pan. It’s normal to see some discoloration after repeated use and can be removed with a bit of cleaning and maintenance.
Is Black Residue on Cast Iron Skillet Harmful?
No, the black residue on a cast iron skillet is not harmful. It’s just the result of fat, oil and seasoning burning onto the pan over time. Proper cleaning and maintenance can help to keep your cast iron skillet looking brand new.
Preventing Buildup on Cast Iron Skillet
To keep your cast iron skillet free from buildup, follow these steps:
- After each use, dry the pan with a paper towel or cloth and store it in a dry place.
- Do not leave food on the pan after cooking as this can lead to residue buildup.
- Use hot water and soap sparingly when cleaning the pan.
- Apply a thin layer of oil after each use to help protect the seasoning and prevent rust spots from forming.
Tips in Removing the Buildup on Outside of Cast Iron Skillet
Here are some tips to help you remove the buildup on your cast iron skillet without damaging the seasoning:
- Scrape off any loose pieces of food before cleaning.
- Use a damp cloth or paper towel to wipe away leftover grease and grime.
- For tougher residue, use a scrubbing pad with soapy water.
- For rust spots, use a soft nylon brush and baking soda paste.
- Dry the pan thoroughly after cleaning and heat it on low until all moisture is gone.
Should I Season The Outside Of Cast Iron?
It’s not necessary to season the outside of a cast iron skillet, but it can help protect it from rust and corrosion.
Re-Season Cast Iron Skillet
If your cast iron skillet has lost its seasoning or has rust spots, you should re-season it. Here’s how:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Wash the skillet with hot water and mild detergent, and then dry it thoroughly.
- Using a paper towel, coat the entire skillet in oil (cooking or vegetable oil).
- Place the skillet upside down on the middle rack of your preheated oven for one hour.
- Turn off the oven and let the skillet cool inside.
- Once cooled, remove the pan from the oven and use a paper towel to wipe away any excess oil.
Can I Use Steel Wool In Cast Iron Cookware?
Using steel wool on cast iron cookware is not recommended as it can damage the seasoning and create a rough surface. For tough residue, use a scrubbing pad with soapy water instead.
Can You Use Baking Soda And Vinegar On Cast Iron?
Yes, baking soda and vinegar can be used to clean cast iron cookware. To make a paste, mix equal parts of each and use it to scrub away tough residue.
When Should I Throw Away My Cast Iron Pan?
You should consider throwing away your cast iron pan if there is heavy rust damage or it has been left untreated for a long time. Deep cracks and holes can also be dangerous and cause food to stick, so replace the pan if this happens .
Cast iron skillets are a kitchen staple and can last for years with proper care and maintenance. By following the steps above, you can easily remove buildup on the outside of your skillet so it looks like new again. Just remember to re-season your skillet regularly to keep it in good shape. With just a little bit of effort, you can keep your cast iron skillet looking and performing like new.