Grocery Hacks

A Crash Course On How To Master Cooking With A Cast Iron Skillet

Here’s everything you need for iron-clad success, including our favorite cast iron recipes, the best cooking techniques and the top gear you need in your kitchen.

For most people, a cast iron obsession starts with a single skillet. After just a few meals, they’re shopping for Dutch ovens, griddles and beyond. And it’s no wonder: With its impressive versatility, breezy cleanup and solid construction, cast iron cookware has been the kitchen workhorse for generations. (See how they’re made!)

This guide reveals all the best cast iron recipes, care tips and cooking gadgets our Test Kitchen stands behind. Follow along, and before you know it, you’ll be a cast iron master just like Grandma.

What to Make with Your Cast-Iron Cookware

From breakfast to dinner to dessert, you can make just about anything in cast iron. First, learn how to cook Grandma’s recipes in your cast-iron skillet, then tackle more amazing dishes.

Our Favorite Cast Iron Cooking Secrets

Get the most out of that trusty pan. Our Test Kitchen pros are here to show you what to do (and what not to) with a cast-iron skillet.

How To Care For Your Cast Iron Skillet

Even your favorite heavy-duty pan needs a refresh once in a while. Learn how to clean cast iron after everyday use, extra-messy recipes and even years of neglect. Wondering how to season it? We’ll tell you that, too.

The Best Cast-Iron Products You Can Buy

You can find all the things we love about cast iron—durability, naturally nonstick coating and easy cleanup—in lots of handy styles (and fun ones, too!). Vintage cast iron is in a league of its own. These are the new cast-iron products and accessories we recommend.

Note: Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Article by Taste of Home. View the original article here.


How To Cook A Steak In A Cast Iron Skillet

Photo: Lisovskaya Natalia / shutterstock

You don’t need to visit a fancy restaurant to enjoy a tender, juicy steak. Our tried-and-true method makes it easy to cook skillet steak at home.

Few meals are more iconic than a hearty cast-iron steak dinner. When paired with smashed potatoesroasted asparagus and a wedge salad, steak is the perfect way to indulge.

If you’ve never cooked steak at home before, it can be a little intimidating. That’s why we came up with this simple steak recipe that’s so easy, you could make it any day of the week. Our method involves just three things: kosher salt, a fresh steak and a cast-iron skillet.

Psst! You can use a cast-iron skillet to grill amazing steaks, too!


  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 beef New York strip or ribeye steak (1 pound), 1-inch thick

Step 1: Season Steak

When making steak, you want to make sure it’s well-seasoned. You don’t need a lot of fancy flavors to make the meat taste amazing. In fact, we opt only for salt—just make sure that it’s kosher. Salt with a smaller grain, such as table salt, breaks down faster and can give your steak a briny flavor.

To season, start by removing the steak from the refrigerator and generously sprinkle two teaspoons of kosher salt on all sides of the filet. Let it stand for 45-60 minutes. This resting period gives the meat enough time to absorb the salt.

Feeling fancy? Try one of these steak rubs and marinades.

Step 2: Heat Skillet and Prep Steak

The other key to a delicious steak is heat. And since that signature sear comes from a sizzling hot pan, a cast-iron skillet is the way to go. This hearty pan gets extremely hot and also retains heat for a long time, making it the perfect vessel for steak. You’ll want to preheat your pan over high heat for 4-5 minutes, or until very hot. Then, pat your steak dry with paper towels and sprinkle the remaining teaspoon of salt in the bottom of the skillet. Now you’re ready to sear!

Step 3: Sear Steak

Place the steak into the skillet and cook until it’s easily moved. This takes between one and two minutes. Carefully flip the steak, placing it in a different section of the skillet so it can pick up more of the sprinkled salt. Cook for 30 seconds, and then begin moving the steak around, occasionally pressing slightly to ensure even contact with the skillet. Moving the steak around the pan helps it cook faster and more evenly.

Step 4: Cook as Desired

Continue turning and flipping the steak until it’s cooked to your desired degree of doneness. Let the steak rest for 10 minutes before cutting in.

Leftovers? Here’s the right way to reheat steak.

How long does it take to cook steak on cast-iron?

In total, the steak should be in the pan for less than 5 minutes, depending on your desired doneness. Prepping the meat and pan takes a little effort, but the cook time is short and sweet since you’re using such an extreme temperature.

Once you’ve mastered steak, try these other cast-iron skillet recipes.

How do you cook a medium rare steak in a cast-iron skillet?

When cooking steak to your desired doneness, a meat thermometer is your best friend. A thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat should read:

  • Medium-rare:135 degrees
  • Medium: 140 degrees
  • Medium-well: 145 degrees.

Keep in mind that the steak will continue to cook a little bit after it’s been removed from the pan, so aim for a few degrees shy of your desired temperature.

Learn more about cooking medium-rare steak here. 

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Article by Katie Bandurski for Taste of Home. View the original article here.


How To Bake A Pie In A Cast Iron Skillet

Photo: So Delicious

Making a pie in a cast iron skillet is one of the easiest ways you can get a sweet dessert this fall. You can make it with fresh fruit or vegetables or even meat, but, once you start baking in a cast iron skillet, you might never use other pie dishes!

A cast iron skillet is a must-have in any cook’s kitchen. It’s a versatile cooking pot because you can use it to prepare all kind of meals in it – it’s amazing for sautéing, frying, simmering, and baking. It’s also a must-have because you can use it on the stovetop, on the grill, in the oven, or even over a campfire. Still, because cast iron is a material that gets very hot throughout the whole piece of cookware, including the handle, watch your hands and handle it using a kitchen glove. Another benefit is that it can last decades without getting worse. By contrary, many believe that these skillets get better with age and natural seasoning. I can tell my mother still uses inherited cast iron cookware.

Since the fall’s here, and because I’m only thinking about fallen leaves, flavored fruit, and pies, this thought just pop-up through my mind: how about making a pie in a cast iron skillet and gathering some friends to eat it up right away? It’s easy to make and any pie looks more appealing than ever if you serve it right from the skillet!

Tips for making a pie in a cast iron skillet

A pie in a cast iron skillet is the same as any pie, only easier to make. You have to follow the recipe, but you still have to pay attention to some details. And then, once you try baking a pie in a cast iron skillet, you might never bake in anything else again. Just saying.

1. Choose the right cast iron skillet

Make sure that the skillet is 9 or 10 inches (22 – 25 cm) in diameter to keep the volume and baking times consistent with the recipe.

2. Dividing the dough to have enough crust

A skillet is deeper than a pie plate, so divide the crust using a 60:40 ratio rather than two equal discs. Use the bigger part on the bottom of the cast iron skillet, and make be sure it reaches all the way up the sides. Then, use the remaining 40 percent of the dough for the top crust. We recommend you make your own crust.

3. Sometimes you can forget about the bottom crust

You can bake any pie in a cast iron skillet – from chicken pot pie to shepherd’s pie, and any vegetarian or fruit pies. When you’re baking a fruit pie you can give up on the bottom crust if you feel. It’ll look like a tart, so what?

pie in a cast iron skillet
It’s important to keep the edges of the dough inside the skillet so they don’t get burned.

4. Keep the dough inside the skillet

If you still opt for a top crust, even if it’s a basic top or a lattice or you choose a fancier way of decorating your pie, keep the edges of the dough inside the skillet rather than coming around the sides of the skillet. Otherwise, they’ll burn.

5. On the bottom shelf of the oven

The best way of getting a crisp crust is to place the cast iron skillet on the bottom shelf of the oven. That way, the cookware will absorb and conduct the heat and you’ll get a nice golden-brown crust.

You can try making our apple pie, or choose other ingredients like pumpkin, peaches, apricots, or plums.

Related Links:

Article by Raluca Cristian from So Delicious. View the original article here.