Congratulations! If you are the lucky caretaker of a cast-iron skillet, frying pan, griddle, Dutch oven, or other piece of cast-iron cookware, you have what is arguably the most versatile and resilient cookware ever invented (add to your cast-iron collection with this gorgeous dutch oven from Rodale's). And this amazing stuff only gets better with age: My vintage cast-iron cookware has fed happy families for at least a century and shows no signs of wearing out.
Any cookware that is still in prime condition after a century of use and abuse must be pretty near indestructible. That said, there are some things that will make your pan less useful—avoid these mistakes so your cast iron stays usable for generations.
(Slash your cholesterol, burn stubborn belly fat, solve your insomnia, and more—naturally!—with Rodale's Eat For Extraordinary Health & Healing.)