Rustic, heavy, affordable and great at retaining heat, the cast-iron pan is one of the most useful pieces of equipment you can have in your kitchen—especially when it’s cold out.

F&W Editors
December 09, 2015

Here, the best ways to get the most out of your favorite, perfectly seasoned pan this winter.

1. Roast Beef 101 with Winter Vegetables 
This easy recipe features a delicious, inexpensive beef cut called coulotte, which is the sirloin top butt cap.

2. Crushed Beets with Herbs and Arugula 
In this unusual dish, beets are boiled skin-on until cooked through, then lightly flattened and pan-seared until crispy.

Related: Best Winter Recipes

3. Cast-Iron Roast Chicken with Lentils and Walnut Vinaigrette 
You’ll need two skillets for this chicken. It’s weighted down by one and cooked in another so the skin is extra-crispy.

4. Three-Cheese Mac and Cheese 
Three different types of cheese, plus sour cream and egg yolks, make this recipe especially rich.

5. Maple-Dijon Salmon Skewers 
This is one of the best ways to cook salmon during the winter.

6. Baked Butternut Squash-and-Cheese Polenta 
This crusty baked polenta is swirled with mashed butternut squash and smoked Gouda cheese.

7. Butter-Basted Rib Eye Steaks 
When it’s too cold to grill, a cast-iron skillet is one of the best alternatives for steak. These bone-in rib eyes are basted with a mixture of butter, thyme and garlic, so they’re crusty outside and richly flavored.