A Homecook’s Guide On How To Care & Store Cast Iron Pans & Pots

Cast iron pan main image

Cast iron pans are suitable for frying and cooking plenty of dishes, from steaks to desserts. Owning this fantastic cookware requires love and care, and you might be wondering how to store cast iron pans and pots. Don’t worry because we’re here to help.

You need to clean, protect, and season your cast iron pan so that it can last for a very long time. In addition to knowing how to care for cast iron pans and pots, you need to store them properly to prevent rust and mold. The best way to organize your cast iron cookware is by using a hanging pot rack for easy access.

How to Store Cast Iron Pans and Pots

1. Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen cabinets

Kitchen cabinets are an excellent way to store cast iron cookware, but piling pots and pans so carelessly can lead to scratches and damages on the surface. But if you plan on stacking them, use a paper towel to separate each pot and pan.

2. Hanging Pot Racks

Wall-mounted hanging pot racks are excellent for storing your cast iron pan and pots. You don’t need to worry about your cookware forming mold, as mold tends to thrive in dark places.

How to Install

  1. Choose a location on the wall where you want to place your pot rack. Keep in mind the best places are near the sink or cabinets and away from the stove.
  2. Mark the drill holes with your hanging pot rack as a guide. Be sure to have someone to hold it steady as you place your marks.
  3. Drill the marks and place the tox wall plug in the hole. Hammer to keep it secure.
  4.  With some assistance, drill in your wall mount and test it out.

Ceiling-mounted hanging pot racks are typically placed in the center of the kitchen. It forms this chandelier-like display that can brighten up the kitchen.

How to Install

  1. Select the optimal place to display your hanging pot rack. If you have a kitchen island, you can install it above that area.
  2. Measure four feet distance between your ceiling towards the floor, or depending on how low you want your ceiling mount. 
  3. Mark the holes you need to make on your ceiling. Be sure you don’t drill near a light fixture as they tend to have wiring nearby.
  4. Drill in the ceiling hooks and install the chains.
  5. Attach the chains to your rack and test it out.

3. Pot Railing

Pot railing

Pot rails are similar to hanging pot racks, but it does not include the extra shelf. You can also hang your rail for easy storage of cast iron pans and pots.

How to Install

  1. Pick a spot on the wall where you want to install your pot rail. Some like to hang it near the sink or the cabinets.
  2. Mark where you’re going to drill the screw. Use the railing itself to get an accurate mark.
  3. Drill in your marks and hammer in the wall plug.
  4. Install the pot railing and test it out.

How to Care for Cast Iron Pans & Other Cookware Material

Cast Iron

Cast iron grill pan

Cast iron pans are incredibly strong because they are porous and retain heat well. You can make anything delicious if you properly take care of this cookware.

  • Seasoning

Seasoning your cast iron can help prevent rusting and create a non-stick surface to make it easier for cooking.

  1. Prepare your cast iron before seasoning. Using steel wool, scrub your cast iron with some dish soap to get rid of any gunk or rust.
  2. Rinse off the dish soap with some warm water, and pat it dry with a towel.
  3. You’re going to need your cast iron to be bone dry as water can cause rust. Use your stove to boil off any excess water.
  4. Coat your cast iron with flaxseed oil or canola oil by rubbing it all over your pan.
  5. Rub off the excess oil with a clean towel.
  6. Place your cast iron in the oven at 450 to 500°F for an hour.
  7. Turn off the oven and let it cool.
  • Cleaning

Don’t use a dishwasher to clean your cast iron skillet. Otherwise, all your hard work into seasoning will be washed away.

  1. After cooking, wait for your cast iron to cool down. However, the temperature shouldn’t be too cold, or the grease might stick too much to the pan.
  2. Drain out the grease and pour salt into the pan. This will act as an abrasive to get all the food bits out.
  3. Use an abrasive sponge to rub out the food bits and rinse them with warm water.
  4. Dry it out with a towel and use the stove to boil out the excess water.
  5. Rub in a new coat of oil on the cooking area and wipe away the excess.
  6. Again using the stove, heat the pan until you see a bit of smoke coming out. This will prevent the new coat from going rancid.
  7. Store it away.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel frying pan

Stainless steel is standard cookware, but not all are built the same. It distributes heat quickly and is dishwasher safe.

  • Cleaning

When it comes to stainless steel, there’s a possibility that water spots may form when it dries.

  1. Put it in the dishwasher and wait for it to finish. If you prefer to wash it by hand, only use non-abrasive sponges as using abrasive cleaners can destroy the finish.
  2. After washing, dry it as quickly as you can with a dishtowel. If you don’t dry it fast, chalky white spots may appear.
  3. If the chalky white spots appear, dampen that area with a sponge or towel and pour baking soda.
  4. Rinse as usual and dry it again.

Carbon Steel

Carbon steel skillet

Carbon steel is similar to cast iron. It is made of iron and carbon pressed together, and you need to season it to prevent rusting.

  • Seasoning

Much like cast iron pans and pots, seasoning can make carbon steel cookware nonstick and last long.

  1. Gently wash your pan with warm water and a bit of soap. Use a sponge to get rid of the wax coating that comes with new carbon steel cookware.
  2. Dry the carbon steel pan with a towel. Heat it on your stove to get rid of the excess moisture.
  3. Pour in some grapeseed oil and allow it to reach the smoking point. You’ll see smoke and some light browning around the edges.
  4. Swirl the hot oil around the carbon steel pan until it’s fully covered.
  5. Pour out the excess oil and let the residual oil smoke out for a minute.
  6. Let it cool and wipe away the extra oil entirely with a dishtowel.
  • Cleaning

Carbon steel is not dishwasher friendly as it might ruin the seasoning.

  1. Using warm water and a small amount of dish soap. Scrub away the food bits off the pan. If you need something more robust, you can always use a pan scraper.
  2. Dry it properly with a paper towel.
  3. Once it’s completely dried, coat the pan with oil.
  4. Rub away any excess oil and put it away.


Nonstick frying pan

Non-stick cookware has become an everyday necessity in households everywhere since you can use less oil when preparing meals.

  • Cleaning

The most important part of a non-stick pan is the coating. You should do your best to prevent scratches from happening, so you can’t use the dishwasher for this type of cookware.

  1. Run your non-stick pan through some lukewarm water, and scrub away the food bits with a dish brush.
  2. Using a bit of dish soap and a non-abrasive sponge, gently wash your nonstick pan.
  3. Dry it with a towel and store it away.


Aluminum pans

Aluminum pans are lightweight and affordable cookware. It’s not as present in most households, but if you like to bake, you most likely own an aluminum pan.

  • Seasoning

Much like cast iron and carbon steel, aluminum needs to be seasoned with oil to be used in the long run.

  1. Wash your aluminum pan with a cloth and soapy water.
  2. Dry the pan with a clean towel.
  3. Coat your aluminum with some vegetable oil.
  4. Place your pan in the oven for two hours at 250°F. If your pan is not oven safe due to its handle, just keep it on the stove until its smoking point.
  • Cleaning

Using a dishwasher can also strip the finish of your aluminum cookware, so be sure to hand wash them instead.

  1. Wash your aluminum with a soft cloth and soapy water.
  2. Pat it dry with a clean towel.
  3. Using a small wash paper towel, rub a thin coat of oil.
  4. Wipe away any excess and store it away.


Copper pots and pans

Copper is one of the most expensive cookware compared to other types of pots and pans, so maintaining them is a must.

  • Cleaning

Copper cookware is generally lined with stainless steel, and a gentle approach will save the lining and help it last longer. Remember to avoid putting it in the dishwasher.

  1. Wash with room temperature water using soap and a soft cloth.
  2. Dry your copper pan with a clean towel.
  3. Store it away.
  • Polishing

Polishing copper cookware is entirely optional. Some prefer their copper to age, while others suggest maintaining its pristine shine.

  1. After drying your newly washed copper pan, use a paper towel to polish it with ketchup. You can also use lemon and baking soda or a vinegar and salt mixture.
  2. Buff it out with the polish of your choice and rinse.
  3. Dry your copper pan and store it away.


There is so much to learn about how to care for cast iron pans and pots. Remember that properly maintaining your cookware can save you a lot of money while producing the best-tasting dishes.

Regularly polishing or seasoning your cookware will prevent rust and mold formation. Also, knowing how to store cast iron pans and pots will help them last long—you can even pass them down to future generations.

Did you find this article helpful? Share it with a fellow home cook. Do you have any tips and tricks on how to maintain cast iron pans and pots? Let us know in the comments below.

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