When should I use a lid on my cast iron skillet? – to think 3 times (2023)

You're cooking with cast iron and wondering, "When should I use a lid on my cast iron skillet?"

Or your question: "Do I need a lid, and if so, which is better, glass or cast iron?"

You may feel that a lid isn't necessary, and if a recipe calls for one, you can improvise.

It's right; You can find ways to use a cover or create a makeshift cover that serves your purpose.

But in general it's a good idea to have a lid.

So let's go through some of the cases where you will use one and from there you can decide if you need a lid for your cast iron skillet.

Table of contents

There are at least three occasions when you'll want to use a lid on your cast iron skillet. Mainly when you want to keep heat or heat and moisture in the pan. Moist heat is used in many cooking methods and requires a lid all or part of the time. Also, another occasion to use one is if you want to melt some cheese over it after your food is done cooking. Many cast iron stovetops don't require a lid, but having one available will add versatility to your pan. If it's also cast iron, you can even turn your skillet into a shallow casserole dish.

1. If you want to warm up indoors

For example, you can use a lid to carry something to oneCookÖCookMore quickly

(Video) Cast Iron Q&A: Put A Lid On It

The wisdom of boiling water in cast iron is up for debate, with some claiming it weakens the seasoning.

I have no doubt that boiling the water repeatedly or for longer will affect the flavor.

However, people boil their water in their cast-iron pots.

Of course, when the water is boiling, you remove the lid to add whatever you want to cook, be it pasta, potatoes or beans.

And most of the time leave the lid open so you don't risk the water overflowing.

Cooking, however, is a little different.

Again, you can put the lid on to let the liquid boil, but then reduce the heat and remove the lid.

To avoid splashing, you can use a protective strainer or, if you are sure the temperature is right, keep the lid closed.

Just make sure it doesn't boil over again.

However, if you are trying to thicken the liquid in the pot, remove the lid to allow the moisture to escape.

RELATED >>>>>Is it okay to boil water in seasoned cast iron or water-based foods?

2. If you want to retain moisture and heat

to vapejpaddedBoth are cooking methods in which food is slowly cooked and covered.

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Rice is a great example because it requires moisture and heat to cook. After the water boils, add the rice, reduce the heat and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.

However, it turned out my rice was sticking to the bottom of the pot and was difficult to clean.

However, if your pan is well seasoned (not newer like mine), you're less likely to have this problem.

When braising, harder cuts of meat such as veal breast or fillet are cooked slowly.

Moist heat destroys the connective tissue and tenderizes the meat.

RELATED > > > > >Can I cook rice in my cast iron skillet? - 4 easy steps

3. If it takes you a few minutes to melt the cheese

If the last step is to add cheese to your skillet or burger, this is a good time to add a lid.

First remove the pan from the heat source to stop the food from continuing to cook.

Cast iron vs. glass lid

When should I use a lid on my cast iron skillet? – to think 3 times (2)

The main advantages of a cast iron lid for your pan are:

  • The lid is self-priming.
  • Your pan will become a shallow casserole dish
  • it is oven safe

The advantages of using a glass plate are:

  • You probably already have one in your kitchen that fits.
  • Allows you to look inside without lifting the lid
  • The lid is much lighter.

If you already have a Dutch Oven that comes with a cast iron lid, it might fit your pan.

(Video) The Best Way To Clean and Season a Cast Iron Skillet | Epicurious

And some people have said they don't bother with the lid, preferring to use foil or a baking sheet instead.

So in the end it comes down to preference.

When not to use a cap

I don't use a lid very often when cooking in cast iron as most of my cooking falls under the reasons not to use one.


Burn -any type of meat or seafood

Roast meat -Bacon and eggs, potatoes, veggies, stir-fries

Baked food, desserts or bread

When the liquid needs to evaporate

If you want the sauce to thicken

Cast Iron Questions and Answers - Cover Up

Some practical uses for a lid

  • Melting cheese on burgers or dishes on the stovetop
  • Simply boil eggs without turning them
  • Slow cooker meat
  • Store to keep dirt out and stay warm.
  • Cook rice or potatoes in the skillet
  • warm up food
  • vegetable stew
  • Keeps food warm longer
  • For grilled cheese, use a partially open lid to allow moisture to escape but stay in the heat (in this case I improvise and use a small baking sheet that partially covers the top of the pan).

Pork skillet

This meal requires a lid at the end to melt the cheese. But before that, you're frying and thickening it, so you don't want to use one.

When should I use a lid on my cast iron skillet? – to think 3 times (3)
(Video) Cleaning and Seasoning Your Cast Iron Skillet - Martha Stewart


  • 4 cups frozen O'Brien potatoes (I cut real potatoes)
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped green peppers (I didn't have)
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper (I didn't have)
  • 2 EL. Butter
  • 2 cups shredded or chopped cooked pork (I used leftover pork chops)
  • 2 teaspoons chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

The address

  1. In a 12-inch cast-iron skillet, cook the onion and 2 peppers in butter over medium-high heat until almost tender.
  2. Add pork, broth and pepper; hot good
  3. Whisk together the flour and milk in a small bowl, add to the pan
  4. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens, about 4-5 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle with cheese, remove from heat, cover and let rest until cheese has melted.


Have all the ingredients ready before you start cooking because it's really quick.

final thoughts

As you can see, using a lid on a cast iron skillet is pretty much the same as using a lid on any type of skillet.

So if you're wondering, "When should I use a lid on my cast iron skillet?" Hopefully you now understand when to use one and when not to.

Use a lid whenever you want to keep heat or heat and moisture in the pot.

Or for melting cheese on food after cooking.

While you can probably do without a lid, you'll have more cooking options with one.

What do you think?

Do you use a lid when cooking on your cast iron skillet?

If so, how?

(Video) Simple rules for cast iron care

Let me know below in the comments.


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