Are Cast Iron Skillets Really Sanitary?
CAST IRON - IS IT SANITARY?
Cast Iron Skillets. Who doesn't love some fried potatoes or hashbrowns made in these tough-as-nails skillets? Everyone always says, "Don't use soap on your skillet! It will ruin it!" I just wanted to find out if that's actually true.
As I was researching what you should and shouldn't do to this piece of kitchen art, I was shocked to learn I'm doing something seriously wrong.
NO SOAP AND WATER?
Okay. So we don't need to use soap and water. It seems to be true. I've searched and searched for studies on cast iron that say this is unsanitary, but most everything I read says that if you wipe it out, and then heat it up PROPERLY, you'll be fine. However, I DO use soap and water and then put it on the stove to dry. I figure I should oil it afterwards, but I'm guilty. I don't always do this step. Most people just say, wipe it out with a paper towel, and rub it down with some oil afterwards so it's ready for next time.
WHAT ABOUT BACTERIA?
Apparently, it's true that once you heat up your skillet, the temperature should kill any bacteria that's in your skillet.
ARE YOU DOING IT RIGHT?
I don't think I'm doing the steps exactly right. So if you aren't sure you're cleaning and oiling your iron skillet properly, read carefully and you should be good going forward.
- Coat your entire skillet, which means the inside of your skillet, as well as the outside of your skillet, with oil or shortening.
- According to an article from the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, THIS IS THE KEY: After you've coated the entire skillet, bake it at 400 degrees FOR AN HOUR. What!!?!? I usually use water to rinse it out. I then put it on the stove and heat it up until it dries, and then put the oil on. I am absolutely NOT doing this right.
So you coated the entire skillet, baked it at 400 for an hour. That's it.
- From time to time, you may need to re-season it to maintain the skillet, but this all depends on how often you use it.
But are you supposed to just dry it with your towel? Are you supposed to bake it for an hour after every use?
HOW DO YOU CLEAN YOUR CAST IRON SKILLET?
I'd like to know what you do with your skillet because I really couldn't find any definite terms as to what you really should do with your skillet. Send your cleaning techniques to Kelly@minnesotasnewcountry.com.