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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.

            1. What if you lined the cast iron with parchment?

              1 Reply
              1. re: katecm

                You might sacrifice some of the crispness, but then again I think it's a sterling idea. At least worth a try.

              2. I have absolutely no advice about cast-iron . . . but is this the giant cookie that's currently on 101cookbooks? Because I was really curious about that, and I'd love to know how it turns out. The one time I tried to make a giant cookie it was not a success, but I think I was about 12 at the time.

                1. After I use my well seasoned pan for whatever, I wash it with soap and water and then dry over the gas flame. I don't understand why you would need separate pans....don't you wash it?

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: escondido123

                    + 100 ~~ It is so nice/refreshing to meet someone who hasn't taken Cast Iron seasoning, using, cleaning, storing, etc, etc to the level of "Rocket Science"!

                    1. re: Uncle Bob

                      me too. use it almost every day, then wash it -- for 38 years.

                    2. re: escondido123

                      I know lots of folks who are "able" to use soap on their. My aunt in particular, but her skillets are 50+ years old and are super well seasoned at this point. They're as non stick as teflon. My skillets are cheapies and not that old. The few times I've used soap the season has been screwed up.

                      1. re: Honestly Good Food

                        I have the same comfort level with my cast iron pan. I got mine from my Mom as a shower gift when I got married, 31 years ago...she got it (used!) from her Mom when she was married in 1949. We reckon it is 75 years old.

                        I use it for everything from bacon and eggs to fried green tomato sauce to pineapple upside down cake...and am thinking of checking out this big giant cookie idea. All I will do is give it a good scrub with salt and a clean rag.

                        The only thing that makes me crazy is when DH makes his eggs in the pan, then fills it with water and forgets it...but, frankly, even that doesn't seem to make a difference to Old Smokeless.

                    3. I'm kinda wondering if cast iron is the best choice for a cookie? I do use one, but not picturing it being a good choice for this use.

                      1. It *will* pick up the onions and the garlic, particularly if someone is sensitive to those flavors. I use one cast iron just for sweet things, another for savory.

                          1. re: jaykayen

                            Oh no, every time I've used soap on it I've had to reseason it.

                          2. I ended up rubbing it with kosher salt, then rinsing, and boiling a little hot water in it. It worked great, not garlic or onion taste in my giant cookie at all ;) Thanks everyone.

                            1. Am I the only one here who thinks the residual cast iron flavor will go great with the cookie? I usually cook pork, bacon, steak, burgers, that sort of thing on my CIS....and I wouldn't mind that with a cookie!

                              1. I wash them out well with a sponge/scrubber - and I use dish detergent. Rinse it well, rub salt all over the pan. Then lightly oil and wipe again. Heat it on highest heat. Actually salt work for me on my hands when I've worked with onions and garlic. Just rub damp salt a few times and it removes the smell. No need to get a second set.

                                You could always make a pancake and cook that first just to test it. If you're using high quality ingredients and are worried of wasting them.

                                Actually I have more problems with my expensive non stick ware. It holds on to soap and I can't tell until I've drizzled a bit of oil in the pan and heated it. ACK!