A good cook understands the importance of a cast iron pan.
Here is how to clean your cast iron pan after BBQ.
Cast iron pan is ideal for grilling because it conducts and retains heat for long, Unfortunately, it tends to rust when exposed to water and air for long.
It is advisable to clean a cast iron pan after every use. The food particles and grease that remain stuck, with time, will make the surface harder to clean. Additionally, it promotes bacterial growth and can lead to food poisoning.
Before you begin cleaning your cast iron pan, make sure that you have the necessary supplies and tools. Some of the supplies and tools include:
- Warm water
- Lemon juice
- Baking soda
- Vegetable oil
- Dishwashing liquid
- Paper towel
- A scrubber
- Paper towels
- Newspapers or tarp
Cleaning a cast iron grill can turn out to be messy. Therefore make sure that you prepare a space where you will do the cleaning. For instance, you can lay a tarp or newspapers on the floor to prevent the stain from staining your patio furniture or deck. Make sure that you wear gloves for this exercise.
The second step is to mix the cleaning solutions you intend to use on one bucket. The other bucket should contain hot water for rinsing.
The next step is to empty the grill. If you are using a charcoal cast iron pan, you have to wait for the charcoal to cool down. Once this is done, remove the ashes and charcoal embers. On the other hand, if you are using a gas grill, make sure that you disconnect the gas.
Cleaning the Cast Iron Pan
There are many ways to clean cast iron pans after grilling. This will, however, depend on your budget and supplies. That said, here are some of the popular ways to clean cast iron pans.
Using Boiling Water Only
This method of cleaning cast iron pan is ideal when there are large food particles on your pan. It is also ideal when you do not have enough supplies. However, this method is not suitable for pans with short sides. It is because it can’t keep the water enclosed. Here is a quick procedure you can follow when cleaning cast iron pans with iron water.
- Fit the pan into the stove and fill it with water.
- Boil the water, and after a while, you will notice food particles floating to the surface.
- Using a plastic scraper, scrape between the ridges to remove sticky food particles.
- Once the pan cools, pour the water with food particles down the drain.
- Rinse the pan with warm water.
- Using a paper towel, wipe the remaining food particles if there is any.
Using Salt and Water
Many people prefer to use salt instead of detergents when cleaning cast iron pans. Salt helps get rid of stuck-on particles. It is arguably the best method to clean your pan after grilling. Some individuals prefer to use salt alone. Here are some steps to follow.
- First, allow the pan to cool but not completely.
- Cover the surface with a generous amount of salt.
- Add hot water and make sure that the salt forms a paste.
- Using a scrubber, scrub between the ridges to get rid of food particles.
- Rinse with hot water.
Water and Soap
It is recommendable to use soap and water to clean your cast iron pan. This method is effective and removes flavor- enhancing seasoning that has accumulated over the years.
- Place the detergent in the middle of your pan.
- Using a scrubber, scrub all the surfaces using hot water and soap.
- Rinse with hot water.
The next thing you do after cleaning your pan is essential. It will determine the durability of the grill. After scouring every component of the grill, the next step is to season the cast iron. But first, you have to let it dry completely.
Before storing the cast iron pan, make sure that there aren’t traces of water, to avoid rusting. To be sure, place the pan on top of the stove and set to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Using a paper towel, spread oil over the entire pan, including the handle, bottom, the sides, and the cooking surface. Your pan is likely to become sticky when you apply to much oil. After wiping the excess oil, reassemble the grill and later heat the pan to allow the oil to penetrate properly.
All cooking oils are ideal for seasoning. However, the oil you decide to use will depend on an array of factors such as effectiveness, affordability, effectiveness, and high smoke point. Vegetable oil, olive oil, and sunflower are arguably the best for seasoning.
Regardless of which oil you use, make sure that you heat the cast iron pan until a polymerization occurs. Polymerization is a chemical reaction that facilitates natural seasoning.
Here is a quick procedure season a cast iron pan after using an oven.
- Preheat the oven.
- Apply oil on the pan.
- Put the pan on the oven rack once it hits 300 or 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Leave the pan for one hour.
By now, you know how to clean your cast iron pan after BBQ. Regardless of the method you decide to use, make sure that you clean your pan occasionally. Do not wait until food particles start to stick. To avoid rusting, do not store your cast iron pan with the lid on.