Ah the cast iron pan; bane of my childhood dishwashing career; revitalized culinary accoutrement.
Growing up, there was nothing I loathed more than cleaning our old cast iron pan. As a child, I failed to understand the balance of strength, heat conductivity and non-stick super powers cast iron possesses; all I knew was that it was heavy and there were lots of rules about cleaning it. During my tenure as a college student, my relationship with cast iron cooking was reignited when my friends and I would make large batches of stew in my newly acquired Dutch oven. I cringe as I recall scrubbing burnt bits of stew from my Dutch oven in the nearest creek, using, gulp, steel wool.
-My favorite Lodge cast iron skillet
Today, my Dutch oven is an indispensable part of my kitchen’s arsenal. The steady, high heat of cast iron is the perfect tool to sear a roast before slow cooking it in the oven; it makes quick work of stir fry thanks to its ability to maintain high heat. My favorite application for cast iron, however, is making desserts. That’s right, desserts. At least once a summer I think it’s a good idea to invest in a whole box or flat of fresh fruit- damn those CSA’s! Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on your taste buds, the fruit usually all ripens at the same time. As I am not a canner, the second best application for excess quantities of ripe fruit, in my humble opinion, is to make a crisp! The epic peach cobbler of 2012; the blackberry crisp of 2015; what will it be this year? While I cannot predict the fruit I will inevitably over-purchase, not be able to eat then mix into a fabulous campfire treat, I can tell you that cooking with cast iron is easier than many believe.
-Rhubarb on the chopping block.
If you long to reconnect with grandma’s old skillet or dust off your Dutch oven of yore, follow these five simple steps to cast iron cooking to keep your pans in tip top shape.
-Hot, bubbly strawberry-rhubarb crisp.
Cooking with cast iron is one of life’s simple pleasures. With a few easy steps, your cast iron will live a long, fruitful life, being passed through the generations as a family heirloom.
-Cast iron roasted cauliflower.
Have experience cooking with cast iron? Leave us a comment below!