Why does my cast iron skillet tastes like metal?

  • By: Emma
  • Date: May 19, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.

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Why does my cast iron skillet tastes like metal?

Many people have asked the question “Why does my cast iron skillet taste like metal?” Your cast iron skillet is a kitchen staple, but if you’ve noticed that your food tastes like metal, it could mean there’s something wrong with it.

This blog post will discuss why this happens and what you can do about it.

Reasons why cast iron skillet tastes like metal and how to avoid it!

You food your favorite dish in the cast iron skillet. Damn! It spoiled your mouth.

What happened?

There could be several reasons why your food tastes like metal. Cast iron skillets have porous surfaces that absorb flavors which means whatever you cook in it will get absorbed into the pan’s surface. If you use your pan for cooking different dishes, it would accumulate different flavors. And most importantly, If you don’t clean the cast iron skillet properly, the flavors may mix with each other and your food would taste like metal.

Following are the reason why food cooked in a cast-iron skillet tastes like metal:

Improperly cleaning the skillet

Not cleaning your cast iron skillet after cooking is another reason why it tastes like metal. When you cook something using a salt-rich marinade or brine, the iron in the pan absorbs those flavors. This may make your food taste like metal or give it a metallic flavor that you don’t want.

How to avoid this?

Using soap to clean cast iron pans using soap to wash cast iron skillets isn’t recommended because it could leave behind an unpleasant soapy taste. Instead, you should use salt and oil. Here are some ways on how to clean cast iron pan to make sure it doesn’t taste like metal:

i. After cooking, wash the skillet with hot water and a stiff brush while it’s still warm. Once the grill is cool enough to handle, scrub off any stuck-on bits or pieces of food with kosher salt and oil (grapeseed or another high-heat oil such as canola).

ii. Put a generous amount of kosher salt in the skillet and spread it around with your fingers.

iii. Pour some cooking oil into the pan and scrub it around to coat, then wipe away any excess oil with a paper towel or clean rag.

Improperly seasoned skillet

Another reason why skillet tastes like metal is that it isn’t properly seasoned. When you are seasoning your cast iron skillet, you should use oil that has a high smoke point such as canola oil with a paper towel to rub the surface of the pan.

If you don’t properly season your skillet, food tastes like metal because the pan is porous and will absorb flavors from cooking.

How to avoid this?

You can avoid this by seasoning your pan after it’s clean and dry. To season a skillet properly make sure that it is completely dry and then apply cooking oil on the surface of the cast-iron skillet. Remember that every time you wash the skillet it needs re-seasoning.

Storing skillet with too much oil

Another reason for food to taste like metal is that the cast iron skillet is improperly stored. Cast iron skillets need to be seasoned before use but you should not store them with too much oil in them as they can rust or corrode over time.

How to avoid this?

Stop putting too much oil on your cast iron skillet’s surface as the excess of everything is bad. You should wipe the skillet with a bit of cooking oil then put it over an open flame to remove any excess. If you’re short on time, just heat your cast iron pan up and let it cool before storing.

4. Storing skillet in a damp place

Another reason why food cooked in skillet tastes like metal is if you store the pan in a damp place. This may cause moisture to get trapped in between the skillet’s surface. Since cast iron is porous, it could rust if not dry properly before storage.

How to avoid this?

If you want your cast iron pan to retain flavor and avoid having food taste like metal when cooked, make sure that you store it in a cool dry place. And when you’re done washing the skillet, just put it on a stove for a few minutes before storing it to make sure that it’s completely dry and cool.


Yes, you heard it right! A cause of your skillet tasting like metal can be overcooking certain ingredients. Overcooking initiates a reaction between the ingredients and iron in the pan. For instance, the high acidity vegetables and liquids such as vinegar or tomato sauce interact with the iron molecules in your skillet to form an off-flavor.

How to avoid this?

To keep food from tasting like metal when cooked in a cast iron pan, don’t cook highly acidic foods for too long or at high temperatures. Make sure to simmer tomato sauce instead of boiling it, don’t overcook beans, and never boil vinegar or wine.

Cooking with a metal spoon

This is the most common, yet least noticed reason why the food tastes like metal when cooked in an iron skillet. If you use a metal spoon to stir food while it’s cooking in a cast-iron skillet, tiny pieces of metal may come off and transfer to the pan.

How to avoid this?

There are two easy ways to avoid cooking with a metal spoon. Either you should use wooden or plastic utensils. Or simply invest in a few stainless steel spoons that don’t have any coating on them to avoid cooking with a metal spoon.

On a side note, cooking food in a cast-iron skillet is an easy way to add a slight iron flavor to your favorite dishes. But if you don’t take proper care of the skillet, it may begin to rust and cause food to taste like metal when cooked.


To sum up, your cast iron skillet will taste like metal if you carelessly handle the skillet or the food being cooked. If you want to prevent cast iron skillet from tasting like metal, make sure to care for your skillet properly before using it. Just follow the above precautions to avoid the issue and you’ll have a healthy, tasty dish that won’t taste like metal.

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