You don’t soap down a perfectly seasoned cast-iron pan, since that would break down the seasoning layer that makes the pan nonstick. You might, however, wipe it down with an oiled paper towel. But what if the paper towel comes away with sooty black stuff on it—does this mean the next dish you cook in that pan will be full of soot? Learn what’s normal and what signals a problem.

Photo by Flickr member naotakem under Creative Commons

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