If you read this morning's inaugural Slog AM post by newly minted Slog AM intern Michael Bell, you might have noticed something disgusting:
I have no problem with pancakes (yay gluten) but the filthy pan and the bacon within it belong to Slog AM reader Michael S. (no relation). I reached out to Michael S. to ask if he's aware of the proper method of cleaning cast iron, and he told me that, despite apparences, his bacon pan isn't actually cast iron but is a ceramic-coated pan from Target, and it's not filthy, it's just scratched to shit.
My plan to nonconsenually lecture Michael S. on the proper way to clean cast iron was foiled, but, never one to let an opportunity to be a know-it-all pass me by, I did a little digging and found out that whatever Michael is doing in the kitchen is the number one worst thing you can possibly do to a ceramic-coated pan: He's scratching it. This isn't as much of a big deal as it would be if the pan were Teflon or non-stick—scratching those bad boys release harmful chemicals and make your balls shrink and could kill you—but according to Simon, the friendly guy who answered the phone at Sur La Table Seattle, it's still not good for it, which is why Michael S. should put down the fork and pick up the bamboo spatula.
Michael has no plans—yet—to replace his ceramic pan with cast iron, but, Michael, when you are ready to make the leap, just fucking wash it. Plenty of real cooks will tell you that soap will damage your cast iron and you should use kosher salt and potatoes or some bullshit, but don't fucking listen. It's cast iron. It's not going to break. Just wash the thing and keep it plenty well-seasoned. You're welcome.