If you have just gotten a cast iron pan, you must be really excited and rightfully so. Cast iron pans are extremely versatile and are loved by people because they can be used in a number of different ways.
A good rule of thumb here is to cook dishes that can actually help you to maintain the seasoning on your cast iron pan.
The best part is that these dishes are simple, easy, and will turn out extremely flavorful and delicious.
10 things you can cook in a Cast Iron Pan
Let’s have a look at some of the delicious things you can cook in a cast iron pan.
Cornbread is one of the tasteful yet simple dishes that you can prepare in a cast iron pan. Given the amount of butter it uses, cornbread is a tasteful dish, which makes it perfect for seasoning your cast iron pan.
When cooked in a cast-iron skillet, all it takes is half-an-hour, and you have some delicious cornbread for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Moreover, given the fact that it complements the seasoning of the pan, cleanup is a breeze, and you do not have to worry about unwanted residue being left behind.
These aren’t more than a side dish or the base dish that you start making as it does help to season the pan thoroughly.
Caramelized onions can also help you understand how well the pan retains and distributes heat. Just understanding this simple thing can help you learn about the parameters of cooking with a cast iron pan.
Furthermore, the onions and oil used help to further season the pan.
This is the perfect dish that acts as a warm-up for the pan. It also helps to prepare it for the future dishes that you can make on the pan.
Roasted vegetables are elevated to new heights when cooked on a cast iron pan. These will become a staple dish to prepare in a cast iron pan because they are extremely tasteful.
Cooked lightly in oil and seasoned with salt, pepper, and herbs, these roasted vegetables will become a great side dish for any meal.
As a plus, they also help to season your pan. Additionally, there is no limit to the type of vegetables you can cook on a cast iron pan.
From root vegetables like carrots and potatoes to green beans and more, you can roast almost any vegetable.
The perfect accompaniment for any breakfast, bacon is one of the best meat cuts to cook on a cast-iron skillet.
The natural fat released by the bacon complements the seasoning of the skillet. The best part is that you can add some oil and let the bacon do the rest.
Additionally, given the even heat distribution that these pans have, it is very easy.
Do keep an eye on the bacon, though, since it is very easy to burn. However, much like with other dishes, once you get the hang of the pan, you will able to cook the perfectly crispy bacon without any worries.
If you have a large enough pan, do you know that you can cook a whole roast chicken in your cast iron pan?
Roast chicken is the perfect meal to try once you have gotten the hang of the pan. Made with oil, seasoning, and throw in some vegetables and shallots, and you will get a delicious meal, all made in one pan.
The fats from the chicken, as well as the herbs, will also help to further season your pan and offer you non-stick results. This is a meal that will surely become a favorite among your family and guests too!
Seared Pork Chops
Searing meat like pork chops can be done perfectly with a cast iron pan. Since the pan has even heat distribution, it gives a beautiful sear to meat cuts that will make you salivate.
The best part is that all you need is a little bit of seasoning and you are good to go.
In addition, if your pan is properly seasoned, you can also try deglazing the delicious goodness of the meat from the bottom of the pan.
All you need is to pour in some broth, reduce it, season it and serve it with the pork chops.
Ever wanted to make a quick pan pizza? It is time to bring out your cast iron skillet for it.
Whether you are making your pizza from scratch or just want to reheat it, a cast iron pan is the best option. The one key factor behind this is the even heat distribution that it offers.
Moreover, oiling the pan will help the natural seasoning of the pan. You will also get a delicious pizza crust that is going to be golden brown and crisp all the way through.
Cooking lasagna on a cast iron pan can be tricky, but it is not impossible. The trick here lies in oiling the pan first and layering it with the lasagna slices before you add any slices.
You will get evenly cooked layers with some amazingly melted cheese.
Plus, you can also assemble everything in the pan and then pop it in the oven if you want a more even heat distribution. The resulting meal is going to be a tasty one that is sure to be a hit among many.
Also read: How to Freeze Lasagna in Aluminum Pans
Panini and Grilled Sandwiches
Grilled cheese sandwiches and Paninis are the easiest to make when you have a cast-iron skillet. You will get perfectly toasted bread with one of the best cheese pulls when you use your cast iron pan.
Moreover, using butter will also help the seasoning of the pan and give your more flavorful results.
Additionally, if you are in a bind and need a substitute for a Panini press, you can use the weight of the cast iron pan to press the sandwich down as you grill it.
Fried chicken is the last thing that people believe that they can make in a cast iron pan, but that’s not true.
These pans are usually deep enough to hold a large quantity of oil, and this, in turn, helps to season it properly. The heat qualities of cast iron pans mean that you’re going to be able to fry chicken at the perfect temperature.
The fried chicken you make on a cast iron pan is definitely going to taste better and more different from chicken that you try anywhere else.
Now that you know the answer to what to cook in a cast-iron pan, it is time to get creative and start cooking these delicious meals for your friends and family.
Foods You Should Not Cook in Cast Iron Pans
Since there are so many dishes that you can cook with a cast iron pan, you might forget there are actually certain dishes that you should avoid.
The major reason why these dishes are best avoided is that they can affect the seasoning of the pan.
This, in turn, will make an impact on the cooking quality and the results you get when you are using this pan. Keeping this aspect in mind, the following are foods to avoid:
Tomatoes should not be cooked in cast iron pans because they can be highly acidic and can ruin the seasoning of your pan.
Additionally, the reaction they have with the pan can give a metallic aftertaste to any sauce you make. This is especially true for when you’re making tomato-based spaghetti sauces, such as spaghetti Bolognese.
It’s a good idea to cook tomato sauces and tomato-based dishes in a different pan to keep your pan safe and maintain the rich flavor of your pasta sauces.
While deglazing can be done with cast iron pans, do not try to deglaze these pans with wine.
Broth, water, or juice are good alternatives, but wine should be avoided. This is because wine and vinegar can also be very alkaline or acidic in nature.
This ends up leaching into the pan, ruining the seasoning, and introducing a metallic taste to the finished dish.
Unless your pan is perfectly seasoned, do not try to deglaze it with any alcohol or vinegar.
This is an issue that is largely related to how you cook with the cast iron pan. If you use your cast iron skillet for cooking savory dishes, you should not use the same pan for cooking desserts.
This is because the pan may have residual flavors from the savory dishes that could be transferred into the deserts and vice versa.
This could completely ruin the learning experience for you and make it difficult to properly keep the pan clean. It is a good idea to have two or more pans that you can designate to sweets, savory meals or more.
By understanding this fact, you can make sure that every time that you cook with your cast iron pan, you are able to avoid common mistakes and get the best-tasting dishes!
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