(McIlhenny Company) (McIlhenny Company)
A Black Iron Haven

Is It the Cast Iron or the Cook?

Posted by Kathy Mansfield

Rick is a little too humble to post this, but I have no qualms bragging on what a wonderful cook he is! For the third consecutive year, Rick has been named Chili Cook-Off Grand Prize Winner at the annual Simpsonville Baptist Church Family Football Night (because they can’t call it a Super Bowl Party!) and Chili Cook-Off. I’m a pretty finicky eater, and even more so about any tomato-based recipe, so when I say Rick makes good chili, I mean it. And, I suppose, enough other folks agree, too, since he is a three time champ in our little hometown. But, is it truly the cook? Or might it be the new enameled cast iron Dutch oven? Hmmmm. I think maybe a little bit of both.

Rick makes what he calls his “Louisiana Chili.” The “Louisiana” part comes from his use of Andouille sausage as one of the ingredients. The actual recipe is some deep, dark secret, so you won’t see it posted here. So that’s the Cook part of what makes the chili so good. The Cast Iron contribution is the new enameled Dutch oven Rick used this year. Tomato-based recipes can wreak havoc on cast iron, but the enameled pieces sold by Lodge are the perfect answer when you want the consistency and feel of cast iron without the damage to your well-seasoned cookware.

Enjoy the pictures, but don’t look for the super secret recipe anytime soon!

Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below, or you can contact Kathy directly at