So I have never owed a cast iron skillet until now. I know. A southern cook without a cast iron skillet? That's like Superman without his cape, Linus without his blanket or Pee Wee without his bike. Those references totally date me. I'm okay with that.
My mom found this beauty for me at the Peddler's Mall. Are you familiar with these places? We call it a Peddler's Mall in Kentucky but I am sure there are similar set-ups all over the world. Basically sellers rent booth space to sell their wares which consist of antiques, yard sale type items and even new things. No one mans the booths and there is one check out at the front so you can feel free to browse without pressure. It's an amazing treasure hunt. You never know what you will find. One time I found a book called The Professional. It was a very short book published at the turn of the century about a man who installed out houses. I could kick myself for not getting it.
My mom makes this AMAZING deep dish pizza in her cast iron skillet and now I do the same. There is something about this skillet that just makes things taste better. You see, cast iron skillets are like fine wines. They get better with age. But, they have to be treated with the utmost care. They can't be put in the dishwasher and in fact they can't be soaked or left in water for very long at all. Each time I am done with mine, I wipe it out real good with a wet washcloth (not much of anything ever sticks to it) and wipe the inside down with an oiled paper towel. This is called "seasoning" the skillet. A cast iron skillet is the treasured item of a southern cook.
So for the pizza, I just press my dough into the skillet, add sauce, cheese and toppings and bake at 450 until the cheese is bubbly and a bit brown. I will NEVER make regular pizza again. This stuff is phenomenal.
My mouth is watering right now. I am a HUGE pizza lover. If I had to choose one thing to eat for the rest of my life it would definitely be pizza.
Obviously there is SO much more you can do with a cast iron skillet. Martha Stewart swears by it for frying chicken. My mom uses it for many cooking jobs. It has a ton of uses from frying up bacon or sausage to sauteing veggies to chicken pot pie. I even found an apple upside-down-type cake online the other day that turns out beautiful from one. It was touted to knock your socks off. I hope to try it soon.
So my advice when it comes to a cast iron skillet? As Turtleman would say, "Getcha some!"