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Ina Garten Loves Cast Iron Skillets, But How do You Clean Them?

Culinary icon and chef extraordinaire, Ina Garten knows a thing or two about quality cookware and if Ina loves it, you better believe we’re buying it. One of Ina Garten’s favorite pieces of kitchenware is a classic cast iron skillet, specifically the Lodge cast iron skillet. Garten is such a fan that she even features the skillet on her website, Barefoot Contessa.

Cast iron skillets have so many uses, it’s no surprise chefs like Garten love them. There is no better way to create a perfect crust on meat than searing it in a skillet but skillets can also be used to make everything from pizza to chocolate chip cookies. The only tricky part about using a cast iron skillet is that most people don’t know how to clean them properly.

Water is a cast iron skillet’s worst enemy (it causes them to rust), so how do you clean a cast iron skillet without using water? It’s actually pretty easy.

Directions: 

  1. Use a paper towel to wipe down the pan and remove any excess oil or traces of food.
  2. If the pan is really dirty, run it under hot water and scrub with a nonmetal and nonabrasive brush or pad. Avoid using soap unless it’s absolutely necessary.
  3. Place the pan on the stove and heat the pan until all of the water has evaporated. This will keep your pan from rusting.

See? Told you it was simple. Plus, you only need to do step number one unless you cooked something that left a lot of stuck-on food bits in the pan. The soap is also optional and should only be used if you have food traces that are really stuck. Soap can remove the pan’s seasoning so try to use as little as possible.

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If you don’t currently own a cast iron skillet, we also use (and love!) Lodge’s classic skillet. It comes pre-seasoned and it’s super affordable. If you want to spend a little more, Staub and Le Creuset also offer great options.

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Happy cooking!

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