Fall in Love With Cast Iron

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Shortly after starting this website, I purchased a cast iron skillet for use when cooking outdoors.  Little did I know that three years later my expensive, department store cookware would be cast aside and I would be using inexpensive cast iron for almost all of my cooking, both indoors and out.

I experienced a lot of trial and error as I learned to cook with cast iron.  Probably the most important thing I learned was to wear gloves when handling the hot skillet or pot and also be make sure that the piece was completely dry before putting it aside for next time.

Last month I needed to take my beloved 12” skillet down to bare metal and and re-season it anew.  The made me think that perhaps it was time to once again share some cast iron tips with Backdoor Survival readers.  After all, we all need a refresher from time to time.

How about you?  Do you have a beloved piece of cast iron that might need some TLC?  Read more at:



From time to time I feature bonus articles that are buried in the Backdoor Survival archives or are articles that I have enjoyed on one of my blogging colleagues websites.  I hope you enjoy them.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!


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Bargain Bin: If you thinking about some cast iron, here are a few pieces that I own for your consideration.

Lodge Logic 12-Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet: This purchase changed the way I cook. I use 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!).

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.

Mobile Washer

Mobile Washer

This is hand operated washing machine. Like a plunger, it uses a technique of pushing and pulling the water through clothes to clean them well without wearing them out. It uses a minimum of water and less soap due to the agitation motion. Use in a bucket (5-gallon suggested), sink or tub. The best part is that it is only $14.95 at Emergency Essentials.

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Fall in Love With Cast Iron — 9 Comments

  1. my wife got me the #12 dutch oven for x_mass and we both really enjoy cooking with it. we both have old cast iron handed down from our families and still use them all the time. i can remember as a young boy at my grandmothers as she made corn bread in her old skillet and grandpa having corn bread in milk with honey, boy, those we,re the good “ol day,s.!!!!

  2. When my Grandmother died, the family was allowed to remove two items for memories. The two items I chose were her Wagner 12″ deep frying pan and stove top dutch oven. I remembered the meals she made when I was younger and her children, raised as migrants crop picking in many locations were served meals in those tent camps. Long after she had left us, the memories of those meals and the sight of those cooking implements makes happy memories.

    Cast iron is great.

  3. I LOVE cast iron, I cooked an ENTIRE Thanksgiving dinner in cast iron Dutch ovens one year. However, my wife can’t stand it. She thinks they’re too heavy (they are) and she absolutely refuses to wash them without using soap. So I am relegated to kitchen duty when we use cast iron. I have a lot of it also.

  4. About 15 years ago, we inherited my mother-in-law’s cast iron chicken fryer. It sat among her things for several years, then one day Hubby pulled it out and said, “Hey, let’s use this.” I didn’t know a thing about cast iron, so I left it for him to figure out. LOL!

    Hubby used that cast iron fryer to fry burgers, scramble his eggs, make biscuits, etc. The only thing he didn’t use it for was frying chicken. We still love and use that pan!

    After researching how to clean the pans and prevent rust (duh, Lainie), I started using our few pans. I liked the results! But new pans were outside my budget, so my daughter and I kept our eyes open for used pans at thrift stores and yard sales. We found a few! I also let my adult kids know that cast iron was a thoughtful Christmas gift, and they have obliged a few times. Lucky me!

    Several years ago, the husband of my best friend decided he wanted new pans for his backyard grill. He’s quite the cook and grill-master. When he replaced his old cast iron pans with new ones, he put the cruddy-looking old ones out in the recycle bin. He thought I was a little “tetched” when I dived into the bin and fished those cast iron pans out and took them home. After grinding the caked on fry grease off the outsides of the pans, and seasoning them, I’ve been using them DAILY. Those two frying pans are my absolute favorite. I managed to get a round griddle that day, too. Woohoo!

    Don’t get me wrong…I had nice cookware at home. About 30 years ago, I dumped Teflon. I just didn’t feel “safe” using the stuff. So I replaced all my old Teflon with new stainless steel copper-bottom pots and pans. These are the “Made in USA” version, not the newer “Made in Indonesia” type. And I love them!!! But since I adopted cast iron frying pans, I haven’t used my stainless steel frying pans at all.

  5. Grandma Chilan brought her cast-iron skillet from Hungary to the United States! I now possess the family heirloom, and it will be passed down and treasured more than her jewelry! LOL!

  6. I admit it, I’m a snob when it comes to cast ironware. Growing up with it; my grandmothers *all 3* had them. Currently, my set has several pieces I have had for 40+ years. Can’t imagine camping w/o them. I use them for sauces, baking, and anything else since that post you did about baking in them. If I get something which sticks, I simply fill the cookware with plain water to boiling, let it boil for a few minutes, pour it out and wipe it dry……then while it’s still hot, I oil it with coconut oil because coconut oil seems to penetrate better than other oils I’ve tried. I don’t grind when they get crusted, I simply toss them into a fire and reseason.
    I have been known to gift people with a piece of my cast iron. When I do, the receiver knows how much I care about them since I don’t do it often and they know how I care for my cast iron.
    O and the snob thing? Well I browse the thrift stores for ‘good’ cast iron. That doesn’t mean the condition it’s in when I spot it, but it means I *and my daughter now* know what to look for and the feel to know it’s “made in America.” I have two pieces I’m wanting, a folding one for my BOB and a square griddle. I’m put out hints for Christmas gifts. 😉 Santa can be nice can’t he!

  7. My mother gave me a piece or two of cast iron. My friend gave me a Dutch oven belonging to her grandmother. I was given some free stuff on Freecycle. The woman said she put more out and I HAD to take it. Lucky me–there were about 8 pieces of cast iron. I love cast iron. It is getting to heavy for me to lift, but I will not get up. I just try harder and use some of the smaller pieces. I love my six-inch skillet for scrambling my two eggs.

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