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Cast IronSkillets Care and Maintenance

Updated on November 12, 2015

Don't Toss

So you have an iron skillet? Or maybe found one in the storage that mom used - what do you do with it? Let me show you......

Don’t throw that skillet away. Check to make sure it’s not damaged, or cracked. Cast iron skillets can be used for years, just clean it and use.

It’s ready to be reused again. These skillets are ideal for cooking with, once hot, stays hot. They are very durable – will last several lifetimes and if seasoned or cured properly won’t stick. If you do not season them properly, they will stick every time. If you don’t like cast iron skillets because they stick. It is because they were not cured properly to begin with.

Cleaning and Curing your Skillet

What you will need.

How do you clean your skillet?

I clean my skillet and season or cure it using the stove burner.

  • Put it on the stove, put a quarter inch to half inch of water in it and turn on high.
  • Boil the water for about two minutes.
  • Use a scrub brush, one that has a handle and scrub while boiling on the stove.
  • Put your skillet with the water in the sink and continue scrubbing, dump water out and turn facet (make sure it’s hot water) and rinse, if skillet is not clean, continue to use scrub brush on inside until all food particles are off.
  • Rinse out skillet with clean hot water.
  • Remove from sink and wipe inside dry and outside with paper towel.
  • Put back on burner. The burner should still be hot, to evaporate off water.

Season Your Skillet After Cleaning

This is very important to do, because if you don't rust will occur!

  • Take a paper towel and put a ½ teaspoon of cooking oil in pan, smear around with the paper towel until every inch is lightly covered with oil.
  • Let pan cool. You can now store your skillet.
  • After cleaning and curing my skillet, put a piece of paper towel in the bottom and nest the smaller sizes inside to stack.
  • Store until use.

Always use a hot pad when working with your cast iron skillet to prevent burns.

If you prefer not to season your skillet this way, use Lodge Logic (hardware or cookware stores) follow their directions.

Tips and Hints

If you take care of your skillet or iron wear, they will last a 'very' long time. Here are a few hints and tips to help you.

  • Never let your skillet sit with water in it, it will rust.
  • Clean skillet immediately after use, while it’s hot – it will be easier to clean.
  • Never put your skillet in the dishwasher.
  • After cleaning your skillet dry with paper towel
  • If you wash with dishwashing soap – always re-cure your skillet.
  • Rinse out with water if all food particles didn’t come out, try a scrub brush (designate a scrub brush for your skillet. If there are still food left in, see cleaning and seasoning your skillet.
  • I suggest not drying your skillet with kitchen towels, use paper towels. Most skillets will leave smudges, on your towel and those smudges are hard to remove.
  • Always wipe your skillet with oil or shortening after use. This prevents rust and cures your pan.
  • If you scrub your skillet with steel wool, you will need to re-cure or re-season your skillet.
  • Steel wool will remove rust – be sure to re-season when done.
  • Never add ‘cold’ water to a very hot skillet. It can cause your skillet to break.


I have not included 'all' sizes but, these are some of the sizes available. You can check further with on-line sizes and places to order skillets.

Regular skillets

No. 2 6 “

No. 3 6 1/2 “

No. 4 7”

No. 5 8”

No. 6 9 1/8”

No. 7 9 7/8”

No. 8 10 5/8”

No. 9 11 3/8”

No. 10 11 ¾”

No. 11 12 ½”

No. 12 13 3/8”

No. 13 14 ¼”

No. 14 15 ¼”

No. 20 19 ¾”

Dutch Ovens from 8 ¼” to 15 ¼”

Oval Roasters from 12 ¾” to 18”

The sizes I suggest you have are a 6”, 8”, 12 ½”, and a 19 ¾”.

Uses For Skillets

Now, I suppose you would like to know in what way can you use an 'iron skillet'? Let me show you just a few......

It a great way to fry up chicken, port chops, steak, liver and onions, omelets, eggs, frittatas, fry pancakes, bake cornbread, brownies or even bake a cake and the list goes on.

You can use your skillets for just about anything, on top of the stove or in the oven.

I have gone through non-stick pans, stainless steel – supposed to be non-stick! Wrong and after finding out that my stainless steel wasn’t as good at the cast iron skillet – and the non-stick skillets didn’t last - I went back to the ageless cast iron skillet! Properly cured or seasoned they are non sticking cook wear and good for just about every kind of cooking, frying or baking you can do. They are a great way to cook fat-free. It cleans up fast and you do not need special utensils to use them. The longer you use it the better you will like it. We have had our set of cast iron skillets for over 80 years.

Always heat your skillet before frying. To tell if the skillet is ready for frying, put a couple of water droplets in the pan, if it sizzles your skillet is ready for frying.

Look for recipes for cast iron skillets.

Enjoy your cast iron skillets!


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