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Feb 11, 2011 09:04 PM

What to cook with cast iron skillet in oven?

Our fairly new stovetop has a glass/enamel top, and I've heard it may not be good to use a cast iron on the glass top. I love my cast iron skillet though (it's 12 inch) but I can't seem to find many recipes to use it in the oven, aside from cornbread. Does anyone have any good ideas or recipes for what I can cook with my cast iron skillet in the oven and not the stove top? Thank you!

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  1. I use mine frequently to roast potatoes in - set the skillet in the oven while it preheats, or while some meat is roasting, and parboil potatoes and then toss them with oil, salt, pepper and herbs. Then maybe an hour before the meat comes out I'll pull the skillet out, dump in the potatoes, stir them around and stick the pan back in. I may or may not bother to turn the potatoes over halfway through.

    Skillet-roasting fish is another good use, where the seasoned fish is dropped into a hot skillet on the stove top, given about five minutes there, then turned over and the skillet and fish put into a hot oven for another five minutes or so. You can also spread salsa or some other seasoning vegetables over the fish before putting it into the oven.

    I have also used a skillet as a roasting pan, with or without a wire rack. It should be preheated if used like this, unless the roasting time is an hour or more. Now that I have several copper gratin pans I usually use those instead.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Will Owen

      I skillet-broil fish. I preheat the skillet under the broiler for a good five or ten minutes and the add fish that has been drizzled with oil and seasoned. No oil needed in the pan. Most fillets don't need to be turned, only the very thickest. Because the pan is so hot, the fillet cooks from both the bottom and the top. With skin-on fillets, the skin is marvelously crispy. Because I cook fish this way so often, I keep various homemade dry rubs on hand for seasoning the fish after it's oiled.

      1. re: JoanN your way of doing fish in the skillet...will try that this week...thanks for sharing...there are so many neat tricks that you great people learning so much from everybody!!!! Perhaps you could share your recipes for some homemade dry rubs.....yum yum.

        1. re: cstout

          Sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you on this. I’ve been out of the country for a couple of months and it took me a while to look these up.

          First and foremost, this Charmoula Spice Rub from Ana Sorten’s book “Spice.” It’s really terrific and keeps well in a bottle on the spice rack. I’m sure never to be without it:

          Two more favorites are from Rick Moonen’s “Fish Without a Doubt.” The first is:

          Moroccan Spice Mix
          2 tablespoons coriander seeds
          2 tablespoons fennel seeds
          1 tablespoon cumin seeds
          1 tablespoon cardamom pods
          10 whole cloves

          Toast spices over medium heat for about 7 minutes, let cool completely, process in a spice grinder to a fine powder, and store in a dark place for up to 6 months.

          The second is:
          Cajun Spice Mix
          4 teaspoons coriander seeds
          1 tablespoon fennel seeds
          2 teaspoons white peppercorns
          2 teaspoons black peppercorns
          1 teaspoon cayenne
          4 teaspoons Hungarian paprika
          4 teaspoons chili powder
          2 teaspoon celery seeds
          1 tablespoon dried oregano, crumbled
          1 tablespoon dried thyme
          2 tablespoons coarse salt
          2 tablespoons dried onion
          1 tablespoon garlic powder

          Coarsely process seeds and peppercorns in a spice grinder and mix with the rest of the ingredients.

          This makes about one cup, which is a lot for me, so I usually make up just half a recipe.

    2. I like it for a nice rich buttermilk cornbread and a small roast chicken (not at the same time). Also--- Skillet cookies:

      1 Reply
      1. re: Vetter

        Thanks for the recipe...will put that one where I can remember to try it soon.

      2. I had been using cast iron on my ceramic-top stove for decades before I ever heard this was a no-no. There's at least one cookware thread on this. It appears to relate to the potential for scratching, or for cracking the top if the heavy pan is dropped. If you don't slide the pan around on the cooktop, scratching is not an issue, and anything heavy slamming into the cooktop could crack it. Go ahead and use the skillet on the stovetop.

        4 Replies
        1. re: greygarious

          I'm with Greygarious. I've used cast iron pans on my ceramic-top stove for many years with absolutely no problems. Just be careful not to side the pan around and, of course, not to drop the pan. In fact, using a cast iron pan on an electric stove allows you to reach and maintain a higher temp than you might be able to with other pans.

            1. re: LauraGrace

              thanks for all the suggestions! i did look at some posts on using the cast iron on the stovetop... i think my main concern in the end seemed to be that the diameter of my skillet is larger than the burners on my stove. is that not a big issue after all? It is a 12" skillet and my burners are regular sized (less than 12 inch).

              1. re: mrsjagirard

                I have a similar problem with a couple of my skillets, but my solution is just to let the skillet heat up for plenty of time over a lower heat -- at least ten minutes so it can get a good consistent heat throughout. An inch or so of overlap isn't going to hurt much if you leave plenty of pre-heat time.

          1. Cast Iron Skillet Baked Potatoes

            These potatoes are baked, cut side down in a cast iron skillet. This
            results in a potato with a slightly golden brown crust on the cut side and
            a delicious, roasted flavor.

            4 Tbsp cooking oil
            1/4 tsp dried rosemary
            1/8 tsp seasoning salt or kosher salt
            3 or 4 medium size potatoes, sliced in half length wise

            In a room temperature, cast iron skillet, add the oil and spread evenly over bottom. Sprinkle rosemary and salt evenly over the oil.
            Scrub and dry the potatoes. Leave potato skins on. Cut potatoes in half, lengthwise, through widest part of potato. Place potatoes, cut side down, one layer deep in bottom of cast iron skillet. Press down on potatoes so that the cut side is coated in oil. Place cold skillet of potatoes in cold oven. Set oven to 400F and bake for 45-minutes. At end of cooking time, pierce with fork to test for doneness. Potatoes can be served with sour cream, grated cheese, etc.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Antilope

              We make these often and call them 'half-baked potatoes.' Slight difference in technique, tho...the prepped spuds are tossed in the seasoned oil to coat all sides and sometimes sprinkled with course salt and cracked pepper. Yummm...

              1. re: OldDog

                these are great suggestions, and i just bought a lot of potatoes, so i'll be trying this out this weekend! thanks!

              2. re: Antilope

                Place a sage leaf in the pan, then put the potato half (cut side down) on top of the sage leaf. They look lovely when you serve them!

                1. re: Antilope

                  one of my favorite ways to cook a potato....this is a stample at my house.