Cooking Steak on Your Cast Iron Survival Skillet

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castironsteak_3If you think grilling your meat is the way to go, I would like to challenge you to try something new.  Grab that survival skillet – cast iron, of course – and prepare steak like you have never experienced!

Background Please!  As you might recall, I am very new to the cast iron skillet fan club.  But, as part of my preps I needed a cooking utensil that was study enough to withstand an open fire in the event I was ever required to cook over an fire pit.  I also needed something easy to clean and with cast iron that is a cinch.  Especially if you have been lucky enough to acquire an old blackened pan from Grandma.

Alas, I had to buy mine at Amazon but heck, my Lodge 12″ Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet was less than $20.  And by the way, the price just inched up a bit from the all time low of $16.91 but still, at $17.75 it is a bargain.

So back to the steak.  Step by step, here is how you do it.

1.  Put your cast iron skillet in the oven and pre-heat to 500 degrees.  You are going to want to get that baby really really hot.  Get out those oven mitts, or, better yet, those Ove gloves I told you about awhile back.

2.  Grab your piece of meat and pre-season with a marinade or with a paste made out of olive oil, kosher salt and a little pepper.  Here is my favorite marinade in case you are interested.

Mix together 1 tablespoon each olive oil and soy sauce.  Put your steak in a dish and coat each side by turning it over a couple of times.  Sprinkle generously with Montreal Steak seasoning.castironsteak_0

Extra credit:  Throw it all in to your FoodSaver Marinator and let it rest for 30 minutes or so while you are getting the rest of your dinner together.  Here is what the marinator looks like loaded up and ready to go.

4.  When the oven is up to temperature, take the skillet out of oven (with your Ove Gloves or other protective device) and put it on the stove.  The burner should be set for as high as it will go.  At this point it would be a good idea to turn on the fan vent in your kitchen unless you like to hear the sound of smoke alarms going off.

5.  Take your steak and put it in the hot skillet.  It should start to sizzle real nice.  Now the hard part.  Time this one side for 30 seconds – 40 max – then flip it over and do the other side,  The steak should be nice and brown and crusty on both sides.

6.  Now it is time to transfer the whole shebang back into that 500 degree oven.  Close the door and set your timer for two minutes.  Flip and cook for another two minutes.  If you started out with a nice, 1” steak, it should be close to medium rare.  I cheat and use one of these instant meat thermometers just to be sure.

7.  You are not done yet.  Take the steak out of the pan and place in on an upside down plate so it is a bit elevated.  This is so it does not sit in its juices.  Cover with a tent of foil and let it rest (poor thing) for 2 to 5 minutes.

castironsteak_5Done all that? You are now ready to eat the most delicious steak you have ever tasted.  I think it has something to do with the high heat and hot skillet,  Since using this method, we have not had a single, dried out piece of meat.  Now try that will you BBQ grill!

Your skillet is multi-tasking.  One other thing.  Your skillet is as heavy as a brick.  Actually, as heavy as a bag of bricks.  Get used to hefting it and when the next zombie attack occurs, you can swing your skillet to defend yourself.  The heck with the baseball bat.

Tomorrow?  Back to the serious business of prepping and self-reliance.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!


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Bargain Bin: Below are some of my favorite cast iron items including some useful accessories.

Lodge Logic 12-Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet: This purchase changed the way I cook. I se my cast iron cookware for everything from salmon, to bacon and eggs, to biscuits. For under $20, there is no excuse not to own this survival basic. Don’t forget the Lodge Set of 2 Pan Scrapers, a must have for cleaning those food bits from your cast iron cookware.

Lodge Logic Pre-Seasoned 15 Inch Cast-Iron Skillet: Similar to the 12” skillet only bigger. Actually, quite huge (and yes, I finally have one!).

US Forge 400 Welding Gloves Lined Leather: These well-priced gloves provide complete heat and burn protection. They are made of soft and supple top grain leather for comfort and pliability, plus they have an internal liner gives more comfort and durability.

Ove’ Gloves Hot Surface Handler: I cannot say enough about these hand and arm protectors. I have permanent scars from hitting my arm on the rack of my oven. I can only imagine what I would look like if I did not use these with my cast iron cookware. Forget the colorful silicon hot pads. These are 1000 times better!

Four Silicone Brushes: I call these”mop thingies”. Great for layering a nice thin coat of oil on your cast iron pans.

Lodge 5-Quart Double Dutch Oven and Casserole with Skillet Cover: This is another cool piece. This Dutch Oven does not have legs and is designed for indoor use – but it can be used outdoors too. Just don’t forget the Ove Gloves.

Lodge Dutch Oven/Camp Stove: I originally purchased this Dutch oven because it was so darn cute. But over time, I have learned to love it for its versatility. Remember, a camp stove is designed so that you can bake with it by arranging charcoal on top of the lid as well as underneath the Dutch Oven itself.

Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials: The monthly specials at Emergency Essentials feature discounts of up to 35% off sometimes a bit more.

Fruit Combo

I eat a lot of fruit (usually three whole fruits a night as a bedtime snack) and in a SHTF situation, fruits will be something I will really miss. The Freeze-Dried Fruit Favorites Combo from Emergency Essentials is something I use all year round. With the grocery store a 20 mile round trip journey, I like the thought of being able to rehydrate my own fruit, in the quantity I want, at a moments notice.

The selection includes Apple Dices, Bananas, Peaches, Pineapple Dices, Blueberries and Strawberries.

But not to be left out, there are veggies too. The deluxe supply of Freeze Dried Vegetables includes 18 #10 tins of the following veggies in various quantities: Broccoli, Cauliflower, Sweet Corn, Green Beans, Green Peppers, Green Peas, Mushrooms, Potato Dices, Spinach, and White Onions.

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Shop Amazon Tactical – Great Selection of Optics, Knives, Cases, Equipment
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11 Steps to Living a Strategic Life: This little book will provide you with the motivation to get started or stay on track with a self-reliant life. 11 Steps to Living a Strategic Life, co-authored with my long time pal, George Ure (, and can purchased from Amazon.


Cooking Steak on Your Cast Iron Survival Skillet — 5 Comments

  1. Search “resale” or second hand stores for cast iron. I have never paid more than $5.00 for a good piece of cast iron. Most was given to me. I even found a huge set out at the young dump! Condition is not a big deal, most any CI piece can be saved.

    Be sure you get a couple of good “Dutch Ovens” for use with coals, I cooked an entire Thanksgiving dinner for six in three Dutch ovens. I used Cornish hens instead of a turkey.

    • I wish I could be so lucky. I have kept an eye on Craig’s as well as yard sales but people are getting wise to the value of a cast iron pan that his blessed (?) with 50 years of seasoning. You are right about one thing – I need to check the local thrift store. I would even take an old rusty one for $5 since as you say, they are easy to clean up, especially if you have a self cleaning oven.

      — Gaye

  2. I’m a huge fan of cast iron cooking. I have several Dutch ovens. Primarily I make chili or stew in them, but my wife has made biscuits , greens, just about anything eaten in the South. No possum, though! I liked your posting and the presentation of your food was very enticing! I have picked up a good bit of cast iron ware from Sportsmans Guide, but also from a big flea market in North Carolina.

  3. If I had to evacuate, I’d take my cast iron skillet with me. It’s one of my favorite things. I will try your steak cooking method-I’ve cooked steak in the skillet several times, most of the time it turns out good but I’ve had a few misses. I’ve never tried switching to the 500 degree oven. This just might work. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Cast Iron cookware is definitely one of my favorite pieces to use in the kitchen. Although, I’ve never thought to try steak on it. I will definitely print this out to try this weekend. Sounds like a nice surprise meal for my husband.

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