How to Clean Cast-Iron Grill Pans – 4 Easy Ways!

A cast-iron grill pan is a powerful and essential tool to have in every kitchen. Whether it’s years old and has passed from generation to generation or has been bought recently, it is essential to care for your pan.

This means that once you are done using your pan, you should clean it properly.

By providing your pan with appropriate care, you can expect your cast-iron grill pan to even outlive the most durable stainless steel or non-stick pans you have.

If you are wondering how to clean cast-iron grill pans, then you’ve come to the right place.

Here is how you can clean your cast iron grill pan.

Cleaning up a Cast-Iron Grill Pan

Here are some great ways for you to clean your grill pan.

Once you are done cleaning your pan completely, don’t forget to preserve it.

You can do this by getting rid of the extra water and re-seasoning after using it.

Using Boiling Water

Using boiling water is the simplest way to clean your pan. This method is especially effective if you are short on cleaning supplies and your pan has large food remnants.

Moreover, it is essential to acknowledge that this method will only be appropriate if your cast-iron pan has elevated sides to retain the water.

To clean your cast-iron pan using this method, first, fill your cast-iron pan with at least 2 to 3 inches of water and set it on the stove.

The water will start boiling within a while and the food particles will float up towards the surface. Get a spatula and start scraping the ridges to release any stuck excess food.

Now, let the pan cool down for a while. You can then pick up the pan and throw the water and the remnants in the pan away.

Rinse the pan using hot water and you use a paper towel or lint-free cloth to get rid of any food residue.

Using the Mixture of Water and Salt

It’s essential for you to keep the seasoned surface of your cast-iron pan. This is the reason why many people opt for salt rather than detergent when it comes to cleaning a pan.

Kosher salt is rather coarse, which makes it an abrasive cleaner. It is very helpful in getting rid of food particles that are stuck on your pan.

A kosher salt and water solution is often considered to be the ideal method to clean up a cast-iron grill pan effectively.

Start by allowing your cast-iron pan to cool down without letting it get entirely cold. Proceed by covering the surface of your pan generously with kosher salt.

Now, add some hot water the cast-iron pan, allowing the salt to stick and form a pasty substance.

The next step is to use a cleaning sponge to move around the salt and scrub the pan. Make sure that cover around all the sides and ridges.

Ensure that no spot remains untouched. The last step is to rinse your cast-iron grill pan with warm water to get rid of any salt residue and other debris.

You should repeat this step to ensure that there is nothing left behind.

Using Salt

Many people choose to protect their cast-iron grill pan from water. Hence, this method is ideal for those people.

This method is very similar to the above-mentioned method. The main difference is that you don’t need water to clean your pan.

You can start by sprinkling a generous quantity of coarse kosher salt on top of your cast-iron grill pan. The next step is to use a paper towel to scrub the kosher salt to remove the food that is stuck on your pan.

You can keep on adding more salt as you continue to scrub the pan properly using salt and a towel.

Once you are done scrubbing, you can use a new paper towel to give your cast-iron pan a final wipe down. Make sure to dump the remaining residue and salt into the bin.

Using Water and Soap

If your cast-iron pan has been passed down over the years, you probably want to keep it clean and safe.

The water and soap method has been acknowledged as a rather effective way of getting rid of rust or even cleaning a new pan.

The problem with this method is that it can negatively impact the seasoning of the pan that’s been built. So, it is best to use it only when it is extremely necessary.

To clean your pan via this method, start by adding a small quantity of some non-abrasive detergent or soap in the middle of your cast-iron pan.

Then, use a scrubber or sponge to scrub the surface of the pan with soap and a little bit of hot water. You can also use steel wool if you want to, but it’s best to avoid it. Once you are done scrubbing, rinse the pan using hot water.

Then, take a non-abrasive sponge or pad and give the pan one last scrub. The last step is to rinse off any remaining residue of soap.

How to Care for a Cast -Iron Pan

Despite the method you use to clean your grill pan, you have to take certain precautions if you want to enhance its lifespan.

There are a few tips you can use to enhance the lifespan of your grill pan.

  • Make sure to clean your cast-iron pan immediately after using it. It will be easier for you to get rid of food residue.
  • Never let your hot pan anywhere near cold water. This can cause your pan to warp badly. In order to prevent this, you should allow your cast-iron to cool down. Moreover, you can also use hot water to clean it.
  • Never leave water in your pan as it causes serious rusting. Make sure to completely dry your pan before storing it.
  • Always wipe away the extra oil when you are seasoning your pan. If you don’t do this, your pan will have a sticky coating. You should opt for a solid shortening if you can afford it.
  • If your grill pan comes with a lid, avoid storing it with the lid on. This will end up trapping moisture between the pan and the lid that can cause serious rusting.
  • When you are washing your pan in the sink, line it up with a towel. This will help prevent scratches on the bottom of your cast-iron grill pan.
  • When you are re-seasoning your pan, make sure your oven is as hot as possible. This will allow the oil to get past its smoking point and break down. Moreover, this way, the oil will bond more firmly to the pan, forming a smooth surface.
  • If you are re-seasoning your pan in the oven, make sure to place your pan upside down. Also, place a layer of foil beneath it to let the excess oil drip off.
  • You should avoid using steel wool for your cast-iron grill pan unless it is absolutely necessary.
  • If you decide to use soap on your pan, make sure you use a highly non-abrasive one.

How to Season a Cast-Iron Grill Pan

It is vital to ensure that your cast-iron grill pan is squeaky clean. However, the steps you take after cleaning your pan will actually determine how long it will last in your kitchen.

If you take the necessary steps to care for it properly, you can easily pass it down for generations. Once you have used anyone the aforementioned cleaning methods, you should immediately get rid of the water and re-season your pan’s surface.

A cast-iron grill pan is extremely susceptible to rust. To prevent rusting, you need to ensure that it’s completely dry before storing it.

Once you are done cleaning your pan, place it on your stove-top. You can also place it in your oven and set it to 450 or 500 degrees. This will ensure that any leftover water evaporates.

After this, you should get a paper towel and use it to rub shortening or oil over your pan.

You need to ensure that you cover the entire cooking surface, bottom, sides, and handle of the pan. Once you are done with this, take another paper towel to get rid of any excess oil.

Place your skillet on your stovetop and allow it to smoke. If you are using an oven, make sure to turn it off after 45 minutes.

Moreover, allow your skillet to cool down while it’s in the oven.


Food stains and residue can be very stubborn, especially on a cast-iron pan. You can use any of the above-listed methods to clean up your cast-iron grill pan.

Using Kosher salt is the most recommended method of cleaning your pan. Despite the method you choose, make sure to remain consistent with your after-cooking care.

Cast-iron grill pans often get better with age, but only if they are properly cared for and preserved.

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