The Inexpensive Kitchen Tool Everyone Needs

Ree Drummond uses it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert AND gives it as a gift.

Host Ree Drummond with her Skillet Cookie Sundae

When to comes to outfitting your kitchen for success there are many options to consider. You could buy a set of sturdy stainless-steel pots or spring for the expensive copper pans. You could get the new air fryer or, perhaps, pick up a shiny new multi-cooker. You could easily spend several paychecks on sparkling new kitchen gadgets, but there is one thing every kitchen needs, without question, a cast-iron skillet.

The Pioneer Woman agrees, “One thing I've learned through the years is, when you're cooking, you really don't need a whole bunch of fancy stuff -- case in point, iron skillets. These things are the best. They're absolutely indestructible. You can do anything with them. You can fry in them, saute, cook, and ... bake ... Allow me to wax rhapsodic about my love -- iron skillets. Some people collect fine china. I collect iron skillets. Iron skillets are pretty much my life." A cast-iron skillet is one of her essential tools to give as a wedding gift.

Here are Ree’s best recipes using this miracle kitchen tool.

Ree uses store-bought pizza dough to make this crowd-pleaser possible any night of the week. She preheats the skillet in the over to get the crust super crispy.

This is Ree's version of her favorite dish at Eggbert's, a restaurant in her hometown. It's a hearty potato, ham and cheese skillet dish topped with a fried egg and served with salsa — a great country breakfast.

The miracle of this dish is that Ree cooks this entire thing, including the rice, in the skillet.

If you’ve got 16 mintues, try this Pesto Chicken Skillet Supper. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts get tossed together with a medley of colorful vegetables and dressed in a pesto cream.

Ree substitutes farfalle for the lasagna noodles in this quick, comforting dish that come together in one pan.

Ree cooks, bakes and serves this decadent appetizer all in her trusty cast-iron skillet.

Grape tomatoes and spinach add color to this rich and creamy kid-friendly dish.

This simple recipe brings out the natural sweetness of summer corn. “Whenever Nan made fresh corn casserole, she always did it in a big baking dish. She'd put foil over the top and bake it low and slow until that corn was just perfect and tender. I'm doing a skillet version just so it won't take very long,” says Ree.

Ree makes homemade pizza dough for these cheesy rolls, but you can save time with store-bought. “There are no rules with these pizza rolls,” she says, add whatever veggies and toppings you like.

Ree's rosemary rolls require only four ingredients, so they're great in a pinch. Just place unbaked, un-risen dinner rolls in a buttered skillet and allow them to rise in a warm place before brushing the tops with melted butter and sprinkling on some rosemary and coarse sea salt.

“These little iron skillets are perfect, they're so cute if you're having a dinner party. It's just a little bit different than serving a plate of food,” says Ree.

“With pineapple upside-down cake, half the battle is getting it outof the pan.” says Ree. “The secret is to get it out of the pan pretty soon after it comes out of the oven.

Skip the baking pan and make these luscious Sticky Buns in a cast-iron skillet.

This dessert combines two of Ree’s favorite things on earth, an iron skillet and cookie dough. “Who knew an iron skillet could result in such decadence?” she asks.

The beauty of the cast-iron skillet is that it can go straight in the oven off the stove, making this apple crisp a one-pot dessert masterpiece.

Ree uses mini skillets to make these luscious, indivdual Blackberry Pot Pies.

Watch new episodes of The Pioneer Woman Saturdays at 10a|9c.

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