Given its size, heft, and aversion to moisture, finding the perfect spot in your kitchen to store your cast iron can be tricky. Two of the most frequently asked questions of the Southern Cast Iron team are how to organize large collections of cast-iron cookware and how to best utilize limited storage space. Most of our mothers and grandmothers likely kept their cast-iron skillets right on the stovetop or in the oven, and we do that as well for our daily go-to pans. But for those who want something different, we’ve got solutions for you. From smart storage towers to do-it-yourself display walls, here are some clever concepts that can be tailored to any cast iron collection or kitchen.
ON FULL DISPLAY
A collection of cast iron, whether larger or small, is a source of pride for collectors, so if you have the space to do so, proudly put it on display There are many ways to do this, but one of the most eye-catching approaches is to hang your pans on a wall pegged with hooks or screws. If you have an open wall in or near your kitchen, head to your local hardware store and grab some attractive hooks that fit the handles of your pans, or stick with thick screws for a more rustic look.
Using a stud finder to ensure stability, install the hooks or screws, making sure to leave enough space between to accommodate the different sizes of your pieces. Rather than screwing directly into drywall, you might also consider installing a wooden panel into your wall to hold the hooks or screws. This option adds not only stability but also a decorative touch to your display. This idea is a good option for those who have several skillets, but it does require ample space and a bit of elbow grease to achieve.
THE MAGNETIC TOUCH
If you only have a few skillets to store and less space available, a magnetic hanger could be the best choice for your wall display These hangers feature a wooden block with a strong magnet imbedded in the piece, and since the hardware you need is included with them, they’re an easy-to-install option. Simply find a stud in your wall, screw in the mount, and you’re ready to hang up to a 10-inch cast-iron skillet wherever you please. We love using several of these magnetic hangers vertically to display vintage cast-iron skillets.
SAFELY STORE YOUR DUTCH OVENS
When you purchased your enamel-coated Dutch oven, you may have noticed small rubber pieces lining the rim. These are lid protectors, which help keep the lid and pot from touching. We love enamel-coated Dutch ovens for many reasons, but their finishes can be fragile. No matter how you display or store yours, it’s important to use these lid protectors to ensure your pan’s finish doesn’t get scratched or chipped.
RUN THE RACKS
It’s no secret that cast-iron cookware is heavy, so keeping it in an easy-to-access location is crucial to everyday use. Rather than heaving Dutch ovens and skillets from the depths of your cabinets, consider investing in a storage rack. There are many sizes, styles, and materials in various price points to choose from on the market, including one of our favorites from Lodge. For larger pieces, their free-standing six-tier stand can hold everything from your largest skillets to hefty Dutch ovens. This strong and sturdy option sits perfectly in the corner of your kitchen and allows easy access to all of your pieces.
Lodge also has a smaller five-tier organizer that fits on countertops or can be tucked away in cabinets. Use it vertically to store skillets or horizontally to corral the lids for your skillets and Dutch ovens. If you have a collection of pans in varying sizes, this is an excellent way to show them off atop your kitchen counter.
STACK AS YOU PLEASE
There’s nothing wrong with simply stacking your cast-iron cookware—as long as you do it right. Never stack cast-iron cookware directly on top of each another without anything between to protect them, as this is a surefire way to scratch enameled cast iron and inadvertently transfer any sticky residue or excess seasoning oil from the bottom of one skillet to the top of another.
If stacking is your best storage option, we suggest putting a layer of newspaper or paper towels between each pot or pan to keep them clean and scratch-free. Butter Pat Industries now also sells handy cork spacers that are useful and attractive when it comes to protecting cookware. They come in a set of three that fits varying sizes of skillets and is sold as an add-on item. So, next time you make a purchase from Butter Pat, be sure to snag a set.