Chain-Mail Scrubber

Published January 1, 2012. From Cook's Illustrated.

Could this little gadget clean cast iron better than oil and salt?

Overview:

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.

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.

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  • Product Tested

    Results Key:

    Good ★ ★ ★ Fair ★ ★ Poor
  • Prices are subject to change.
  • Recommended - Winner

    CM Scrubber

    Scrubbing the charred bits out of a cast-iron skillet becomes a far less onerous task with this 4-inch square of chain mail, handmade of 16-gauge stainless steel. The linked steel rings required a bare minimum of elbow grease to lift off stuck-on bits of sausage—and the rings didn’t damage the seasoning. The tool also performed flawlessly at cleanup after we fried bacon. Although the scrubber itself needed some scrubbing to get completely grit- and oil-free for next use, it dries quickly and doesn’t rust.

    • Ease of Use ★★★
    • Performance ★★★

    $19.98

    BUY NOW Amazon
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