Ditch Everything in Your Kitchen but a Cast Iron Skillet

Get rid of these 4 things to simplify your cooking.

I’ve been cooking predominantly with a cast iron pan for a few years now and I’ve found that the cooking in this household can be boiled down to 3 main items: a cast iron skillet, an enamel coated dutch oven, and a crock pot. This revelation got me thinking, what in the world is filling all of my kitchen cabinets?!

The main 3 items I use in my kitchen, a cast iron skillet, a dutch oven, and a crock pot.

After much sweat and cleaning, I’m getting rid of the following items and instead cooking with my cast iron skillet.

1. Coated Frying Skillet

This first one is obvious, but I need to take a second to note that coated pans are WIMPY. They seriously can’t take anything. I’ll tell you, there is nothing worse than trying to clean up something I burned on a coated pan. And although I certainly continue to burn food (occasionally) a cast iron pan is WAY easier to clean and maintain. I simply take my metal spatula and scrape the bottom, wipe it out with some paper towels and I’m back to cooking. No more wasted time gently scrubbing coated pans.

2. Sheet Pans/Roaster Pan

At my previous address, I used to bake all meats on sheet pans. I now no longer bake, (considering I don’t have an oven) but instead use a cast iron skillet to cook everything. Of course, I’m not suggesting you remove your oven- but instead of storing those 4 different pans in the skinny cupboard next to your stove, just throw meats in a cast iron skillet and put that in the oven!

And as you’re getting rid of your sheet pans, you might as well get rid of the roaster pan, too. A cast iron skillet will do it’s same job- cook your roast evenly. Cast iron is thick and heats slowly, everything you need in a roaster pan with more versatility!

Cast iron skillet cooking steak and onions.

3. Electric Skillet

Growing up, I always remember hauling out an electric skillet on “Pancake Sundays.” But nowadays, I much prefer to cook pancakes in my cast iron. If a pro of owning an electric skillet is to ensure your entire cooking surface is heated evenly, I’ll tell you that with a little temperature manipulation, a cast iron on an electric range will work just as easily and you won’t have to store the big clunky skillet. 

4. Grill

Perhaps you’re someone that lives in an apartment, or are like me and hate to use the grill in the winter months. Nevertheless, the cast iron is a great alternative to stepping through the snow to eat a hamburger! If you’re looking to get some similar grill marks on hot dogs- just don’t use any oil or grease while cooking.

My well used cast iron skillet.

At the end of the day, all of these cooking supplies might be nice to have around… but it’s just easier to keep cooking supplies minimal. Who wants to store an item that only is brought out once a year?

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This post was written by Annie Schmitz, June 2021.

Annie laying on Jersey Girl with calves standing in the background.

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