As you may have seen on our Instagram Story replay (there’s also a followup video), we finally took the dive into cast iron. I’ve avoided it like the plague for so long because it’s expensive for quality pieces, and it’s not dishwasher safe. As I always say, non-stick remembers. With that in mind, I purchased the cast iron with the only intention of making gluten free cast iron cookies and gluten free cast iron pizza.
What Did I Think About Cast Iron
Honestly, I wasn’t all that impressed. Most likely, I could have achieved the same results with a good baking pan (normally used for cakes). The real advantage of cast iron (for those who use it properly) is the ability to go from stove to oven. You can also use your cast iron pan under the broiler.
If you don’t know, cast iron has a long reputation of being high quality, which is nice. If you’re not concerned about allergens or cross-contact/contamination, I think it could be worth a purchase.
Should you choose to purchase cast iron, be sure to do research on the brand. 99% of cast iron comes pre-seasoned, and you’ll need to make sure their oil is safe for you.
Speaking of Seasoning, You Have to Season The Pan
What this means is: you need to apply oil and rub it in when washing and using your cast iron pan. If you’re use to a standard stainless steel or non-stick pan, this will be a bit of an adjustment for you. Honestly, it doesn’t take long, but is a necessary step in keeping your cast iron performing well.
Our Gluten Free Cast Iron Cookie
THIS was the main reason I purchased the cast iron pan. I really wanted to make a giant gluten free, top 8 allergy free cookie for Kid Two. I announced to everyone that he had never had a cast iron cookie before, and everyone was quick to tell me they hadn’t had one either, lol.
We used this gluten free cookie recipe for the experiment. I purchased a 10″ skillet, and used the whole batch of dough in the pan. Our gluten free cookie was baked at the normal temperature, but it took a VERY long time to cook. I partially blame this on the thickness of the cookie. It was almost an hour before our cookie had baked properly in the center.
The downside: the center was baked to perfection and the outside and edges were more overdone than I would have liked. However, there were ZERO complaints from Kid Two. This is his all time favorite cookie recipe by the way.
Would I make another cookie like this? Yes, but not as thick next time.
Our Gluten Free & Dairy Free Cast Iron Pizza
The cast iron pizza I feel was a miss. Before jumping in, I did a lot of reading about cast iron pizza, and the general consensus was baking at a high temperature. I think gluten free crust doesn’t do so well at temperatures that high. I could be wrong, but we ended up with a crust that was done on the outside but not as much on the inside. Honestly, this is one of the reasons I want a pizza oven sooner than later.
After making the pizza with the bake only method, I’ve promised myself that I’m going to do this again. Next time I’ll use the method where you start on the stove-top, then transfer to the oven. I’ve been told by a pizza making friend that this would be a good option.
For this test, we used the Wholly Wholesome gluten free pizza dough, Miyoko’s dairy free cheese, and Applegate turkey pepperoni. Our sauce was a simple homemade pizza sauce.
We pressed the dough in like normal, added the sauce, then slices of the cheese. After adding the pepperoni, we added a different flavor of Miyoko’s cheese on top (small amount to prevent an overwhelming flavor).
Kid Two Was Not Impressed
Honestly, he didn’t enjoy the cast iron pizza the way he normally enjoys pizza that we make on a pizza tray. If looks were my only way to judge, I wasn’t impressed either if I’m being honest. However, I will give it another go a few more times to see if we can improve.
Final Thoughts On Cast Iron
I don’t think cast iron is a necessary purchase for food allergy homes. If you have not reached neutral, or deal with a lot of cross-contact/contamination, I don’t think cast iron is a good fit. I also firmly believe that depending on your allergy, the safest option is a cast iron pan that’s not pre-seasoned, or a ceramic option.
For us, this was a fun purchase. It’s not something I’ll be using for everyday cooking. Am I happy with the purchase? Maybe. Could I have lived without it? Totally. Was it fun to see the look on Kid Two’s face eating his cookie? ABSOLUTELY.