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Sep 14, 2008 11:24 AM

What else besides meat is heavenly in the cast-iron skillet?

I've become an absolute convert to the cast-iron skillet for all things meat-related. It's really shocking to experience how much easier , consistent, and flavorful meat cooked in the cast-iron skillet tastes compared to thin non-stick pans.

I was wondering if I'm missing out on any other foods that are commonly cooked in the cast-iron skillet and come out particularly heavenly compared to being cooked in a non-stick pan - besides meat.

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  1. Have you tried cornbread or pineapple upside down cake (or anything along those lines like fruit crisp/cobblers)?

    4 Replies
    1. re: chowser

      Oh, yeah. Both of those are immeasurably improved in cast iron.

      Deborah Madison's buttermilk corn bread recipe is the best breakfast in the world made in a 12 inch skillet with plenty of butter and honey at the ready.

      1. re: Vetter

        oh, yes! and preheating the skillet in the oven before pouring in the batter...such a nice sizzle and crust!

        1. re: dani_k

          I make my Dutch Baby that way, using my big old Lodge cast iron skillet. It's the perfect shape and size to produce a tall, puffy, golden baby. Preheating the pan in the oven is key.

          Pan-seared fish comes out really well using cast iron. I use it for almost everything.

      2. re: chowser

        Oooooh yes. I remember once a friend promised to make pineapple upside-down cake for me, since I' d mentioned that I loved it. She made it in 9" round cake pans. Non-stick pans to boot. Blugh. It was basically just yellow cake with some bland topping. I remember my mother's as being gooey, dark brown caramelized and rich - nothing boring about hers! The cast-iron (she baked hers in a skillet after making the topping on the burner in the same pan) made all the difference!

      3. I have two cast iron skillets: one for 'sweet' and one for 'savory' since cast iron tends to absorb flavors a bit. I use my 'savory' for meats... mostly bacon, steak, duck breasts, etc... I use the 'sweet' one for pancakes and cornbread. Oh and I actually have a third smaller one for doing blackened fish (mostly salmon), either on the stove or on the grill.

        I'm sure there are many other wonderful things to cook in cast iron and I look forward to hearing everyone's ideas!


        1. I make Tarte Tatin in my cast iron pan.

          1. I use my little 6" for crepes. You might want to also consider a Dutch oven. It's great for braises and roasts, and stove top for quick one-pot dishes.

            1 Reply
            1. re: nemo

              I am a convert. I have put away all my fancy ccokware and gone completely to cast iron. I use it for everything. My dutch oven is the best thing for soups and stews. Because cast iron gets so hot, so uniformly, it makes the best yorkshire pudding.

            2. I use it for everything - as a way of adding iron to my diet.