Cast iron cookware is highly valued in cooking for its quality and durability. Cast irons can be passed down from generation to generation when properly cared for.
The secret to cast iron’s longevity is from the material in which it’s made from. Cast iron is a thick and resistant material that retains heat very well.
Although cast iron cookware cannot be used in microwaves, cast irons can be used in ovens, stovetops, grills, and even pellet grills. Cast iron cookware can be used to bake pizzas and even pies in a pellet grill since cast iron retains heat well and can withstand both high heat and smoke.
Cast iron cookware used on a pellet grill needs the same care and maintenance that every cast iron cookware should receive after being used.
The only difference is that a cast iron pan may take longer to heat up in a pellet grill due to the indirect heat and smoke that pellet grills create. However, once the cast iron cookware comes up to temperature, the cookware will retain the cooking temperature set on the pellet grill.
Now let’s cover the advantages and tips for using a cast iron pan on a pellet grill.
Advantages of using cast iron on a pellet grill
Using cast iron cookware on a pellet grill allows a variety of new foods to be cooked or smoked on a pellet grill.
Able to cook new dishes
Generally, pellet grills have grill grates similar to a BBQ grill. Although grill grates are great for smoking and cooking meat since the fat can drip down into the drip tray, pizzas and egg dishes cannot be cooked directly on a grill grate.
So a cast iron pan make it possible to cook pizzas, bread, soups, and a variety of other dishes on a pellet grill.
New dishes can absorb smoky flavor
Another benefit of using a cast iron pan on a pellet grill is that the food being cooked can absorb a smoky flavor. When baking a pizza or bread on a pellet grill, the smoke being created from burning the wood pellets may leave a slight smoky flavor on the food.
In fact, using a lower cooking temperature will cause the food to cook slower and be exposed to even more smoke which will create a smokier flavor. Not to mention the wood pellet flavor being used may create a heavier smoker flavor such as mesquite as opposed to a lighter smoke flavor from fruitwoods such as cherry.
Helps keep meat juicy
The final advantage of using a cast iron on a pellet grill is that the pan will contain and capture all the natural fats of the meat being cooked. So when cooking ground beef or fish in a cast iron pan, all the flavors will be contained and marinate the meat as it cooks.
Keeping the meat moist is important if you are cooking a cut of meat that tends to dry out easily such as chicken breast, turkey or fish.
Cleaning and maintenance of cast iron
When it comes to cast iron cookware, you should be aware that regular maintenance is a must. Cast iron cookware must be seasoned before each and every use and a cleaning and light seasoning after each use.
Although maintaining a cast iron pan may seem like a lot of effort, the process is relatively simple once you learn the steps.
Here are the steps and processes for keeping a cast iron pan properly cleaned and seasoned.
The seasoning process is very important for extending the life of the cast iron. This process consists of applying a thin layer of oil to the inside of the cast iron pan and heating it.
Applying a thin layer of oil to the pan creates a thin protective layer over the pores in the cast iron pan.
Seasoning the cast iron pan will help prevent the pan from rusting and also helps create a non-stick surface so food does not stick to the pan.
Nowadays, most newly made cast iron pans are already seasoned (so-called factory seasoning or preseasoning), which tells you how important this is for the long-term use of the dishes.
For a cast iron pan, follow these steps in order to season the pan:
- Wash the cast iron pan with warm water and remove all the large food particles.
- Dry the pan thoroughly.
- Coat the inside of the pan with a layer of oil.
- Heat the empty pan on a medium heat source for about 15 minutes.
- Wipe the pan with a clean paper towel to remove any excess oils.
Now the cast iron pan is seasoned and ready for use.
Cleaning and light seasoning
Follow these steps in order to clean and lightly season the cast iron pan:
- Clean and wash the pan immediately after use.
- Use warm water when washing the pan to avoid leftover food from drying and sticking to the pan.
- Mild dishwashing detergent will not harm the pan, as previously thought.
- Metal sponges, bleach, or any other aggressive cleaner are not advisable for usage as they will only remove the protective non-stick layer.
- Use a little detergent and a sponge or brush.
- After washing and cleaning the pan, put the pan on a medium heat source.
- Once all the water has evaporated, add half a teaspoon of oil and coat with a paper towel.
If you adhere to this, not only will your cookware last longer, but with each new seasoning and use, the possibility of food sticking to the bottom of the cookware will decrease.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What types of cast iron cookware can you use on a pellet grill?
A: Any type of cast iron cookware can be safely used on a pellet grill. Cast iron skillet, wok, dutch oven, pie pan, bread pan, baking pan, cornbread pan, and grill press are all usable on a pellet grill.
Q: How to get the most out of cast iron?
A: For this type of cookware, the more you use it, the better the cast iron cookware will work. As the cast iron cookware continues to get seasoned and build more layers of protective non-stick coating, the cast iron pan will work better and better.
Taking care of a cast iron pan will ensure that the pan will last generations.
Pellet grills are one of the easiest ways of grilling and smoking food. However, you can do much more on your pellet grill if you use cast iron cookware on them.
Cookware made of cast iron distributes heat evenly and allows for new types of dishes to be cooked such as omelets, pizzas, and pies. Using cast iron cookware opens new doors of food types that can be cooked, smoked, and baked on a pellet grill.
If you decide to combine cast iron and pellet grill, you will have to pay attention to the maintenance of dishes which consists of seasoning before use and cleaning and light seasoning after use.
And don’t forget – the more you cook on cast iron, the more the non-stick protective layer will increase, and your cast iron cookware will serve you better and longer!