Cast Iron Skillet Cooking

By Perla Meyers, "Cast-Iron Chef," September/October 2007

Make one-skillet dinners in a pan you’ll come to cherish.

Today, most cast-iron skillets are preseasoned when you buy them. With any cast-iron skillet, you may occasionally get hot spots and some sticking. To eliminate that, reseason the offending area by rubbing it with coarse salt and a little oil. And, the farmer’s wife never used soap. She simply scrubbed her skillet with a stiff brush and hot water and made sure to dry it completely.

Admittedly, iron skillets are not the only skillets I use. I find, for instance, that modern coated nonstick skillets are better suited for sautéing fish fillets and for egg dishes.

But if I could have only one piece of cookware it would be a cast-iron skillet. These recipes are evidence enough that the cast-iron skillet is one of the most versatile and indispensable tools you can find. Chicken and scallops sear up golden. Over lower heat cucumbers gently wilt. And a whole chicken turns brown and crisp when you start it on the stovetop then finish it in the oven in a single pan.

The main point is this: whatever you whip up in this classic skillet will cook perfectly and that is what counts.

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