My parents used a cast iron skillet all the time to cook. It made the best fried chicken, potatoes, pork chops, liver and onions, etc. You see I was raised on the "eat meat and potatoes every day with the family diet". Sounds like typical Iowa fare right? But I was raised in California with Western Pennsylvania expatriate parents that brought those down home Midwest meals westward.
About 6 months ago, I added the same cast iron skillet into our kitchen’s repertoire and I’ve never been more successful in creating crispy on the outside, perfectly cooked on the inside meals. I’ve even found myself resorting to "Dad’s day off" type breakfasts. What are those? They’re an amalgam of all of the left over meat, vegetable and dairy products in the fridge, all in over-sized chunks of course…scrambled up with eggs, fried in the skillet and served with toast (I was paying attention dad).
Cast iron is really the only kind of pan that serves many purposes around the house too. It’s a cooking implement and a weapon. It’s the only kind of pan that "gets better with age". Cast iron skillets seem to have more non-stick coating the older and more used they get. Additionally, in case of disaster, it’s about the only cookware in your home that would stand up to use on the excessively hot bbq or on an open fire. It doesn’t warp or bend either…so it’s likely you could pass the cookware onto your offspring. (Not a good wedding gift mind you).
So the next time you’re in the mood for corn bread, fried potatoes, or a non-grilled Iowa winter time steak…bust out that old relic and go to town. I can’t wait to hear about your results.