Kitchen-tested recipes for the one pan that does it all.
A cast-iron skillet is an incredibly versatile, durable, and completely chemical-free way to cook. This humble pan produces an enviable crust on steaks, chops, chicken, fish, bread, and more. And the more you know about it—how to choose the best one, how to clean and season it (it’s easy!), and the surprising number of recipes that lend themselves to being cooked in it—the more you’ll appreciate this essential multitasking powerhouse. Discover 120+ foolproof recipes along with innovative test kitchen techniques plus full color recipe and step-by-step photos that show you exactly how to succeed.
CAST IRON FAVORITES
- • Classic Roast Chicken with Lemon-Thyme Pan Sauce
- • Thick-Cut Steaks with Herb Butter
- • Perfect Fried Eggs
- • Southwestern-Style Cornbread
- • Corned Beef Hash
- • Ultimate Indoor Burgers
- • Pan-Seared Scallops
SURPRISING CAST IRON DISHES
- • Baked Pepperoni Pizza Dip
- • Sausage Lasagna
- • Molten Macaroni and Cheese
- • Cinnamon Swirl Bread
- • Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie
- • Cherry Cobbler
- • Bananas Foster
Can I use cast iron on an electric stove?
We know that almost half of our readers are likely to use electric stoves in their home kitchens, so we tested on both gas and electric stoves.
We mostly found that cast iron works great on electric, although it may take a little longer to achieve the same results since cast iron is slightly slower to heat on an electric heating element.
TIP If you’re using a cast-iron skillet on an electric range, you may find that you need to cook things slightly longer—use the upper ends of the timing ranges given in our recipes. If you have a glass-top range, you should also take extra care when moving the heavy cast-iron pan around on the stove to avoid any scratching or damage.
Can I wash my cast iron with soap?
It’s OK to use a few drops of dish soap if you need to clean up a particularly greasy pan, or even if that just makes you feel more comfortable with your cast iron. Just make sure you rinse the pan clean and wipe it dry when you’re finished.
During our extensive recipe-testing process we had plenty of opportunities to test different cleaning methods. While developing our recommended procedure, we experimented with a variety of cleansers, including dish soap and scouring powders.
Don’t scrub the pan with abrasives like steel wool or use harsh cleansers like Comet, and don’t soak the pan, since those things can definitely affect the seasoning, but we found that a few drops of dish soap are not enough to interfere with the polymerized bonds on the surface of a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet.