The Reason You Shouldn't Soak Your Cast Iron Skillet

If you're looking to invest in a versatile, savvy kitchen tool, let it be a cast iron skillet. With their magical heating powers and seasoned glow, cast iron skillets up the ante of any meal and can be placed on the grill, stovetop, or in the oven. Additionally, they come in a variety of sizes, so whether you're making a skillet casserole, single fried egg, or chocolate chip skillet cookie (so yummy!), you're set. That's right! Cast iron skillets are like the superhero of kitchen cookware. However, if you don't take proper care of your skillet, it could come back to bite you.

Those who cook with cast iron skillets probably already know the 101 of cleaning basics. For example, a teeny, tiny amount of soap is okay, the dishwasher is where cast iron skillets go to die, and steel and/or metal scrubbers are not advised, according to Lodge Cast Iron. Likewise, the cast iron company strongly recommends not — we repeat, NOT — soaking your skillet.

Soaking your cast iron skillet can trash it for the long run

Lodge, aka the king of cast iron products, instructs that skillets can be cleaned in three simple steps. By hand, wash your skillet. If absolutely needed, a small amount of soap can be distributed, but for food that's stuck, they recommend adding water and letting it simmer for no more than five minutes. Once the skillet is cool, use a scraper to remove excess particles. Immediately thereafter, dry the skillet. Lastly, spray a smidge of oil and massage into the skillet. Wipe clean with a paper towel.

Note that Lodge says to simmer water for five minutes for stubborn food, not to soak your skillet in water overnight. This is uber important because "water is a recipe for rust," as explained on their website. Lodge reiterates that using a nylon scrubbing brush or pan scraper and warm water should do the trick.