Why You Should Never Make Cobbler In A Cast-Iron Skillet

There are some cooking tools no kitchen should be without, and one of them is a cast iron pan. What's so great about cast iron? Well, for starters it's incredibly durable, meaning that the cast iron skillet you buy today could very well be the one your kids — and maybe even grandkids — inherit decades down the road (via Michigan State University). The skillet is also prized for its ability to hold onto heat, per Serious Eats. A pre-heated cast iron pan is the perfect tool for searing steak, making crispy fried potatoes, or cooking up a pound of bacon for the family on a lazy Sunday morning.

But even though cooks like Ree Drummond — who has over 25 cast irons — say this type of skillet is something everyone should have in their kitchen ("Iron skillets are pretty much my life," The Pioneer Woman shared with Food Network), there are some things you just can't do in cast iron. Chef Michael Symon recently took to social media to warn people to not cook acidic foods in cast iron, but tomato and lemon-centric dishes aren't the only things you shouldn't cook in this type of pan. It turns out that in spite of the popularity of recipes like skillet chocolate chip cookie cakes, there are some baked goods that are best left to other types of cookware.

Sticky sweets and cast iron don't mix

Giada De Laurentiis' gluten-free skillet brownies might be safely be made in cast iron, but Southern Kitchen warns bakers with a craving for cobbler to try making that treat in a different type of cookware. "Stickier confections, such as cobblers, crisps or crumbles," they say, are better made in a traditional baking pan. Why? They "almost always leave behind some sort of syrup-coated crumbs," which are a pain to clean. Though the outlet incorrectly says that "soap and scrubbing" are "a natural enemy" of a cast iron pan's seasoning (that's a cast iron cleaning myth), they do correctly point out that if your skillet isn't adequately seasoned, it will be a pain to get that sticky mess off of the pan. 

Before cooking a sticky baked good in a cast iron skillet, you should make sure your pan is properly seasoned. The seasoning is a layer of carbonized, or polymerized, oil that creates a slick surface, and can be built up by cooking fatty foods like bacon, sausage, and steak in your pan. This coating is preserved by making sure you dry your pan thoroughly after washing it, and re-seasoning your pan occasionally as needed. That should leave you with skillet that's non-stick enough for most baked goods, though if you want to save yourself the trouble of scrubbing, then it's safe to say that sticky cobblers and fruit crisps should be made in a different type of cookware.