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Use Your Cast Iron Skillet on the Grill for Perfectly Seared Meat

If you own a cast iron skillet, you probably use it often in the kitchen, whether baking something in the oven or making fried chicken on the stove. Cast iron skillets are typically used inside, but these versatile pans were actually designed to be used over an open flame, making them ideal for the outdoor grill. Using your cast iron skillet on the grill opens up a world of possibilities to explore all summer long. 

Not only are cast iron skillets perfect for outdoor grilling, but any cast iron skillet recipe can be made on the grill. Whether you have a hankering for skillet cornbread or you're looking to make some cast iron cinnamon rolls, your outdoor grill will do the trick. 

When making a cast iron skillet recipe on your grill, it's important to know what temperature your grill is so you can correctly cook your recipe. To figure this out, attach an oven thermometer to the inside of your grill lid for gas grills. If you're using a charcoal grill, use an infrared or surface thermometer. No matter which type of grill you use and which recipe you choose, here are 4 reasons that you'll never go back after using your cast iron skillet on the grill.

1. Better Sear 

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. 

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 lose 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 

Chicken Fajitas on a Charcoal Grill with Flames

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In my opinion, one of the greatest side dishes to go with a gorgeous grilled steak is roasted vegetables, asparagus, red peppers, you name it - they're all delicious when roasted! 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, as 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, and it's especially frustrating when you're grilling a pricy piece of fish. 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.

The fish won't stick and you'll be left with a juicy, smoky flavor. 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

Placing your baked goods on your cast iron pan and into the grill is a great way to bake biscuits, quick breads, and cinnamon rolls. 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.

Here are some of our favorite cast iron skillet grill recipes to try for yourself.

1. Cornbread Enchilada Casserole

This scrumptious cast iron skillet recipe is the amazing combination of cornbread and enchiladas. The flavorful enchilada sauce, filling and generous topping of cheese make this casserole the perfect comfort food for a busy weeknight. Fire up the grill and soak up the warmth of a summer evening as it cooks.

Get the recipe here.

2. Sausage Apple Skillet Bake

Savory meets sweet in this easy skillet meal, which combines chicken apple sausage with Golden Delicious apples for a tasty dish full of flavor. Cook the sausages until tender and golden and then put in the apples. Enjoy this hearty dinner full of fruity flavor and sausages.

Get the recipe here.

3. One Pot Chicken With Spinach and Potatoes

This one pot chicken skillet recipe features chicken thighs, veggies, potatoes and creamy sauce for a tasty comfort food dish. Full of seasonings like garlic powder, paprika and pepper, this brings your classic chicken dinner to another level. Switch it up by making it on the grill!

Get the recipe here.

4. Chocolate Caramel Pecan Skillet Cookie

Making dessert in a cast iron skillet on the grill is one of the best ways to use this versatile pan. This 10-inch skillet cookie will feed a crowd, so make sure to cook it when you have enough friends to pass it around. Full of turtle candy goodness, you'll never go back to classic chocolate chip cookies after making this chocolatey delight.

Get the recipe here.

This post was originally published on September 30, 2021.

READ MORE: How to Restore a Rusty Cast Iron Skillet In 5 Easy Steps