I’ve hinted at usage earlier, but what exactly can you do with cast iron? Pretty much everything.
Since your cast iron can go from the oven to the cooktop means that cooking opportunities abound. You can put a nice, quick sear on a steak or burger and then finish it off in the oven. Or, you could cook savory or sweet fillings on the cooktop, add a light, crispy pie crust and bake in the oven. In our house, we roast veggies, cook chicken, bake homemade biscuits and shepherd’s pie in the oven. Don’t forget about deep dish pizza.
Baking and roasting are self-explanatory and use dry heat. On the flipside, the use of wet heat is the key to braising. Your cast iron is the key to searing up a fatty, yet flavorful cut of meat, or tougher cut, which then takes a bath in a liquid and cooked low and slow under a cover. Beef stew, short ribs, and pork shoulder are ideal to braise in your cast iron.
Want to cook the perfect steak or caramelize the top of your frittata? Want to grill the burgers, but don’t want to deal with the time and mess of charcoal? Your cast iron and broiler are a combination to be reckoned with in your kitchen. With proper timing, chicken and shellfish can also be broiled perfectly.
Let me guess, you’re picturing old-timey fried chicken in that “black skillet” like in the cartoons? No doubt, fried chicken is an all-time favorite, but it’s just a fraction of what you can fry up: dumplings, potatoes, hush puppies and fritters are all within your reach.
If you’re like me, you scour recipe sites, have more cookbooks than you can count and are always looking to perfect a dish. In my experience, searing almost always comes up and what better way to lay down a perfect sear on chicken, pork, scallops, burgers or steak than your cast iron? Get that perfect caramelized crust and lock that juicy flavor inside.
Some heat, your choice of oil, and your cast iron are all the gateway to your next meal. From veggies, sausage, shrimp or ‘shrooms, your cast iron has you covered. We love grilled cheese and quesadillas in the skillet, not to mention fajitas in minutes.
It doesn’t matter what your technique is, cast iron pretty much has you covered and makes itself indispensable pretty quickly. And, unlike just about any other kitchen utensil, it only gets better with age.
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