Get ready for grilling season with a hardy cast iron pan.

By F&W Editors
Updated April 19, 2021
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cast iron skillet on the grill
Credit: John D. Ivanko / Alamy Stock Photo

Cast-iron skillets are great for all-year-long cooking on the stovetop, but their ability to take serious heat means they're also great on a grill. If you're trying to keep your vegetables from slipping through the cracks, or contain a rustic galette, cornbread, or cobbler, a cast iron pan is a smart way to get the flavors you love without losing anything to the coals or flames.

We have a few favorites when it comes to choosing a cast iron, but the tried-and-true option is always Lodge's pre-seasoned 12-inch skillet. It's great for every style of cooktop, oven, grill, and even a campfire. The tool only improves with continued seasoning and regular use, as long as you dry it promptly after washing either with a dash of soap or none at all. (Check out more of our tips for caring for your cast iron).

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If you're looking for recipes to use the cast iron tools you already own, just about any grilled option should work from classic steaks to fruits and vegetables. We rounded up some excellent options below for cooking on cast iron outside. From smoky grilled beans to sweet graham cracker-studded cake, here are five reasons a cast-iron skillet will be your go-to for summer grilling.

Cast-Iron-Grilled Romano Beans with Garlic Aioli
Credit: Con Poulos

1. Cast-Iron-Grilled Romano Beans with Garlic Aioli

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Chef Sarah Schafer makes this starter over the fire-pit grill at her beach cabin and serves them right out of the skillet. Any other meaty, flat bean can be substituted for the romanos.

Easy Grilled Paella. Photo © Anson Smart
Credit: Anson Smart

2. Easy Grilled Paella

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To cook this seafood-and-chorizo paella, chef Pete Evans uses his grill as both a stovetop and an oven, simultaneously using direct and indirect heat.

Day 14: Grilled Philly Cheesesteaks
Credit: Marcus Nilsson

3. Grilled Philly Cheesesteaks

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Use a cast-iron skillet on the grill to make butcher Tom Mylan's incredible steak, onion, pepper, and cheese hoagies.

Grilled Lamb Chops with Cucumber Relish
Credit: © Fredrika Stjärne

4. Grilled Lamb Chops with Cucumber Relish

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A grill pan or cast-iron skillet is a quick way to cook lamb chops. Chef Renee Erickson serves them with a sweet-savory Moroccan-inspired relish that includes pine nuts, golden raisins, and lemon. She recommends eating the chops with your hands. "The bones should be picked clean," she says.

Skillet Graham Cake with Peaches and Blueberries
Credit: John Kernick

5. Skillet Graham Cake with Peaches and Blueberries

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Star chef Stephanie Izard's cake, which bakes on the grill, gets amazing flavor from graham crackers mixed into the batter.