All The Ways You Can Use Your Cast Iron Pan

IMAGE Patrick Martires

The cast iron pan is a unique pan. It's a heavy-duty pan that can withstand the hottest temperatures and retain as much of that heat longer than most other pans. It's a versatile pan that can go from stove to oven to your tabletop in three easy steps. No need to transfer the food you cooked, roasted, or braised in it for serving. 

In short, it's a must-have pan for anyone who loves working in the kitchen. 

Even if you don't love cooking or baking, the cast iron pan can find a way to prove itself useful. Just like it can be used for cooking, it can be used for baking, too. Not only that, it can be your baking pan if need be. Because cast iron is such a fantastic conductor of heat, it is one of the most perfect baking pans you will ever use. Quick bread batters and even cookie dough becomes a giant, made-for-sharing dessert when baked in a cast iron pan.



However, there is a downside to all these advantages: it's as heavy as it is heavy duty. The pan is made of a material that is thick and so, it is already heavy even without any food in it. Plus, it needs special attention in its caring. Since the material easily rusts, care must be taken to prevent it and seasoning the cast iron pan's surface is a labor-intensive process. Even washing and cleaning the pan should be with care to prevent the seasoning you worked hard to create isn't scraped off. 

Despite these downsides, the cast iron pan more than makes up for it in sheer usefulness in the kitchen. To prove this point, here are all the ways you can use your cast iron pan: 

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1 Roast a whole chicken. 

Since it can easily be moved from stove to oven without needing to transfer the food in it, it makes a great roasting pan for practically anything. If cooking pork, sear the outside of the pork loin before transferring it to the oven. Do the same for chicken, pork chops, chicken breasts, and even steaks! Take this gorgeous roasted garlic chicken recipe and make it for a family dinner this week.  


Photo by Aldwin Aspillera

2 Bake a cookie. 

Skillet cookies are fantastic. It creates a giant cookie that you don't need to portion out when ready to serve. Just scoop a giant ball of ice cream on top immediately after it emerges straight from the oven and you can make a better, more satisfying dessert. 

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Photo by Patrick Martires

3 Cook fancy eggs. 

Shakshuka, or baked eggs, are easy breakfast eggs that are not only flavorful, but also deeply satisfying and hearty, too. The sauce that the eggs are simmered in will have you reaching for more steamed rice or chunks of bread to sop it all up. Best of all, no need to take anything out of the cast iron pan!  

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4 Make a pizza. 

Leftover pizza is best reheated in a pan. Better yet when it's a cast iron one that's ripping hot! However, why settle for leftover pizza when you can make your own just as easily? All you need is pizza dough, tomato sauce, toppings, and a cast iron pan that will do the work of the oven for you on the stovetop.    

Photo by Bianca Laxamana

5 Deep fry everything. 

Cast iron's ability to retain heat is the key characteristic that makes this pan the best for deep frying. Its heat retention is fantastic so it more evenly distributes heat better than other pans. Because of this, it can keep your deep fry oil at temperature longer than other pans, making the cast iron pan the best pan for frying everything, including that fried chicken you've heard about. 


Photo by Dairy Darilag

6 Pan fry burgers. 

Just like it can keep optimal temperatures for deep frying, it can do the same for when you need to pan sear something, like burgers, steaks, and chicken breasts. 


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Photo by Miguel Nacianceno

7 Cook rice. 

Yup. Even rice won't stick to your cast iron pan if the seasoning on it is as it should be. With such great nonstick abilities, this cheesy rice will be effortless to make and even clean when you're done chowing down. 


We think there is no need to do any more convincing that the cast iron pan is the most useful pan you can have in your kitchen. Go out there and find your cast iron pan and keep these tips and tricks in maintaining it. Who knows? You may yet find yet another way that the pan is indispensable to you.  



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