Every kitchen should have a cast-iron pan or skillet for cooking. These skillets have many great attributes including great heat retention, extreme durability, and a relatively low price-point. Additionally, a cast-iron skillet should last generations making it a great conversation piece in the kitchen. Most kitchens have one that is used quite frequently. However, many people struggle with properly cleaning it and that will affect overall performance. Additionally, simple neglect will also lead to uneven cooking performance and a need for more thorough repair work. Regular cleanings lead to a long life.


Cleaning a cast iron skillet on a regular basis is the best way to maintain its shape and functionality. It is also very simple. After finishing your cooking and while it is still warm, take some paper towels and wipe down the inside of the skillet. This will remove excess food and oil. When that is completed, get a non-abrasive brush or pad and scrub the skillet under hot running water. Dry the skillet with a towel. Lastly, heat it up on a burner using low heat until all traces of moisture have evaporated. Add a small amount of oil to the skillet and use paper towels to lightly coat the whole interior surface with oil. Let it cool completely.


If you have a skillet that hasn’t been cleaned regularly, bring it back to life relatively easily by using the stove-top or the oven. For the stove-top method, heat the skillet over medium heat. Take some paper towels and dip them into cooking oil with tongs. Wipe the inside surface until the oil smokes and there is no remaining residue in the skillet. After it cools, you might have to repeat this process two or three more times.


Using the oven is a very similar method. Heat the oven to 500 degrees and coat the inside of the skillet with cooking oil using tongs and paper towels. Make sure the surface looks dark and smooth and place it in the oven for 60 minutes. Remove the skillet and let it cool completely.


A cast-iron skillet should last a lifetime with proper maintenance and care. Even when you find a skillet that has been neglected, it can be brought back to life with the methods mentioned above. Cleaning it properly after each use will ensure a long and functional life in your kitchen.