How to Clean a Cast-Iron Skillet Without Destroying It

Rachel Tepper Paley
August 22, 2014

You’re in love with those gorgeous bird’s-eye photos of dreamy cast-iron skillets, but you’re terrified of actually owning one. Sure, they can help conjure ever-so-perfectly browned macaroni and cheese and rustic-but-elegant blueberry pancakes, but how do you actually take care of the darned thing? (You’re thinking: “I’m not allowed to scrub it like I would a normal pan? How can I get all that sticky bacon gunk off?”)

It’s way easier than you think.

In the video above, “Kitchen Conundrums” host Thomas Joseph explains how not to completely wreck that precious skillet… and what to do if you accidentally do.

To clean one, you need only one thing: kosher salt. Just rub the salt into the pan with a bunched-up paper towel and you’re good to go. (It’s a trick that’s fairly beloved in the recipe-testing world.)

And if you accidentally let your skillet get brown and rusty? Simply scrub a teeny bit of dish soap into the rusted bits with a stiff-bristled brush, and voilà! A very un-ruined skillet.

Be not afraid of the cast-iron skillet! It is your friend…so long as you take care of it.