Cast iron skillets are a staple for good home cooking. But just because they’ve been around for years does not mean they can cook all types of foods. Cast iron skillets are great for certain dishes. And many families pass down their cast iron cookware as they might diamond jewelry or a ring. And for some families cooking is just as important as fancy possessions. And a perfectly seasoned cast iron skillet with years of wear and tear can do wonders for your dinners. Seasoning these skillets right can make them nonstick. And they’re great for many one-pan dishes. But just like any piece of cookware, you need to avoid certain dishes.

If you want to preserve a vintage cast-iron skillet, you must avoid the following five items. Never, ever cook these dishes in your skillet, unless you are bent on destroying it.

Sweet, sticky and delicious desserts

You might think the cast iron skillet is the perfect medium to bake your delicious, layered desserts, but you’re dead wrong. Because these skillets have a textured surface, they’re horrible for sticky desserts. The dessert will stick to the pot and will get totally ruined as you try to remove it. And if you have worked so hard seasoning your skillet, your sticky bun or another dessert will wind up tasting savory and not just sweet.

Tomato sauce

Acid-based sauces run the risk of ruining your vintage skillet. Because they can destroy the seasoning that you worked so hard on, don’t cook tomato-based or other tangy sauces in your cast iron cookware. You might end up tasting more metal than you’d have liked. A non-stick pan is better for this.


I’ve cooked eggs in a cast iron skillet before, and it was a huge mess. I spent minutes scraping the residue from the skillet after the breakfast item was totally ruined. And without a doubt, cooking omelets in a cast-iron skillet is a bad idea. Just don’t do it. A non-stick pan is a better choice for this one.

Fried rice

I don’t know about you, but I love a good, hearty fried rice. But they should never be cooked in a cast iron skillet. Even if the recipe asks you to do it, don’t. Rice will stick and ruin the integrity of your cookware over time. And while the rice may have the desired crisp in the short term, you will probably not have a good piece of cookware to pass down through the generations if you cook rice in it too often. Opt for the wok instead of this potential heirloom.

Delicate fish

White fish like cod or halibut may be healthy, but it can get destroyed if cooked incorrectly. You’ll still get the vital nutrients from the fish, but you’ll risk losing the taste that you desire. These fish will stick to the pan and get destroyed. Instead only cook steakier fish like tuna or salmon. They’re the perfect fish for this skillet.

How often do you use your cast iron skillet? Do you have special meals you make only in it?