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10 recipes for cast iron beyond casseroles

Often the go-to cookware come winter, cast iron is fantastic for its ability to be heated evenly and up to extremely high temperatures, not to mention, its stove-to-oven potential for convenient one-pan cooking. Contemporary cast iron cookware also looks impressive, making a decorative kitchen feature in its own right. We're thrilled to now have our very own Temple & Webster-branded cast iron Dutch ovens and cast iron French pans in classic black, white and sage. 

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As we've been putting them to the test, we've discovered that cast iron can be used for so many dishes from fried eggs to decadent desserts. Here, we share 10 amazing ways to use cast iron pans beyond the standard casserole. 

1. Bread

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Image via Joy Food Sunshine

As Dutch ovens distribute heat evenly, they make the perfect vessel for baking bread. Place the dough inside and bake with the lid on first to trap steam inside for beautifully shaped bread, then remove the lid for a perfect golden crust. If you can't be bothered to wait for the dough to prove, why not take a leaf from TV food personality Silvia Colloca's book, and prepare the dough the night before, as she does in the recipe for her overnight bread baked in a cast iron pot. If you're new to bread-making, perhaps start with this easy Dutch oven no knead bread recipe which simply calls for a stir and overnight proving.

2. Pizza

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Image via Bon Appetit

Cook the sausage in your skillet, remove it, then use the same pan to lay down your dough for this cast iron pizza with fennel and sausage. This recipe calls for store-bought dough, but you can just as easily make your own using this basic pizza dough recipe. If you don't like a thick Chicago-style deep-dish pizza, simply use your cast iron pan as a pizza stone instead, preheating it in the oven first, then laying only a thin round of dough.

​3. Roast chicken

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Image via Bowl of Delicious

Who needs a roasting pan for roast chicken when you've got a deep Dutch oven. The fantastic heat distribution means that the whole bird gets beautifully browned. Give it a whirl with this recipe for Dutch oven whole roast chicken with lemon, garlic and rosemary butter. For even crispier skin and faster cooking time, try cooking brick chicken in a cast-iron skillet using your French pan with a hefty Dutch oven on top to weigh it down.

4. Lasagna

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Image via Dash of Savory

Forget individual pans for the meat sauce, bechamel and pasta, and make your lasagna with a cast iron pan and a few adjustments to the traditional recipe. Your layers might not be perfect and Nonna might turn up her nose, but you'll be able to still enjoy those same magical flavours with a cast iron skillet lasagna. For a vego version, try this lazy lentil one-pan lasagne from 9Honey's Quarantine Kitchen.

5. Mac and cheese

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Image via Adventures of a Nurse

For an even simpler one-pan pasta, you can't go wrong with mac and cheese. Try this recipe for the world's best cast iron macaroni and cheese which includes milk, double cream and sour cream for extra richness. For a less heavy version that includes some veg, try this skillet mac and cheese which features cauliflower in a bold cheese sauce made from Parmesan, cheddar and gruyere.

6. Chicken pot pie

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Image via taste.com.au

Go stove to oven with your French pan making this hearty one-pan country chicken pie. Simply cook your pie filling in your cast iron pan, top with puff pastry and pop in the oven. For a variation on the veg, try Jamie Oliver's chicken pot pie with a medley of mushrooms.

7. Hash browns

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Image via Minimalist Baker 

When it comes to hash browns that are soft and tender on the inside and perfectly crisp on the outside, a cast iron pan is your best friend. This recipe for skillet hash browns makes one giant thick hash brown, but for a crisper result, try the best crispy hash browns which calls for steaming the shredded potato first.

8. Chocolate chip cookie

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Image via Country Cleaver

Like many super-sized things, the giant cookie is a favourite in the US where it's sometimes called a pizookie. Feast your eyes and taste buds on the ultimate skillet chocolate chip cookie or a nut-laden chocolate hazelnut skillet cookie.

9. Brownie

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Image via Gourmet Traveller

You might have to use an extra pan and bowl to melt the butter and chocolate, and mix the batter, but rest assured, you'll be able to eat this warm chocolate and peanut butter skillet brownie straight from the pan. For a variation on the standard brownie recipe, try this peanut butter chocolate chip skillet blondie.

10. Upside down cake

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Image via Food 52

How good were those retro upside-down cakes from the seventies? Bring back those nostalgic days of the Golden Circle with a skillet pineapple upside-down cake or shake things up with a caramelized banana upside-down cake

Shop the Temple & Webster cast iron Dutch ovens and cast iron frying pans now. 

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