The Best Way to Store Your Cast Iron Skillet for Longevity and Convenience

Cast iron skillets have been a favorite kitchen tool for many for years. They are durable, versatile, and excellent at retaining heat. However, unlike other cooking utensils, cast iron requires special care when it comes to storage.

Clean the skillet before storing

Before you store your cast-iron skillet, ensure that it is thoroughly cleaned and dried. Using warm water and soap might seem like the easiest option but can be detrimental to your pan’s seasoning layer if done frequently. Instead, opt for plain hot water or kosher salt to scrub away any stubborn residue.

Also, avoid using metal utensils on your skillet as they can cause scratches that may lead to rusting with time.


  • To clean stuck-on food from the surface of a cast-iron skillet without removing its seasoning layer use coarse salt.
  • Avoid soaking your cast-iron in water as this could result in rust formation.

Dry it out completely

After cleaning your skillet wipe all moisture using a clean dry towel or paper towels before storing it. Any leftover moisture can cause rust buildup over time

Pro tip: Store drying towels separately since dampness increases their chances of harboring mold development.


  • Ensure that all parts of the pan are bone-dry by leaving them out in open air overnight after wiping them down with a cloth or paper towel.
  • If you live in a humid area frequent checking ensures there isn’t any humidity buildup on stored pans during long periods.

Add oil coating before storage

The majority of professional chefs recommend oiling pans regularly after use to keep surfaces fresh and retain their non-stick properties longer.
When storing your cast-iron skillet, rub a thin layer of cooking oil all over its surface to create an extra barrier against moisture and rust.


  • Use a high smoke point neutral oil like grapeseed or vegetable oils for this task.
  • To prevent future mishaps store the pan upside down if it has handles that support this position.

Choose the right storage location

The last thing you want is to find rusty pans when you are ready to cook. Therefore, ensure that you store your cast-iron skillet in a cool, dry place where there aren’t any dampness or humidity issues.

A great option would be hanging hooks on walls near your kitchen working station. This way, they’re always within arm’s reach when needed.


  • Avoid storing pans inside cupboards for long periods since lack of ventilation causes moisture buildup.
  • If space isn’t an issue, keep them displayed as decorative items since they add character and charm to any kitchen decor.


Storing cast iron skillets can seem complicated but once mastered becomes easy with time. Remember always clean before storing them in dry locations coated with oil between uses for extra protection from rust formation and wear & tear.
With proper storage techniques applied correctly, these versatile tools will serve you well for many years without losing their unique properties such as heat retention and non-stick qualities making sure every meal cooked in them turns out perfect!

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