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Cast Iron Cookware Saves Space with Versatility

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Does your RV have cast iron cookware onboard?

It should. And I don’t even want to hear how old-fashioned cast iron is. It’s been around for more than a century, and it’s proven its usefulness.

Cast iron cookware comes in varying sizes and styles. It is great in an RV because it’s probably more versatile than any other cookware. Versatility translates into saving space, a major consideration. Each piece can perform multiple duties, so you need fewer pieces of cookware overall.

You’re thinking: How can a frying pan be versatile? Well, your cast iron skillet is not just a frying pan. You can fry, and you probably will for many a breakfast: bacon and eggs in one, pancakes in another. But you can also concoct a good-sized batch of really good pasta sauce, stew or homemade soup. Braise meat or fish. Heat up a quick can of soup. Grill ham-and-cheese sandwiches (and they’ll be the best you ever had). This is just on your stovetop.

Being all iron, these skillets can go in a conventional oven, not just on top of the stove. That means you can bake a cake or pie (fruit for dessert or meat for a meal), bake a deep-dish pizza, bake bread, roast meat, slow-cook pork so it’s extra moist, and heat leftovers (with far better taste than if heated by microwave).

Still not convinced? A cast iron skillet also can be used over an outdoor grill or even over a campfire. Did I mention that cooking with iron cookware increases your iron intake? It does. Really.

Seasoning Cast Iron Keeps Food from Sticking

You’ll have to keep some good potholders or mittens handy, and hot pads for preventing burns to a counter or table. You’ll also need cooking oil to prevent sticking and to season your iron skillet.

Season the skillet? Your skillet will last, if not forever, at least for generations. Seriously. You may want to do this in your home kitchen and then move the skillets to the RV. Here’s how:

  1. While it is still warm, hand wash your skillet with salt and hot water, scrubbing with a nylon brush and/or plastic scouring pad. (Never use a wire brush or metal scouring pad on cast iron.)
  2. Pat dry as thoroughly as possible, then heat on the stovetop for about 10 minutes. This prevents rust.
  3. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
  4. Use a paper towel to rub the skillet, inside and out, with cooking oil.
  5. Place upside down on the middle oven rack, over a cooking tray or foil for drips.
  6. Bake for an hour.
  7. Allow to cool with the oven door open.
  8. Remove when cool, but use a mitt to be safe.

Seasoning should last for months — without food sticking. Wash between seasonings with hot water or salt/hot water, and a nylon brush and/or plastic pad, but no soap; dry on top of the stove, using heat as above. Lightly coat the inside after drying with cooking oil. If food begins to stick, do steps 1-8 again.

Is there a downside? Cast iron is heavy. It may not be a good choice for children — but you’ll be there to help. 

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