OOh, please don't use the wire brush! You don't want to remove the coating that's already on there; you just clean off any food that's stuck on. In most cases, a damp paper towel will do the trick.
I wouldn't worry about the oil you use to maintain the seasoning of the pan. Most of the oil is soaking down into the pores of the metal. You'll notice that if you touch the empty pan, you get little to no oil on your fingers; the iron absorbs it, so it's not transferring to your food.
I love my cast iron pans. They are great to cook with because they make foods amazingly crispy. I usually clean mine with hot water and I make sure it's completely bone dry before storing. I don't oil it before storing instead I add coconut, olive oil or butter right before I cook in it.
The only way to know how much oil is on them is to measure it. The pans do absorb some of the oil but the measurement should be pretty accurate.
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So I rented out an upstairs room of some lady's house for my summer internship, and she has all cast iron pans to cook on. For cleaning, its just wash it out with water while they're still hot and scrub them with a wire brush. Then drizzle some olive oil on the, and set them back on the stovetop so they're ready to go next time and don't rust or something.
My question is, anyone have a best guess for how much oil is picked up on the food when the pan has a very thin layer of olive oil on it to start? Thanks
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