Ultimate Guide to Cast Iron Skillet Cooking with Seafood

Hello, Seafoodies!

From trying out new culinary techniques to whipping up awesome seafood flavor combinations—we love testing out the limits of the Dish on Fish kitchen! As avid recipe creators, we occasionally come across a cooking method that is rumored to be difficult—like combining seafood with cast iron. But it’s time to debunk those myths once and for all!

Cooking with a cast iron skillet isn’t just reserved for the pros—it’s an adventure anyone can embrace. Today, we’re here to spill the beans (or should we say skillet secrets!) and prove that cast iron cooking can be a sheer delight, especially when it comes to seafood. 

Choosing cast iron for your seafood dishes offers a variety of advantages for both your taste and health. Its non-stick nature ensures you can cook your favorite seafood without worrying about food stubbornly sticking to the pan. And cooking in seasoned cast iron provides an added health benefit—not only do you typically need less oil than in a standard stainless steel pan but cast iron may help boost the iron content in your meal.

One of our favorite features of cast iron skillets is that they make clean-up a breeze! When taken care of properly, your cast iron cookware can last a lifetime, becoming a reliable part of your kitchen for years to come. And the more you use cast iron, the more seasoned it becomes, which is a good excuse for using it often, for almost any food.

Getting started with cast iron cooking is simple, especially when you follow our 6 tried-and-true tips! 

  1. Seasoning the pan: Always pre-season your cast iron skillet first—to create a non-stick surface. After washing and drying the skillet, coat the entire surface with a neutral oil, like vegetable oil, buffing it in thoroughly. Place the pan in the oven at about 450°F, and leave it there for 30 minutes. Then repeat this process three to four times for optimal seasoning.
  2. Preheating: When cooking with your seasoned skillet—gradually preheat it to avoid temperature shock.
  3. Low and slow cooking: Opt for low heat with your cast iron skillet to enhance the flavor profile without burning.
  4. Utensil choice: Use stainless steel, wood or bamboo utensils to prevent scratching the cast iron surface.
  5. Cleaning technique: Avoid soap when cleaning your skillet. Always clean immediately after use by rinsing with plain hot water and avoid soaking. 
  6. Drying and storage: Ensure your skillet is completely dry to prevent rusting and then apply a thin layer of oil before putting away.

Cooking seafood with cast iron is a flavorful and easy way to enhance the taste of and nutrients in your meals. With these tips and our simple yet satisfying recipes, you’ll become a cast iron master in no time! 

Ready, Set, Sizzle!

Cast-Iron Smoked Salmon Hash

Breakfast just got better with this savory smoked salmon hash, crafted in your trusty cast-iron skillet. A fusion of smoked salmon, tender potatoes and the flavors of your favorite seasonings all come together for a hearty and satisfying morning meal.

Spanish Seafood Paella Recipe

Transport yourself to Spain with seafood paella, a vibrant and aromatic dish simmering with the flavors of the ocean. When cooked in a cast-iron skillet, this traditional Spanish delicacy is an exquisite balance of seafood, fragrant saffron rice and seasonings that promise an unforgettable dining experience.

Lemon Butter Pan-Seared Scallops Recipe

Elevate your dinner game with scallops, beautifully seared to perfection in a cast-iron skillet. The zesty lemon butter adds a tantalizing blend of rich flavors and tender textures that will leave your taste buds longing for more.

Shrimp and Asparagus Skillet

Indulge in a wholesome and nutritious dish that celebrates the simplicity of a cast-iron skillet. Using fresh or thawed shrimp—this recipe only takes 25 minutes, offering a quick and beautiful spread that’s outstanding for any occasion.

Warm Crab Dip in a Bread Bowl

Few dishes rival the charm of warm crab dip nestled in a restaurant-worthy sourdough bread bowl! Prepared seamlessly in a cast-iron skillet, this creamy delight is an irresistible appetizer for any gathering.

Seafood Mac and Cheese with Old Bay

A classic comfort dish with a seafood twist! Cast iron skillet mac and cheese is infused with iconic Old Bay seasoning and can be customized using any seafood you desire.

Cast Iron Tilapia

This easy-to-follow recipe is a great crash course in preparing any type of fish in a cast iron pan. Just pair your cooked protein with a side of rice and a vegetable for a delicious and healthy meal that’s ready in no time.

Fish Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Cream

In a mere 20 minutes, you can whip up these outstanding tacos! Searing the fish in a cast iron skillet not only creates a tantalizing caramelized crust but also swiftly cooks the fish to tender perfection within minutes.

The Best Blackened Grouper (Cast-Iron Skillet)

The blackening seasoning in this grouper recipe not only adds a nuanced spicy kick but also complements the fish’s natural flavors. Cooking in a cast-iron skillet locks in a delightful briny sweetness, crafting a truly scrumptious main dish that’s as nutritious as it is flavorful.

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