I’m a recent cast iron skillet recipe convert. Up until recently, I’d been a devoted non-stick pan user. And despite the rising popularity of the cast iron skillet, I put off buying one because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to treat it or cook in it properly. I was intimidated by them. But after tasting some delicious cast iron skillet recipes made by friends, I decided to put my apprehensions aside and purchase one for myself (and by the way, you can buy one for less than $20 on Amazon).
I can’t tell you how happy I am that I did. See, no pan possesses quite as much heat or versatility as the cast iron skillet. And guess what? They are super easy to treat and to cook with and you can’t beat the food made in them. However, before you start whipping up these tasty cast iron skillet recipes, there are a few things you should know about cooking with cast iron.
Why Cast Iron Skillet Recipes?
Why cook with a cast-iron skillet? They are able to withstand high temperatures so they can be used on the stove-top as well as the oven. They evenly distribute heat. You can use them to sear, bake, fry, roast and saute.
How to Season Your Cast Iron Skillet
If you purchase a brand-new pan, the chances are high that it will be seasoned already. If that is the case, you’ll just need to follow the manufacturer’s directions on how to use it. If you get a cast-iron skillet from a garage sale or from your grandma, you’ll need to season your skillet. Don’t worry, it’s not difficult.
Simply heat your oven to 300°F. While your oven is heating up, wash the cast iron pan with warm, soapy water. Then dry it well. Use a pastry brush to spread a tablespoon of canola oil over the entire inside surface of the pan. There should not be pools of oil, it should be spread evenly. Bake the skillet for an hour. Then, turn off your oven, but leave the pan inside. Let the pan cool in the oven. After the pan cools, your cast-iron skillet is ready to use! A few drops of oil with each use will eventually create a smooth, non-stick surface on the pan. Proper cleaning and drying will keep the skillet rust-free.
How to Clean Your Cast Iron Skillet
Once you season your cast iron skillet, you won’t need much more than warm water to keep it clean. Just use warm water and a sponge or brush (no steel wool). You can use a few drops of mild soap if food is encrusted in the pan, but most of the time you don’t even need to do that. Every now and then give your skillet an oil treatment: Warm up the skillet on the stove over medium heat. Wipe it with a bit of oil and then allow it to cool down.
Now that you’re feeling confident about using and treat cast iron, click through these easy cast iron skillet recipes and get cooking.
Karen Petersen is a cookbook author and food blogger at 365 Days of Slow Cooking. Mostly she writes about the new foods and recipes she's been making at her home for her husband and two children. She loves easy recipes that are full of flavor. She is a crockpot connoisseur and has created over 1000 slow cooker recipes in the past 5 1/2 years. She loves dessert more than anything else in the whole world and likes to plan it, make it, eat it, talk about it while eating it and then review it after it's gone. You can also visit Karen on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, and Pinterest.