Book Review: Skilletheads: The Complete Guide to Restoring, Repairing, and Replacing Cast-Iron Cookware
Skilletheads: The Complete Guide to Restoring, Repairing, and Replacing Cast-Iron Cookware by Ashley L. Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
There’s no pleasure that can compare to searing a good steak in a hot, well-seasoned cast iron skillet… unless it’s pulling a skillet full of freshly baked, buttery drop biscuits out of a hot oven on a cold winter’s day.
While I may not be a full-blown skillethead, I’m definitely a skillet fan. I own two Lodge brand cast iron pans: a 10″ two-handled skillet, and a 12″ square griddle. Of course, I quickly flipped through the manufacturer’s profiles until I found Lodge, to see if I’d made a wise choice. After reading about the history of “the only manufacturer that is both vintage and modern”, I feel a greater sense of pride in my two pieces.
From there’ I jumped to the Restoring Cast Iron section to check if I’ve been maintaining my cast iron correctly. I got caught up in reading about all the various methods of restoring old cast iron. I will remember to refer to this section if I happen to find an interesting yet rusty old piece on my next antiquing adventure.
The restoration chapter did eventually get around to covering basic seasoning. I appreciated the easy-to-understand explanation of “polymerization”, which is what happens in a pan during seasoning. And to my shock (and delight) I learned that yes I CAN use soap on my cast iron, if I follow some simple advice. Gasp!
If you don’t yet own any cast iron, you can enjoy learning about the history of the various manufacturers, see what’s involved in restoring vintage skillets, and meet the people who ARE obsessed with them. I’m confident that you’ll want to add a good piece to your kitchen after learning about cast iron’s unique niche in history.
Oh, and there’s a recipe section! It’s not just a couple of recipes, either. You could purchase Skilletheads as a full-fledged cookbook. There’s everything from Dutch Baby Pancakes to Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus, more than one way to make cornbread, and a lot more. The food photography makes every recipe a temptation. I’m going to make a huge frittata for dinner tonight – that photograph broke down all my willpower.
My thanks to author Ashley L. Jones, Darcie Rowan PR, Red Lightning Books, and NetGalley for allowing me to read a digital review copy of this book. This review is my honest and unbiased opinion.