Published January 1, 2012. From Cook's Illustrated.
Could this little gadget clean cast iron better than oil and salt?
Since soapy water can strip the seasoning off of cast-iron cookware, our standard cleaning method is to heat a little oil in the pan, add salt, and use this coarse paste to rub away cooked-on food. The CM Scrubber by KnappMade ($19.98) promises to make scrubbing cast-iron cookware (and all other cookware surfaces except nonstick) easier. We passed this 4-inch square of stainless steel chain mail over a cast-iron pan encrusted with charred bits of sausage and another that we’d used for frying bacon. The linked steel rings effortlessly lifted away any stuck-on bits without damaging the pan’s finish. The scrubber itself took some scrubbing to become completely grit- and oil-free for the next use, but it dried quickly and didn’t rust. We’re even fonder of our cast-iron skillet now that we have a faster, tidier cleanup tool.