I love my cast iron pans. I own three of them. I came to cast iron late in my life as a cook, but better late than never. They are such reliable workhorses!
The first piece I owned is my griddle/grill pan. I have sort of a love/hate relationship with it. I love the griddle side, but not the grill side so much. I think I never got it seasoned properly from the start because I had no idea what I was doing, and so the grill side can be hard to clean.
But I like using the griddle side, especially for pancakes.
The second piece I acquired is an 8-inch skillet that was my maternal grandmother’s; I inherited it when she died. I had this for a couple of years before figuring out how to re-season it (it came to me pretty rusty). I guess did something right when I learned how to re-season it because it works great and is easy to clean. But it’s too small to cook many of the things I want to cook.
It’s great for frying eggs though.
My 12-inch Lodge skillet is my most recent acquisition. It came pre-seasoned, but sometimes stuff sticks to it which I’m hoping will improve over time. But all in all, it works great, and it’s big enough to handle a couple of steaks at once, or …
half a package of bacon, or …
a small batch of fluffy biscuits. I just love biscuits. I vary the recipes I use, but this is the one I probably use the most. It’s from Alton Brown, but instead of using butter and shortening, I use all butter.
(adapted from Alton Brown)
2 c flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
4 tablespoons butter, chilled
1 c buttermilk, chilled
Preheat oven to 450°. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using your fingertips or a pastry cutter or two knives, rub butter into dry ingredients until mixture looks like crumbs. Make a well in the center and pour in the buttermilk. Stir just until the dough comes together. The dough will be very sticky.
Turn dough onto a floured surface, dust top of dough with flour and gently fold dough over onto itself about 5 times. Don’t overwork the dough or the biscuits will be tough. Press into a 1-inch thick round. Cut out biscuits with a 2-inch floured biscuit cutter. Place biscuits on baking sheet so they just touch (or in this case, a lightly oiled cast iron skillet). Reform scrap dough, working it as little as possible and continue cutting.
Bake until biscuits are tall and light gold on top, 15 to 20 minutes. Yield about 1 dozen.