3 Tips for Maintaining Your Cast-Iron Skillet + Perfect Summer Cobbler

Keep your cookware looking supreme, plus get our recipe for cast-iron peach cobbler.

Related To:

When it comes to cookware, cast-iron skillets reign supreme in the kitchen. Your grandmother probably used one when you were growing up and for good reason. You can cook pretty much anything with cast iron, and it’s so durable that it actually gets better with age. How many things in your kitchen can you say that about?

Cast-Iron Skillet

Cast-Iron Skillet

With the proper care, a cast-iron skillet will last for generations.

Photo by: ©iStockphoto.com/Rixipix

©iStockphoto.com/Rixipix

Like any kind of cookware, though, cast-iron skillets require some maintenance. The key is to clean without removing the layer of seasoning that builds up over time and is what keeps food from sticking to the surface. Whether you bought a new, pre-seasoned one or own a vintage model, follow these simple cleaning tips to make sure your skillet lasts for generations to come.

Remove Leftover Food

After you’re finished cooking and the pan is still warm, remove food residue with hot water, soap and a sponge. Avoid abrasive sponges that can scratch the seasoned surface, and never let it soak in water.

Note: Despite what some say, using soap to clean your cast-iron cookware is completely fine.

Dry Thoroughly + Re-Season

Moisture is cast iron’s enemy, and you shouldn’t store your pan until it's completely dry. After you've cleaned the skillet with soap and water, rinse it off and dry with a towel. Then, place the skillet on a burner and let it heat up for a few minutes. Take a towel dipped in cooking oil and rub the inside surface until it’s completely covered. Heat for a few more minutes, then take the skillet off the burner and allow it to cool.

Season Cast-Iron Skillet with Oil

Season Cast-Iron Skillet with Oil

Season your cast-iron skillet with oil to create a non-stick surface.

Photo by: ©iStockphoto.com/Nicolas McComber

©iStockphoto.com/Nicolas McComber

Note: If you start to notice rust on your pan, use salt and half a potato to remove. Trust me.

Store in a Dry Location

Again, you want to avoid the potential for moisture, so store your cast-iron cookware in a dry place in your kitchen. Cast iron is durable, so don’t worry about stacking multiple pans. If your cookware is seasoned well, it shouldn’t get damaged by nesting multiple skillets inside one another.

Hopefully, your skillet won’t be stored away for too long, because the best way to maintain it is to use it often. The more you cook with it, the better seasoned your cookware becomes (and your food will look and taste better than ever).

Cast-Iron Peach Cobbler

It is crisp and it certainly crumbles, but cobbler is in a class all its own.

It is crisp and it certainly crumbles, but cobbler is in a class all its own.

It is crisp and it certainly crumbles, but cobbler is in a class all its own.

Next Up

5 Tips for Controlling Dust Mites

These bedbugs are a leading cause of allergies and asthma. Here's how to fight back.

How to Clean a Wet Room

From kitchens and bathrooms to utility rooms, this step-by-step method shows how to apply maximum cleaning power.

How Clean Is Your Home?

Where does your family fall on the cleaning spectrum? This quiz will help you assess the sweet spot of "clean-enough" for your home.

Cleaning Secrets for the Entire Home

Home cleaning experts share their best hacks and tips for tidying up your kitchen, bathroom and more.

Clean Your House in 45 Minutes or Less

Last-minute dinner party? No problem! Get your entire house guest-ready in less than an hour.

Top Allergy and Asthma Triggers

Identify the top triggers in and around your home, then follow our tips to help clear the air.

Allergy-Proof Your Home

6 tips for clearing your indoor air

Bathroom Cleaning Done Right (and Fast)

Hate cleaning your bathroom? HGTV Magazine shares tips to speed up the chore that can't be ignored, so you can get back to the fun stuff.

Clean Up Your Act in the Kitchen

Learn about the latest creative ways to make cleanup easier in the kitchen.

Say No to Fumes in Your House

Wipe out the chemical odors that can trigger allergies and asthma.

Meet the Team

Get to know the talented writers and editors of HGTV's show and design blog. 

Go Behind the Blog

From the Archives

Take a look back at our past posts, from entertaining and design trends to up-and-coming HGTV shows.  

Read All Our Past Posts