UK BBQ Mag Winter 2016/2017 - Page 45

Cast Iron

It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of all things cast iron, it provides a fantastic surface to sear meat. When pre-heated, the heavy, near indestructible cookware will give one of the best steak crusts you can get.

There are generally three sorts of cast iron equipment relevant for cooking a steak: a flat surface, such as a skillet, hot plate or chapa; a ridged griddle (sometimes they are referred to as just a griddle, but technically that can be flat or ridged) which have raised grills throughout the surface; lastly there is the cast iron grill offering a mix between the retained heat benefits of cast iron and the direct exposure to the heat source – an upgrade on thin chrome grills that come standard with most BBQs. Thick grill marks left on meat by either a ridged griddle or grill look great, but personally I prefer the fully flat surface of a skillet so I can get a sear all over the steak.

Cast iron can be used with virtually any heat source, on a grill, in a smoker, in the embers of a fire, a chimenea, a log burner, on the hob, in a pizza oven…you get the idea. You can cook any steak in cast iron, but it pairs perfectly with a reverse sear, getting the smoky flavour into the meat first before the raging hot iron seals the outside.