cast iron crack
| | |

Can Cast Iron Crack? Why it Happens and How to Fix It

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more.

Cast iron kitchenware has been a staple in homes for centuries and for good reason. It is incredibly durable, retains heat well, and can last decades if properly cared for.

However, one concern that many people have with cast iron is the possibility of it cracking. But can cast iron really crack? And if so, what causes it, and how can it be fixed?

While cast iron is a durable and long-lasting material, it is not impervious to cracking. Thermal shock and overuse are the two most common causes of cracking in cast iron cookware.

However, with proper care, you can prevent cracking and enjoy your cast iron for years to come. And if your cast iron does crack, remember that it can be fixed with the right techniques. 

In this post, let’s find out what makes cast iron crack and how you can fix the problem.

Can Cast Iron Crack?

As strong and as versatile as cast iron is, it is brittle by nature, and it can be susceptible to cracks and breaks if it is not maintained well, and if it is not used properly.

There are a few reasons that cast iron might crack, most of which are avoidable, but if you do not use the cast iron pot properly or maintain it as it should be maintained, then there is a very good chance that it might end up cracking.

You might have been using the same cast iron pot for years, for it to one day crack. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it has got too old to use, but rather that it was mishandled.

As disappointing as it might be to find a crack or break in your cast iron pot, understanding that cast iron can crack is definitely a great way to encourage you to take proper care of your cast iron pots and pans!

What Causes Cast Iron to Crack?

A few different factors can cause cast iron to crack, and most are fairly avoidable with proper care and handling. 

cast iron crack

Here are the main causes of cast iron pots cracking:

Thermal Shock

Thermal shock is possibly the most common reason that cast iron pots crack, and it is something that you should keep in mind when using your cast iron pot!

Thermal shock happens when there is a rapid, extreme temperature change. This could be your cast iron pot being at a cool temperature, and then suddenly being exposed to a high heat, such as in a very hot oven.

When exposed to this heat change, the cast iron will try to expand, and if it happens too quickly, this could cause the cast iron to crack.

Another typical scenario where thermal shock might happen is if your cast iron pot is very hot, and you pour in cold water. This can cause the cast iron to crack.

Physical Damage

Cast iron is considered a strong material, but it is not indestructible. If you drop your cast iron pot, there is a chance that it could crack.

Cast iron is also quite heavy, so the chances of dropping it, and it hitting the floor hard, are quite high, so you do need to be careful when moving your cast iron pot around.

Dropping a cast iron pot, or physical damage, is also a common way that cast iron handles break off. While this might not always affect the cooking process, it can be quite an inconvenience.

You also need to be wary of minuscule cracks that form from drops, you might not notice them at first, but they could worsen over time with use.

Acidic Foods

Cooking with acidic foods for a long time can affect the integrity of the surface of the cast iron pot, especially if it is coated with another material or if it is not maintained properly.

With the weakening of the surface, it could lead to hairline cracks that will worsen over time. Make sure to be mindful when cooking with acidic foods, to not leave them in the cast iron pot for too long, and to wash the pot out properly once done.


Always make sure to check the user manual of the cast iron pot, to ensure you know what the maximum heat is that the pot can be used at.

Usually, cast iron pots can be used at a very high heat, but if you exceed the recommended heat of the pot you are using, it can lead to cracks.

Metal Fatigue

Over time, cast iron can develop metal fatigue, which is when the metal loses its flexibility and strength. This can lead to cracks and breaks. To prevent metal fatigue, be careful not to place too much weight on it.

How to Fix Cracked Cast Iron

If you find your favorite cast iron pot has developed a crack, you would understandably want to fix it! Cast iron pots really do become a big part of the kitchen, and they can be expensive to replace. 

It is important to note that fixing a cast iron pot is best done by welding. But if you do not know how to weld, or do not plan on calling a professional, here is how you can fix it by yourself:

Step 1: Investigate the Damage

The first step is taking a look at the damage. If the crack is less than an inch long, it can be easily repaired.

But, if the crack is longer than that, you can weld it or call a professional to do that for you, which would be the best repair option. If the pan has completely split, it may be time to replace the pan altogether.

Once you’ve assessed the damage, you’re ready to move on to the next step. We offer a simple solution to fixing your iron cast.

Step 2: Clean the Pan

Before you begin repairing your cast iron pan (I highly recommend this one from Amazon), it’s important to give it a thorough clean. Use a brush and hot soapy water to remove any food particles or debris. Rinse well and pat dry.

Step 3: Preheat Your Oven

Preheat your oven to 350°F and place the pan in the oven as it is preheating. This step is crucial in ensuring that the pan heats up slowly, which is important for avoiding further cracking or even breaking.

Step 4: Repair the Crack

With the pan heated, it’s time to fix the crack. Using a high-heat, food-safe metal filler, fill the crack and allow it to harden according to the package instructions. Typically, this will take a few hours, but it’s best to let it dry overnight just to be safe.

Step 5: Re-Season Your Cast Iron

Once the filler has hardened, it’s time to bring your cast iron pan back to life! Start by preheating your oven to 400°F.

Then, rub a light coat of oil – such as vegetable oil or flaxseed oil – all over the pan, making sure to cover every inch. Place the pan upside down in the oven for one hour. After this hour, turn off the oven and allow the pan to cool inside.

Rust on Cast Iron – The Best Way to Clean Rust Off of It

Other than cracks, rust forming on cast iron is another common problem, and one that is fairly easy to fix.

rust on cast iron

Rust can form on cast iron from acidic and oily foods, especially if the cast iron is not cleaned properly.

The best way to clean rust off of a cast iron pan is to use dishwashing soap and a brush to scrub the rust away. You could also use vinegar and baking soda to break the rust down, to make it easier to remove away with the brush.

Once you have removed the rust from the cast iron pan, you will need to season it again.

Tips for Proper Maintenance

Unlike modern non-stick pans, cast iron pans require a little bit of maintenance and proper usage to avoid cracking or damage.

cleaning cast iron

Let’s take a look at some tips and tricks on how to use cast iron pans safely so you can enjoy your deliciously cooked meals without any issues!

  1. Season your cast iron pan properly: Apply a layer of vegetable oil or any cooking oil of your choice to the pan’s surface. Put the pan upside down on the top shelf of your oven for about an hour. Let the pan cool down completely, then wipe away any excess oil. Repeat this process a few times.
  2. Heat your cast iron pan correctly: Be mindful of the temperature you’re using for your cast iron pan, and avoid submerging it in the water while it’s still hot.
  3. Clean your cast iron pan properly: Let the pan cool down for a few minutes after use (never submerge a hot pan in cold water). Use a soft sponge or brush to scrub the pan gently with warm water. Never use soap, especially in a newly seasoned iron pan!
  4. Use proper tools for cooking: It’s best to use wooden or silicone utensils while cooking instead of metal utensils.

Can Cast Iron Crack – How to Fix It

Cast iron is strong and really versatile in the kitchen, but it can crack if it is not handled properly, or if it is used incorrectly.

One of the main reasons why cast iron might crack is if it is exposed to thermal shock, which is a rapid change in temperature, such as a hot cast iron pot being filled with cold water.

If your cast iron pot is cracked and the crack is small, you can use a food-safe metal filler and fill your crack according to the package instructions.

Although the best way to fix it would be to weld the crack together, if you are not able to do this at home, you can find a professional welder to do this for you.

If the crack is too large, it might be better to get rid of the cast iron pot and buy a new one instead.

Related Questions

How Do You Keep Cast Iron from Cracking?

To keep cast iron from cracking, you need to heat and cool the cast iron evenly, and not expose it to rapid temperature changes.

Should I Oil Cast Iron?

It is recommended to add some oil to a cast iron pan before cooking food. Alternatively, after using and cleaning your cast iron, you can oil it lightly and then store it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *