John Polacek

Chicago Web Developer

Engineering manager and frontend lead at Howl

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I Bought a Giant Cast Iron Skillet

Originally published on 9/10/2022
Giant Cast Iron Skillet as big as a stovetop

When I was a kid, I would have days where I would make 'yucky stuff' which was basically random stuff that my Mom would let me combine together to see what happens. I never made anything explode or anything. Whenever I progressed to bleach or something, it was game over.

My first cooking efforts were breakfast eggs, which I continue to this day as I am a big fan of egg sammies, with recent access to fresh chives in the backyard being a gamechanger.

Over the pandemic, we acquired a pop up camper. This thing is legit. It has a sink, stove, bathroom and is unlocking new fun trips for our family.

One night after dinner, I mentioned how I could cook big meals if I had a large castiron to cook on. Being Amazon Prime members, we soon ordered up a nice one. I'm not going to lie, we had some wine and I did the ordering so I got a little out of control. When we got home from the trip, a 24 inch cast iron skillet was waiting for us.

I'm definitely new to cooking with cast iron, but excited to try. I cooked with it over the open flame several times over the summer.

Some things I learned:

  • Keep it hot. Keep extra logs ready as you don't want it to cool off mid-cook.
  • Prep everything really well because if you are doing it right the pan will be super hot so you don't have time to adjust.
  • If you got a giant pan, take advantage

Here are some pics of it in action. The first set is cooking up some chicken drumsticks and sweet potatoes at a campsite.

These next two are in my backyard over our solo stove smokeless firepit.