Home cooks and hallowed chefs share their secrets for cast-iron cooking.

BUY A STEAK, BUILD A FIRE, AND BEGIN

BUY A STEAK, BUILD A FIRE, AND BEGIN

There are certain things in life that just go together. Eggs and bacon. Blue jeans and t-shirts. Dogs and humans. And, of course, campfires and a cast-iron pan. To Denver chef (and bona fide meat master) Justin Brunson, this is a universal truth, learned over a lifetime of cooking meat over an open flame. ““There’s just something so primal and raw about it—almost romantic.”

October 27, 2021
HOW TO PERFECT A SOUTHERN STAPLE

HOW TO PERFECT A SOUTHERN STAPLE

“When you are born into Appalachia, some of your very first tastes are things like cornbread,” says Sean Brock, who grew up in rural Virginia. “Those flavors are our earliest and strongest memories, and they become part of our subconscious brain, where we also find nostalgia. That’s why we crave those things so much, because they make us feel safe and secure and nurtured.” 
January 31, 2021
BREAD BAKING: ALL THE COOL KIDS ARE DOING IT

BREAD BAKING: ALL THE COOL KIDS ARE DOING IT

Despite its simple, three-ingredient recipe—flour, salt, and a naturally occurring leavening agent, aka wild yeast, aka a starter—sourdough is anything but easy, as much a science as it is an art. It’s not about fancy, foolproof tricks learned in a French kitchen, or even on YouTube, but rather the time and test batches and industrious resolve that one puts into perfecting their own method..
January 31, 2021
A POLARIZING CAKE FIT FOR CAST IRON

A POLARIZING CAKE FIT FOR CAST IRON

We know it well: the glistening rings of canned pineapple, the candy-red maraschino cherries, all placed like a mosaic pattern. Upside-down cake has been a ubiquitous presence at parties and potlucks since the middle of the last century. Rooted in little more than butter, brown sugar, and tropical fruit, the charmingly retro dessert also has deep ties to cast iron.

February 24, 2020
COOKING A STEAK, THE NEW YORK WAY

COOKING A STEAK, THE NEW YORK WAY

John Tesar got his first taste of a perfectly cooked steak at the age of 10 in an old-school American chophouse in Kew Gardens, Queens. “One Friday night, he took the family out to dinner, and to this day, I’ll never forget the taste of a steak done under a broiler like that. The aggressive heat, the melting fat, the smell of it all . . . It was romantic. It changed my life.”

February 01, 2020
FEAR NOT THE SEARED ROCKFISH

FEAR NOT THE SEARED ROCKFISH

“If the fish isn’t dry, if the pan’s not nice and hot, you won’t get that crispy skin or any of that good browning before the fish is already fully cooked,” says Maryland-based, Chesapeake Bay-inspired, James Beard Award-winning chef Spike Gjerde. “Then you’re trying to add color and crispiness after the fact, and all you’re really going to do is overcook.”
February 01, 2020
MAKE WAY FOR BACON

MAKE WAY FOR BACON

In a country that considers bacon such a culinary pillar, it still seems that we Americans don’t really know how to cook it, more often than not serving it soft and soggy or burnt to a blackened char. So naturally, we let Aussie-born, Texas-based chef (and bona fide meat master) Jess Pryles teach us how it’s done.
February 01, 2020
BEHOLD, THE SUMMER FISH FRY

BEHOLD, THE SUMMER FISH FRY

Being from Louisiana and now based in Mississippi, James Beard Award-winning chef John Currence knows his catfish, with his first taste of the stuff coming from a deep fryer outside of New Orleans. But when it comes to frying fish in a cast-iron pan, he’s learned over the years, it all boils down to one thing.
February 01, 2019
MASTERING THE FIRST INGREDIENT OF GUMBO

MASTERING THE FIRST INGREDIENT OF GUMBO

Roux is the bane of our cooking abilities. It falls into the “feel” category over an exact adherence to instruction. Art over science. Read a thousand recipes, and you’ll get a thousand directions. Luckily, Louisiana-born, Virginia-based chef David Guas lets us in on the secret to this soup and sauce starter.
February 01, 2019
WHY USE CAST IRON TO MAKE PIZZA

WHY USE CAST IRON TO MAKE PIZZA

Dough is not that difficult — Make it a day ahead and let it rest in the fridge overnight. Makes it much easier to work with.
May 19, 2018