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I have a cast iron I use for frying up meats. (It makes the best fried chicken.)

What else can I use my cast iron skillet for that would not seem obvious?

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closed as not constructive by Mien, KatieK, kiamlaluno, rumtscho Dec 26 '12 at 11:58

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6 Answers 6

up vote 7 down vote accepted

I can definitely tell the difference between bacon made in cast iron, and bacon made in anything else. I also love burgers cooked on a cast iron skillet when I don't have a grill handy.

Two nights ago, I used a slightly modified version of this recipe to roast a chicken in my 12" cast iron skillet - turned out great.

Cast iron cornbread is amazing. I won't make cornbread any other way, ever again. Hashbrowns/home fries as well. And mac and cheese with a beautiful crispy edge.

I use mine to grill fish (the ones that are likely to fall apart) when I don't have a grill basket available.

I've used my cast iron double-sided griddle to roast vegetables in the oven.

One of the most often uses in my house, all those things aside, is reheating pizza. Warm up your cast iron skillet on the stovetop, throw a few slices in, and you've got perfect reheated pizza with a nice crispy crust in just a few minutes. I wasn't sure how this would work at first, but it really is a cool trick and I've never had reheated pizza that was this good.

Non-cooking related: home defense :)

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"bacon in cast iron" versus bacon prepared in the oven? I did make bacon in it when it was brand new as I read the first few uses are better with greasier/fattier foods. –  Chris Aug 26 '10 at 19:00
i now only make bacon in my cast iron skillet on the stove top, when i have the option. if my cast iron is all in use, or i'm at a friends house, i've also made it in stainless steel and nonstick pans, as well as on a cookie sheet/cooling rack combo in the oven. bacon is good no matter what, but given all those options, i'll take the cast iron bacon hands down. stainless steel on the stovetop, and cookie sheet/cooling rack in the oven are tied for second as far as i'm concerned. –  stephennmcdonald Aug 26 '10 at 19:02
+1 for the hashbrowns. Potatoes don't work nearly as well in anything else. –  Sobachatina Aug 26 '10 at 19:09
+1 for home defense –  Bob Aug 26 '10 at 19:18

I've used it to iron my clothing when I was a poor college student :) I had a small 4" that was fairly flat. It didn't work well on corners, but it got most of the wrinkles out.

You can use a skillet to make more authentic pizza--the problem with making pizza in a conventional oven is that the oven isn't hot enough. Pizza ovens get up to 700*F, and I've never seen a gas/electric that can go over 550*F (most will only do 450). To get the crust to turn out:

Put the skillet on a burner and turn on high. Turn the oven up as high as it can go. When the skillet starts to smoke, turn the oven to broil, slap the pizza in the skillet, and put the skillet under the broiler as close as possible. Turn after 5 minutes, take out when done.

On most ovens, they will auto-shutoff if the temp get above 500 or so, even on broil. To keep the broiler on, crack the oven door a bit. Once the first pizza is done, clean the bits of pizza out of the skillet, bring the skillet back up to heat and repeat the process.

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As an iron, very cool idea! I could totally see that working. Re: oven turning off, Alton Brown suggests if your door stays open too much, or doesn't feel like it locks into place when open slightly, you can use a ball of aluminum foil to create a small shim that will hold the door open as much as you need (by adjusting the size of the ball). –  stephennmcdonald Aug 26 '10 at 19:19
+1 for non-cooking application for the cast iron. This is good. –  Chris Aug 26 '10 at 19:26

I love making thick cut bone in pork chops in my cast iron - start with a cold pan and bring up to temperature. It will render the fat on the chops and then they will cook in their own goodness and stay quite juicy. I know some people have done this in the oven as well with a cold pan with good results. Takes a bit more time but it keeps the chop moist.

I love making any sort of upside down cake (especially peaches, plums, and apples) in my cast iron skillet but some people don't like the idea of mixing meat with non-meat items. If you have a second cast iron this works well too. I have seen people make rustic cobblers and crisps in cast irons that turned out really great.

I swear by making fried eggs in a well seasoned skillet. Especially after cooking bacon or sausage in it. Or pancakes, or french toast... or I guess there's not much I wouldn't stick in a well seasoned cast iron!

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Not as original as ironing... but I use mine for bread. The crust comes out pretty nicely. Tortillas too.

You can also do a chicago style deep dish pizza. They use modified cast iron pans in the restaurants there.

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Also good for

  • compressing a grilled cheese sandwich while it's cooking
  • dry-roasting nuts on the stove top or in the oven
  • warming tortillas and flatbreads
  • building forearm strength
  • oven roasting small potatoes with olive oil, salt and rosemary - just give 'em a shake every 15 or 20 minutes
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Here is a long article about how I use my cast iron skillet.

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Nice article, but it would help if you would provide a brief synopsis here, otherwise it does little more than serve as self promotion. –  David Dec 17 '10 at 15:38

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