Cast iron skillets have been the fan-favorite choice for years as they’re practically invincible! This investment cookware item is a phenomenal choice for cooking enthusiasts everywhere as they not only brown food better than normal cookware, but they also add trace amounts of iron to dishes, which is great for vegetarians or those with anemia.
But, what often throws people off about cast-iron cookware is how to store it – especially in a storage unit!
In this blog, we’ll teach you not only how to clean your cast iron cookware, but also how and where to store it to optimize longevity! For even more expertise on how to safely store your possessions, check out our other Fairfax Storage blogs that can help you in your next move!
What is a Cast Iron Skillet?
Let’s start with learning what exactly a cast iron skillet is and how it differs from a traditional, non-stick cookware skillet.
A cast iron skillet is a durable pan made typically from enameled cast iron that is built to withstand high heat and offer better heat protection. You can use a cast iron like any normal non-stick pan, however this is where the similarities between the two ends.
Non-stick pans are often demonized for the alleged health issues and are often made of cheaper material, leading to a shorter life. They are easier to clean, however, and don’t require the same seasoning that a cast iron skillet needs.
Common Mistakes When Storing a Cast Iron Skillet
If you own a cast iron skillet, you’re probably aware that it needs a bit more TLC than a normal skillet plan, but don’t let this deter you. When correctly taken care of, these pans can practically outlive you.
Here are a few common mistakes that we see when storing a cast iron skillet:
Mistake #1: Not Cleaning Your Cast Iron Before Storing It
Cast iron pans are a lot rougher in texture, which can make it difficult to see if there are remnants of food or oil stuck to it. Because of this, mold can grow and eventually lead to the cast iron’s arch nemesis: rust.
It’s important to properly clean your cast iron before you store it. Only use hot water and a scrubber to gently, but efficiently scrub off any remaining food particles.
Mistake #2: Storing it While It’s Still Wet
As we said before, moisture is kryptonite for a cast-iron skillet. Any remaining moisture that’s left on a skillet before storing it can lead to mold and rust, shortening the life of your pan.
Mistake #3: Forgetting the Oil
Don’t forget to season – and no, we don’t mean with garlic powder.
Cast iron pans require “seasoning” which really means a thin layer of oil. This oil works as protection against rust and will give your beloved cast iron a longer life. Drop a tiny bit of oil onto your pan (after patting dry, of course – no moisture) and rub with a paper towel to evenly distribute. Any excess oil can be wiped away.
Three Best Places to Store a Cast Iron Skillet in the Home or a Storage Unit
If you’re storing your cast iron in your home or opting to store it for longer in a storage unit, here are the three places we recommend in order to prevent moisture.
Proudly show off your favorite cast iron skillet on your stovetop! This is a great, convenient way to store your cast iron if you’re limited on storage space or use it often.
We don’t recommend this option, though, if your stove is by the sink. Remember, no moisture.
If you live in a city or don’t have a lot of cabinet space, your oven is also a great place. Obviously, if your cast iron has wooden parts, avoid this method, but if you can remember to remove the cast iron before heating your oven, this is a handy safe-saving option.
A dry cabinet is our #1 pick for storing a cast iron. This option works well for both in-home storage and in a storage unit.
The only thing is your cast-iron must be completely dry and lightly seasoned before placing it in the dry cabinet.
Trust the Storage Experts at Fairfax City Self-Storage
Looking for a storage unit for your cast iron skillet? At Fairfax City Storage, we’ve got you covered!
For 30 years, we’ve been the experts at storing anything and everything – our temperature controlled and non-temperature-controlled storage units ensure your belongings are in the best hands.
For questions about storage, please contact us today!