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15 Reasons (in Recipe Form) to Sing the Praises of the Cast Iron Pan

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A chef's right hand may be their knife, but the left hand—at least in my kitchen—is the castiron skillet, which earns its keep at least twice over. Some love their cast iron pans so much they go on and write odes to it in the form of ​cookbooks​, like Charlotte Druckman did. Use it on the grill, or in the oven, or over a roaring fire at your campsite, or on top of a wood-burning oven, or on your stovetop for everything from a brunchy pan of shakshuka to a birthday cake.

The pan itself is mythic and revered, often with a story about where it came from (my dad pulled mine off the side of the road and seasoned it for me) and it's happy as a clam as long as you care for it (a process oft-debated).

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It also carries a dose of cabin-in-the-woods romanticism to it—so there's no better time to sing its praises than during Summer Camp Week.

Here are just a few of the recipes that inspire us to pull out our skillets:

Sauteed Corn, Green Onions, and Shiitake Mushrooms
Sauteed Corn, Green Onions, and Shiitake Mushrooms
Chimichurri Shrimp
Chimichurri Shrimp
Moroccan Chicken Hash with Harissa Cream
Moroccan Chicken Hash with Harissa Cream
Raspberry-Rhubarb Crumble with Cracklin' Oat Bran Topping
Raspberry-Rhubarb Crumble with Cracklin' Oat Bran Topping
Skillet-Grilled Fish Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Crema
Skillet-Grilled Fish Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Crema
Josh Ozersky's 3-Minute Hash Browns
Josh Ozersky's 3-Minute Hash Browns
Brown Butter Nutella Skillet Cookie
Brown Butter Nutella Skillet Cookie
Spring Vegetable Jumble with Lemon-Tarragon Butter
Spring Vegetable Jumble with Lemon-Tarragon Butter
Fresh Fig Cornbread

Fresh Fig Cornbread by fiveandspice

Avocado Cornbread

Avocado Cornbread by aargersi

Skillet Strata with Bacon, Cheddar, and Greens
Skillet Strata with Bacon, Cheddar, and Greens
Dyers Island Lobster Hash
Dyers Island Lobster Hash
Socca (Farinata)
Socca (Farinata)
Creamed Leek and Egg Skillet Pizza
Creamed Leek and Egg Skillet Pizza
New England Spider Cake
New England Spider Cake

Is there one recipe you always make in your cast-iron pan? Or a fable about how your pan came into your life? Tell us in the comments.

Tags: cast-iron pans, skillet, cast iron