If you own a cast iron skillet, you probably use it often in the kitchen. I know I put my cast iron skillet to work, whether it's in the oven or on the stovetop because it can take on a variety of tasks and temperatures. I absolutely adore my cast iron skillet and it's the pan I always reach for when I'm cooking steak, preparing a breakfast hash with fried eggs, even when I'm baking bread or dessert.
Well, did you know that you can take your cast iron skillet outdoors to the outdoor grill? If you think about it, a cast iron skillet was designed to cook foods over an open flame, so it kind of makes the most sense to place it on the grill. Don't get me wrong though, the thought of cooking burgers and hot dogs with a beer in hand is so patriotic, but using your cast iron skillet directly on the grill can really give you a better grilling experience.
Helpful tip: To get an idea of the outdoor grill temperature, attach an oven thermometer to the inside of the grill lid on your gas grill. For a charcoal grill, an infrared thermometer or surface thermometer are great tools to have.
And guess what? Any stovetop or oven cast iron skillet recipe can be made on the grill so if you have a favorite cast iron recipe that you want to try out in the grill, fire it up and go for it (these tips apply to either a charcoal grill or gas grill).
You won't have to worry about a messy kitchen or missing out on all the outside fun! Check out our list of reasons why your cast iron skillet and grill having been longing to be best buds.
1. Become a professional grill master.
Who doesn't love firing up the grill? Of course you can make delicious hamburgers with perfect grill marks the traditional way by placing them directly on the grill grates, but to get an even better sear and crust on the meat, try placing them on a well seasoned cast iron skillet first and then place on the grill. This also applies to steak, hot dogs, and grilled chicken.
The best part is you won't have to worry about the grease and fatty juices catching on fire, other grease flare-ups, or setting off a fire alarm because your trusty cast iron skillet can prevent that from happening! By placing your cast iron skillet directly on the grill, you'll get the perfect sear and you won't loose any of those tasty juices dripping from the meat. All of that flavor will be sitting right in the cast iron pan. And if you really can't let go of those grill marks, simply sear on the grill's surface and move to the pan for basting.
2. Roast vegetables to perfection.
In my opinion, one of the greatest side dishes to go with a gorgeous grilled steak are roasted or grilled vegetables. Cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, asparagus, red peppers you name it - they're all delicious! You'll get perfectly charred and tender veggies without even turning on the oven.
This is especially helpful with small and skinny veggies like cherry tomatoes and asparagus. There's no need to worry about losing them between the grates.
3. Grill delicate fish without sticking.
Meat and fish sticking on the outdoor grill grates happens often, but that shouldn't stop you from grilling them! It's especially frustrating to purchase a pricy piece of fish and have it stick to the grill grates. Well, with your favorite cast iron pan, you can place that delicate piece of fish on top of the pan and then straight into the outdoor grill, making sure to close the grill lid.
The fish won't stick and you'll be left with a juicy, smoky piece of fish. This is especially helpful with grilled scallops, grilled salmon or any other type of delicate fish.
4. Bake on the grill with your cast iron skillet.
Yes, you read that right! Placing your baked goods on your cast iron pan and into the grill is a great way to bake skillet cornbread, biscuits, quick breads, cinnamon rolls, and more. An outdoor grill is an excellent heat source that can quickly adjust the temperature from high heat to medium heat, unlike convection ovens where the temperature can be inaccurate. This is especially helpful for baked goods so they can evenly cook throughout.
Try making your favorite cast iron skillet cornbread recipe in the grill next time. You can also use your Dutch oven for bigger loaves of bread. Here are some of our favorite cast iron skillet grill recipes.
1. Cast Iron Margarita Pizza
One of my favorite things to do during the summertime is make homemade grilled pizza. I don't have to turn the oven on and the outdoor grill cuts the baking time in half. However, sometimes if I'm in a rush and I throw the pizza dough directly on the grill grates when it's not hot enough, the dough sticks. Using my cast iron skillet prevents that from happening, saving me time.
Tomato sauce, cheese and basil are the delicious ingredients that top this homemade grilled pizza recipe thanks to Lodge Cast Iron. You can also top this pizza with other fresh ingredients like cherry tomatoes, red peppers, mushrooms, etc. Here's the recipe.
2. Cast Iron Grilled Peach Pie
Adding this dessert recipe to my list of things to make this summer! Fresh peaches are grilled until brown and then slightly sweetened with sugar, lemon juice and fresh basil. Homemade or store-bought pie crust can be used to line the cast iron skillet and the whole pie is baked inside the outdoor grill over medium heat.
3. No-Knead Bread on the Grill
If you don't want to fire up the oven when baking bread, your outdoor grill is the perfect alternative. Just place the bread dough on a cast iron skillet or in a Dutch oven and let the grill work it's magic!