Why You Should Think Twice Before Baking Dessert In A Cast Iron Skillet

Cast iron skillets have many admirers including The Pioneer Woman herself Ree Drummond, who amazingly owns 25 of them. She's a big fan of their durability, and it's really no wonder. They work well with high heat, can readily go in the oven, and last a lifetime when tended to properly.

Part of that care comes with seasoning the pan to perfection. That just means heating the pan and oiling it to create a layer of natural polymerization, as noted by Lodge Cast Iron. Doing this keeps food from sticking to the pan while you're cooking and stops rust from forming on the iron when you're not. After every use and cleaning, you simply oil the pan again before you put it away to preserve that all-important seasoning.

Another great thing about cast iron skillets is that you can cook a variety of foods in them. Many chefs prefer them for searing meats like steaks and southern cooks are well known for baking up batches of tasty cornbread in cast iron. This versatility brings up a good question, though. Should you use the same cast iron pan for everything, especially desserts?

What to consider before baking desserts in your cast iron skillet

Since we know the layer of seasoning in a cast iron pan includes oil, it's also important to acknowledge that this oily coating can absorb strong flavors at times. This absorption is so minimal, however, that many cooks who use their skillets for baking never even notice it. It also dissipates with time. So, the answer is that you can absolutely use your cast iron skillet for both baking desserts and meals with more spice and seasoning, as noted on Allrecipes.

Nevertheless, personal preferences might dictate that cooking something like salmon, or a dish using lots of garlic, right before baking a dessert or breakfast sweet rolls in the same pan just won't do. In that case, having one cast iron pan for sweet recipes and another for savory dishes could very well be the way to go, suggests PureWow. Moreover, some cooks like having several pan sizes or shapes for different purposes to help distinguish them.

If that's a little too much heavy metal for you, cleaning away any persistently pungent food odors from your trusty cast iron skillet is easy to accomplish. You can either heat it in a 400-degree oven or boil some salty water in the pan. Either of these methods takes about 10-15 minutes and should do the trick when it comes to eliminating lingering smells and the flavors that go along with them.