Paper Towels Can Extend The Life Of Your Favorite Cast Iron Skillet

One popular misconception about cast iron skillets is that they aren't worth the cost because they're difficult to take care of. The truth is, as long as you properly season your skillet — which you only need to do about once every two years — and take a few other minor precautions, your favorite cast iron skillet can last for several generations.

Since cast iron is highly susceptible to rust, this is the main concern for many home cooks. Whenever you don't fully dry your cast iron skillet, it becomes susceptible to the formation of rust. However, taking simple steps, such as placing a paper towel in the bottom of your cast iron skillet after washing, can help keep rust from forming. To fully ensure that your skillet is moisture-free, place it in a warm oven after removing the paper towel to get it bone dry — just never expose your pan to abrupt and extreme temperature changes as that could cause the iron to crack.

Other ways to extend the life of your favorite cast iron skillet

While it is important to dry your cast iron skillet after washing, that is only one way to keep it from rusting. It is also important to store cast iron in a location with low humidity. This is because the moisture in the air will have the same effect on cast iron as storing it without drying. This is particularly true if you store your cast iron cookware with the lids on, as this traps moisture.

Believe it or not, the best thing you can do is to continue to re-season your cast iron pans. Seasoning is actually baked-in oil that not only creates an easy-release cooking surface, but it also helps seal the iron to make it less susceptible to rust.

Another misconception many people have about a cast iron skillet is rust means the end of its lifespan. This is not true. Even if your favorite pan develops a nasty-looking layer of oxidation, you can just clean and re-season your skillet to get it back to good-as-new quality.