Sunday, May 4, 2014

New favorite kitchen essential: the cast iron skillet

A Gift of Gold

About two years ago, a large and quite heavy birthday gift waited to be opened on my lab. We have a tradition in my family where we try to guess the gift before opening it. I had no idea. Was a brick wrapped with my gift to throw me off? Needless to say, I guessed the gift completely wrong. But discovering that I was given a cast iron skillet left me giddy with glee! I couldn't wait to try it out. Ever since, this cast iron skillet has only helped leave my stomach full and happy.

A Kitchen Essential

I never knew what a cast iron skillet could do until I started using mine. Every kitchen needs a cast iron skillet for a few reasons. You may not understand it, until you try it. Why a cast iron? What makes it different from a regular skillet? It's like the question, why mix the dry ingredients from the wet in a cookie recipe? It doesn't seem like it would make a difference, but it does. So here is a short list why a cast iron skillet should be your friend in the kitchen.

1. There's something about searing the meat - Whether it is chicken, steak or pork chops, this skillet can handle it. And it handles it well. With a cast iron skillet, meat will be seared leaving the juices and flavor sealed in until you take your knife and fork to it. Pure deliciousness.

2. Universal Utility - Stove top. Oven. Campfire. The cast iron skillet can do it all. Just remember, oven mitts are always necessary when the heat is on. That handle, along with the entire skillet, will be hot. And stay hot for awhile, even when off the heat source.

3. An All Courses tool - The cast iron skillet is not only for meat. It can be for any course. Main dishes, dessert or side dishes, I've seen all sorts of recipes made for the cast iron skillet. Actually, a recipe on my to-do list includes an apple crisp made in a cast iron. My mouth is already watering.

4. It gets better with time - With each use, the cast iron skillet becomes seasoned. With more use, the skillet just gets better, providing food with full-bodied flavor. So the more you use your cast iron, the better the outcomes.

5. Easy cleaning - The cast iron skillet has a special maintenance plan. No soap necessary for this bad boy. To preserve the seasoning explained in #4, all you want to do is wipe it down with water and a damp cloth or paper towel. Also, as an extra bonus, there is no fear of warping the skillet under hot water!

A Recipe for the Kitchen Essential

As I was brainstorming what to do for some pork chops thawing from the freezer, the cast iron skillet popped in my head. I raced for my cast iron skillet cook book and found the perfect recipe! Let's just say it includes some of my favorite flavors: onion, garlic and wine! Yum! Be sure to stop back for the recipe release of Braised Pork chops in Merlot sauce coming soon.


  1. The cast iron allows the heat to evenly disperse itself throughout the entire skillet evenly which is why the meat cooks differently (and better!) than a normal skillet. Maybe you should look into cast iron griddles too, my mom just got one and is in love.

  2. Glad you like your cast iron .....I am ready to try the braised pork chops and apple crisp!



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