It’s easy to love cast-iron skillets—for their brawn, their beautiful browning ability and their seemingly endless lives. Although these sturdy cooking instruments aren’t quite invincible, a little TLC can help them truly last forever. Master cast iron cooking with our guide.
Pro Tip: Seasoning your skillet is key to keeping it in tip-top shape. Learn how with tips from our Test Kitchen.
How to Store Cast Iron
Stash in a dry cabinet: A typical kitchen cabinet is the optimal storage space for cast iron. But make sure it’s dry! Excess moisture turns to rust in a hurry on highly reactive cast iron. Make drying your skillets thoroughly after rinsing them part of your cast-iron cleaning routine.
Keep on the stovetop: You may keep your cast iron out on the countertop or stovetop, as long as it’s moisture-free—far removed from the kitchen sink area.
Stow in the oven: Ovens make a great storage space for cast iron—but only if your pans are free of wooden parts. Remember, though, to carefully remove the skillet before heating up the oven.
Hang ’em up: You can hang your cast-iron skillets and pans on the wall—just be sure your hooks are securely mounted to studs. These bad boys are heavy! Hanging makes them both decorative and functional, so you can show off your awesome collection. Bonus: The free air flow will help prevent rust, and your cookware will be readily available.
Place paper towels between pans: No matter where you keep them, prevent scratching and rusting by stacking your cast iron pieces—including lids—between paper towel sheets.
Always, always, always focus on dryness—and your pans will last a lot longer than they would if you stack them in a humid area, freshly rinsed and wet.
The Best Cast Iron to Keep in Your Kitchen
On the hunt for a great cast-iron skillet? Here are some of our favorite brands to have in your cookware collection:
- Modern classic cookware brand Le Creuset creates beautiful culinary tools coveted by home chefs and restaurateurs alike. Its enameled cast-iron skillets are a little lower-maintenance than raw cast iron and come in a rainbow of colors.
- Lodge‘s best-selling—and affordable!—cast iron stands the test of time. Use it to sauté, sear and stir-fry the perfect meal.
- Iconic ironware brand Smithey offers gorgeous, ergonomic, easy-to-hang skillets that you’ll want to use every day.
Did you know you can bake a pie in your cast-iron skillet? Here’s how!
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