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.

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.


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.

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