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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


Cast Iron Chef Cook-off

This coming Sunday, folks in Tennessee might want to venture to the Chattanooga Market to watch the “Cast Iron Chef Cookoff” sponsored by Lodge Cast Iron and Five Star Professional Ranges.

Four chefs and one local farmer will compete cooking in cast iron skillets. They have no idea what they are going to cook, but they have an hour and $40 to plan, cook and present to the five judges.

Four more information, go to the Chattanooga Market website.

Hey! Do you want your event announced on the Cooking in Cast Iron website? If so, click on the contact link and give us all the details. We’re glad to spread the word about any cast iron related event.