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Sep 2, 2013 05:16 AM

Cleaning a grill pan?

Hi folks, I've got an Iwachu round grill pan which I've just brought out of retirement and am loving a lot. The problem is that after cooking fatty foods such as sausages on it, although I can remove any stuck on/burnt crud with a stiff brush and soaking if necessary, I'm having trouble getting rid of all the oil and fat in between the ridges. The only method I've found so far is to get a wad of paper towels and go along every nook and cranny, which is time consuming and a big waste of paper. I could use cloth, but they end up staining and the stains are impossible to wash or bleach out. Is there something I haven't thought of (I can be really stupid sometimes and miss the obvious)? Any tips, advice, bits or bobs?
Thanks :)

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  1. < I'm having trouble getting rid of all the oil and fat in between the ridges.>

    First of all, you may not need to squeaky clean a cast iron pan

    Second, a little detergent and a hard bursh should get most of the oil out if needed.

    Third, if you have a sink spray head, then try that. It gives much stonger pressure which help to rins/push the oil residue.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      My inner germophobe wants me to at least get rid of the "puddles" of oil left there :P I also don't really want it to start turning into a sticky mess. I will try the detergent, thanks! I've had the "no soap" so firmly ingrained into my head that it didn't even cross my mind to use a bit for this pan which doesn't need to be nonstick anyway.

        1. re: JayL

          I already use hot water, but it doesn't work well because the grill pan is quite shallow, so if I put it under the tap directly, water (and grease) splatters over absolutely everything, so I can't direct the hot water stream to wash out the oil.

          1. re: Sirrith

            Don't try to "sray" the oil out with hot water...just use it to loosen the oil so that you can wash it out.

            To keep it from splashing all over, just place your hand in the stream of water. That will soften the stream and cause no splashing. Once the water level is above the raised grill marks it won't splash anyway.

    2. Hi Sirrith,

      Any easy way to clean grill pans is to put them inside of a plastic garbage bag and add a cup or more of (household) ammonia. Close the bag very tightly and let it sit overnight. The crud will rinse off easily the next day.

      This process works well with oven racks, stove grates, BBQ grill plates, etc. as well.

      4 Replies
      1. re: MrsPatmore

        You are talking about stripping the entire pan including the seasoning. A very useful method for re-seasoning a pan, but probably not for everyday use.

        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          LOL, I see what you mean and I agree after re-reading the OP may not be looking for truly "deep clean". The ammonia technique is not intended for daily use, but I've been absolutely amazed how well it works when you do want or need that "like new" finish. For daily grease removal, my weapon of choice is generally Dawn Power Dissolver, but not on woks, cast iron, etc. For those types of seasoned surfaces, I find no better tool than hot water and a bamboo scrubber (like this one sold by the Wok Shop:

          1. re: MrsPatmore

            You're right, I'm only looking to clean the pan of oil and grease after each use :)
            I'll try the chopstick thing and detergent first while I look around for a wok scrubber (which I'm interested in for my other CI pans).

            I just realised I forgot to mention what the pan was made of in my original post; it is cast iron

            1. re: Sirrith

              The wok scrubber should be available in any decent Asian market for only a dollar or so. Don't buy the plastic version, though; the plastic will not work nearly as well as the bamboo.

      2. I sometimes use a common bamboo chopstick which fits the grooves in my grill pan, although I do that less often since buying a stiff brush at SLT.

        When I have excess fat I use a little dish soap to help clean it out. No lectures please — those who insist on never using soap or detergent in a steel grill pan are welcome to do without.

        1 Reply
        1. re: GH1618

          Thanks for the chopstick tip, I'll use that next time! And yes, I'll be using the dish soap next time for this pan.

        2. Reading these responses causes me to think everyone is over thinking a simple cleaning.

          I typically use hot water and a green scotch brite pad to scour the surfaces. Dry on the stovetop and done.

          2 Replies
          1. re: JayL

            My experience has been that scotchbrite pads have removed the seasoning on some cast iron pans; also my guess is that the flat scotchbright is not going to clean the valleys of his grill pan, which I think was the reason for his inquiry, (at least that's my current understanding of it)

            1. re: MrsPatmore

              Are people really not smart enough to put the pad inside the grooves of the pan to clean it? Seriously...this should be a common sense moment in a person's life.

              No, a scotch brite, or a steel scrubber for that matter, will not remove the seasoning from your pan.

          2. I have not tried them myself but I have gifted my brother a 3-pack of grooved sponges/scrubbers sold at Bed Bath&Beyond under the George Foreman brand. He says they work very well on his grill pan, which he uses extensively.