Cast iron skillets are unquestionably one of the most long-lasting pieces of cookware in your kitchen. If they are cleaned, maintained, and stored properly, they can last a lifetime and be passed on through generations.
It is essential to understand how to keep cast iron skillets properly. Whether you plan to buy cast iron skillets or you already have them, read on to learn how to store them properly.
Reasons for getting cast-iron skillets
Before knowing how to store cast-iron skillets, we will first discuss why one should own cast-iron cookware in their kitchen. Aside from being very durable, a cast-iron skillet has many characteristics that make it worth buying.
Cast-iron skillets are very durable
The number one benefit of having cast-iron pans is their durability. Cast-iron cookware is highly durable and will last you a lifetime if properly cared for.
Seasoning in cast iron is covalently attached to the metal, making it highly stable. Seasoned cast iron is resistant to rust and will improve with age. They can grow rusty, but all you have to do is scrub the rustoff and re-season the pan to get it back in action.
Cast iron skillets stay hot longer than other cookware
It takes a long time for cast iron to heat up, but it stays that way once it does. Cast-iron pots and pans have the best heating qualities and capacity of cooking utensils.
You won’t notice a sudden drop in temperature as you are searing a thick steak in a cast-iron skillet, as you would in an aluminum or stainless steel skillet. This is critical when searing meats to generate a char, preparing hash, or pan-roasting birds and veggies.
Cast iron skillets are safe and make food taste better
Cast iron skillets have a naturally non-stick surface because of the seasoning that coats them. Additionally, the non-stick surface is safe to use because it contains no chemicals, unlike other non-stick cookware that eventually wears away.
A patina can form on cast iron cookware during the cooking process, making them naturally non-stick.
A cast-iron skillet’s non-stick surface will become more even and less prone to sticking with time and use. We don’t have to worry about sticking when making delicate items like pancakes, omelets, and skillet bread.
Cast iron skillets have various uses
The versatility of cast-iron skillets is yet another reason to adore them. You can cook it on the stovetop at the highest setting, bake it at a medium temperature, or roast it over a campfire.
The ability to start preparation on the stovetop and finish it in the oven is great for dishes like seared steaks or frittatas. With practice, cast iron pans can be used to their most significant potential in the kitchen.
Cast iron skillets are inexpensive and worth the price
Cast-iron cookware may seem pricey due to its superior quality, but this isn’t the case. Using cast iron pans and skillets is an excellent investment because of the many advantages they provide.
Compared to more expensive cookware, cast-iron does an excellent job of retaining and dispersing heat.
Things to avoid when storing cast-iron skillets
Do not store them when they are still wet
In actuality, this is a no-no for all cookware, not just cast iron. Storing them damp is a no-no. It’s like enticing rust to grow and stay in the pans if you store them while they’re still wet. Dry the entire surface, inside and out, to ensure no liquids remain.
The best way to ensure they are completely dry is to place them on a low-heat stove and let the moisture evaporate. If you don’t want to store them wet, don’t put them in a moist place once it’s entirely dry. When keeping cast iron, it is best to keep it dry.
Do not store them without cleaning
Make sure to clean your cast iron before storing it carefully. Even tiny amounts of food residue can cause the cast iron to rust by trapping moisture, and the rubble can taint the flavor of the food you cook in the pan.
A plastic scraper, a scrubbing sponge, hot water, a scrubber sponge, or even kosher salt might all be helpful in this process.
Do not use sharp materials that can harm the non-stick coating. Black as coal, a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet hides any food residue that could be left behind. Mold can form on food that is stuck to a surface, leading to rusting. On top of that, it’s downright repulsive.
Rub oil on the skillets between uses
A thin layer of oil is the best way to keep cast iron from rusting. When exposed to moisture in the air, an unseasoned skillet will quickly deteriorate, but not if it has been rubbed with oil first.
Before storing your dry pans, always apply a thin layer of fat and wipe away the excess with a paper towel, just like you would before seasoning a pan. If you make this a regular habit, your pan will be better protected and strengthened.
Do not stack them without protection
Cast-iron pots and pans can be stacked without damaging one another. Smaller cast-iron skillets and pans can be nestled inside bigger ones.
Use paper towels, newspapers, or cork trivets to divide the pans into sections. Doing so will keep the seasoning intact and keep it from rusting and absorbing moisture.
A set of lid guards is a good idea if your skillet comes with one already attached. In addition to protecting against nicks and chips, these small plastic attachments also help to circulate air and prevent moisture from condensing inside the pan.
They are placed on the pan’s rim. Now that you know the thing you need to avoid when you store your cast-iron cookware, the next thing you should know are the different ways of keeping them.
Storing cast-iron skillets by hanging them
Hanging cast-iron skillets on the wall is the best method of storing them. Hooks that can support the weight of your pots and pans can be mounted to the wall. The wall hooks must be solid and well-anchored to withstand the weight they carry over time.
As a bonus, hanging them allows you to use them as kitchen decor. The best way to show off your cast iron cookware is to turn it on display, especially if you have an impressive collection of high-quality cast iron cookware.
As a second benefit, hanging cast-iron pans keeps them from rusting. When storing cast iron pans that are wet, rust will quickly form on the surface. Cast iron pans can be protected from rust by hanging them outside. The air can evaporate any water that might get inside.
Storing cast-iron skillets by placing them inside the cabinets
Among the many options for storing cast iron, cabinets and cupboards stand out as the most logical choice. Cast iron pans may be a good option if you’re trying to keep kitchen clutter to a minimum.
Cast iron cookware can be safely stored in most kitchens if it is not kept directly next to or underneath the sink.
Your cast iron will require a cabinet large enough to hold it. Because the cast iron is heavy, you’ll need to ensure the shelving units are strong enough to handle it. When storing cast iron cookware, this is especially important.
Aside from making sure the pans are dry, you also need to check that the cabinets are dry and free of any moisture. There should be no leaks, and the cupboard isn’t damp before putting your skillets and pans away. A dry cabinet should be checked.
Storing cast-iron skillets by placing them inside the oven
This is an excellent option for cast iron storage if you’re running low on space elsewhere. If you cook a lot of casseroles in the oven with your cast iron skillets, this is an excellent option for you.
There is no drier place than inside the oven when we talk about dry. Cast iron pans can be safely stored in ovens, but only if free of wooden components.
Remember to remove the skillet carefully before starting the oven to heat up. If you’re going to store your cast-iron pans in a drawer, make sure they’re completely dry before putting them away because rust can form if they’re wet.
A kitchen towel or paper should protect each piece if you plan on stacking them in the oven on top of each other.
Storing cast-iron skillets by placing them on the stovetop
You can keep your cast iron pans on the stovetop if you don’t have enough space or if your pans don’t fit the shelves.
If you use your cast iron cookware regularly, this method is ideal; however, it may become cumbersome if you only do so on rare occasions. Keep the stovetop clean and dry at all times.
When you leave your cast iron pans out on the counter, they may become covered in dust and dirt. There’s a quick fix. Leave them covered or upside down on the stovetop for a few minutes.
But remember to remove them from the stovetop if you will cook using another cookware. Water, sauces, and other liquids should be kept away from them.
The next time you don’t intend to use your beloved cast iron cookware, you’ll know exactly where to put it. The most important thing to remember is to store them in a dry and free of any moisture environment.
Keeping cast iron skillets in cupboards is a good idea, but there are other options if you’re short on storage space. If you follow the storage tips above, you can keep them around for many years and even generations, in addition to properly storing cast iron pans.
Pans made of cast iron are excellent investments. Keep them happy, and they’ll take care of you in your kitchen!