Cast iron skillets are so easy love. Whether inherited from a beloved grandmother, found at a bustling flea market or purchased brand new, the origin of these durable and dependable skillets doesn’t really matter. Once one makes its way into your home, it will soon become a treasured kitchen staple.
Fortunately, the beauty of cast iron doesn’t end there. In fact, there are many affordable cast iron pieces available that are just as wonderful as your favorite skillet. You just can’t beat the versatility, usefulness, and healthy cookware choices found the large variety of cast iron pieces.
4 Great Cast Iron Cookware Pieces for the Natural Home Chef
1. Dutch Oven – No kitchen is complete without a cast iron Dutch oven. There are many choices available, especially now with the increasing popularity of the enamel finishes.
Although the colorful designer styles can be pricey, you can still find the simple ‘campfire’ or ‘raw’ varieties of cast iron at a very reasonable price.
When you shop, choose a Dutch oven that is heavy, with sturdy handles, and a tight-fitting cast iron or heavy glass lid. A good cast iron Dutch oven can be used on top of the stove to make soups and stews or it can be used in the oven to make roasts and casseroles. You can even take a “raw” version on your next camping trip to whip up some delicious meals
over your campfire.
Aside from your cast iron skillet, your Dutch oven will be among your most often used cookware pieces.
2. Grill/Griddle Combo – You may be surprised to discover how easy and fun it is to cook with a grill/griddle combination.
Cast iron is so versatile, you can cook crispy bacon, golden brown pancakes, and perfectly done eggs without having to wash several pans or deal with specialty appliances. Grills can brown pancakes and other foods very nicely for a great presentation.
3. Muffin and Loaf Pans – The best part of making cornbread in a cast iron skillet is the golden crust that forms in pan. In addition, you can use cast iron muffin pans for all sorts of muffins and other individual serving size dishes. Plus switching to cast iron loaf pans for bread results in consistently golden brown crusts with no scorched bottoms.
4. Fajita Serving Platters – To re-create that restaurant-style sizzle when your fajita or steak comes to the table, you can’t beat individual cast iron serving platters.
Just heat the platters in a hot oven, and when your meal is ready to serve, carefully pull the platters from the oven and plate them up for that mouth-watering sizzle everyone loves.
You can also find sizzle platters with heat-resistant carriers so all you have to worry about is making enough food so you don’t run out when everyone asks for more!
Besides the fun restaurant-quality presentation you can achieve with these individual serving platters, you get the added bonus of keeping your food warmer longer. This is a great idea when you’re cooking and serving outdoors. No more chilled plates on the picnic table, which makes sizzle platters both fun and practical.
While a good set of cast iron skillets is a great starting point for every kitchen, you can expand your cooking horizons by adding these four versatile pieces that will open up a whole new world of cast iron cooking that is both healthy and fun.