How to Clean a Cast Iron Grill Pan

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Cast iron cookware has withstood the test of time
Cast iron cookware has withstood the test of time (Image: Rusted Cast Iron Skillets on Shed image by Katrina Miller from Fotolia.com)

Cast iron cookware is popular because of the durability of the pots and pans, and the versatility of the cooking surface. The care and cleaning of cast iron is different than what most people are used to, but very easy to manage when the process is learned. A cast iron grill pan is a bit more difficult to clean than a regular pan because of the ridges in the bottom, but certainly easy once the pan is properly seasoned and regularly cared for.

Things You'll Need

  • Stiff nylon brush
  • Kosher salt
  • Vegetable oil
  • Absorbent dish cloth
  • Aluminum foil
  • Cookie sheet

Cleaning a Cast Iron Griddle Pan

Rinse the griddle under hot water, and scrub as much food off as you can with a stiff nylon brush. Resist the temptation to use soap, which is not recommended for any cast iron cookware.

Use a stiff nylon brush
Use a stiff nylon brush (Image: red brush image by Ivan Hafizov from Fotolia.com)

Boil a shallow layer of hot water in the bottom of the griddle for a few minutes to loosen any food residue that remains.

Make a paste of vegetable oil and kosher salt: one tablespoon oil, one tablespoon salt. Place the paste on the griddle, making sure to get it in all the ridges. Using the paste, scrub the griddle with a nylon brush to remove any remaining food residue.

Use a paste of kosher salt and vegetable oil
Use a paste of kosher salt and vegetable oil (Image: Salt image by lefebvre_jonathan from Fotolia.com)

Dry thoroughly with an absorbent cotton or linen dish cloth.

Dry with an absorbent cloth
Dry with an absorbent cloth (Image: brown and red plaid dish towels image by DSL from Fotolia.com)

Coat the griddle with a light layer of vegetable oil while the pan is still warm from the hot water. Paper towel, or a soft cotton cloth works well for this.

Coat your griddle with vegetable oil
Coat your griddle with vegetable oil (Image: bottle with oil and tomato image by Olga Rumiantseva from Fotolia.com)

Seasoning a Cast Iron Griddle Pan

Put a layer of aluminum foil, or a cookie sheet on the bottom rack of your oven to catch any drips.

Cast iron is timeless and can last for generations
Cast iron is timeless and can last for generations (Image: kochstelle image by Angelika Bentin from Fotolia.com)

Preheat oven to 350 to 400 degrees.

Scrub the griddle with hot water and soap; not detergent. Use a stiff nylon brush.

Rinse well with hot water. Dry thoroughly with a soft cloth.

Apply a layer of vegetable oil onto the entire griddle, inside and out.

Put the griddle upside down in the oven, on the top rack.

Bake for one hour. Turn off the oven and let the griddle cool right in the oven. Cast iron cookware requires seasoning to work properly and maintain a non-stick surface. A well seasoned griddle that is lightly oiled after every use will not need to be scrubbed as often, and will be easier to clean after every use.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not use soaps or harsh detergents when cleaning cast iron, which will just dissolve the seasoning.
  • Never wash cast iron in the dishwasher.
  • Proper cleaning and oiling should keep your griddle in good shape, but re-seasoning may become necessary if the pan begins to look grayish in color, or if food sticks when cooking.
  • If the griddle feels tacky after seasoning, lightly scrub with the oil/salt mixture and rinse with hot water. Dry and store.
  • Soap may be used to prepare a pan for seasoning, but not detergent.
  • Always dry cast iron thoroughly. If left to air dry, the iron can rust, and will need to be re cleaned and re seasoned. Scrub off the rust with steel wool before re-seasoning.
  • Always store cast iron cookware in a cool dry place, and leave uncovered.
  • Cast iron griddles will typically have an exposed iron handle that can become extremely hot. Use an oven mitt or pot holder to keep from burning your hand.
  • Never put a very hot cast iron griddle into cold water as this can cause the iron to crack.

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