Arch-Nemesis : Cast Iron Skillet

I have a new arch enemy.  Sure it is an inanimate object, but that doesn't make me crazy at all I swear.  My wife and I both cook and clean so there is no division of labor when it comes to those chores.  About a week ago my wife made some delicious chicken in our new 20 dollar cast iron skillet.  My wife tends to cook with high heat (there are so many puns/innuendos I could put there but I choose to control myself) and as such the skillet got some caked on stuff.  "Not to worry, I told her, I will clean it up."

Phase 1 : Soak over night
I set the skillet aside in some hot soapy water, sure that the next morning it would come off with ease.
SCORE : Skillet 1, TheHusBlog 0

Phase 2 : Soak overnight in soap only, no water then go at it with green scrubby sponge
Some stuff started to free itself from it's skillet bonds but alas more work needed to be done.
SCORE : Skillet 2, TheHusBlog 0

Phase 3 : SOS Pads
First off this did get even more stuff off but it also got all kinds of weird blue/grey SOS soap under my nails.  Had to take a break to cut my nails.
SCORE : Skillet 3, TheHusBlog 0

Halftime Break, it is at this point I should point out that the skillet was only 20 dollars and I had worked on it for three days.  So, while it would have been easier to just buy a new skillet I was not going to quit.

Phase 4 : Steal Wool
Now we are talking.  The scrubbing with the steal wool started to do some real damage to the caked on stuff  and the tide was turning.
SCORE : Skillet 3, TheHusBlog 1

Phase 5 : Copper Coated Steal Wool
Even more progress now, in fact I thought this was going to be the end game but still some pieces hung on for dear life.
SCORE : Skillet 3, TheHusBlog 2

Phase 6 : Knife
Now I went at this thing with the blunt end of a knife, forcefully and purposefully (can't believe those are both words) scraping the last of it.
SCORE : Skillet 3, TheHusBlog 3

So over the course of several days I probably spent around 3 hours cleaning a 20 dollar pan.  Sure I could have probably bought a new one and saved the trouble but TheHusBlog is not a quitter!

Well played Skillet, I am sure we will meet again...


5 Response to "Arch-Nemesis : Cast Iron Skillet"

  1. Andrea says:

    Now may not be the time,but had you seasoned the pan before using? I am too lazy for whatever that involves, so I don't have one.

    We did season the pan before, and after all the cleaning and scrubbing we re-seasoned it. I am about to cook some dinner with it now.

    Kerewin says:

    How did the second dish come out?

    Just a suggestion for cleaning the optimal time to clean the pan is when its still hot. I am not the master of this however!!! The best way I found to clean casturon is 1/4 to 1/2 cup kosher salt and 1 - 2 tbs of oil. The mixture will look like damp sand Put on a glove and rub the salt into the pan in small circles. Works like a harm.


    Second dish came out great. Your suggestion for cleaning sounds good I am sure to use it. Thank you!

    Anonymous says:

    Also, just cook the hell outta it. Open the windows, but it is the easy (lazy) way to do it. Carbon is much easier to scrap out. Also then it's hot and you can use a metal spatula to get it all off.

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