The 4 Best Brushes, Scrubbers, and Scrapers for Cleaning Cast Iron Cookware
The debate over how to properly clean cast iron cookware can get heated — and is one that spans generations. Should you use soap? Can you just wipe it out with a paper towel? Should you use a bristle brush or a sponge? If you use a brush, is one better than the other?
While we spend a lot of time trying to come to a final answer for these questions, today we’re here to talk about the best cast iron brushes and cleaning tools. (And yes, we like a brush over a sponge!) Here’s what our testing has led us to recommend.
A Few Other Notes About Cleaning Cast Iron Cookware
- No matter what, cast iron cookware should never be put in the dishwasher.
- Some cooks prefer not to wash their skillets at all, and only wipe them out. To clean a skillet in this way, wipe out the skillet while it is hot, using a thick pad of paper towels or a kitchen rag to protect your fingers, making sure to remove all food debris. Apply some oil when the skillet has cooled, and put it away. If you’re concerned about food safety, know that the skillet will be sterilized once it is heated again to 212ºF. (A skillet will probably go far over that in the course of cooking; it will reach 400ºF in 4 minutes on medium heat.)
- Soaking is not necessary. If residue remains after cleaning, reheat the pan and use a silicone scraper to remove.
- Always dry immediately and season the cast iron skillet by rubbing it with oil (Rust is your biggest enemy).
- Avoid strong detergents and metal scouring pads unless restoring a rusted piece.
What do you use to clean your cast iron skillet?