Most cast iron skillets today are manufactured with a clear, enameled surface, so white spots on your pan are most likely the result of mineral deposits. This is because cast iron pans require some oil or fat to prevent food from sticking to them as you cook. The more you use it, the more this fatty residue builds up. It ultimately leads to mineral deposition via heat and time.
What is the best way to remove white spots from your cast iron skillet?
First, it is essential to understand that these mineral deposits prevent the pan from being seasoned and ultimately will prevent it from being used. So, the first step would be to clean your cast iron pan with soap and water. This will remove any stuck-on food and open pores so that new oil can penetrate the surface better. After you have cleaned your skillet, make sure to dry it entirely before heating it again.
The next step is to season your cast iron pan after it has dried. This will allow for a natural non-stick surface that does not require added oils or fats every time you use it.
Last but not least, it is essential to understand that cooking highly acidic foods will contribute to the deterioration of your cast iron pan. Acids are challenging to remove once they have reacted with the iron and, over time, can cause pitting and rusting on your prized cast iron skillet. So, the best practice is to cook with acidic foods as little as possible. And if you do decide to cook with them, make sure to clean any white spots right away and season the skillet after use.
So, why do I have white spots on my cast iron skillet?
Well, it’s because you are cooking with it, plain and simple. If you are a seasoned cast iron cook like myself, then you know that a properly seasoned pan is non-stick and requires no added fats or oils to cook with. If you have not yet mastered this skill, then keep practicing until you can make the perfect egg over medium in your cast iron skillet without it sticking to the surface. And always remember to take good care of your prized cast iron skillets and season them after each use to avoid mineral deposits, rusting, and pitting in your future cast iron collection.