How to Clean Cast Iron Skillet on Campfire
Cooking on a campfire is arguably one of the best things you can do outdoors. However, cleaning up after a meal can be a daunting task. A cast iron skillet requires special attention to ensure it is adequately cleaned without damaging the coating. In this article, I’ll review how to clean a cast iron skillet on a campfire.
Before cleaning, allow the skillet to cool down. It is essential to never clean a hot cast iron skillet directly with cold water, as this may cause the skillet to warp or crack. Once it has cooled down, use a scraper or a stiff-bristled brush to remove any food particles or ash.
After scraping, pour some coarse salt onto a paper towel to scour the skillet. The salt is an abrasive that helps remove any stuck-on food without damaging the skillet’s surface. Remove any excess salt before moving on to the next step.
Next, rinse the skillet with hot water. Be careful not to use soap, which can damage the skillet’s coating. Instead, use a soft sponge or brush to remove any remaining food particles. Once the skillet is clean, dry it thoroughly with a towel or place it over the campfire until it’s hot and dry. Finally, add a thin layer of oil to the skillet to keep it properly seasoned.
Preparing The Campfire for Cooking
Before I start cooking with my cast iron skillet on a campfire, I always ensure the fire is safe and ready for cooking. Here are a few steps I take to prepare the campfire for cooking:
- Select the Right Spot: First, I look for a suitable location for my campfire. I choose an area away from overhanging trees, dry leaves, and other flammable materials. I ensure the fire pit is far from our tents or other camping gear.
- Gather the Firewood: I gather enough firewood to keep the fire going while cooking. I collect different types of wood, including small sticks, medium-sized branches, and larger logs. I ensure the wood is dry and moisture-free to avoid emitting smoke.
- Build the Fire: Once I have collected the firewood, I make a teepee-style fire by arranging the kindling in a cone shape. I light the fire from the bottom to allow the flames to spread evenly. I add more wood gradually, starting with small sticks and moving to larger logs.
- Wait for the Fire to Die Down: After the fire has been built, I wait until the flames decrease and the wood has burned to embers. This process takes about 30 minutes, depending on the size of the fire.
Once my campfire is ready, I use the heat to cook delicious meals on my cast iron skillet. Cleaning cast iron skillet on campfire requires some expertise, but following the right steps is quite easy.
Cleaning the Cast Iron Skillet
Cleaning a cast iron skillet on campfire requires some basic steps. Here’s how to do it:
- First, let the skillet cool down completely before starting to clean it. It is important to avoid any accidental burns.
- Once the skillet has cooled down, remove any food particles or debris using a paper towel. You can also use a scraper for this purpose.
- After removing any leftover food, fill the skillet with hot water and scrub it with a stiff brush or scrubber pad. Cast iron skillets are durable, so don’t be afraid to apply a little elbow grease to remove any grime or residue.
- Once you have finished scrubbing the skillet, rinse it with hot water and dry it thoroughly with a clean towel or paper towels.
- It’s important to season the skillet after cleaning to prevent rust from forming. Rub the skillet with a thin layer of oil or fat and bake it over the campfire.
- Finally, store your cast iron skillet in a dry place to prevent rusting. If you’re camping, wrap it in a dry towel or cloth and store it in a plastic bag.
Cleaning a cast iron skillet on a campfire may seem daunting, but with these simple steps, you can easily maintain your cookware and enjoy delicious meals over the fire.
Maintaining Your Cast Iron Skillet
Now that you know how to clean a cast iron skillet on a campfire, it’s important to maintain it properly. Here are a few tips to keep your skillet in top-notch condition:
- Season regularly – The seasoning on your cast iron skillet provides a natural, non-stick surface that improves over time. To maintain it, season it regularly. Simply apply a thin layer of oil to the skillet and heat it on a campfire or stovetop until it smokes.
- Avoid soap – While it may be tempting to use soap to clean your skillet, avoid it. Soap can strip away the seasoning, leaving your skillet vulnerable to rust. Instead, use hot water and a scrub brush to remove food particles.
- Dry thoroughly – After cleaning your skillet, dry it thoroughly to prevent rust. You can place it on a campfire or stovetop until all the moisture has evaporated.
- Store properly – Place a paper towel or cloth inside to absorb any moisture when storing your cast iron skillet. You also want to store it in a dry place to prevent rust.
By following these tips, you can maintain your cast iron skillet, ensuring it lasts for years.