The last century has introduced countless technological innovations that have made our collective lives a little, or a lot, easier. The dishwasher is one of the best modern inventions in our homes. In a culture where our free time is so precious, it's such a treat to not have to spend so much time hand washing our dishes every day.
While most plates and glassware are made dishwasher safe, there are a few pieces in your kitchen that you should take a few extra minutes to hand wash after you've finished cooking dinner. The dishwasher can be quite harsh and some of the more fragile dishes can't take the pressure.
Cast iron is one of the toughest materials we use in our kitchen tools. Its mortal enemy is excess moisture so as you can imagine, putting cast iron skillet dishwasher will certainly mean some issues for the pan. We're here to let you know the best way to care for you cast iron and keep it in top shape for years to come.
The answer is a resounding no. A dishwasher propels hot water filled with detergent to the dirty dishes via jets for a prolonged period of time. The water then drains and the air is heated inside (many but not all dishwashers have this feature) to dry the dishes afterward.
There are two reasons why cast iron just isn't well suited for the dishwasher.
If you can't put it in a dishwasher and you know too much water isn't good for it, how do you properly clean cast iron? Cast iron cleaning is a simple process when you know the proper steps to follow.
You should start by cleaning the pan shortly after cooking. You will want to wait until the pan has cooled before you put it near any water so as not to cause thermal shock. This occurs when you put a hot cast iron pan into much cooler water. The drastic change in temperature can cause the pan to crack, weaken, or warp.
Scrape any loosely attached food scraps from the cast iron using a metal spatula and dispose of them.
You will want to avoid soaking your pan in the sink. Similar to the dishwasher, the prolonged exposure to water will make your pan rust.
Cast iron can be exposed to moderate amounts of water. Place your pan in the sink when you are ready to clean. Take a dishcloth and use warm, soapy water. Contrary to some old fashioned advice, using gentle dish soap is completely safe to use while cleaning a cast iron pan.
If you have some cooked on remnants of food that aren't coming off easily you can use a plastic scrubber or a chain mail scrubbing pad. Try not to use steel wool on your pan as it will damage the pan's seasoning.
Rinse well and dry the pan thoroughly with a clean, dry towel.
Pour a small amount of oil into the pan and remove any excess with a paper towel. Put it on the stovetop on low heat for 10 minutes. This not only helps to maintain your pan's seasoning, but also to ensure there is no water left behind when you put your pan away.
It depends on your definition. It's almost impossible to truly ruin a cast iron pan - they're stronger than nails.
Putting your cast iron in the dishwasher and improper care can lead to rusting and ruin your seasoning. Both of these things can be fixed to restore your cast iron back to new.
There are only a few signs that your cast iron is actually ruined. Cracks, holes, and a warped pan are all things that should make you consider retiring the pan.
If you've realized a little too late that your cast iron pan shouldn't be going through the dishwasher, we have some fixes for you.
First, you need to assess the state of the pan.
If your pan has rusted from the dishwasher, you will need to remove the rust and then re-season your pan. To remove the rust you must:
If you see any of these signs your pan has likely lost its seasoning, at least partially. You will want to re-season your pan before you cook with it again to regain its non-stick qualities.
The most important takeaway in this post is that cast iron should NEVER be put in the dishwasher, if you or someone else ends up making this mistake it is not the end of the world and your cookware will be completely fine after a little TLC.
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