Don’t you just love cast iron? I sure do, and I can’t help but feel a little warmth in my heart when I think about all the wonderful things that have emerged from my ole Le Creuset. As a society, we’ve been using this type of cookware with great success for hundreds of years, both commercially and at home. Cast iron works so darn well every time, and I’ve found it really helps having one for cooking in my RV.
With that thought, I decided to come up with a list of reasons why I love cast iron and why it’s great for RV living. Check it out:
- Cast iron (or enameled cast iron) can go from the stove to the oven (and even the campfire) without a problem, doing the job of two cooking vessels, which means one less thing to wash after dinner is over. This is an especially good thing given the small amount of sink space found in most RVs.
- It does its job well. On the stove it can sear using high temperatures because the material is thick and conducts heat like a pro, and in the oven that means even heating for soups or braised dishes. This multi-tasking means I have one less thing cluttering up what little storage space I’ve got.
- The cast iron is incredibly durable. Being so heavy-duty means one less thing I have to replace if mistreated, like when I foolishly stored mine in an overhead cabinet. My Le Creuset made a speedy six-foot drop one day while in transit, but thankfully no human or cast iron was hurt in the process, and it now resides in a much safer location.
- You can throw one in the oven at high temp for 45 minutes or so, then when you take it out you’ve got a mega hot griddle for super searing power.
- In a manner of speaking, it’s a bread baking machine according to some guy named Bittman in NY. Other sources confirm success. Pretty cool if you ask me, especially if you enjoy the goodness of freshly baked bread like I do.
- It’s so heavy, which makes it useful as a door stop, bludgeoning weapon, a combined weight and heating element to make grilled cheese sandwiches, and it’s the best high volume roasted garlic maker ever.
- Voted by me as my favorite pot to use for making baked brown rice, which happens to be a staple in many of the things I cook.
And here are four more links to cast iron recipes I like:
Good Eats’ Swiss Steak Recipe from the episode “Cubing Around.” (Not only is this a fantastic dish, but it became the basis for a lot of other ideas I’ve had about cooking meats in cast iron)
Mark Bittman’s No-Knead Bread, which I mentioned earlier.
Amazing and simple French Onion Soup — 1907: Soupe à l’Oignon Gratinée from the New York Times Magazine. Based on the size of your cast iron, you may need to adjust the amount of the ingredients a bit.
Erin also swears by Alton Brown’s Rib-Eye Steak method.
Do you have a favorite cast iron recipe?