How A Cast Iron Skillet Can Help You Make Better Pies

Cast iron skillets are the ultimate kitchen companion. Tough and durable, not only can you use the same skillet for decades if you care for it properly, but cast iron will actually improve with age, acquiring a natural, non-stick coating with every new use (via America's Test Kitchen). Going from the stovetop to the oven with ease while getting hotter — and staying that way longer — than other options like stainless steel, you'll be sure to reach for your cast iron pan over and over.

Cast iron's attributes give it a wide range of uses beyond searing the perfect steak: whether it's roasting vegetables, toasting spices, or deep frying. But even though they're known for their versatility, cast iron skillets can sometimes be overlooked when it comes to baking in favor of other materials like aluminum and glass. Sure, maybe you've made some skillet cornbread or a giant chocolate chip cookie, but — provided you have the right recipe — cast iron can be just as great for cake. And cast iron skillets are especially prized for their ability to produce some truly fantastic pies.

Cast iron skillets heat pie crust perfectly

The same attributes that make cast iron skillets beloved for stovetop cooking are what make them great for baking pies. As any pie lover will tell you, a perfect, flaky crust is essential — and that is where cast iron really delivers. As cast iron is capable of holding a lot of heat, it can help ensure your crust is evenly browned (via Kitchn). Cast iron maker Field Company shares that high heat also means the moisture in your crust will evaporate quickly, which is how you get those crispy layers that make a truly wonderful pie crust.

While those reasons alone should be enough to try your next pie in a cast iron skillet, Taste of Home says the taller sides of a skillet give you the option to make your pie extra deep for an indulgent dessert overflowing with your favorite fillings. Outside of perhaps making some extra crust to cover the additional surface area, the outlet says you don't even need to adjust your go-to pie recipes to make them work with cast iron, as baking times and temperatures won't change from your normal pie vessel. So next time you come home from the orchard after picking way too many apples, you really have no excuse for not breaking out the cast iron and making the hearty, rustic apple pie you've always dreamed of.