GIVEAWAY!!! Also, cooking with cast iron is NOT scary

13 Nov

The BSA-licensed 10" Lodge SkilletDuring our first Christmas together, The Patient Wife and I had very little money. I had lost my management job the day we got back from our honeymoon and I was working as much as I could in a part-time job for the Boy Scouts. It KILLED me that I couldn’t make enough money to buy all the presents that I felt my new bride deserved.

Since my wife is the head chef of our house AND she has wholeheartedly supported my scouting lifestyle, I bought my wife the nicest thing I could afford: The official, licensed, Boy Scouts of America 10″ cast-iron frying pan.

Fast forward to our first Valentine’s day. The Patient Wife spent weeks planning our perfect first Valentines meal: beef tenderloin and bacon-wrapped shrimp. The shrimp and the bacon we roasted in the oven and turned out BEAUTIFULLY. The steak caught on fire, stuck to the pan, and burned.

We were now officially terrified of cast iron.

I finally bit the bullet and took a class on dutch oven cooking. That lit a fire and now I try to cook something in cast iron every day. My food tastes better, smells better, and looks better.

Here are some benefits to cooking with cast iron:

  • Your food will taste at least ten times as awesome
  • There’s no weird Teflon cancer causers in it
  • Your friends will be extra crazy impressed
  • It’s a great way to get more iron if you’re anemic.
  • Your cookware will outlive you, your kids, and your grandkids
  • It takes 7 seconds to clean and you don’t even need soap
  • It has better non-stick than teflon
  • You can cook over a stove
  • You can bake in it in the oven
  • You can throw it on coals to cook on a campfire
  • You can burn off the food to clean it

You don’t need to make anything fancy. Cook some eggs. Make a grilled cheese. Sautee some onions! Make a stir fry! Boil some water! It’s SO EASY. Cook one thing in it and you’ll be hooked. You’ll use it for everything and anything. You’ll love it so much and your kids will fight over who gets it in your will.

To get you all fired up about cooking in cast iron, I am sending one lucky reader an 8″ Lodge frying pan. For free. Yep. For free. You will use this pan and you’ll LOVE it.

All you have to do is leave me a comment (only comments with full name and e-mail address will be counted!) by 11:59 PM CST on Thursday, November 16th 2012. In your comment, tell me what your cooking experience is or isn’t with cast iron! Do you love it? Do you hate it? Have you never used it? What will you cook with it if you win? I want to know!

I’ll use to pick a commenter to win, and you can’t win unless you leave a comment!

Good luck!

 Fine print: Drawing is open ONLY to Continental U.S.A. residents aged 18 and older. This blog and its author is in no way affiliated with or endorsed by Lodge Manufacturing. I paid for the skillet myself and am not being compensated or reimbursed to provide this product.


Posted by on November 13, 2012 in cast iron, Giveaway


50 responses to “GIVEAWAY!!! Also, cooking with cast iron is NOT scary

  1. Brent Haupt

    November 13, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    Grandma used to use cast iron all the time… I wish I knew how. It’s always fun reading your posts on the “Irons”.

  2. on thehomefrontandbeyond

    November 13, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    my mom had one and you are right–they make everything taste better

  3. anna {girlwithblog}

    November 13, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    I don’t have a cast-iron anything yet, and am scared to start, but if you can do it… =) Bonus of picking me is that you wouldn’t have to ship cast iron =)

  4. 477scouter

    November 13, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    We have started our collection of Lodge Dutch ovens and cast iron skillets. We do not need any more cancer in my house, and with kids, every day is one of anemia. We need all the cancer-free, stick-free, anemia-free cooking we can get! The seasoned skillets make a kid-approved grilled cheese, and the arm-pumping required to lift them saves us on health club fees (and we smell better after the workout).

  5. Phyllis Lenagh

    November 13, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    I don’t think I really have to tell you about my experience with cast iron. I have a collection of Dutch Ovens and skillets which get used every day. I learned to cook with cast iron many many years ago. Boy Scouts just let me expand my cooking skills.

  6. Ken

    November 13, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    I’ve used cast iron once and my food didnt taste good. Granted the iron was rusty and I had NO IDEA that I was supposed to season it and such.

    • Ken

      November 14, 2012 at 1:23 am

      Haha its Ken Marz, didn’t put my full name…

  7. Steve Borgerding

    November 14, 2012 at 12:36 am

    Our troop has used cast iron Dutch ovens for years. Over thirty years to be exact. They last forever.

  8. Rachael H.

    November 14, 2012 at 2:19 am

    I have zero experience with cast iron, but I would love to start. I am a new cook in general, so this would be great to add to my tiny collection of cooking supplies 🙂
    Thanks for the chance!!

  9. jaredrendell

    November 14, 2012 at 3:36 am

    It’s been way to long since I’ve used cast iron for cooking, espcially out camping, especially with that spectacular scout logo involved, especially…

    I would cook bacon.

    jared rendell –

  10. Evan T

    November 14, 2012 at 3:42 am

    I had a cast iron skillet once a long time ago. I tried using it and it was the worst experience of my life. Since my culinary skills have matured and i have gotten older and wasted money on other pans I have deemed it time to find some new iron and try out the tried and true materials of our ancestors.

  11. harperd

    November 14, 2012 at 3:43 am

    I don’t know where I would be without cast iron. I constantly get inspired to try new recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. As of right now, I’m trying as many recipes for huevos rancheros as I can find! America!

  12. Lauren H.

    November 14, 2012 at 3:46 am

    Ooh, ooh, I like cast iron stuff!

    • El Chris

      November 14, 2012 at 3:49 am

      Sorry Lauren, as much as I like you, I can’t ship International! 😦

  13. Sarah Mascaro

    November 14, 2012 at 3:50 am

    Health, ease and versatility? Cast iron is the way to go! I will continue to seek out fun cast iron items for you cast iron chef! Just as long as you make something in cast iron when I come back to MN over christmas!!!

    • El Chris

      November 14, 2012 at 5:46 am

      Heck. Yes. I made cast iron food at Rib Fest and it went over like something that goes over really well!

  14. Paul Evans

    November 14, 2012 at 4:03 am

    Sadly I have never cooked with cast iron. I’ve got a hankering for some French toast right now, so that will be my first cast iron cooking adventure.

    • El Chris

      November 14, 2012 at 5:47 am

      PAUL! Never? Never EVER? Poor little guy. I will guide you sir, to cook tasty food for you, your wife, AND your tiny one!

  15. Paul Seefeld

    November 14, 2012 at 4:05 am

    That’s a pretty sweet design, is it boy scout?

    • El Chris

      November 14, 2012 at 5:48 am

      It is! That’s the pan I bought my patient wife way back in the day. The one you get doesn’t have a sweet design, but the food tastes just as good!

  16. Ann Olson

    November 14, 2012 at 4:31 am

    We had chicken fried on cast iron tonight. Guess what? It really DID taste like chicken! No seasoning needed.

  17. Richard Crummy

    November 14, 2012 at 4:41 am

    Cast Iron is the only way to cook 🙂

  18. Nicole Sullivan

    November 14, 2012 at 5:37 am

    I have wanted and thought about getting a cast iron skillet ever since I cooked with one 4 years ago, when staying with a friend in San Fran. I made an heirloom tomato sauce. It was amazing. My favorite part was only having to wipe it with a paper towel, because I’m lazy.

    • El Chris

      November 14, 2012 at 5:49 am

      Plus, if you’re extra SUPER lazy, you can put it on a campfire and BURN OFF the dirty extra food! Take that, effort!

  19. John Lentz

    November 14, 2012 at 5:45 am

    Right in time for the Holidays!!

    The best thing about cast iron is its versatility – if I may be so bold, Chris, I would like to spend more of your money and recommend that you gift one of those lodge pre-seasoned combo cookers. They are the best cooking gadget you will ever own. I used one for six years and then gifted it to some dear friends who were amazed by its versatility and upset that they wouldn’t be able to find anything like it in Germany. It’s a three quart dutch oven with a lid with a handle so that you can use the lid as a skillet. I have cooked cobbler, quiche, roasts, stews, you name it in that thing. And, for some extra flair, if you’re cooking omelettes, do so on the skillet, throw some cheese on top, splash some water next to the omelet, then cover with the 3-quart part, and it will trap the steam, melt the cheese, and earn you some crazy cool points.

    I’m out of the running for the prize, as I’m advocating for Chris to spend MORE money than he has, and I have a terrible (also: awesome) habit of rescuing rusted out skillets and other cast iron from second hand shops and giving them new life.

    But, if someone really needs to know the difference between cast iron cooking and anything else, cornbread (made in a pan greased with bacon grease) will be your tipping point. Once they try it they will know.

    Enjoy your holidays, everyone!

    -big John

    • El Chris

      November 14, 2012 at 6:05 am

      John, you taught me the meaning of eloquence when I was just a wee lad, and man did you nail it again. You’re totally in the running as long as I only have to ship it within the US.

      I use mine for the wow factor as well. A lot of my exceptionally accepting friends looked at my dutch oven with wary eyes when I showed up with it promising delicious cake, but now they ooh and aah and get all atwitter when I bust it out. They know that nothing makes food as delicious as my dutch oven. The drawing for one of those will happen one of these days.

  20. John Lentz

    November 14, 2012 at 5:46 am

    Gah! More money than he has [already spent] – sheesh. Not calling you anything there, buddy!

    • El Chris

      November 14, 2012 at 6:05 am

      No, you nailed it the first time. I work for 2 nonprofits.

  21. Steve

    November 14, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    I guess I have one teeny tiny cast iron griddle that looks a little more like a panini maker, but its incredibly difficult to clean. Perhaps I am doing it wrong? Either way, I’ll be the first to admit I’ve used teflon my entire life, and you’d have a long way to go to convince me to change to something else. Let me borrow a pan, and I’ll try it for 3 weeks, and I’ll let you know.

    • El Chris

      November 14, 2012 at 5:47 pm

      Well, you’ve had my cast-iron cooking before and you loved it! Have you seasoned your griddle? All you need to do it make sure it’s clean and smooth (you can scour it with kosher salt and a scrubby sponge to get old food off) and then rub it with some vegetable or peanut oil after you use it. Bake the pot at 350 for an hour (you only have to do this once) and that’ll get the oil baked on and there’s your non-stick coating. Rub it with some oil after every use and it’ll never ever rust and food will just slide right off.

  22. Kyle Wagner

    November 14, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    Just got a cheap cast iron pan a few weeks ago, loving it so far but it’s taking awhile to build up the non-stick surface everyone talks about.

    • El Chris

      November 14, 2012 at 6:47 pm

      Just keep using it! Cook loads of bacon in it and avoid tomatoes until you have that nonstick surface. It’ll come soon. What brand did you get?

  23. Sean Koerner

    November 14, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    When I was an anemic baby, my parents bought a cast iron pan to help out (they were quite vegetarian at the time)… which subsequently sat unused for 16 years once my anemia resolved. When I left for college, I took the pan with me – and it has served me faithfully ever since, through both drunken “let’s deep fry ice cream” mistakes and romantic breakfasts-in-bed on special occasions. Not that it matters, as you’ll be making this choice randomly, but I also happen to be an Eagle Scout – and would love that awesome BSA pan.

  24. Shay

    November 14, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    I adore cast iron, I have 3 pans that belonged to my great grandmother, a dutch oven, a 4 in. pan and a 10 in. pan. I use at least one of these everyday. Bacon is a cast iron pans best friend in terms of seasoning and making something delicious!!

  25. Wesley Wong

    November 14, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    I’ve never cooked in a cast iron before. Would love to try it out.

  26. tatrtalk

    November 15, 2012 at 4:33 am

    I love cast iron cooking but my dad is one of the best cast iron chefs in the world (at least in my opinion). My favorite story is when I almost burned my apartment down by cooking a steak on cast iron. Huge grease fire so I smothered it with a cookie sheet and then finished the steak by placing the cast iron on the sidewalk outside to finish cooking with the residual heat. Best steak ever. Now I want some dutch oven cobbler… easiest dessert to make ever.

  27. Paige

    November 15, 2012 at 4:57 am

    I would LOVE to use a cast-iron pan. I am not using one now, nor have I ever. Although, my family used to use them for camping trips.

  28. jenaardell (@jenaardell)

    November 15, 2012 at 5:55 am

    I do not have a cast iron skillet, but I want one because toxic, non-stick Teflon pans are the devil. My experience with cast iron is this though… Hash House A Go-Go (best breakfast place in the WORLD) uses them to cook (AND SERVE) their famous hashes and MmMm MmMm Mmmm, are they amazingly delicious. I want to try to make one.

  29. Jason

    November 15, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    I have virtually no experience with cooking, cast-iron or otherwise. That said, your cornbread is phenomenal.

  30. adeason123

    November 15, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Ours broke when we moved…have missed it! It was like a member of our family

  31. theravenquoth

    November 15, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    I only have Le Creuset stuff from my wedding – so enameled cast iron. Would be excited to try full on cast iron. And I don’t understand washing it.

  32. Matt Hinker (@grymtyrant)

    November 15, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    I’d love to start cooking with cast iron if all those benefits are true. Cleaning stinks.

  33. Amanda

    November 15, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Yay for cast iron! Everything you have cooked us in cast iron has been fantastic – you’ve inspired me to try it more, although I’m still kind of awful at getting mine clean. I even rusted my counter with one once! 🙂 If I win, I’ll probably make cornbread… I did it once in cast iron, and it turned out awesome.

  34. Brad Woods

    November 15, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    I started cooking with cast iron about 13 years ago and have used nothing else since.I recently started collecting old pieces and have about 50 pieces of cast iron as of now.I restore them and use them a lot in the kitchen.My cast iron is an obsession.You can’t beat any food cooked in cast iron,”Hands Down”

  35. Kristina Taylor

    November 15, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    I currently have 3 cast iron pans and I love them. One was a wedding gift and two were rescued from my parents basement, where they had been left neglected and rusty for years. I cleaned them up and reseasoned them and now they are perfect!!!

  36. Jess Mikkelson

    November 16, 2012 at 1:09 am

    I *love* my cast iron cookware – enameled cast iron and plain uncoated cast iron. It took ages to get a good seasoning on my favorite skillet, but now it’s absolutely the best pan in the house.

  37. Kyle James Prihoda

    November 16, 2012 at 1:24 am

    Only what you have shown me. But maybe I can become a cast ironman

  38. john krolak

    November 16, 2012 at 4:22 am

    Cast iron is the best!! I have two pans that I use every day! Eight inch pans are the perfect size for frying eggs.

  39. gregmauch

    December 12, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    I use dutch ovens camping I have a 14″ that I use, I have cooked soups, pulled pork, brisket, and desserts like a chocolate chocolate chip pineapple upsidedown cake. It is the best tool in my kitchen/camping box

    • El Chris

      December 17, 2012 at 2:36 am

      Greg, that’s awesome! Do you camp on your own, with scouts, both? Any chance you could share your chocolate chip pineapple upside-down cake recipe with me??


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: