A monthly newsletter on the most interesting people, places, and sometimes pointless things related to cast iron.
For many years, there was a ritual in our household during the first few weeks of spring. Sometime between April and the end of May, we would dust off our Coleman grill, pull butter out of the freezer, grab bacon from the fridge, plus whatever alliums we could get our hands on, and cook everything down in a hot cast iron for the season’s penultimate delicacy: shad roe.
There is one word that follows cast iron wherever it goes. One that’s fought over by home cooks and experienced chefs. One that’s a big, overly complicated, equally watered-down waste of hot air and time. Let us debunk a few myths and explain a few mysteries for you about seasoning. (Spoiler alert: it’s easier than you’ve been made to believe.)
A perfect pairing to cast iron, induction cooktops go mainstream.
You know we love a good fire. But we also want to talk about another cooking method that gets our gears going. Induction cooking has been around for decades, but in the last few years, it has started to mainstream, thanks in part to revered restaurants where iconic chefs are moving their commercial kitchens from the gas stoves of yesteryear toward the induction ranges of the future. This is not your uncle’s hotplate.
North Carolina chef Katie Button shares the secret of pan-seared scallops.
D.C. chef Opie Crooks puts cast iron to work in a restaurant kitchen.
“We use cast iron everywhere,” says chef Opie Crooks of No Goodbyes in Washington, D.C.—from the open hearth to a French top range to gas burners to the oven to induction. “My advice to home cooks is don’t’ be so precious with it. Use it all the time. Use it for everything. It’s a tool, and it’s meant to be used that way.”
Virginia chef Travis Milton shares the wonders of Appalachian cooking.
In the springtime, there’s nothing quite like throwing the fresh vegetables we’ve all being waiting for into a hot pan. Especially a secret ingredient of benne.