Cast Iron Cooking and Recipes
Cast iron cooks evenly even over uneven heat. However, it does sometimes take a bit of time to warm up. Knowing when it is hot enough to begin is not all that difficult. A drop of water on the pan that sizzles is a good indicator. If the water instantly evaporates, you may have the pan on too high. My experience is that there is seldom a time when you will cook with cast iron on the stove-top with anything higher than medium heat. (The possible exception is if you need to make a gravy in a hurry.)
Some people say that they can taste the admixture of some flavor from the iron when eating foods prepared in cast iron cookware, especially when cooking foods high in acids. However, I have never noticed a negative change in flavor. I have noticed that foods fried on cast iron (over medium heat) seldom get burned or stick if the chef keeps an eye on the cooking process. I almost always use a tablespoon of olive oil, canola oil, or butter spread throughout the bottom of the pan before frying or saute. The moisture and oil lend flavor to the food being prepared and prevent sticking.
The great thing about a cast iron skillet is that it is completely versatile. You can do almost anything, bake a cake, fry a hamburger, make an omelet, sear a steak, etc. We have gathered a few recipes below that are fun to cook in a cast iron skillet:
Blackberry Coffee Cake
Pan Seared Steak
Southwest Chicken Salad
Next Page: Health Benefits of Cooking with Cast Iron