If you have burnt-on food on your cast iron cookware, here are some ways to clean it.
My aunt told me about these two ways:
(1) The best thing to do is to burn the skillet. If you have a fireplace (or furnace), let the coals die down and then place the skillet in the coals. It may flame up--but that's okay. Let it burn off the grease and the food. (be sure to move the skillet around in the fire so it doesn't crack). If you don't have a poker or tool to get it out, wait until the fire dies down and the coals are cool to remove it. Then wash all the ashes off and re-season the pan .
(2) If you don't have a fire, the second way to do it would be to get a pan bigger than your skillet and boil the skillet in the pan on the stove. This doesn't work as well--it might get the food off but it won't clean the skillet (black specks) entirely. Either way you do it, you'll have to re-season the skillet .
Keith Moumblow, of Brigadoon Bed & Breakfast in Scottsboro, Alabama shares these tips for cleaning cast-iron cookware:
"When my skillet needs it, I stick it in the self-cleaning oven when that needs to be cleaned, too. You get two birds with one stone this way; however, I try to never let my skillets get really, really dirty.
After seasoning the skillet the first time, and after using the skillet, I use coarse salt such as Kosher salt, and scrub it around in the skillet with a paper towel. Dump the salt and rinse the skillet in cold water. Wipe dry with a paper towel (if you still get a brown stain on the paper towel, dump more salt in and repeat the process), and then wipe a thin film of olive oil in the pan. Stick the pan in a plastic bag until ready to be used."
Hope that helps some folks out there with cast-iron cleaning problems!