Whether you’re packing your cast iron cookware away for a couple of days or a couple of months, you want to make sure you’re storing it properly. Keeping your cast iron in a dry, safe place will help your cookware last for years to come. Here are a few of our best tips for how to store cast iron.
1. Make sure your skillet or Dutch oven is clean and well-seasoned before you store it anywhere. Need a refresher on how to clean and season cast iron? Check out our guide.
2. Dry all cast iron cookware thoroughly before putting it away. Excess moisture and cast iron don’t get along—water left on the cookware’s surface can break down the seasoning and cause rust. To keep your pans dry, try heating them on the stove top or in the oven for a few minutes to evaporate any last water drops.
3. Remove any lids to your Dutch ovens or skillets so air can flow freely around each piece of your cookware. If you do store the lid on top of your dish, place a paper towel between the two pieces.
Where to Store
1. A simple kitchen cabinet is the most common place for cast iron storage. When choosing a cabinet, make sure it is one that stays dry (not under your sink). If you stack your cast iron with other pots and pans (cast iron or otherwise), we suggest laying down a paper towel in between its surface and the next pan for protection.
2. A stove top is a good location as long as it stays moisture-free and you move the pan anytime you turn on that particular burner—unless you’re cooking with it of course. People who use their cast iron pans frequently might prefer this type of storage.
3. Ovens are also good for the same reasons as a stove top. Just be sure to remove your cast iron pan when you heat up the oven. Constant heating and reheating of your cookware by itself may degrade the seasoning.
4. If you have the room for it, you can hang your cast iron collection on the wall for safe storage. The free air flow will help prevent rust, and all of your favorite skillets and griddles will be within arm’s reach for your next meal.
5. For Dutch ovens, you can use a storage bag to keep everything clean and ready to go. These bags have convenient carry handles, so they’re best for Dutch ovens you plan to pack up and take with you. If you do keep your Dutch oven in a carry bag, be sure to keep the zipper open a few inches to allow air flow. This will help keep things dry so rust doesn’t creep in.
Where do you like to store your cast iron? How big is your collection? Let us know in the comments below; then check out our carry bags for packing your favorite cast iron dishes.