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Cast Iron Cooking.

gary s

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Hey come to think of it we have a square cast iron somewhere, hadn't seen it in a long time ?

Gary
 

link

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Well find that pan and start cooking.

My normal pans are getting very little use now, and the CI pans just stay right on the stove top. No sense in putting it away, just going to use it again.

However I now need to get a few more as I only have two 10" and one 8" and would like to have a couple smaller ones.
 

bluewhisper

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The square design isn't very good on an electric burner because the corners are cooler than the center. It's better over a gas burner, but that skillet loves to be over a fire. Then it heats evenly.
 

bluewhisper

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That's a flawed and incomplete version of the recipe. It omits seasoning the kettle with whole warthogs (rinsed) and adding baobab trunk for balance.
 

smoking4fun

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Anyone willing to post their favorite cornbread recipe for CI?  I'm just starting using CI - when I'm making cornbread, should I heat up the CI before I put the batter into it and put it in the oven - or should the batter be put into a cold skillet?
 

dirtsailor2003

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bluewhisper

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Yes, grease the pan and heat it first, though you don't need to have it up to full temp before adding the batter. You can warm it on a burner.

You can make many variations. This is my basic cornbread recipe. It's tailored to a 6-muffin cup pan, so you'll probably want to double it.

1 cup flour

1 cup cornmeal

scant 1/4 cup sugar (most people want more than that)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

Optional goodies like corn or diced pepper, onion, etc.

mix mix mix

In a separate container,

2 eggs (do these first in case you need to fish out shell fragments)

1/4 cup or a little more than that, oil or butter

1/2 cup milk, (measured after the oil so the milk helps to wash the oil out of the cup)

mix mix mix

At this point the dry and wet parts are still separate. Now you can grease the pan and pre-heat the oven. The clock doesn't start until wet and dry meet. Almost everyone warns not to over-mix the two, but I like my cornbread a little less crumbly. Bake at about 425F, most people go hotter. Time will vary according to the size of the batch and pan. This is in a 9X9 Lodge skillet.


This is the 6-cup muffin pan, with a blueberry version:

 
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lamar

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The old time cooks heated the grease in the pan hot enough that the batter sizzled when poured in. Helps give a better crust on the bottom. Need to leave enough grease to cover the bottom of the pan.

Good cornbread is hard to make up here. None of the stores carry plain meal. It's all cornbread mix with flour in it. True cornbread has no flour in it. I have it shipped in.
 

lamar

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The old time cooks heated the grease in the pan hot enough that the batter sizzled when poured in. Helps give a better crust on the bottom. Need to leave enough grease to cover the bottom of the pan.

Good cornbread is hard to make up here. None of the stores carry plain meal. It's all cornbread mix with flour in it. True cornbread has no flour in it. I have it shipped in.
 

bluewhisper

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I can get plain corn meal here in central Ohio. I avoid the mixes, not so much because of the flour but because of the large amounts of sugar they tend to contain. Some of them are more like a sweet sugar cake than cornbread.
 

johnmeyer

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Here is a recipe from "Cook's Illustrated." It uses fresh corn, cut directly from the cob. It produces the best corn bread I've ever had.
[h1]Fresh Corn Cornbread[/h1]
1⅓   cups (6⅔ ounces) stone-ground cornmeal

1     cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour

2     tablespoons sugar

1½   teaspoons baking powder

¼     teaspoon baking soda

1¼   teaspoons salt

3     ears corn, kernels cut from cobs (2¼ cups - about 1½ cups puréed)

6     tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces

1     cup buttermilk

2     large eggs plus 1 large yolk

Heat oven to 400º. Whisk cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in large bowl.

Process corn kernels in blender until smooth, about 2 minutes. Transfer purée to saucepan. Cook purée over medium heat, stirring constantly, until very thick and deep yellow and it measures ¾ cup, 5-8 minutes.

Remove pan from heat. Add 5 tablespoons butter. Whisk until melted. Whisk in buttermilk, then eggs.. Fold into cornmeal mixture until just combined.

Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in 10-inch cast-iron skillet (or 9x9 inch pan) over medium heat. Scrape batter into skillet and spread into even layer. Bake until top is golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 23 - 28 minutes. Cool on wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove cornbread from skillet/pan. Cool for 20 minutes before cutting into wedges and serving.
 

skorepeo

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I know this is not smoking but I thought it would fit in General Discussion.

I recently started cooking with Cast Iron pans and now my normal everyday use pans are getting quite lonely. I have two 12" and one 8" pan (for now) and have been playing a bit.

Old Fashioned Sugar Cake (came out great)

Collard Greens with onion cooked with a bit of bacon grease.

Skinless/Boneless Garlic Chicken thighs (went with a side of rice)

Anyone else using CI?

Yes and I recommend this book to help get you started.

http://americastestkitchen.buysub.com/homepage/just-released-cook-it-in-cast-iron.html
 

johnmeyer

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I hadn't seen that book. Looks interesting.

BTW, as much as I like my cast iron skillet and griddle, they are most definitely not the right thing to use for everything. Cast iron is reactive which means it will interact with many foods and alter their flavor. So you most definitely do not want to cook anything acidic, especially tomato-based recipes.

I just did a quick Google search, and this is the first thing I turned up on the topic:

http://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/food/stuff-you-should-never-cook-in-a-cast-iron-pan/slide/3
 

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