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Tips & Tricks

5 Cast Iron Kitchen Essentials

By: Lodge Cast Iron / February 26, 2021

Ready to cook with cast iron but not sure where to begin? We can help! Our comprehensive get-started guide showcases the top essential pieces for your kitchen.

A Classic Skillet

Looking for a classic piece of cookware that will last forever? For 125 years, Lodge cast iron skillets have been a staple in kitchens around the world. 

No cast iron essentials list would be complete without the classic skillet—that’s why it’s first on our guide. A classic skillet is the true gateway to cast iron cooking. Capable of everything from braising, baking, and sauteing to searing, frying, and grilling, this piece can be used almost anywhere in your kitchen (and on your grill) and gives you a great crash course into the versatility of cast iron cooking. 

The size you choose is up to your preference and your cooking needs. The 10.25 inch skillet is a favorite for beginners, while the 12 inch skillet provides a little bit more room when you have more mouths to feed—or if you often want to braise or roast larger things like a whole chicken.

A Hand Protector

Protect your hands from hot cookware.

What does every cast iron skillet owner need? A hot handle holder. This go-to kitchen tool protects your hands from the heat up to 350 degrees F. Keep them in an easy-to-reach area and simply slip them on the primary handle of your skillet when removing from the oven or hot stove. 

Want it to match your other kitchen accessories? Lodge makes silicone handle holders in all kinds of colors, as well as assist handle holders

An Enamel Dutch Oven

This hefty workhorse is the original kitchen multitasker. With one dutch oven you can roast, bake, stew, braise, fry, and simmer food to deliver a wide array of meals. 

What makes a dutch oven, a dutch oven? These thick-walled pieces of cookware have secure lids and are used to cook food at high temperatures for long periods of time. This method of cooking delivers mouth-watering dishes layered in flavor. When a cast iron dutch oven is enameled, it provides even more versatility because the porcelain enamel allows you to not only cook and serve, but marinate and refrigerate. The only hard part is deciding which vibrant color will best fit your kitchen décor, because you can cook and serve directly to the table.

We’re partial to the 6 quart size. It’s perfect for baking bread, slow-cooking stews and roasts, and making enough food to feed several people for dinner—plus will give you a bit leftover.

A Cleaning Wizard

Make dish duty a breeze when you use pan scrapers as the first step in cleaning your cookware.

Cleaning cast iron cookware gets a bad rap, but it’s really an easy process. Especially when you use pan scrapers as your first line of cleaning defense. Made of durable polycarbonate, these pan scrapers can reach every nook, cranny, and curve of your cookware (enamel and cast iron) to remove any cooked-on food or solid residue before you use a brush or sponge. Bonus: Not only can you use these at home, but at the campsite for camp cooking cleanup.

A Baking Pan

Why bake with cast iron? Because it’s the last bakeware you’ll ever have to buy.

And we mean it. Unlike traditional bakeware, cast iron bakeware is durable just like its cookware counterparts. It doesn’t dent, bend, or warp in the oven at high temperatures and can handle sharp kitchen tools. While we love all our new bakeware pieces, the baking pan is a definite kitchen essential, especially for anyone getting started with cast iron. This is a piece our staffers dreamt about long before it was a reality and now that it’s here, it’s in constant use in most of our kitchens. From roasting vegetables and making pizza to baking cookies and other desserts, this piece gives your food room to breathe for optimal roasting, browning, and baking.

Pork chop pan

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