Why use a cast iron skillet?
You might be wondering why I am posting about using a cast iron skillet. After all what’s wrong with just using a normal Teflon pan to cook in? The answer is that there is nothing wrong with using them, but the benefits of using a classic cast iron skillet highly outweigh the benefits of using normal pans.
- Cast iron can last several decades if taken care of properly
- The flavor of a seasoned pan can make your food taste amazing
- Cleaning a cast iron pan can be much easier than a regular pan if done right
- Cast iron maintains a solid temperature throughout cooking
- You can use a cast iron skillet when you are camping
- It is a lifelong skill you can use to make excellent food
What skillet to get?
I am a huge fan of Lodge Skillets because they are made in the good old USA and they stand behind their product. They have many offerings but most people will want one of the following:
Lodge 10.25″ Cast Iron Skillet – Good for a household of two (Click image for product)
Lodge 12″ Cast Iron Skillet – Good for a household of four or more (Click image for product)
How to care for your skillet
You definitely want to keep the skillet clean but you do not have to use soap. Part of the perk of using a skillet is that the flavors are supposed to combine in the skillet. That being said you don’t want it to get nasty. I completely rinse mine after cooking while it is still hot and brush off all unwanted residue. I then make sure to season it for the next cooking time by putting a light coating of olive oil on it. This also prevents the pan from rusting and ensures that it lasts a lifetime.
Finally…..how to make an amazing steak with a cast iron skillet!
I normally only cook steak using my Weber grill……more to come on that come summer time. Lately though I have had a hankering for a good steak so I set out to discover the best way to make a steak on our gas stove. Most people highly recommend using a cast iron skillet to pan sear a steak. I was super uneasy because I am not the greatest cook, but I decided to give it a go and I feel confident that I can make a stellar steak using a cast iron skillet and some salt and pepper. So without further adieu…… here we go!
- 1 NY Strip Steak or cut of your choice
- Fresh Ground Pepper
- 1/2 a stick to 1 stick of butter depending on your preference
- Peanut Oil
- 2 Sprigs of rosemary
- Minced Garlic or 3 whole cloves of garlic
- Cast Iron Skillet
- Instant Digital Thermometer
- Cutting Board
- Serving Dish
- Rubber Heat Glove
- A good steak knife
- A spoon to baste the steak
Preparing the Meal
- Gather everything in one area so you aren’t running around with your head cut off when cooking gets started. 30 minutes before you are ready to start cooking let your steak get to room temperature. If you skip this step the steak will not cook evenly and the outside of the steak will be overdone and the inside will be cold. You need to coat the steak in salt, and ground pepper on all sides. My wife and I love Himalayan Pink Salt so we use that.
- Once your steak is room temperature and has been seasoned it is time to fire up the stove top. I set the stove top to medium-high heat. You will know when it is ready for the steaks by dropping a few droplets of water on the pan. If they puddle up it is not hot enough. If the water evaporates instantly you know you are good to go.
- Put 2 tbsp of peanut oil into the pan and spread it around by rolling the pan around. I use peanut oil instead of olive oil because it has a higher smoking point temperature. Lay the steak away from you into the pan and let them sit for 1 minute to get a good sear going.
- Turn the steak over for the first time. Cook the second side of the steak for one minute and then turn it back to the first side.
- Now that you are back to the first side you can add in the garlic, butter and rosemary. The butter will melt and start browning. Tilt the pan to the side and scoop up the butter and baste the steak with it. You are almost home free.
- Continue to turn the steak every minute. After about 3 minutes I check with the instant read thermometer to make sure I am hitting the desired temperature for medium. We like our steaks at about 130-150 degrees. Pro-tip from Gentry, if you want the steaks to hit 130 degrees, take them out at 120 degrees and while they rest the steaks will continue to cook another 7-10 degrees.
- When the desired temperature is hit you can pull the steaks and cover them with foil to rest. During the rest time, clean the skillet while it is still hot so it cleans easily. Do the rest of the dishes and set the table. When you are ready to serve, thinly slice the steak and serve hot!
If you have a favorite way to cook your steak share it below! Don’t be afraid to try this super easy way to make an unforgettable meal! Special shout out to my wife for capturing the process!