Thursday, September 30, 2010

CAST IRON Got any?

How many of you have ever cooked something in a cast iron skillet or dutch oven? Or does the thought of trying to kind of scare you?

Maybe you got great grandma's cast iron skillet or grandma's dutch oven and have just put them away some place. Well, get them out!

It is not hard to cook in these. They come in all shapes and sizes. You can cook just about anything you can think of.

Bread? Yep, all types.

Stews and soups? Yep.

Meat, all kinds? Yep.

And my favorite -- BEANS!

You can even do some pies and cobblers.

I remember my great grandmother, grandmother and grand father, even my mom and dad cooking up stuff in cast iron skillets. Everyone did bacon on Sunday mornings, eggs, hash browns, or sausage and pancakes. Pappy was great at doing his fried pancakes (just batter in grease. He called them fry-cakes.)

Brings back lots of memories.

I carried a cast iron skillet for years when camping, hunting, or fishing. And the more you cook in them, the better the food tastes.

If you have grandma's skillet and have not used it, first you need to clean it with soap and water. If it has some rust, don't worry, use some steel wool, and it will come right off.

After you have cleaned your skillet or dutch oven, make sure that it is dry, inside and out.

Next we have to season it. OK, now you get to choose: you can use cooking oil, lard, or -- my favorite -- BACON DRIPPINGS! They now have some commercial seasoning just for cast iron. I have seen it at like Bass Pro, sporting goods stores, Army surplus stores, and even in some stores that sell all kinds of kitchen gadgit who-ha stuff. (Don't tell my male friends that I have been to stores like that. I have a reputation to uphold with my male counterparts.)

Now, like I said, I use bacon grease. Take a little glob and run it all over your skillet inside and out. Cover top to bottom. You really do not have to do the handle. Set your oven to 350, place a cookie sheet in the very bottom to catch any drips. Place your skillet upside down on the rack and let bake for 1 hour. Turn off oven and let it cool before removing your skillet. Careful, the handle may still be pretty warm to the touch. If there is excess grease, wipe it out with a paper towel.

OK, now you've got a skillet ready for cookin!

If you have a dutch oven you cure it the same way. Cover it with bacon grease, inside and out, lid also inside and out, and follow the same directions as for your skillet.

After cooking in your skillet or dutch oven, clean up is pretty easy. Wipe out with a rag. Take a little bit of oil and wipe inside and out. Leave a bit of a shine on it and put away till next time.

The more you use them, the better they cook and they get to where food does not stick. If it does, you most likely have it too hot for cooking.

So, now I will have to do some Feed Your Face posts for cooking in your cast iron.



  1. I think of cast iron pieces kinda like quilts. The more you use them, the better they are.

    This was a good topic.

  2. Thank you.
    They make great meals, and bring back memories of years past with family. Some of our cast iron skillets are older then me.

  3. You hit me on the spot in your first paragraph - I've always been a bit 'scared' to use these. After reading this post, I really wonder why!! (maybe it's the heaviness that scares this petite 'chef'!:-)

    I will definitely be trying your tips - I think we have a skillet in the camping gear - time to break it out for everyday use!!

    As KN said, this is a great topic!

  4. Try somthing easy the first time. do some bacon in the skillet. Save the bacon grease in a can or a jar,and keep it in the fridge. let the grease cool some if you are going to keep it in a jar.(Jar can break if you pour hot grease in it.) Put a lid on your grease can or jar. you will use it when you are cooking. It adds a lot of flavor to some of the things that you will cook.
    Try cooking some scrambled eggs in your skillet. If you mess them up. do not get discouraged. Throw them out and try again. If you need help, or have a question, let me know, I will try to talk you through it. You can make so many yummy things with a skillet. And it is so much fun. And it seems kind of old fashioned.
    Yout taste buds will thank you.
    Good luck and let me know how it goes.

  5. Saw this on Chickens in the Road. Great advice! I love cooking w/my gr-ma's skillet.

    Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

  6. Helpful post - thanks!
    Have just began using cast iron - have 2 pcs, both given to me - one of my Mom-mom's, a Griswold 8" frying pan; the other, a covered pot from Taiwan == there IS a difference! They sure cook quickly.

  7. Did you know,(I'm sure you do)that if you purchase a well used skillet at a yard sale or auction, you can clean it up, by putting the skillet inside the wood stove and let it get super hot. It will burn off all the corrosion that's accumulated from many years of use, then simply go through the greasing and curing process again.Hopefully,some beginner will need to know this, if not yourself.


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