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Mar 29, 2005 06:53 PM

Cleaning indoor cast iron grill pans?

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So I have this great Le creuset cast iron indoor grill pan (the kind that spans two burners, and has the reverse side as a griddle). Is there any easy way to clean this pan? What I have been doing is putting kosher salt on the pan immediately after use, then using some kind of semi-abrasive sponge to cleal off residual mess (under hot water). Any easier methods to this madness?

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  1. Oven cleaner is what the kitchen-collectibles dealers use to get their black-iron skillets etc. all clean and new. Outside on layers of newspaper, and wear rubber gloves. One of those cheap long-handled grill-scrubber metal brushes comes in really handy. Spray it on, let it fester for a while, scrub everything pretty well and hose it off - the water neutralizes what's left of the lye (which is the active ingredient). If you don't have a massive buildup of crud, of course, you can be less intense about it...

    If you give the pan a good seasoning after it's cleaned, and then repeat that after the next few times you scrub it, after a while it will become more or less permanently seasoned and easier to clean. All of my pans (and I have a pile of'em) just get an immediate scrubbing out with hot water and one of those open-weave plastic Chore Girl things - much better than a scratchy sponge. And if I think it looks a little dried out, I give it a lick of spray-on oil before I put it away.