There’s a catch to your beautiful new cast iron pan: you really shouldn’t use dish soap and traditional cleaning methods, which can strip the material of that carefully developed “seasoning” that gives it its non-stick properties. But there are easy, inexpensive solutions to keep you black pots in sizzling shape. Here are three things to consider when choosing a cast iron cleaner.
This product is built with a stiff scraper to help with the most stubborn bits of burned-on food. Full Circle
A stiff nylon-bristle brush is stout enough to scrape the surface of the pot, but gentle enough to maintain the cast iron’s thin layer of seasoning. Look for a brush with an oval or circular head so you can easily work it into pot corners and irregularly shaped lids.
This product has a handy hanging loop for easy storage. The Ringer
It might seem odd, but a swath of chainmail made with stainless steel rings is a super way to clean cast iron pots and pans. The rounded corners of the rings lift away stubborn bits of food, but protect the delicate cast-iron seasoning. And they’re a snap to clean—just toss them in the dishwasher.
This kit includes a neat silicone handle cover that protects hands from hot iron. Lodge
There are tons of combination packs that include scrubbers, scrapers and cast iron conditioning products. They’re a great choice for newbies to black pot cooking, and a solid backup for seasoned cast iron chefs who don’t want to be caught without proper cleaning products.