Cast Iron Cookware--Why do you not wash with soap? How do you kill bacteria? - Graybeard Outdoors
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post #1 of 75 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 02:22 PM Thread Starter
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Default Cast Iron Cookware--Why do you not wash with soap? How do you kill bacteria?

I'm assuming the soap cuts out the non stick surface that builds up. But if you never use soap how do you get rid of bacteria? Is there some type of product for that?

Any other tips for a cast iron cookware novice? I picked up some Lodge cast iron. I hope it's decent.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 75 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 02:35 PM
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Default Re: Cast Iron Cookware--Why do you not wash with soap? How do you kill bacteria?

i almost always use soap (very sparingly)
on all my pans, iron included. it doesn't
wash the "seasoning" off. then after a
rinse they go back on the heat to drive
any moisture out. after the handle is too
hot to hold barehanded i consider that
hot enough and the pan gets a light coat
of grease and is set aside to cool. after
it's cooled i rewipe it with clean paper
towels and is put away. now if i'm out
in the sticks i'll just wipe them clean
most of the time because of limited
potable water and set them back on the
fire for a bit. here at the house if i've
cooked something that will easily wipe
clean they don't get as thorough of
a cleaning, maybe a rinse and reheat
and greasing and wiping.
a lot of folks won't wash their iron cookware
and that's ok too, but i prefer to wash
all my vessels that have held food.

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post #3 of 75 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 03:00 PM
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Default Re: Cast Iron Cookware--Why do you not wash with soap? How do you kill bacteria?

I imagine the heat kills bacteria. Personally I use soap and scrub them clean then dry and put a little oil in there and wipe it around coating the whole inside with a paper towel then set it on the turned off still hot stove eye before putting it away after it cools down. With years and years of the seasoning built up it stays there when I wash them.


Cooking styles have changed quite a bit with refrigeration and folks working jobs away from home. Years ago a pot of beans could literally be 20 years old. The cooking method was just add ingredients as they went away and keep constant low heat going. Maybe by early morning the fire would go out but it was restarted as soon as you got up, even in the dead of summer. Potatoes were the same. Today if we use oil it's usually around 350 degrees or more to keep as much oil out of the food as possible. Back then they pretty well simmered everything in lard. Low heat and cooking all the time unless the fire went out when you were asleep. Potatoes and lard added as needed. Today the oil goes bad from high heat or even turns rancid from food in it with no heat to kill the creepy crawlies in it. Or little burnt bits of food from running the oil hot to keep the fat out of it so we have to wash the pans to get rid of the off flavors.

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post #4 of 75 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 03:46 PM
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Default Re: Cast Iron Cookware--Why do you not wash with soap? How do you kill bacteria?

Hot water wash and rinse,dry,add oil and heat it up.Never got sic in my almost 60 years of using this stuff. Worked ok back in the old days.We seem to lose a lot of the everyday living wisdom from the old days.If out in the field,sand can scour the stuck on stuff ,then just treat as before. Cast iron is the best vessel to cook in
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post #5 of 75 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 03:50 PM
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Default Re: Cast Iron Cookware--Why do you not wash with soap? How do you kill bacteria?

season heat above 300 degrees.....nothing can or will live 8)

sea-ya.....

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It don't matter cause I don't mind or is it I lost that too........

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post #6 of 75 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 04:01 PM
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Default Re: Cast Iron Cookware--Why do you not wash with soap? How do you kill bacteria?

I've always used salt to clean cast iron pots and pans, never soap, between the salt and heat, there's no worry about bacteria.

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post #7 of 75 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 04:01 PM
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Default Re: Cast Iron Cookware--Why do you not wash with soap? How do you kill bacteria?

LOL! Bacteria dies at fairly low heat. Cast iron is the only way to cook or bake. Be more concerned about WHAT your cookin than what your cookin it in. We all know about under cooked chicken, and pork, but under cooked beef is where many get such things as tape worms and worse.
We use a light soap to clean, then a paper towel wit a little olive oil.

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post #8 of 75 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 05:18 PM
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Default Re: Cast Iron Cookware--Why do you not wash with soap? How do you kill bacteria?

i didn't think to write that if you're starting
with a brand new cast iron piece, you may
want to do what i've done to some i've had,
and that's to polish the inside. i've used
3m surface conditioning discs intended for
smoothing metal bodywork, machined
surfaces, etc. and i've used sandpaper.
you're wanting to get it as glass smooth
inside as possible, like those old skillets
granny used and smoothed by 50-60 years
of using spoons and egg turners etc.
except you're turning the clock forward.
i polished this last lodge i bought, but it's
still not as smooth as the 100+ year
old wagner i like to use.


just cooked a pan of cornbread in one
to go with the stew from earlier


good luck with it

The United States doesn't have a gun control problem.
We have a people control problem.

Honor the Texas flag;I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas,
one state under God, one and indivisible.

* * * * AMERICA * * * *
LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT ! !
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post #9 of 75 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 05:31 PM
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Default Re: Cast Iron Cookware--Why do you not wash with soap? How do you kill bacteria?

what you need'n is a handfull'a possum fat ana touch of hawg jowl for perfect season'n
you modern whiper-snappers ain't gotta like'n for such ol'school culinary art.

even ifin you got one them armadillo's....(re-capped possum) that will do
just fine for season'n 1st round. gotta have swine jowl for finish touch....yeah !!

ok, yur on yur own now........good luck 8)

sea-ya.....

Out of all the things I have lost I miss my sanity almost as much as my hearing and sight.
It don't matter cause I don't mind or is it I lost that too........

A man with experience is never at the mercy of a man with an opinion.

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post #10 of 75 (permalink) Old 07-06-2014, 06:08 PM
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Default Re: Cast Iron Cookware--Why do you not wash with soap? How do you kill bacteria?

I don't worry about bacteria in my cast iron and only clean them with soap when I'm going to reseason them.
I cook on cast iron at least 7/10 meals.

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