Best Things To Cook In A Cast Iron Skillet & Tips on How!

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Want to cook more things in your cast iron pan? There are so many recipes to cook in a cast iron skillet. It’s one of my most used items in the kitchen simply because it’s so versatile and tough. Definitely a favorite to have in your kitchen. Here I cover a bunch of ideas and some best ways for cooking in cast iron…

IPROUDER Cast Iron Deep Skillet with Wooden Handle and Glass Lid 28.5cm Pre-seasoned Cast Iron Frying Pan, Steak Frying Pan, Cleaning Brush Included, cooking bacon in cast iron skillet

How to heat a cast iron pan? Your cast iron pan will take a few minutes to heat because iron is a poor heat conductor. After placing it on the heat source it’ll take around 5 minutes. The time will depend on the performance of the heat source.

The upside is that an iron pan holds the heat really well.

Things to cook in a cast iron pan

There are tons of meals you can cook in a cast iron skillet. Here are ten that easily come to mind:

  1. Eggs
  2. Bacon
  3. Steak
  4. Chops
  5. Fish
  6. Chicken
  7. Frittatas
  8. Pancakes
  9. Pizza
  10. Stir fries

But the options are endless.

Cooking eggs in a cast iron skillet

Eggs are a favorite dish to cook in a cast iron skillet, along with bacon. Pancakes are another and so are chops and steak. Corn bread, cake, and pizzas, can all be done in a cast iron skillet.

You can cook eggs any way you wish in a cast iron frying pan. Cooking fried eggs in a cast iron skillet as well as scrambled…even poached eggs is simple. Cast iron skillets are perfect for cooking frittatas.

The way I do it is to add a small amount of coconut oil to the pan before heating it. I especially do this when cooking scrambled eggs and frittatas in a cast iron skillet. I find this is the best way to cook egg dishes as it primes the pan for cooking and avoids burnt-on residue forming.

At times, I use avocado oil or ghee in place of coconut oil.

One thing…cast iron pans heat slower and retain heat longer than other pans. So don’t let your eggs sit in the pan once they are done. You can turn off the heating element but the eggs will continue to cook.

Some people may not be sure about what temperature to cook eggs on cast iron skillet. I use low to medium heat, never high.

You don’t want overcooked dried out eggs or eggs stuck to the cast iron skillet.

I know some people prefer to heat the pan first and then add the oil or fat. To me, this is a matter of choice. I haven’t noticed any difference either way.

Shannon From Plan to Eat gives her way of cooking eggs in a cast iron skillet here.

I find cooking frittatas in cast iron skillets are an easy option for a quick meal. There are many ways of putting a frittata together. Here’s one…

With mine, I add the cheese to the top, then put a lid over the pan to allow the cheese to melt. I prefer my cheese this way. You can choose whichever way suits you. Be creative!

Cooking pork chops in a cast iron skillet

Here’s how I do it…

To cook pork chops, simply heat the pan to medium-high and add the chop. I don’t add oil or fat. Chops are usually fatty enough. (As long as the cast iron pan is seasoned, sticking shouldn’t be a problem.)

Let the chop cook in its own juices on the one side for a few minutes (maybe 3–4 min) and then flip to the other side.

Tip: Best to let one side cook till brown and then the other rather than flipping back and forth between sides.

Doing bacon in a cast iron skillet

Bacon done in a cast iron skillet is just the best! But it can tend to stick to the pan and leave bits of burnt-on residue that’s tough to wipe clean afterward. You can fix that sticking with just a few simple changes to how you cook bacon. I wrote about this in my article on cooking bacon in a cast iron skillet.

Cooking steak in a cast iron skillet

Cooking steak in a cast iron skillet is much the same as cooking pork chops, except with steak, you may need to heat the pan with a little oil, depending on its fat content.

Cast iron skillet pizza

Cast iron skillets are perfect for cooking pizzas. Though, I wouldn’t do this if it has a wooden handle or anything that’s not cast iron. Check out Thursday Night Pizza for instructions.

Many more things to cook in a cast iron skillet

There are so many things you can cook in a cast iron skillet.

If you are looking for more ideas, this article has 60 recipe suggestions.

When not to use a cast iron skillet

Acidic foods, such as tomatoes, will react with iron, which will leach into and taint the food. I cover this and more problem foods to avoid in my article on this very subject — what NOT to cook in cast iron.

FAQs

Sources

  1. Brittin HC, Nossaman CE. 1986. Iron Content of Food Cooked in Iron Utensils. J Am Diet Assoc. 86(7):897-901. (accessory Table 9)
  2. Beard JL, Dawson HD. Iron. In: O’Dell BL, Sunde RA, editors. 1997. Handbook of Nutritionally Essential Mineral Elements. New York: CRC Press;  pp. 275–334.
  3. Clark, S. F. 2008. Iron Deficiency Anemia.  Nutr Clin Pract. 23(2):128-41. doi: 10.1177/0884533608314536.
  4. Steinbicker AU, Muckenthaler MU. 2013. Out of balance–systemic iron homeostasis in iron-related disorders. Nutrients. 5(8):3034-61. doi: 10.3390/nu5083034
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