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.

By F&W Editors
Updated May 23, 2017
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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.

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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.

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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.

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

Three-Cheese Mac and Cheese

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

Maple-Dijon Salmon Skewers
With a glaze made of maple syrup, lemon juice, and two kinds of mustard, these salmon skewers are the perfect balance of sweet, spicy, and acidic.
| Credit: Photo © Con Poulos

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

Butternut Squash-Polenta Gratin

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.

Butter-Basted Rib Eye Steaks