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Cast Iron White Chocolate Cranberry Blondies
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10 of our favorite foods to cook in cast iron

Cast iron isn’t just for cornbread. Don’t get us wrong — cooking this Southern dish in a cast iron skillet is a classic combination for a reason, but your cast iron cookware is far more versatile than that. And you don't have to brainstorm new ideas yourself — our chefs are constantly dreaming up inventive ways use cast iron. Here are 10 of our favorites.

Photo credit: Ramona King
 

Cast Iron Apple Cobbler

Cast Iron Apple Cobbler

Warm weather might tempt you to make a peach cobbler, but you should consider making this apple-filled dessert instead. Fewer dishes are more comforting, especially when you bring in warm spices and tart Granny Smith apples. If you don’t want to end up with a soggy cobbler, consider pre-cooking the apples to allow some of the moisture to be cooked out before baking. This extra step will make the filling more lush and thick in the end. Perfect for a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
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Photo credit: Ramona King

Cast Iron Fried Chicken Pizza

Cast Iron Fried Chicken Pizza

It probably will come as no surprise that Southern foods make great pizza toppings — especially when we're talking about fried chicken. But instead of just throwing that crackling crisp yard bird on top of a cheese pizza, we created a recipe that evokes brunch-style chicken biscuits, with a sausage gravy sauce, collard  greens and, of course, plenty of chicken and melty cheese. We dare you to eat just one slice.
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Photo credit: Ramona King

Cast Iron Pound Cake

Cast Iron Pound Cake

Like many other other easy desserts, you can bake pound cake in everything from glassware to an aluminum cake pan. So why not try it in cast iron? Baking this rich, buttery dessert in cast iron lends a tender, moist crumb to the cake and gives the exterior a beautifully crisp crust you wouldn’t get from any other baking method. And there’s no need to dirty another dish by transferring it to a plate — this dessert will look just as pretty sitting in the skillet on the table. 
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Photo credit: Danielle Atkins

Cast Iron Seared Rib-Eye Steak

Cast Iron Seared Rib-Eye Steak

Believe it or not, grilling isn’t the only way to cook a great steak. Once you try cooking a steak in a cast iron skillet, you may never cook one outdoors again. The deep flavor and caramelization provided by cast iron translates to big flavor in your steak. Whether you’re looking to impress your sweetie or the dinner party guests you’re hosting, this recipe will be a hit.
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Cast Iron White Chocolate Cranberry Blondies

Cast Iron White Chocolate Cranberry Blondies

A cousin to the beloved brownie, blondies share the same chewy, fudgy texture, but have a slightly different flavor profile. Many recipes add things like butterscotch and pecans for flavor and crunch; we're big fans of white chocolate for gooey sweetness and tart cranberries for color and contrast. While you can certainly cook these blondies in a traditional baking pan, we love to bake them in a cast iron skillet. Cast iron helps to form a crisp, caramelized crust around the blondies while leaving the center slightly gooey — blondie nirvana. 
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Photo credit: Ramona King

Cast Iron Grilled Chicken Thighs with Alabama White BBQ Sauce

Cast Iron Grilled Chicken Thighs with Alabama White BBQ Sauce

For your next cookout, break out the cast iron. Grill up some chicken thighs in your skillet and top them with a saucy delicacy from Alabama. Made popular by Big Bob Gibson's BBQ restaurant in Decatur, Alabama, white BBQ sauce has a mayonnaise base, enhanced by tangy apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. (It can practically double as a cole slaw dressing.) While it may be a bit of an unusual pairing with meats like brisket and pork shoulder, white BBQ sauce works beautifully with chicken and turkey. The key is to use the sauce as a finishing drizzle, rather than a part of the cooking process.
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Photo: Lauren Booker

Cast Iron Grilled Corvina with Green Tomato Salsa Verde

Cast Iron Grilled Corvina with Green Tomato Salsa Verde

If you’ve been bogged down by heavy meals centered around meat, this fish recipe is a great alternative. The recipe calls for corvina, however, you can subsitiute any firm-fleshed fish you like — it’s always best to just choose what looks the most fresh. The green tomato salsa verde adds a pop of color to the plate and a brightness to the fish. 
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Photo: Lauren Booker

Cast Iron Pork Chop with Red-Eye Gravy

Cast Iron Pork Chop with Red-Eye Gravy

Known for its sharp notes of black coffee, red eye gravy is traditionally served alongside country ham. This recipe captures the flavors of red eye gravy, but also combines both fresh and cured pork. Instead of serving the gravy atop the country ham, the ham is becomes part of the gravy, which we serve on top of a pork chop. The whole dish is best served with a side of grits or biscuits — or both.
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Photo credit: Ideabar Austin

Cast Iron Chocolate Chip Cookie

Cast Iron Chocolate Chip Cookie

One chocolate chip cookie is great. A giant skillet-sized chocolate chip cookie is even better. Slice this cookie up and serve it as a show stopping dessert, or add a few scoops of ice cream, a drizzle of caramel sauce and a smattering of crushed pecans for a totally Southern cookie Sundae. The possibilities are endless.
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Southern Cast Iron Fried Chicken

Southern Cast Iron Fried Chicken

The benchmark dish of much of Southern cuisine, we couldn't leave fried chicken off of this list. And everyone knows that the best fried chicken comes straight out of a cast iron skillet. The crust adheres better when you shallow fry, and you really can't beat the aesthetics. Time to get frying.
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Photo: Ideabar Austin


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Rachel Taylor is a staff writer at Southern Kitchen. She moved to Atlanta earlier this year after graduating college in Maryland, and has been a digital audience specialist at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Politically Georgia, as well as a freelance writer for publications such as USA Today and the Delmarva Daily Times on Maryland's Eastern Shore. She has lived in France and Italy, and loves to travel.