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Feb 10, 2011 06:57 PM

Worried about mixed use of cast iron

I want to use my cast iron skillet to bake a giant cookie, but I'm worried that it will pick up flavors of all the savory foods I usually cook in it (think garlic and onions).

Do I need to worry about this? If so, is there a way I can clean it before use? Or do those of you who do sweet and savory in them have separate pans?

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  1. I use separate pans for sweet/savory foods, but I believe you could heat the pan, clean it while it's just cool enough to handle with a pot holder, put a light coating of vegetable oils on it and briskly rub it with a couple of tablespoons of kosher salt using a linen towel or other suitable material (not paper towels) the brush out the salt, cool it down, heat some clean water in the pan to the boiling point and repeat the salt scrub process after dumping the water out. Then re-season.
    It's what I do when I want to do a thoroughly clean my cast iron and it does a good job of eliminating any lingering savory flavors from the cast iron.

    1. Hi all,

      And after you do what Todao suggests, give your pan a couple or three good sniffs to be sure there's no residual aroma.


      1. You could bake a batch of cornbread in it, and see if that picks up the smells.

        2 Replies
          1. re: I used to know how to cook...

            But then what would you do with a whole pan of cornbread!? . . .

            Oh, yeah that is a good idea.


        1. I just fill the pan with water, bring it up to a boil, boil for couple of minutes then empty the water and give it a light wash with a sponge. I've used the same pan for savory and tart tatin, corn bread, upside down cakes, etc. without any flavor pickups.

          1. I don't bake in cast iron but if I wanted to, would get a second pan. They are cheap enough that it's barely worth the effort of scrubbing and then having to reseason my bacon-and-egg pan. My old cat iron cookware has decades of seasoning that I want to preserve.