Cast Iron Cooking: What You Need to Get Started

Starting a collection of cast iron is very easy, as you usually can find many different pieces locally and certainly online. There are some things to think about when starting your cast iron collection.

You must first ask yourself what it is that you need. Although there is an array of bakeware and specialty cast iron cookware when you are on a budget you can easily accomplish many cooking tasks in just a few different pieces. Probably the best thing to start out with is getting a cast iron skillet with a lid. A 10-inch skillet can alone accomplish the task of stir-frying, pan-frying, broiling, baking, roasting and simmering. You can make a meal or bake a cake in such a skillet.

Depending on the kind of dishes that you are going to be making will affect what other cast iron cookware pieces that you will want to have. If you plan on doing a lot of slow cooking than a cast iron fry pan or Dutch oven would be ideal. An outdoor Dutch oven, usually called a camp oven, is a great purchase if you are looking for a piece to use outside when you are camping. Designed for outdoor use a cast iron camp oven is the best but if you have to you may be able to make do with a plain cast iron skillet with a lid. When you will be doing a lot of grilling choosing a cast iron pan with a ribbed bottom, called a grill pan, can be a good purchase. Keep in mind that a grill pan can only be use for grilling. If you plan on doing a lot of deep frying that a fry kit may be in order, or even just a fry-pan with a wired basket. Cast iron griddles are great for cooking pancakes and such just like electric griddles, something to think about if you make a lot pancake, bacon or fried eggs.

A recipe book that is specifically designed for cast iron cooking can be a great thing to add to the list of things that you want to have when you are cooking with cast iron pieces. In the beginning you can use such a recipe book as a guide to get comfortable making many different dishes with your cast iron pieces. Over time you will get very comfortable with using your cast iron pieces and find that you only need to use a recipe book as a reference.

When using cast iron cookware you will need to get hot pads to protect your table and counters. For cleaning your cast iron you will want to have a stiff-bristled brush. Again starting you collection of cast iron cookware is as easy as getting one skillet with a lid.

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