How To Care For Your Cast-Iron Skillets


Commandments for Caring for Cast Iron

The first commandment of cast-iron care is simple: respect the finish. Follow these rules.

• Don’t leave a pan unattended on the stove. Burned foods can ruin the finish.
• Don’t use harsh abrasives, avoid soap, and never place your pan in the dishwasher.
• Don’t put cast-iron pans away wet; dry them thoroughly.

Tip: After washing, dry your cookware immediately to ward off rust. Heat it on the stove over low heat for approximately 5 minutes. While the pan is still warm, rub or brush on a light coating of oil. Store in a cool, dry place.

Removing Rust from Your Cast-Iron Pan

Don’t let rust keep you away from your beloved pan; removing it just takes a little elbow grease. First, scrub the pan with a stiff-bristle brush and hot soapy water to remove any rust or buildup. Rinse well, and dry completely. Next, use a paper towel to rub a light coating of oil on the pan, inside and out. Place a sheet of aluminum foil or a rimmed baking sheet on the lower rack of your oven to catch drips. Place the oiled pan upside down on middle rack of the oven, and bake at 350° for approximately 1 hour. Turn off the oven, and let your pan cool in the oven. Repeat as necessary. Store in a cool, dry place.

Tip: Take it easy when applying oil to your pans for storing and seasoning. Using too much can result in a sticky residue. To remove any residue, heat your pan over medium heat. Using a folded paper towel or cloth, carefully rub in 1 tablespoon oil at a time until the surface is smooth.


  1. I inherited a cast iron pan that was so encrusted with black stuff that I knew that no matter how much “elbow grease” that I used, it would not come clean. I thought what would happen if I put it in my self cleaning oven. Couldn’t lose much. It came out so clean that I could actually read the writing on the bottom. Just had to re-season it.

  2. I’m a cast iron fiend, I don’t allow any one to use or wash any of my pans. I rescued one pan from my mom that was so encrusted with black gook, that I had to wire brush it back to health. I’ve had that pan for over 25 years now! I always use olive oil to season my pans. I love them and can’t imagine cooking without them. Shame on you people who buy cast iron and abuse it!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.