How to Store Cast Iron Cookware: From Small Kitchens to Big Collections

If you love cooking with cast iron cookware, you probably know how amazing they are! They can last for generations, can handle high heat, go from stovetop to oven, and look great on the table. But do you know how to store cast iron cookware properly?

Storing cast iron cookware is not as simple as throwing them in the cabinet or leaving them on the counter. If you store them improperly, you may end up with rust, cracks, or damage to the seasoning. Now, wouldn’t that be a shame for such a great investment in the kitchen as cast iron cookware?

If you want to learn how to store your cast irons properly, whether you have a small kitchen or a big collection of pots and pans, this article is for you! Read on as we show you some general tips for storing cast irons and share some practical storage ideas to help you organize your cookware and make it easy to access. 

General Tips for Storing Cast Iron

Before we get into the specific storage ideas, let’s go over some general tips for storing cast iron cookware. These will help you preserve the quality and durability of your cast iron cookware, as well as prevent any potential problems with your favorite kitchen items.

1. Clean and season cookware properly before storage

One of the most important steps in how to store cast iron is to clean and oil your cookware properly before putting it away.

Cleaning your cast iron involves removing any food residue, rinsing with hot water, drying thoroughly, and applying a thin layer of oil or fat. Do your regular seasoning when it’s due. This prevents your pieces of cast iron from developing rust and ruin the seasoning. 

2. Avoid stacking cookware without precautions

Another tip for how to store cast iron is to avoid stacking your pots and pans without taking some precautions. Stacking your cookware can scrape off layers of seasoning on cast iron pans. Meanwhile, enameled cast iron pans can develop scratches and chips on their surface, which, apart from affecting cooking performance, will also be bad for its aesthetics.

If you need to stack your pieces of cast iron cookware, make sure to place a piece of paper towel, cloth, or silicone mat between each piece to create a buffer. You can also use pot protectors or pan separators designed for this purpose.

3. Keep cookware in a dry environment

Moisture is the enemy of cast iron cookware, as it can cause rust and deterioration. Thus, you should always store your cookware in a dry environment, away from humidity and condensation.

Avoid storing your pans in damp places like under the sink, in the dishwasher, or in the refrigerator. Also, refrain from using plastic bags or containers that can trap moisture and create a breeding ground for bacteria and mold.

4. Arrange cookware by frequency of use

One way to make your life easier when it comes to how to store cast iron is to arrange your cookware by frequency of use.

Keep the pieces you use most often in the most accessible places, such as on the stovetop, oven, or countertop rack. This way, you can save time and energy when you need to grab your favorite skillet or Dutch oven. Conversely, you can store the pieces you use less often in cabinets, drawers, or shelves.

5. Put the heaviest pieces at the bottom

You can also try to put the heaviest pieces in the bottom of your storage space. This will help prevent any accidents or injuries that may occur if a heavy piece falls off or tips over. Doing so will also help distribute the weight evenly and keep the center of gravity lower, which makes the storage shelf more stable.  

6. Remove lids while in storage

If your cast iron cookware comes with lids, you should remove them while storing them. This will allow air circulation and prevent moisture buildup inside the pots and pans. Moreover, it will prevent any damage to the lids or handles that may occur if they are pressed against each other or other objects.

7. Don’t store cast iron cookware in the fridge

One of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to how to store cast iron is to store their cookware in the fridge.

Doing so can expose it to moisture and temperature fluctuations, which can cause rust and damage to the seasoning layer. There is also an off chance that it may induce thermal shock to your piece, which can cause it to develop cracks.

10 Cast Iron Storage Ideas You Need to Try

Now that you know the general tips for how to store cast iron, let’s look at some specific storage ideas that you can use in your kitchen. Here are 10 cast iron storage ideas that you can try to maximize your space, display your cookware, and make it easy to reach. 

1. Keep them on the stove

This simple and convenient method allows you to have your cookware ready to use at any time. It is also a brilliant way to utilize kitchen space while you are not actively cooking in it. However, it may Make your kitchen look and feel more cluttered. 

For a cleaner look, pick one big piece of cast iron cookware on the stove. This is a prime opportunity for you to display your aesthetically pleasing (and expensive!) enameled Dutch Oven and make it a statement piece.  

2. Stow them in the oven

This easy and practical technique helps you save some counter or cabinet space. And unlike leaving them on the stove, putting them in the oven keeps your cookware out of sight. You can also preheat your cookware in the oven before using it for better results. 

The catch: this may not be ideal for frequent oven users, as removing and replacing your cookware every time you need to use the oven may be a hassle.

3. Use a dry cabinet with a rack

This is a great option, especially if you have a large collection or a small kitchen. A rack can help you organize your cookware by size, shape, or type, making it easy to see and access what you need. Depending on your preference and space availability, you can use a built-in cabinet or a standalone one.

4. Try a dish rack

A dish rack can hold several pieces of cookware vertically or horizontally, depending on the design and size of the frame. It’s simple and inexpensive and can be placed on the counter, near the sink, or in a cabinet or drawer. However, you may have trouble storing your heavier and bulkier pieces inside it.

5. Get a countertop pot rack

A countertop pot rack can display your favorite kitchen essentials on a stand or a pedestal, adding some personality and flair to your kitchen. It’s stylish and functional and makes your cookware easy to reach and use. Choose a countertop pot rack that matches your kitchen theme and decor.

6. Invest in a standing pot rack

A standing pot rack is a tall structure with shelves, hooks, or bars for your cookware. It can hold many pieces of different sizes and shapes, as well as other kitchen items. This elaborate and spacious way to store your cast iron cookware can also create a visual impact and attract attention to your kitchen, especially to dull corners

7. Use a utilitarian shelf

A utilitarian shelf is a shelf with brackets or supports for holding objects. This is the ultimate no-nonsense storage option for rabid cast iron cookware collectors. However, it lacks flair and decorativeness, which may leave them better suited for basements or dirty kitchen (daily kitchen) types of situation. 

8. Hang by the hooks

Hanging by the hooks is a classic method that uses hooks or pegs for hanging your cookware by their handles or holes. This popular method saves space and displays your cookware attractively, creating that cozy and rustic atmosphere in your kitchen. 

I’m a bit iffy with hanging heavy and bulky items like a Dutch Oven, though hanging its lid feel perfectly fine for me. With that said, you do you. Gauge how strong your hook is (and whatever it is that supports it) and see if it can hold up heavier items without any issues.

9. Try a pegboard

A pegboard is a creative and customizable board with holes for inserting pegs or hooks. You can attach it to the wall, behind the door, or on a stand so you can arrange your cookware in any way you like. For best results, reinforce your pegboard so that it can sustain heavier loads.

10. Use a bar cart

A bar cart has wheels and shelves for storing and serving drinks and snacks. You can place or hang your cookware on the shelves or sides, even use it to store other kitchen items in your arsenal. Ultimately, it adds charm and mobility to your kitchen since you can move it around or use it to entertain guests.

Cast Iron Storage 101: Store Your Cookware the Right Way

Cast iron cookware is a wonderful addition to any kitchen, but it also requires some special care and attention when it comes to storage. By following the general tips and specific ideas above, you can store your kitchen favorites properly and safely while making the most of your space and enhancing your kitchen’s look.

If you want to learn more about cast iron cookware, apart from how to store cast iron cookware, go ahead and explore Cult of Cast Iron for more guides and blog articles! Cult of Cast Iron is your ultimate source of information and inspiration for anything and everything cast iron cookware.

Join the Cult of Cast Iron today and discover the wonders of cast iron cookware!

Leave a Comment