Do you love your cast iron as much as we do? You know, the tough, versatile pots and pans that are perfect for searing steak, baking cornbread, and even making soup? If so, you’ll probably agree that nothing beats cast iron for versatility.
But there’s one thing about it that can be a bit of a pain: The inevitable burnt-on remnants that accumulate over time. Don’t get us wrong — (after all) the blackened gunk is actually an indication of how well your piece has been taking care of itself. But cleaning those stubborn stains can be a real nightmare sometimes! Read on to learn the easiest way to clean a burnt greenpan…
What actually causes the burnt gunk?
The burnt residue that forms on your cast iron is caused by the iron reacting to certain types of foods at high temperatures. So, it’s no surprise that fried foods and carbon-based foods (like coals) are the worst offenders. When these food types come into contact with the iron, they leave behind a chemical reaction that makes the surface of the pan turn black. As this carbon build-up is baked on, it can be really hard to remove. That’s why you need to learn how to clean a burnt greenpan quickly — so it doesn’t ruin your pan. If left untreated, the burnt residue can get baked onto the pan so tightly that it’s almost impossible to remove. This can make your pan look pretty terrible, but it also makes it unsafe for use in the future. You see, if this baked-on gunk isn’t cleaned off, it can leach iron into your food. And if you eat enough of that, it can cause serious health issues.
How To Clean A Burnt Greenpan
What You’ll Need
- A soft-bristled brush (to help loosen the burnt bits)
- A bucket of water (with a little dish soap added)
- An old, clean rag
- A paper towel
These should be enough to clean a burnt greenpan effectively. But if you want to be extra careful, you can also wear a pair of rubber gloves while cleaning. This way, you can avoid staining your hands or fingernails. You can also wear a face mask or respirator to protect yourself from inhaling the burnt residue.
Step 1: Scrape Out The Burned Bits
First, you need to scrape out the majority of the burnt bits with a spatula or spoon — making sure that you get as much loose stuff out of the pan as possible. And while you’re at it, make sure you clean off any remaining food buildup inside the crevices of the pan as well. Since you’re cleaning a burnt greenpan, you’ll probably have quite a bit of loose carbon to scrape out. If that’s the case, make sure you use a metal spoon or spatula, so you don’t scratch or damage your pan’s surface.
Step 2: Add Some Water And Let It Boil
Next, add some water to the bottom of your cast iron pan and place it on the stove. Then, turn the burner on high and let it come to a rapid boil for about 5 minutes. Since cast iron is naturally non-stick, this method should loosen up most of the burnt bits and make them easier to wipe off. And even if some of the carbon remains, it won’t be as baked on as before.
Step 3: Add A Little Dish Soap
If the water method didn’t do the trick, you can also add a little dish soap to the water in your cast iron pan. This time, let the soap sit in the water for around 15 minutes before proceeding to the next step. Again, this should loosen up most of the remaining carbon. And if some remains, you can still scrape it off with a soft-bristled brush.
Step 4: Rinse And Dry
Once you’ve removed all the burnt bits from your pan, rinse it out with some warm water. And make sure you clean out every last bit of soap by scrubbing the inside of the pan as well. Once it’s clean, you’re done. If you want to avoid cleaning a burnt greenpan like this in the future, there are a few things you can do. First, avoid using high heat like you would with stainless steel pans. This makes your cast iron more likely to get burnt on. You can use a cast iron pan on high heat, but keep the heat low enough that food doesn’t burn. You can also season your pan more often. Seasoning is basically a process that conditions the surface of your cast iron. It creates a thin, carbon-rich layer that makes the pan non-stick. You can do this by rubbing your cast iron with oil and then putting it in the oven for around an hour at 350°F. Keep these tips in mind the next time you see your cast iron pan covered in burnt carbon. Because the best way to clean a burnt greenpan is to prevent it from happening in the first place!