The Benefits of Cast Iron Cooking

March 1, 2024 by Kenmore

Cast iron cooking is an age-old tradition, never short on benefits or versatility. If you made a lifestyle commitment to a new year and a healthier you – an old-fashioned classic like this can help set you in the right direction!

Your grandma used one. Noted country-cooking chefs use it. Maybe your next-door neighbor does, too. And your local sporting goods store probably carries one for about $20 in the camping department. It’s a heavy-duty hero, and it makes an excellent complement to Kenmore’s quality cookware lineup, available at more of your favorite retailers.

(We should also point out that Kenmore’s awesome 14-inch cast-iron pizza pan is perfect for baking home-style pizzas indoors, and doubles as a flat griddle during outdoor grilling season, too!)

So, Why Cast Iron?

Cast iron is tried and true, having been used in cooking for centuries. It’s heavy, dark, and old-fashioned. It almost looks like a weapon (and is used as one in many of your favorite old cartoons!). But when it comes to searing, sautéing, or even cooking low-and-slow in the oven, nothing beats the flavor of classic family recipes cooked in a well-seasoned cast-iron pan.

Other Important Cast Iron Benefits

Aside from making nearly everything taste incredible, cast-iron cookware carries several other natural advantages…

It’s almost indestructible
As long as you take care to keep the rust away (i.e. don’t soak it in water), a cast-iron pan is likely to outlive you.

They’re naturally non-stick.
The more you cook with them using just a little oil, the more well-seasoned and non-stick they become over time

Easy cleanup
You don’t even need soap to clean cast iron! Just wipe clean with a damp towel, dry well, and season with a little spot of oil before putting it away. That’s it.

Iron is good for you.
It’s a fact: more than one-third of American women under age 40 are iron-deficient. Cooking with cast iron is known to add beneficial amounts of elemental iron to your diet.

Superior heat retention.
The heavy-duty nature of iron allows it to retain and evenly distribute heat throughout the pan surface, for even cooking and consistently delicious results.

Works with any cooking appliance.
Gas, electric, ceramic, or induction stovetops, in the oven, on the grill, over an open fire… cast iron performs well everywhere.

Okay, Let’s Get to the Recipes

If you’ve read this far, you’re probably intrigued by the possibilities of cooking with cast iron. And the possibilities are nearly endless! The following recipes offer only a small glimpse of what you can do with cast-iron cookery…

Mediterranean Cast-Iron Halibut

This simple dish is bursting with fresh, bold flavors… and it’s fairly healthy as well. If you can’t find halibut in your area, feel free to substitute cod, monkfish, seabass, or any meaty whitefish.


12 to 15 oz. boneless, skinless halibut fillets

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 Tbls. quality olive oil

8-10 oz. of fresh cherry tomatoes

Half of a small or medium onion, sliced

6 oz. pitted olives, such as kalamata

14 oz. can of artichoke hearts, drained

2 Tbls. jarred capers (optional… not everyone likes them)

1 t. dried oregano

Half a lemon, sliced into circles

1/2 cup dry white wine


Step 1

Rinse and pat dry your halibut fillets, and season them with salt and pepper.

Step 2

Heat a cast-iron skillet on medium-high on the stovetop, add 1 tablespoon of the oil and heat until glistening. Add the onion, tomatoes, artichokes, olives, and capers (if using). Season with salt, pepper and oregano, and stir well. Heat for about two minutes.

Step 3

Place the seasoned fish on top of the vegetable mixture. Pour the wine into the pan and drizzle the fish with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Top the fish with the lemon slices, and cover pan. Cook until the juices bubble, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook for about 20 minutes, until the fish is cooked through.

Brussels Sprouts Seared in Cast Iron

An amazing side-dish that goes well with all types of cuisine, any night of the week. Delicious, healthy, low-cost, easy, versatile… what’s not to love? Note: don’t worry if the sear is dark-brown; you’ll love the extra caramelization!


1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half

2 Tbls. quality olive oil

1/2 t. salt

1/4 t. black pepper

1 Tbls. balsamic vinegar or fresh lemon juice

Optional additions (approx. 1 handful): pine nuts, chopped nuts, chopped fresh herbs, grated cheese, or any combination of them.


Step 1

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high for 4 minutes. Add the oil and swirl to coat the pan, then add the halved Brussels sprouts, cut-side facing down. Cook undisturbed for 6 or 7 minutes, until well seared.

Step 2

Add salt and pepper and stir the sprouts. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the sprouts are browning all over and tender about 6 to 8 more minutes.

Step 3

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in vinegar or juice, plus any optional additions (see above). Wait a few minutes for the remaining heat in the pan to cook your additions. Transfer the sprouts to a serving plate and enjoy!

Cast Iron Peppery Beef

This is a quick and easy recipe that packs a punch of black pepper flavor in every bite. If you don’t have a mortar & pestle for cracking and grinding peppercorns, use the bottom of a heavy pan. Serve with freshly steamed rice.


2 t. coarsely cracked peppercorns

1 t. cornstarch

2 t. brown sugar

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 t. salt

12 oz. beef steak, thinly sliced

3 Tbls. neutral oil

2 Tbls. soy sauce

8 oz. cabbage (about a half-head), thinly sliced

1 Tbls. apple-cider vinegar

1 Tbls. sesame seeds

 2 green onions, sliced


Step 1

Add the pepper, cornstarch, brown sugar, garlic, and salt to a medium bowl and stir to combine. Add the steak slices and stir to coat.

Step 2

Heat the oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Add the steak and cook, stirring frequently, about 3 to 4 minutes until the beef starts to brown. Add soy sauce, stir, and cook about 1 minute, then transfer the beef to a bowl and cover it.

Step 3

Add sliced cabbage to skillet, spread in an even layer. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender. Stir in vinegar and season with a pinch of salt. Then add steak and its juices back to the skillet and stir with the cabbage for about 1 minute. Top with the sesame seeds and green onion. Serve while hot.

As we said before, these selected recipes represent only a small fraction of the possibilities offered by cast-iron cooking. If you have a favorite cast-iron skillet recipe you’d like to share, we’d love to hear from you! Find us on your favorite social channel.


The Kenmore brand represents 100 years of trusted performance, backed by exclusive features and innovations that no other brand can bring to the table. We’re always evolving to ensure day-to-day tasks are taken care of with faster cooking, better cleaning and more living throughout the home.