Serious Eats: Talk

Cast iron - gunk in the bottom?

I don't have a lot of cast iron experience and I'm afraid I may not be getting my one cast iron skillet clean!

My mother-in-law never had this problem, but she used detergent on hers...

when I clean my cast iron skillet, and wipe it out with a paper towel afterwards, there's always black stuff on the the paper towel.

The way I am cleaning the cast iron is to boil some water in it (to get the crud off) and then I use a wire brush to scrub the mo-fo. Sure seems like it would get the skillet clean, right?

Is the black stuff normal, or am I not getting it clean? Am I doing something wrong? I admit I don't usually clean it right away... if I make steak or whatever in it, it's generally a few hours afterward that I clean it... or possibly the next day (hanging head in shame... OK, so housekeeping is not my strong suit...).

Any advice for me?

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