The Zen of Cleaning Cast Iron

The Guitar Man stepped effortlessly into a new role as Domestic Deity  today as he manned-up to clean the cast iron griddle that came with our new stove.  After composing the world’s most delicious omelet for breakfast, we were confronted with a cleaning challenge.  I usually take over the clean-up, and I’ve never had a problem cleaning other cast iron pans with a combo of kosher salt and elbow grease, but this eggy mess was wearing me down and postponing my return to procrastinating over my NaNoWriMo WIP.   So, chivalrous as always, he left his iPad golf game to tag team me at the sink.

Cast iron is an enigma: You can’t use soap on it…. so it defies all cleanliness logic.

Cast iron is the maestro of all cooking tools:  The older it gets, the better it performs.

Cast iron conducts heat like nobody’s business.  If you like it hot, this pan is for you. Those who know the Guitar Man know his philosophy: if your food isn’t engulfed in flames to rival the fires of Hell, it’s not cooking.  Or it certainly isn’t cooking fast enough.

Cleaning cast iron is a form of meditation.  You are so focused on getting the gunk off that you can only be in the moment.

I dare you to name anything more Zen than cast iron.

BTW — boiling some water on the surface of the griddle seemed to do the trick.  So tomorrow, pancakes anyone?


6 thoughts on “The Zen of Cleaning Cast Iron

  1. I’ve never owned cast iron pans, although my mom had one when I was growing up. No idea who got custody of it. And you know, I’d bet real money my mom used soap to clean it. I keep promising myself I’m going to buy some, but never seem to get around to it

    1. The Lodge Manufacturing Company of South Pittsburg, TN sez about its product: “Keep it dry. Keep it oiled (seasoned). Keep it 100 years.” They should know: they have been around since 1896. Their link: http://www.LodgeMfg.com … if you want to treat yourself this holiday season to a pan that also can also serve as a weapon. Man, they are the original heavy metal.

  2. I usually use a paste made out of salt and a little cooking oil, (after I rinse it clean, I set it over an open flame to dry it off, and it sort of does a quick “re-season,”) but for real sticky stuff I boil water with a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar in it, to loosen up the gook. Once in a great while, if I cooked something really stinky I’ll admit I might add a few drops of dish soap to the oil/salt blend.

    Fang refers to mine as “The Civl War Pan” and will have nothing to do with it other than eating the Peruvian chicken that’s been roasted therein.

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