The $3 Target Buy That Simplifies the Tough Job of Cleaning Your Cast-Iron
And it won't affect the seasoning.
Raise your hand if you've ever spent more than 15 minutes scrubbing a cast-iron pan. Same. While cast iron is known for cooking up delicious fried eggs and the most flavorful steak, it's also notoriously difficult to clean. Especially when you try to be a good cast-iron owner and forego the dishwasher and skip the soap, the cleanup process can be harsh on your hands. But if you arm yourself with the right tools for the job, cleaning the burnt-on mess gets significantly easier.
Recently, the internet has been abuzz about the Ringer (read our review here), a sheet of rustproof stainless steel chain mail that de-gunks cast iron, but I have my eye on another tool that's even more affordable (and looks less like medieval armor). Found in the kitchen section at Target, this $3 silicone scraper duo is easy to overlook, but once you test it out, you'll want to tell your friends. When I saw that these unassuming scrapers were created by Lodge, an American company that's been manufacturing cast-iron skillets since 1896, I knew they had to work without stripping the pan's seasoning. So I picked up a set to put to the test.
The first challenge: A cast iron skillet I'd been neglecting to wash after dinner and let set for a few hours. Grabbing the pan scraper, I got to work. Within a few minutes, most of the burnt-on bits were scraped away. Considering that this was a soap-less scrubbing, the job was done much faster than I'd expected. Having proven its cast-iron cleaning abilities, I started to scour my kitchen. What else could this dynamo clean? Pulling out a glass baking dish of week-old peach cobbler remnants, including all those delicious baked-on crumb pieces, I set to scraping. The rounded edges of the pan scraper fit snugly into the corners of the dish, getting into the spots where the food tends to stick most. With the help of warm water and dish detergent on this one, the dish was spotless in under two minutes.
My verdict: while it's too soon to judge the durability of the Lodge scraper combo, after scrubbing a couple of pans clean in record time, I'd say it's well worth the $3 investment.