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<p>I have a nice large cast iron skillet that I regularly use for sauteing onions, cooking ground turkey, etc. & every year around the holidays, I also make homemade toffee in it.  I guess toffee doesn't really belong in "nutrition & good eating"  haha! but anyway. . .yesterday, dh made a batch of toffee & it was laced with an onion flavor-yuck!  He was unpleasantly surprised & has vowed to scrub the skillet with hot soapy water from now on.  That's gonna kill the non-stick properties though, right?  What should I do?  Is this just the nature of cast iron skillets?  The second batch he made yesterday tastes great & he didn't clean the pan in between batches. </p>
 

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<p>DO NOT USE SOAP. that will kill the non stick and could make it rust,</p>
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<p>the reason it has an onion taste is b/c thats what they are meant to do. they absorb "seasoning" from what you cook in it, its natural to the pan.</p>
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<p>all i can suggest is 2 seperate pans.</p>
 

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<p>You can easily re-season a cast iron pan. I would wash it out (with soap, if that's what you want, or baking soda and vinegar) to make sure there's no lingering problem flavour and re-season it with vegetable oil and baking it in the oven. You may want to do this a day or so ahead, to allow time to season it. Then you are good to go. </p>
 

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How do you normally clean it between uses?<br><br>
Soap will absolutely strip the seasoning, but there are other ways to get rid of the onion flavor that won't.<br><br>
I scrub my CI w a wire brush and hot water (no soap) after each use. But if you're in the no water camp, a handful of salt, scrub, wipe, and a quick rinse if you like. I wouldnt do BS, since that is a degreaser and will also strip the seasoning.
 

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<p>I guess I'd rather make sure I don't have unwanted flavours tainting my food than worry about an easily replaceable seasoning on the cast iron. I cook a lot of curries but that's not a flavour I want passed along to other foods. I wash my cast iron with soap all the time if I'm going to be making something delicate or sweet in the pan. Yes, it strips the seasoning, but I just re-season the pan and it's no problem.</p>
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<p>I don't have room in my kitchen drawers for duplicate pans, although I do keep separate wooden spoons for savouries and sweets.</p>
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<p>My mom has a dedicated cast iron candy pan. As for the soap thing, I use soap in mine but I also dry it on the stove with lard and it never rusts. I'd rather reseason it once a year than never use soap.</p>
 

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I don't use soap on any of my cast iron-- I have a griddle, a dutch oven, two skillets, and a wok. What I do is after I cook, I fill the pans with water, and bring the water to a boil, and let it boil a few minutes. Then I pour off the boiling water, and wipe vigorously with a bit of old rag. Then I rinse in water, and wipe with another clean rag. Then I apply a thin layer of palm oil, and set the pan back on a low burner for five minutes. I don't have problems with off-odors at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
<p>Thanks for all the responses!  I think it would be easiest to go with either two separate pans or re-season the pan before making toffee since we typically only do it once a year.  FYI, I currently scrub the pan with hot water between uses & wipe dry.  No soap.</p>
 
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