Food - Drink
Why You Shouldn't Intentionally Set Your Cast Iron Pan On Fire
By JENNIFER SWEENIE
Cast iron pans are a worthwhile investment that can last for decades if maintained properly, which means following rules when cleaning and caring for your skillet. Cowboys used to clean cast iron pans by lighting them on fire, and while fire can be an effective brute-force tactic to disinfect surfaces, that doesn't mean you should try it.
Lighting your cast iron pan on fire can ruin it, since extreme heat will not only warp the metal, but change its chemical makeup and create orange spots on the surface that can't be seasoned properly. You'll also risk cracking your pan, since cast iron is more brittle than other metals and doesn’t withstand sudden temperature changes well.
Contrary to popular belief, the best way to clean your cast iron is with a little soap and water; as long as you don’t soak the pan, its seasoning will stay intact. You can also rub the pan with coarse salt to absorb grease and remove crusted-on food, but the only time that fire that should be used on your pan is when you're cooking food.