My mother makes a ‘half’ batch of cornbread in her small cast iron skillet. The same cast iron skillet she’s used for sixty years. That pan is SO well seasoned that all she has to do is tip the pan over and the baked cornbread just slides right on out.
There’s something about a skillet that has stood the test of time. If you’re lucky enough you might have an old well-used cast iron skillet of your own. Maybe one you inherited from your grandmother. Or you might have a cast-iron skillet you picked up at a yard sale or even a new one from a department store. Whatever the origin, you can’t go wrong with a pan that will stand the test of time.
Cast iron became prominent for household cooking in the mid 19th century. It’s proved time and time again to hold up longer and better than other cookware, how else could Grandma pass down her skillets?
There were several makers of cast iron back then. Griswold came around the 1860’s and is still a prized possession should you be able to find some. Wagner bought out Griswold in the mid 20th century which later became American Culinary. Do you have any Wagnerware?
When most people think of cast iron skillets they think of Lodge. Lodge came into existence in 1896 and operates out of Tennessee to this day. They now have pre-seasoned cast iron as well as enameled cast iron as well as traditional cast iron skillets and dutch ovens.
You haven’t had homemade fried chicken until you’ve had it cooked in a big old cast iron skillet! Looking to sear a steak? Cast iron can handle the heat.
If you’ve ever cooked over a campfire you know that the cookware will make a difference. Cast iron is durable and made to withstand high temperatures. Thinking about how you’d cook in the event of a long-term power outage? Think cast iron skillets and dutch ovens used outside.
Loads of dishes can be made in a dutch oven…. even desserts! No place to build a campfire? That’s when dutch ovens and Hibachi style grills work best.
So what CAN you cook in a cast iron skillet?
Fried catfish, fried chicken, fried squash and okra, cornbread, casseroles, cakes, cobblers, dutch baby…. and I could be like Gump and keep on goin’…..
I’ve a few cast iron skillets and I tend to pick them up when I spot them at yard sales and thrift shops. They come in many different sizes and shapes and once seasoned can cook just about anything, even a fried egg without sticking! The trick is to get the pan HOT before adding your food. There’s a reason Grandma saved her bacon grease… With time and use even a new pan can have that nonstick patina.