What is a Cast Iron Skillet and Should I Have One?

Author: Chef Sydney

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What is a Cast Iron Skillet?

A cast iron skillet, also called a cast iron frying pan, is a type of cookware.  This type of skillet is made out of thick iron.  It has a round bottom, sides that open outward, and two small lips on the sides of the pan.  There is a long handle between these two lips and there is sometimes a smaller handle on the opposite end.  The texture of the pan feels somewhat gritty due to the porous nature of the metal.  Cast iron skillets heat and cook foods evenly and can withstand high heats.  Cast iron skillets are durable and will last for many years.

What are Cast Iron Skillets Used For?

Cast irons skillets are mainly used for cooking such as frying, browning, and sauteing.  Foods like fried chicken, eggs, and skillet pizza are cooked in a cast iron skillet.  This type of pan is also used to transfer food from the stove to the oven to finish cooking.  Some people prefer to bake certain foods, like biscuits or cornbread, in the skillets because of the flavor it gives the food.

Learn About Cast Iron Skillets

What are the Different Types of Cast Iron Skillet?

  • Unseasoned
  • Pre-seasoned

Unseasoned

An unseasoned cast iron skillet requires some preparation before it can be used, which means you have to season the pan.  This process involves washing and drying the pan, rubbing a small amount of oil in the pan, then baking the skillet in the oven.  This process should be completed when the nonstick feel to the pan begins to fade.

Pre-seasoned

A pre-seasoned cast iron skillet usually comes prepared for use.  However, some may need additional seasoning before using them.  Like unseasoned cast iron skillets, pre-seasoned skillets will require seasoning when the nonstick effect begins to wear.

Recipes Using A Cast Iron Skillet

Jalapeno Spinach Queso

This dip is made in a cast-iron skillet and is perfect for sharing. In the skillet, sauté diced jalapeños, onion, garlic. Once those are caramelized, add in spinach and stir to wilt. Add in flour and cook through until it is golden brown, and add in milk. Cook the mixture until it is thick, remove it from the heat, and add in shredded Monterey jack cheek and stir to melt. Top the queso dip with fried jalapeños and chopped cilantro.

Skillet Grilled Peach Cobbler

Next time you use the grill, make desert outside with this easy skillet cobbler. To make it combine sliced peaches, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and vanilla extract in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, make biscuit dough using flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, buttermilk, and cubed butter. Pour the peach mixture into a cast iron skillet and top with large spoonfuls of biscuit dough. Place the cast iron skillet in on a grill over medium heat and close the lid, cooking until the peach mixture is bubbly and the biscuits are cooked and slightly browned.

Pan-Seared Fish with Caper Sauce

Cook your favorite fish in a cast-iron skillet until tender, about 2 minutes each side. Before the fish is fully cooked, add in butter, capers, garlic, and lemon juice (and rosemary, if using), swirling the pan slightly. Serve the fish with steamed rice and vegetables and spoon the sauce over the fish before serving.

Crispy Skillet Pizza

Use a cast-iron skillet to ensure your personal pizza gets a crispy crust. To do this, make a round off dough about the side of your cast iron skillet. set the oven to 350 degrees with the skillet inside. Once the oven has pre heaved, take the skillet out carefully using some oven mitts and place it on the stove over medium heat. Add the pizza crust and cook for 3 minutes on each side. Once the crust is cooked on both sides, add your pizza toppings (we like marinara, fresh mozzarella, and herbs) and bake for 12 minutes.


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