Cast iron pots and pans are durable workhorses that last a lifetime. They can be used with any cooking method and any heat source from an open flame to oven baking. There is a little work that needs to be done to a cast iron pan before it is used, but once it's properly seasoned, it will become your favorite nonstick pan in the kitchen.
There are more pros than cons when it comes to cast iron cookware, but the major drawback is that cast iron will rust if exposed to moisture. Although this is easily repairable, the seasoning will be lost after scrubbing the rust off. The best way to avoid getting moisture on any cast iron pan is to store it away from sources of moisture like a dishwasher, making sure it is thoroughly dry before storing it away, and storing it with the lid off.
If a cast iron pan is stored with the lid on, moisture from the air gets trapped inside the pan and causes it to rust, especially if the pan isn't used for a long time. Rusting can occur even if the pan is well seasoned because of the porous nooks and crannies of cast iron.
How To Store Cast Iron Pans
The best way to store cast iron pans is in a cool and dry place. A paper or kitchen towel can be placed in the pan to catch and prevent any moisture from getting trapped inside. If the pans are stacked, a paper towel should be placed between each pan to prevent scratching. A dedicated hanging rack is ideal for cast iron storage as it keeps the pans high and dry. This also prevents any other pan from scratching it, which can also lead to rust. A common storage place for cast iron pans is inside the oven. It's an isolated place and is moisture-free. Plus, anytime the oven is used, the cast iron can be wiped with a tablespoon of cooking oil and seasoned during the cooking process.
After cleaning the cast iron, it should be placed on a burner over medium heat for a few minutes to make sure it is thoroughly dry before storing. If rust appears on the cast iron, it can be scrubbed off with a scouring pad or chainmail. Although this doesn't hurt the cast iron, the seasoning will come off from the abrasive scrubbers. Preventative maintenance goes a long way when using a cast iron pan, and keeping it dry is one of the most important maintenance steps.
Read the original article on Mashed.