Here's my collection of iron skillets and pans. I picked these up at auctions, garage sales, tagit sales and anywhere I see them. I love cooking in them. Fried potatoes and onions just AREN'T the same in any other pan! ;) I had one more deep sided skillet but my daughter borrowed it before I moved to NY and I forgot to get it back. So it now resides in Ohio being loved. ;)
When we first moved to this house my pans didn't make it up from the basement right away. When I finally found them in the boxes I had thought they were ruined. They were covered in rust. I had to use a sos pad to clean them up. I oiled them several times and heated them through. They came out just fine.
I know most people do not believe in washing their pans ever. I always have washed mine. I have never relished in the thought that I left food residue in my pans. So I wash them and rinse in hot water and then either set on a warm stove burner just to warm the pan through...or set in a warm oven until completely dry. I then give them a very light coat of vegetable oil. I put a paper towel between each pan and the next. I keep a paper towel inside each saucepan too. This helps keep any moisture away from your pans. I learned that tip from my Mom. I store most my pans in the bottom drawer of my stove and some on top of the stove, thus every time the oven heats up my pans will get some of that heat and dry up any moisture that might have gotten on them.
How do you treat yours....and why? What is your favorite piece? Do you see something I NEED and am missing out using? I'm always up for adding to my collection of ironware. :)