Can You Cook Chicken in Cast Iron?

Cast iron cookware is a super versatile type of kitchenware that can be used for a number of different recipes and meals. Whether you want to use a cast iron skillet for bacon, or a cast iron pan for pancakes, the possibilities are truly endless. 

Of course, not everything is suitable for cast iron, and so you can often be left wondering if a particular recipe or ingredient will be safe to cook in cast iron. Something that we get asked very often is whether chicken can be cooked in cast iron. 

Whether a person wants to cook a roast chicken in a cast iron dutch oven, or someone has an idea for a chicken stir fry on a cast iron pan, it can be difficult to know whether or not cast iron is a suitable material for cooking chicken, especially with the food poisoning risks associated with chicken if it is not cooked properly. 

Luckily for you, we are something of a bunch of cast iron enthusiasts, and so we have all the answers you are looking for. In this article, we will be exploring whether you can cook chicken in cast iron, exploring the question in detail, and giving you tips and tricks for getting perfectly cooked cast iron chicken each time (that’s a clue!). 

So keep on reading to see if you can cook chicken in cast iron, and if so, how?

Can you cook chicken in cast iron?

Yes! We are very happy to tell you that you can definitely cook chicken in cast iron. Of course, this is very general. 

There are many different ways to serve chicken and many different methods of cooking with cast iron. 

For example, there is a whole chicken, chicken thighs, chicken breasts, chicken wings, and chicken thighs. 

Likewise, when it comes to cast iron you may have a cast iron pan, a cast iron dutch oven, a cast iron skillet, or a cast iron griddle. 

Some cuts of chicken are best cooked in particular types of cast iron cookware. As such, not all chicken can be cooked in all kinds of cast iron. 

What we mean by this is that you may find it more difficult to cook, say, chicken wings, in a cast iron pan. 

On the other hand, you may find wings cook well in a cast iron dutch oven placed inside your own oven. To find out more about the different types of chicken and how they are best cooked in cast iron cookware, keep on reading! 

What chicken can you cook in a cast iron Dutch oven?

A cast iron dutch oven is the perfect piece of cast iron cookware to cook your pieces of chicken that contain bones. Of course, this includes chicken wings, chicken drumsticks, chicken thighs (with the bone in), and of course, a whole chicken. 

A whole chicken roasted inside a cast iron dutch oven is probably one of our favorite recipes ever. The resulting roast chicken is juicy, succulent, and full of flavor. 

The trick lies in keeping the lid off of the Dutch oven to ensure that the chicken doesn’t brown too quickly. No oil is needed (although you can use some if you wish), and you can use whatever seasoning you like. We love using some lemon, garlic, onion, and some simple salt and pepper. 

The prep time for this dish is just 5 or 10 minutes at most, and whilst it may take a little bit more time to actually roast it, it is one of those dishes that you can just pop in the oven and leave for a few hours whilst you get on with other errands and chores! A perfect weekend dinner! 

Is it better to fry chicken in a cast iron skillet?

Chicken, when fried in a cast iron skillet (or any other cast iron cookware), gives fantastic results, especially if you are making a coated fried chicken (such as Southern Fried chicken). The act of cooking the chicken pieces in the cast iron skillet allows the coating to stick better and gives a great, satisfying crunch, something that all fried chicken lovers can surely agree is the making of a great piece! 

Many recipes from the Southern States of America use cast iron skillets (and other types of cast iron cookware) in abundance, especially for their chicken recipes. These recipes include using chicken wings, drumsticks, and even thighs to fry, all of which have great flavor for frying. If you have never tried using a cast iron skillet for fried chicken, try it today and you will be pleasantly surprised. 

If you want to fry your chicken using another method, you can actually use the cast iron skillet to initially sear the chicken. This also helps the coating stick better and gives the chicken a gorgeous golden brown appearance before it is fried using your chosen method. 

How do I cook chicken in a cast iron pan?

You can cook chicken breast and boneless chicken thighs with great success in a cast iron pan. Simply season your pieces and load them into your pan. No oil is needed, as the seaosning of your pan is non stick. You can then add these chicken pieces to salad, pasta, sandwiches, and other meals. You may even want to add in some chopped vegetables to make a stir fry! 

If the cast iron pan in question is more of a casserole dish, you can use the method we explored earlier in the article to roast a whole chicken. You may also want to cook a chicken casserole in your cast iron pan, in which you can use chicken thighs, legs, and even breasts. 

There is no right or wrong way to cook chicken in a cast iron pan, just ensure you use a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken is properly cooked and that there are no red juices flowing. This will ensure that you can safely eat the chicken dish you have cooked