Put That Cast Iron Skillet in the Oven

We all know that cornbread baked in a cast iron skillet is great, but what else is that skillet good for when it comes to the oven? Plenty, say hounds.

Fish works great in cast iron. Will Owen puts seasoned fish in a hot skillet on the stovetop, cooks for about five minutes, flips the fish, and puts it in a hot oven for another five minutes or so. JoanN says, "I preheat the skillet under the broiler for a good five or ten minutes and then add fish that has been drizzled with oil and seasoned. No oil needed in the pan. Most fillets don't need to be turned, only the very thickest. Because the pan is so hot, the fillet cooks from both the bottom and the top. With skin-on fillets, the skin is marvelously crispy. Because I cook fish this way so often, I keep various homemade dry rubs on hand for seasoning the fish after it's oiled."

Potatoes roast nicely in a cast iron skillet. Will Owen sets the skillet in the oven while it preheats or while meat roasts; he parboils potatoes, then tosses them with oil, salt, pepper, and herbs. He tosses the potatoes in the hot skillet and roasts for about an hour. "I may or may not bother to turn the potatoes over halfway through," he says. Antilope spreads oil in a cast iron skillet and sprinkles it with salt and dried rosemary. He slices medium potatoes in half lengthwise and places them cut-side down in the skillet, then places it in a cold oven, sets the heat at 400ºF, and bakes for 45 minutes or until tender. "This results in a potato with a slightly golden brown crust on the cut side and a delicious, roasted flavor," he says. soccermom13 places sage leaves in the skillet and a potato half on top of each leaf, then bakes. "They look lovely when you serve them!" she says.

"Steaks are wonderful in cast iron—get the pan rocket hot on the stovetop, sear the steak for a nice crust, then finish in a 350° [Fahrenheit] oven. The length of time depends on the thickness of the steaks and your preference for rare/medium/well," says rcallner.

Hounds also like cast iron skillets for roasted chicken, deep-dish pizza, upside-down cake, and double-crust fruit pies. Before you pop that skillet in the oven, though, take rcallner's advice: "BE CAREFUL with whatever you cook in your skillet in the oven—it's easy to forget the handle will be very very hot."

Discuss: What to cook with cast iron skillet in oven?

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