Cast iron cookware is one of the most durable forms of cookware around. Antique dealers across the world frequently have cast iron pans that are 70 years old or more that still maintain a fantastic cooking surface. Cooking on cast iron is always nonstick as long as your pan is seasoned correctly.
With the correct seasoning, good maintenance, and correct storage, your cast iron pans will perform perfectly and last you a lifetime. We’ll be showing you where to store cast iron pans to guarantee that they don’t suffer degradation or rust between uses.
The Ideal Storage Environment
Cast iron is susceptible to rust, which is why frequent seasoning is so important. Seasoning your cast iron pans creates a protective patina which prevents rust while at the same time creating a nonstick cooking surface. Even when your cookware is correctly seasoned, there could still be a chance of rust if the storage environment is wrong.
You want to keep your cast iron away from moisture at all costs; avoid high-humidity areas and stay away from storage areas near a stove. The heat can create condensation which could damage your pan’s seasoning. The best place to store cast iron cookware will be dry and well-ventilated.
Cast Iron Storage Tips
Regardless of where you ultimately decide to store your cast iron pans, there are always a few precautions that you should take. Storing pots and pans individually is always safer than stacking them. Whenever you store a cast iron pot or pan, make sure that you remove the lid or condensation will eventually cause rust.
After each and every use, make sure that you’ve lightly oiled and reheated your pan before allowing it to cool, and packing it away. Every wash will work away a little seasoning, which is completely negligible if you oil after each use. Stick to treating your pan before packing it away and you’ll be rewarded with a patina that gets better and better over time giving you a more even, nonstick cooking surface.
Consider Hanging Your Cast Iron Pans
One of the best ways to store cast iron cookware is to hang it against a wall or from the ceiling. Cast iron pans hung from wall mounting can create a stunning centerpiece for your kitchen, while placing everything within range for easy access. If you do decide to hang your cast iron pans, refrain from hanging them too near a stovetop, or near the sink.
Avoid moisture at all costs and your pan will stay in good condition. Also, make sure that your mountings are secure as cast iron pans are very heavy. When cast iron cookware is suspended in the correct place, the constant airflow helps to prevent rust.
Store Them in a Drawer
A large, deep kitchen drawer is often the optimal place to store your cast iron pans. If you resort to stacking your cookware, then make sure to place a paper towel or inexpensive dishcloth in between each layer to protect each item from damage. The towel/cloth will also absorb any moisture that may be present, which goes a long way toward stopping the buildup of rust.
Take care when storing multiple cast iron pans in a single drawer as the weight may end up being more than the base can bare.
Keep Cast Iron Pans in a Warmer Drawer
The warmer drawer of your stove is an extremely practical place to store your cast iron pans. The heat from your oven and stovetop effectively gets rid of any moisture that could pose a problem. If you decide to store your cast iron in this manner, make sure that you place each pan in a zipper-lock bag or container to minimize the risk of contaminants, dirt, and possibly even insects.
If you do use a zipper-lock bag, make sure to keep it open a little so that there is airflow. The same applies to a container. It needs to stay open a crack or have aeration holes made.
Out of Options? Put Your Pans Inside the Oven
If you’re really pressed for space, consider storing your cast iron pans inside your oven when it’s not in use. Alternatively, alternate between the inside of your oven and the stovetop. This may not be the most painless approach, but it does guarantee that your cast iron is free from humidity and moisture, which can cause it to rust.
Some cooks prefer to store their pans this way thanks to just how well the heat helps preserve the patina. Depending on how often you use your cast iron pans, storing them in the oven and atop the stove may be the most convenient way to have them accessible. After all, if they’re your go-to, then there is no better place than the stove itself.