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The Best Cast Iron Skillet

November 01, 2017

Lodge 12" Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet
$40 on Amazon.com

A properly seasoned cast iron pan will have a dark shiny black surface that provides a naturally nonstick surface. The seasoning of a cast iron pan is a polymerized layer of oil that prevents food particles from sticking to the material of the pan. The seasoning is created by coating the surface in a thin layer of oil and then heating it in a hot oven until it dries. Once completed, the seasoning layer cannot be easily removed.

Normal Use and Care

If properly used and maintained a cast iron skillet will last a lifetime. Cooking acidic foods such as tomatoes, will deteriorate the seasoned coating of your pots and pans. You will want to use care in cleaning the cast iron after cooking- don’t soak it in water or the seasoning layer can be destroyed and the pan can rust.

Immediately after every use, I liked to quickly rinse the pan with water and scrub with a brush or coarse sea salt. Most people recommend not using soap in the pan as the emulsification can degrade the seasoning layer.


Reseason your cast iron skillet periodically to restore the non-stick layer of polymerized oils. Rub the skillet with a thin layer of vegetable oil, if you use too much the oil will pool and get sticky. Place the skillet upside down in the oven at 400 degrees for 1 hour.

Recipes that require a Cast Iron Skillet:

Fried Chicken Sandwich

May 05, 2019

I found out about J. Kenji López-Alt’s #betterthanchickfila challenge on twitter and I was excited to see that he has deconstructed the…

Cast Iron Crispy Fried Chicken

March 30, 2019

One of the best ways to season a cast iron pan is to fry things with it, and a great recipe to use to instantly season the pan is fried…

The Crispy Fried Egg

February 24, 2019

This is another of Frank Prisinzano’s simple cooking tricks he frequently demonstrates on his Instagram stories or his Tumblr . Unlike the…

Pan Roasted Steak

February 14, 2019

This is the method outlined for cooking dry aged steaks in David Chang’s “The Mind of a Chef” series. Packing the steak in salt draws the…

Minced Basil Chicken

January 20, 2019

This is a take on a normal stir fry chicken basil dish, but using the minced chicken can produce a very comforting homestyle dish. You can…

Pan Roasted Lamb Loin Chops

October 15, 2018

Lamb loin chop can be tricky to cook- if you’re using a thermometer to measure the temperature make sure you don’t measure too close to the…

Cornmeal Crusted Catfish

October 01, 2018

Mark Bittman wrote up how to cook White Fillet a Dozen Ways in broad steps and this is my take on one of his preparations. I’ve added…

Rolled Oat Pancakes

September 22, 2018

I love pancakes and heard a lot about these “Viking Waffles” made to be high protein and with oat flour, which is higher in protein and…

Savory Pumpkin Cake

May 31, 2018

Chinese turnip cake or “Luo bo gao” is a staple of Dim Sum restaurants. However, in my family the recipe was always made with pumpkin. The…

Short Rib and Sausage Ragú

April 01, 2018

This is another of the Frank Prisinzano recipes that I’ve sort of been able toscrape from his various Instagram or Snapchat streams. He…

Pot Stickers (Guo Tieh)

January 09, 2018

This isn’t a recipe as much as a way to document the precise cooking method I use for steam/frying frozen dumplings. Getting the right…

Spaghetti with Broccoli, Garlic, and Olive Oil

December 17, 2017

This is a dish I’ve enjoyed many times at Frank’s in the East Village. Frank Prisinzano, the chef himself, outlines some of the specific…

Crispy Pan Roasted Salmon

December 04, 2017

This is the quickest weeknight meal I make, I just grab salmon and maybe a bed of greens and I can have dinner on the table in about 1…

Potato, Parsnip, and Egg Breakfast Hash

December 03, 2017

I had leftover potatoes and parsnips from the Lamb Stew I made the other day and decided to chop them up and make a hash for breakfast…

Bodega-style Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Sandwich

December 02, 2017

The New York Bodega egg sandwich is a beautiful thing to see, and it’s easy to recreate at home. I recommend using a heavy cast iron…

Pasta Frittata

May 06, 2017

I’ve adapted this Mark Bittman NYTimes Recipe many times using either leftover pasta from previous dinners, or a box of mac and cheese…

Will Chiong

Written by Will Chiong who lives and works in New York building useful things.

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