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How Do I Choose the Best Ovenproof Skillet?

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  • Written By: Misty Amber Brighton
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 05 September 2016
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An ovenproof skillet should be made from very sturdy materials that will not crack or warp when exposed to high heat. You may want to cover some dishes while cooking, so a lid that fits tightly can be helpful. The pan should not be either too shallow or too deep but the length and width of this skillet can depend on what you may want to use it for. It can be a good idea to choose one that has been seasoned at the factory, as this can help keep food from sticking.

Cast iron is generally a good choice for an ovenproof skillet because this material can withstand high temperatures. You may also use stainless steel or aluminum pans provided they do not have any plastic or wooden pieces attached. Skillets with a non-stick coating could produce an offensive odor or the coating itself might melt when placed in the oven.

An ideal ovenproof skillet will have a lid specifically designed for that model. Like the skillet, this lid should not contain plastic or wooden pieces. Oven skillets with glass or cast iron lids are generally a good choice. You should make sure the lid is the right size and sits securely over the top of the skillet. It is a good idea to select one without rubber gaskets around the inside, as these pieces may crack after a few uses.

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Pans that are too deep may not allow food to cook thoroughly, but those that are too shallow could cause dishes to burn easily. A good depth for an ovenproof skillet is usually somewhere between 2 and 3 inches (about 5 to 7 cm). This device can be round, square, or rectangular, and each shape comes in a variety of sizes. One that is around 9 by 13 inches (22.86 to 33.02 cm) can allow you to cook most casseroles, but a 9-inch (about 23 cm) square pan might be better for baking cornbread. A 12-inch (0.3 m) round pan is typically ideal for pizza, while an 8-inch (20.32 cm) diameter one can be best for many desserts.

Many types of skillets need to be seasoned, or coated with oil and then baked over low temperatures. It is especially important to do this when cooking with cast iron. Seasoning should be performed prior to using an ovenproof skillet, so if you are able to find one that was seasoned at the factory it could save you a great deal of time.

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Oceana
Post 4

I thought my husband was crazy when he told me that we needed to season our skillet. I thought that this was something that all factories did to their pans, but apparently, it isn't.

He sprayed it down with vegetable oil and baked it in the oven for a long time, like an hour or so. I know that the oven was on low, but still, it seemed like a really long time to leave an empty skillet in there.

kylee07drg
Post 3

@feasting – I use a big cast iron skillet to cook bacon in the oven. I've always hated cooking bacon on top of the stove, because the grease pops and burns my arms.

Some people prefer to use a baking sheet with a rack that lets the grease drip down, but a big ovenproof skillet works just fine for me. Generally, I just pour the grease into a container or use it right away for cooking other foods in to give them flavor.

The bacon cooks in less than twenty minutes in a 400 degree oven. When I take the bacon out, I can just move the skillet to a stove eye and cook something in the remaining grease immediately. I do this when I make bacon spaghetti.

feasting
Post 2

I've never thought of an aluminum pan as a skillet. In fact, the word “skillet” always brings to mind a big cast iron pan.

I've never used either in the oven, though. I like to use thick glass casserole dishes when baking meats and vegetables. The glass is tempered, so it won't crack in the heat.

Other than pizza and cornbread, what are some foods that you might use an iron skillet to cook in the oven? It's never crossed my mind to do this.

giddion
Post 1

I've never had cornbread made in a square ovenproof pan. My family has always used a round skillet for this, and then we cut the cornbread into wedges like slices of pie.

I know that some people prefer square pieces of cornbread, but to me, it just seems weird. I am so used to the kind made in a round pan that I don't think I could stand to make it in a square one.

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