Read It and Eat
From thick-cut steaks to skillet chocolate chip cookies, this manual from the masters at America’s Test Kitchen will help you make the most of that hefty cast-iron pan.
— Entertainment Weekly, February 12, 2016
Your grandmother relied on the cast-iron frying pan, and it served her faithfully as her kitchen’s heavyweight workhorse vessel. Cast iron’s durability and versatility have granted this classic pan a renaissance that goes beyond mere nostalgia among professional chefs and savvy home cooks. Modern manufacturers send out their wares preseasoned, saving the consumer time and effort in creating the special patina that can make the pan nearly as nonstick as Teflon without Teflon’s high-heat instability. For those who harbor doubts about cooking highly acid foods or abusing cast iron, the folks at America’s Test Kitchen apply their rigorous experiments to determine the facts about these pans. Recipes appeal to a broad range of American cooks, with meat and vegetables, savories and sweets. Old-time American dishes, Italian, Mexican, and Chinese foods appear. Even bread proves better when baked in hot cast iron, and the multipurpose wonder produces respectable deep-dish pizza as well. Another winning cookbook from ATK.
— Booklist, February 2016
The newest title from the editors of Cook’s Country targets readers who love cast-iron cookware, which is durable, relatively inexpensive, and naturally nonstick (when properly maintained). Recipes—including easier fried chicken, baked Brie with honeyed apricots, and blueberry pie—are prepared in ten- and 12-inch skillets and call for little additional equipment. The editors supplement these with practical cleaning and seasoning tips and some surprising discoveries (e.g., “You can use soap on a cast-iron pan”). VERDICT: Suggest this cookbook to readers looking for a contemporary and scientifically grounded take on cast-iron cooking.
— Library Journal, February 2016
Is Cast Iron Cookware Weighing You Down? We’re Here to Help
Julia Collin Davison, executive food editor at America’s Test Kitchen, answers burning cast iron questions and dispels the many myths surrounding the classic cookware.
— The Leonard Lopate Show, January 22, 2016
The editors of Cook’s Country undertake a comprehensive exploration of the classic cast iron skillet, as well as the panoply of meals it can provide. Ten different skillets are evaluated by their expert staff, who also offer instructions on proper care and maintenance, plus a list of cast iron myths that they have effectively busted (yes, it’s okay to use a couple of drops of dish soap on a well-seasoned pan). Eight chapters of recipes showcase the flexibility of using cast iron, both on the stove top and in the oven or broiler. It replaces the deep fryer in a fried chicken recipe that requires only one-third of the amount of oil normally required. It mocks a panini press if a heavy Dutch oven is set on top of the sandwich as it cooks. It works like a pizza stone for a crisp and, of course, perfectly rounded margherita pie. And it even serves as a fondue pot in a recipe that employs beer, cheddar, and a dash of cayenne. Cast iron retains heat better than aluminum or stainless steel, so the loaded beef nachos stay hot when served straight from the skillet. A chapter on searing shows how to put the proper char on scallops and cowboy steaks, and the bread and biscuit recipes will encourage readers to leave the bread maker on its shelf.
— Publishers Weekly, December 2015