How To Clean A Cast Iron Grill Pan in 7 Easy Steps or Less

How To Clean A Cast Iron Grill Pan in 7 Easy Steps or Less

Little things have a great impact on our lives. The definiteness goes ahead with a cast iron grill pan. It’s hard to imagine our kitchen without it.

At the first glance, it appears that it will work for a longer time without giving more attention.

But, the real story lies in taking care of your iron grill pan so that it would last longer and you could cook your favorite meal without thinking twice.

You may think that it is hard when it comes to the cleaning part but believe me, it is quite easy and fun when done right. Now you have questions regarding the cleaning part, I’m here to share the best practices for cleaning cast iron grill pan in a stepwise method.

You can actually get plenty of time to cook your food and you’ll need a lot less time to wash your pan along with maintaining its longevity.

Keeping a note of all the steps and cautions, here is a mini-guide on how to clean a cast-iron grill pan in seven easy steps or less with an in-depth explanation.

What Are The Best Ways To Clean A Cast Iron Grill Pan?

You can clean cast iron grill pan in many ways but here are my personal best ways for it:

Boiling Water

Your pan can easily be cleaned using boiling water especially if you have quite fewer add-ons in your wishlist. Note that it can only work well if your cast iron grill pan has higher edges that means that the sides should be of decent height so that they could hold the kept in water.

Getting into the steps, the foremost step is to place your pan on the burner and add some water into it. Two and a half inches of water would work great but you can add according to your estimate.

Boil the water so that all the stuck particles start coming out at the upper surface of the water. Lose the in-between food among the ridges by using a spatula and scratch it a little hard to make it clean.

Now cool it down and trash the residue. The last step involves giving it a final touch by rinsing once through clean hot water. Wipe off the water using a cotton towel or paper towel.

Common Salt Without water

Some chefs don’t like the idea of getting in touch with water for the cast iron grill pan. It may be because of their values or in order to prevent rusting.

And, this is absolutely fine when you aim to work with your cast iron grill pan for a longer duration. You can fairly clean your cast iron grill pan without using water at all.

Disperse a generous amount of common salt on the pan and get a paper towel to rub it. Fold it in such a way that you could scrape the stuck food.

Continue adding more salt according to your need until your pan is cleaned. Keep on scrubbing with more and more salt using the clear side of the paper towel.

In the end, all you need is to add some salt and clean it up with a paper towel.

Salt And Water

Salt and water are also a good option compared to using detergent and water. In order to maintain the longevity of your cast iron grill pan, you can add salt, and having a good one like kosher salt gives you a scratchy grip so that you can get rid of the in-between stuck particles into the rims.

It can be very helpful to you if you are the one who loves to play with your utensils with water at least once before cooking.

Let your cast iron grill pan cool for some time until the stage reaches where you can touch the pan without burning your hand with it.

Now scatter the salt over the pan in such a way that the salt has covered it completely.

Now, use a scrubber to get rid of all the stuck food particles between the ridges and at the sides. Finally, rinse it well with clean water.

Soap And Water

I completely understand your fear of using soap and detergent especially after reading the above pointers. But, when used in a cautious way, soap and water can be turned out to be a boon for your cast iron grill pan so that you won’t have to compromise with the flavor for the next meal.

The matter of fact lies in using the soap effectively, like cleaning the rust and sometimes cleaning your firstly bought pan.

Rub your pan with a little amount of soap that is not too harsh on the surface and use a scrubber to scatter the soap evenly on the surface. Using a few drops of hot water would be of great help.

The next step is to rinse the pan and scrub it with soft soap so that you may get a lasting effect after cleaning the pan. In the end, clean the pan with water and remove all the salt.

Vinegar And Baking Soda

There are times when you don’t feel like working hard and scrubbing your cast iron grill pan again and again throughout the day. Here’s the way for you.

Using vinegar and baking soda to get rid of the dirt that is not coming to your hand using a spatula or scrubber. In some easy steps, you can get your used cast iron grill pan as clean as the new one.

The first step involves getting a big plastic pocket or bag whose covering won’t react with vinegar. Not dip your cast iron grill pan into a mixture of vinegar and baking soda.

Regarding the amount of both ingredients, then the vinegar should not be more than one cup combined with half a cup of baking soda.

Drop this combination with your cast iron grill pan for a night and voila, the grease has loosened, and now you can easily rinse it off.

Hot Water & Scrapper

If you love playing it safe then hot water and scrapper are the best options for you.

You can easily clean your cast iron grill pan with hot water adding a little effort to rinse the trash off and making it all clean at the end.

You may think that this won’t help in cleaning the pan efficiently but, using this method, you can effortlessly increase the life of your cast iron grill pan, and contribute to its longevity.

To clean the cast iron grill pan, all you need is to scrub the rims with soft hands that are not too hard on the pan and use a scraper to get rid of the stuck food particles.

On the final note, once you are done with the cleaning part, you should move on to rinsing it off with clean hot water and drying it using a paper towel.

Cast Iron Cleaner

It is often recommended to avoid using regular soap, detergent, and steel wool for cleaning your cast iron grill pan, especially if you want to let it stay longer with you.

There are a number of cast iron cleaners available in the market that you can avail at a price but get the task done in an efficient way. Choosing a method is completely up to you since it is you who decides the best option, but using a cast iron cleaner always counts on your side.

Cast iron cleaners are specifically designed for cleaning your cast iron grill pan that never rusts like those of steel wool. It is safe to use and also saves the pan from grilling season.

You can be stress-free while using a cast iron cleaner and use it as a super hygiene way to clean your cast iron grill pan. The rims and the edges can be safely cleaned without putting in unnecessary effort.

Recommended: Ultimate Cast Iron Cleaner 3 in 1 Set ( Buy Now on Amazon! )

Easy Steps To Clean Cast Iron Grill Pan

Apply ( Use of above-mentioned methods )

To clean the cast iron grill pan, the first step is applying the substance that you have chosen from the above list. You can select any of them according to your need, availability, and choice.

There is no rule of thumb for this. All you need is to opt for the best option that suits you well.

You can be sure that there are no risks involved in these; all are tested and well-researched ingredients.

Apply the selected one evenly on the surface and don’t forget to pay attention to the rims and edges, they matter a lot when it comes to applying the instance in an even order.

You can also opt for your version of ingredients by experimenting under proper guidelines.


Scrubbing is as essential as evenly applying the instance. You must make sure that you scrub the edges and the corners fairly as there are chances that food particles may get accumulated and consequently your cast iron grill pan may rust before the time.

In order to scrub in a good way, the most important thing that you need to consider is that the rims have the potential to capture the food particles.

You can use a spatula for this if your scrub is not reaching clearly. Once you get the cast iron grill pan free from all sorts of stuck food particles, you can happily move on to the next step.


It is recommended to always wash the cast iron grill pan after having the meal so that the grease or stuck food particles could be loosened and cleaned easily.

And, we all agree and follow this advice. The query is about rinsing the part that most of us often forget.

Rinsing the cast iron grill pan after applying the substance and scrubbing it thoroughly so that it has no grease or stuck food particles left in-between the rims and the edges.

It would be best to use hot water, not boiling water so that you get the task done instead of getting burnt. Once you have rinsed the pan, move on to the next step.


You may think that after washing the cast iron grill pan, your job is done. But, let me tell you that drying your pan is as important as washing it.

You can be sure about the cleaning part as rust won’t come into the place while cleaning the cast iron grill pan efficiently but ignoring the drying part can leave some concerns with the pan.

You can use a cotton cloth or paper towel to dry the cast iron grill pan completely. Using a paper towel would be best but you can choose anything that is available near you.

Once the pan is completely dry, you can plan to go ahead with the next step.

Oil & Clean

Woohoo, you are on the last step of cleaning the cast iron grill pan.

Once your cast iron grill pan is completely dry, you need to apply a minimal layer of oil, for this purpose, there is no harm in using the cooking oil.

Oiling is done primarily to avoid the cast iron grill pan from rusting and it will help you to cover the surface of the pan without needing any extra sheet to tighten it up.

You can clean any other particles if found during oiling the cast iron grill pan. And, you’ve done the task for now.

How Do I Clean My Burnt Grill Pan

It’s been a long chat with you while mentioning all the best possible ways to clean your cast iron grill pan and the steps involved in proper cleaning of the pan.

Until now, I hope you may be wondering about the best way out of these best ways. Well, I’m not sure if mine one would work for you or not, but I can definitely tell you my way of cleaning my burnt grill pan.

Let me confess, I’m lazy! (Are you also?) Well, I don’t like the idea of scrubbing the grill pan for too long when it is burnt hard. Normally, I do prefer using a paste of salt and water and using a nylon scrubber brush to clean the food particles in between the rims and alongside the edges.

On a weak night, I go ahead by using a mixture of one cup of vinegar with a one-third cup of baking soda and place it inside a big plastic bag with the iron cast grill.

On the next morning, I rinse it with water and dry it before covering it with oil.

The other method that I learned, liked but never used till now needs using a drill and metal brush. I find this innovative and quick but basically concerned for its risks.

Just because I did not ever give it a try does not mean you should not learn and try! Anyways, I am attaching video I find for this method on YouTube below.

Can You Use Lemon Juice To Clean Cast Iron?

You may doubt using acidic food at the beginning especially when you are planning to make your cast iron grill pan stay longer with you. And, trust me, I was also in the same shoes a year ago.

Well, it is absolutely true that we should avoid cooking acidic foods in our cast iron grill pan, but the acidic lemon juice serves a purpose that is quite helpful for the pan.

If you have ever spotted any rust on your cast iron gas grill pan then the best way to remove the rust in an effective manner is by using a combination of lemon and salt.

All you need is to cut a lemon and drop it on the salt for some time. Now, grab it and start rubbing the rusted part and keep on adding the salt as you require until the rust gets dissolved.

You can also use a mixture of lemon juice with baking soda. It would simplify the process and save you from putting effort into rubbing.

Wrapping it Up!

You made it until the end of this mini-guide on cleaning the cast iron grill pan.

It was an awesome journey to be with you and mention all the best ways to clean the cast iron gas grill and the required procedures along with solving the basic query.

Now, it’s your turn to head on to the kitchen and clean your cast iron grill pan using your favorite method, and don’t forget to share your experience with me.

Scroll to top