Cleaning cast iron using a self cleaning oven. |For what it's worth

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Cleaning cast iron using a self cleaning oven.

The easiest cast iron cleaning method ever!

My favorite kitchen tool is cast iron skillets.  I use them almost every day to caramelize,  stir fry, brown meat, bake casseroles, bake cornbread, fry eggs, sausage, bacon, make desserts...everything!  They take minimal care, but once a year I like to completely clean and re-season them.  The first cold front that comes through in November is a prime time to get the cast iron ready for all the winter cooking I like to do.  Earlier last weekend I was caramelizing onions with bell peppers and garlic when the bottom of the pan started a little flame.  Thank goodness a cold front arrived just in time to do the fall cast iron cleaning!  Here is an easy method using a self cleaning oven that has worked well for me.

Wipe out any obvious or loose crud that may be in your self cleaning oven.  If you have old racks to use, change to those.  I burned off the shiny finish on my racks the first time I used it...didn't know any better then, so I just leave mine in.

Place the cast iron pieces in the oven so they are not touching.
Close the oven door, lock it down, start the self cleaning cycle.
Do something fun while you wait, 
but don't leave the house or the stove unsupervised during the cleaning time.  
When the cycle is over, open the door and wait for the pieces to cool.

How to clean cast iron the easy way

Rinsing cast iron when cleaning
When they are cool, rinse each piece with clear water.
Use a bristle brush to get off the soot.
How to clean cast iron the easy way
Place the pieces on the stove top burners with the heat on medium until the pieces are dry.
Turn off the heat.  While they dry on the burners, use a wet towel to wipe out your clean oven.

How to season cast iron
Use a paper towel to swipe on a thin coat of vegetable oil.
Thin coat is key, you're not cooking food, just putting the season back on the cast iron.

How to season cast iron

Put the pieces back in the clean oven and turn it on 225 F.
Let the oven slowly bake the season back into the cast iron for about 30 minutes.  
Turn off the oven and let them cool.
That's all there is to it.
How to clean and how to season cast iron

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