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Archive for May, 2013

Caramel Apple Skillet Cake

May 28th, 2013 by ironcooker

Caramel-Apple Skillet Cake 

A guest post from Robin Debusca

Nobody cooked like my grandmother. This is not an exaggeration. Nobody COULD cook like her because she never used a recipe and didn’t have anything written down!  I can still taste her biscuits though, and her blackberry cobbler…yummmmmmm…everything made in that old black cast iron skillet. I’m telling you, that was the only pan I ever remember seeing her use. Hers was so well used you could see your face in that shiny black skillet. When I learned to cook from my mother that was what she used as well. I still chuckle when I remember the reaction of one of her friends when one of the dishwashing crew at a church potluck decided to use a Brillo pad on her favorite skillet. I was afraid murder was going to be done right there in front of God and everybody!

Then along came Teflon and the old cast iron skillet disappeared. Then we went with stainless steel. Don’t even ask me how hard THAT was to get cleaned. So here I am, back with the cast iron in my kitchen. Not just any cast iron. I got a beautiful baby blue enamel coated cast iron skillet! Boy is it pretty! I decided to put it through its paces and see if it really was as good as the guy selling it to me said it was..*cough cough  not to mention any names…Cecil*  I had a recipe that I had been wanting to try so I pulled it out and began to make what looked to be a scrumptious  caramel-apple skillet cake. This required cooking on the stove and putting that pan into the oven.  Scary….

As you can see in the pictures, it turned out fabulous and tasty!  The pan cooked and baked beautifully and the clean-up was a breeze. Now the enamel coated cast iron is a little pricey but there are real advantages to this product. You don’t EVER have to season the pan or worry about the finish. This means you can scrub the pan with whatever product you use without ruining the finish. The base doesn’t discolor when used on a gas stove, which was another concern of mine. The heat conduction is the same as the original cast iron. Just a note here, when you pick up the skillet to put it in the oven…be sure and use mitts or those handy covers. The heat conduction is so great that the handles get very warm. My skillet went from stove burner to oven with no problem at all. I was worried about the enamel finish but it came through unscathed!

Now for the recipe

Caramel-Apple Skillet Cake ( Copied from the Pampered Chef website)


½ cup (1 stick) butter                                                  1 cup packed brown sugar

½ cup heavy whipping cream                                      1/3 cup light corn syrup

3 small Braeburn apples                                                                1 pkg yellow cake mix

3 eggs                                                                                   1 cup sour cream

2 tsp cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Heat butter, sugar, cream and corn syrup in 11 in ceramic skillet (I used a 12 inch enamel coated skillet) over medium heat until simmering, stirring until smooth. Cook mixture, uncovered, another 7-9 minutes or until mixture is thickened and slightly darker in color, stirring occasionally. Remove skillet from heat.
11 inch enamel cast iron skillet





2. Meanwhile, cut apples with apple wedger and set aside 5 of the wedges. Starting at the edges of the skillet, carefully arrange apple wedges, cut side down, over caramel. Arrange the remaining 5 wedges in the center.





3. Whisk cake mix, eggs, sour cream and cinnamon in 4 qt mixing bowl until blended. Carefully spoon batter over apples and spread batter evenly with small spreader. (I used a spatula). Bake uncovered, 38-42 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean











4. Carefully remove skillet from oven using oven mitts. Let stand 2 minutes. Carefully invert cake onto serving platter. Let stand 5 minutes and serve





A couple of things-you can substitute Fuji or Honeycrisp apples for the Braeburn. It calls for small apples. When I do it again, I will use larger apples. The small ones don’t fit into the wedger evenly and I would like more apple flavor I think. Be very careful when you spread the batter. It is really thick and as you can see, tends to mess up the pretty pattern of the apples when you spread it. Now, enough of the details. Who wants cake??



Posted in Iron Cookware Recipes | 5 Comments »

Learn How to Cook on a Spit

May 17th, 2013 by ironcooker

Learn How to Cook on a Spit
The appeal of meat roasted slowly over a fire never fades. But most of us don’t cook over an open fire anymore. With rotisserie cooking, you can create delicious roasted meats with the flavor that can only come from cooking over open heat. Here are the basics:

Rotisserie Cooking

Rotisserie Cooking - Chicken over MarinateRotisserie cooking is also known as spit roasting—but don’t panic, that’s not what it sounds like! “Spit” refers to a rod that skewers the meat. It’s an old term going back to medieval times, when a boy called a “spit jack” would keep the meat rotating over hot coals.  Just think of it as a new tool to use in your outdoor cooking arsenal.

Today, you can use a barbecue grill or a campfire for rotisserie cooking.

Roasting like this means meat cooks slowly and evenly. As the skewers turn, delicious juices run over the surface and the fat drips off. You’ll find meat cooked this way is juicier and more tender than pan-roasted meat, with a tantalizing crispy surface crackling with flavor.

Types of Rotisseries

Types of Rotisseries - Standard & ConventionalOne type of rotisserie uses a single spit to skewer meat. Two prongs attach to the spit to keep the meat from spinning on the bar. The other type, known as a spit rod assembly, uses two skewers per bar so the meat stays in position. Both types have a mechanism to keep the skewers turning—either run by a hand crank, or motorized so you don’t have to convince someone to serve as spit jack! A rotisserie can have one or more bars—more bars means more cooking space.

Cooking Methods

Rotisserie Cooking MethodsRotisserie cooking uses either direct or indirect heat. With direct heat you place your skewers right over the heat source. This is perfect for smaller pieces of meat, like poultry, or cuts of beef or pork. For very large roasts, or even whole animals, we use indirect heat.

The difference is in the thickness of the meat. Heat will reach the inner portions of a small cut and bring it to a safe temperature while the outer layers crisp and caramelize. If you’re roasting something very big, the outside could overcook or burn long before the inner layers are done. Roasting big cuts farther from the heat cooks the whole piece more evenly.

You may be wondering about small pieces of food, like vegetables, shrimp, or fish. Can these be cooked on a rotisserie, too? Of course! Clamp them into a basket attachment to hold them securely while they cook.

Using Your Rotisserie

Ready to start using your rotisserie to create flavorful, juicy roasted meats? Here’s how:

  • Preheat: Preheat your rotisserie before you cook, so heat will begin to radiate into the meat as soon as you put it in. If your recipe doesn’t specify a temperature, let the rotisserie heat up for a good ten to fifteen minutes.
  • Prepare: While it’s heating, prepare your meat. Cylindrical cuts of meat will cook most evenly, because all portions will receive equal amounts of heat. A piece of meat that isn’t balanced can stall or catch the rotating mechanism. If you have a piece that’s irregular in shape and you can’t trim it, use your rotisserie basket.
  • Cook Away: Fit your spitted meat into the holders at the sides of the grilling assembly. Once it’s in place and cooking, try to resist the urge to peek! Keep the lid closed to ensure faster and more even cooking. It will be hard, but if you position yourself near the grill you’ll be able to smell the delicious aromas escaping from the rotisserie.

If you have a multi-spit rotisserie grill, you can roast different foods at the same time. Chicken, sausages, chops, even corn on the cob! Cooking times will vary, so plan ahead and put the pieces that will need more cooking time in first. Adding foods during the process won’t slow cooking times, as long as you keep the doors closed as much as possible.

And of course, if this is all too much for you, you can always go back to roasting s’mores.

That’s it! Those are the basics of roasting meat using a rotisserie grill. Imagine the crackling skin of a roasted chicken…tender, juicy beef…the snap of the skin of a crisp sausage. What are you going to cook first? Let us know in the comment section below!

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Posted in Campfire Cooking | 5 Comments »

Northern Michigan Outdoor Expo

May 12th, 2013 by ironcooker

Northern Michigan's Outdoor Sports Expositions


Sportsman Exposition Hours:

Friday, May 17th from 12pm- 8pm

Saturday, May 18th from 9am – 8pm

Sunday, May 19th from 11am – 4pm
Come see Bay Blue Kennel’s Tera Lanczak — Famous Trainer of Retrievers


Patrick Flanigan — World’s Greatest Shotgun Shooting Showman
Sunday, May 19th at 1pm

The wildest, most explosive, action-packed and entertaining live show in the history of shooting is coming to Cheboygan. Join us as world-record-holding Xtreme shot gunner Patrick Flanigan thrills audiences at the Northern Michigan Outdoor Sports Exposition on Sunday May 19, 2013


Mike Avery of Outdoor Sports Magazine — Radio


For years, Mike Avery has hosted the acclaimed Outdoor Magazine radio and TV show. He has hunting and fishing fans across Michigan and the nation. His travels and adventures have taken everywhere in Michigan that outdoor sports enthusiast love and he’s done just about every kind of hunting and fishing that Michigan has to offer.

Visit Iron Cooker At Northern Michigan outdoor expo

we are offering great deals on camping cookware, meat grinders, camping pie irons & many other items.
If you are looking for a new smoker this year order yours from us at the show and recieve free shipping to your house to save you hauling it

While many smokers have just enough power to dry jerky, the Smoke Vault 18-inch and 24-inch creates a wide range of usable heat that can be used for smoking ribs, fish and turkeys as well as baking pies and breads. It is roomy enough for Dutch ovens or your favorite cookware. The convenient snap ignition is coupled with a finesse style propane gas valve that translates into 20,000 maximum BTU’s of usable heat. Two standard smoking racks. One jerky smoking rack. Water pan. Cast iron wood chip plate.

There will be many other events for you at this show with a TROUT POND




Stop by and tell us what you think of the show. and look for our specials

Posted in Iron Cooker Updates | 1 Comment »

Caramel Apple Skillet Cake

Tuesday May 28th, 2013 in Iron Cookware Recipes | 5 Comments »

Learn How to Cook on a Spit

Friday May 17th, 2013 in Campfire Cooking | 5 Comments »

Northern Michigan Outdoor Expo

Sunday May 12th, 2013 in Iron Cooker Updates | 1 Comment »

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