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Tailgating Pull Apart BBQ Chicken Bread | tailgate food, football party food, tailgate party, tailgate recipes, tailgate food ideas

You need to make these 17 BBQ recipes in your cast-iron cookware

What’s not to love about cookware that can go from grill to table, summer to winter, down through generation after generation, and also somehow make everything taste better? Cast-iron cookware is a workhorse in the kitchen, and it’s handy out at the grill, at the hunting camp, and on a camping trip with the kids, too. Plus, for all its versatility and durability, it’s a bargain. Cast-iron cookware is simultaneously easy on the budget and easy on the eyes, making the various pieces and novelty shapes fun to collect.

We love how cast iron holds heat, it’s second-to-none ability to sear steak, the light, airy, buttery crust it lends to cornbread, and its unseen but indisputable power over country sausage gravy. Some say the secret is in the seasoning, which can build up over months and sometimes years to give cast-iron cookware a virtually nonstick jet-black patina. Most new cast-iron cookware comes pre-seasoned, but it’s good to know how to season cast iron yourself. You’ll need to re-season every now and then.

Our best recipes for our cast-iron skillets, Dutch ovens, pans, and griddles star hard-seared steaks, spicy queso, zesty chicken, and saucy bite after saucy bite. As you’ll see, there is some serious chemistry between BBQ sauce, a shake of our seasonings, and cast iron. When you’re done, don’t forget to wash up—and remember, when cast iron does the cooking, it’s the dishwasher’s night off. Here’s how to wash cast iron when dinner is done.

How to cook steak in cast iron skillet

Reverse-Seared Steak in Cast Iron

What it is: The all-time best way to learn how to cook a steak in a cast iron skillet
What our chefs say:
“Want to know how to cook a steak in a cast iron skillet? This is how. A good steak is deeply satisfying and, when it’s perfectly cooked, borders on a religious experience. No matter your preference for cut—we love boneless ribeye, chuck eye, porterhouse, or T-bone—choose steaks that are 1 3/8” to 1 1/2” thick. Cooking time will vary depending on thickness, but these reliable tips for your next steak will yield deep, rich flavor and the crust of your dreams.” —Doug Scheiding of Rogue Cookers, BBQ World Champion
Cast-iron cookware used: Griddle
Head Country BBQ sauce or seasoning used: Premium All-Purpose Marinade, Championship Seasoning in Original
FULL RECIPE: Reverse-Seared Steak in Cast Iron

How to cook mussels on a campfire

Campfire Beer Braised BBQ Mussels

What it is: Our favorite cast iron camping recipe (in fact, it’s one of our favorite camping dinner recipes, period)
What our chefs say:
“A strong campfire is always welcoming, and when it’s topped with cast iron, a pile of fresh mussels, a can of beer (with a sip for the chef), plus Head Country Apple Habanero BBQ sauce, all the ingredients for a delicious, sophisticated meal are at the ready. This recipe is an introduction to live-fire cooking, or cooking directly over a campfire, and it’s also an invitation to dine alfresco, ice-cold beer in hand.” —Chef David Olson, Live Fire Republic
Cast-iron cookware used: Skillet
Head Country BBQ sauce or seasoning used: Apple Habanero sauce
FULL RECIPE: Campfire Beer Braised BBQ Mussels

how to make queso in cast iron

Smoked Queso Blanco Dip

What it is: The smoked queso blanco dip that became Internet famous in the thick of the 2020 pandemic, when all any of us wanted was to shelter in place with a Dutch oven of delicious cheese.
What our chefs say:
“This queso mingles with fire and smoke in cast iron on the grill. What results is a creamy, spicy dip packed with flavor. This recipe makes enough to top burgers and nachos, or omelets if it’s breakfast time—and we aren’t afraid to admit that it’s an indulgent supper, paired with a stack of fresh, salty tortilla chips.” —Doug Scheiding of Rogue Cookers
Cast-iron cookware used: Dutch oven, regular or enameled
Head Country BBQ sauce or seasoning used: High Plains Heat Championship Seasoning
FULL RECIPE: Smoked Queso Blanco Dip

How to make chili in cast iron pot

3 Meat BBQ Chili

What it is: Our favorite dutch oven chili recipe, hands down.
What our chefs say:
“There’s just something about a bowl of chili that comforts the soul. With three kinds of meat—ground beef, brisket, and sausage—this chili refuses to back down in the face of even the coldest winds or rainiest days. Be sure to serve with a smorgasbord of toppings.” —Marissa Allen, First and Full
Cast-iron cookware used: Dutch oven
Head Country BBQ sauce or seasoning used: Original sauce, Original Championship Seasoning
FULL RECIPE: 3 Meat BBQ Chili

Cast Iron Skillet Southwester BBQ Chicken Dip Easy Recipe

Skillet Southwestern BBQ Chicken Dip

What it is: A cheesy, saucy shredded chicken dip that you’ll turn to again and again when it’s time to whip up a quick appetizer or easy party dish.
What our chefs say:
“This stick-to-your-ribs chicken dip is a sugar-free, cheesy combination packed with beans, corn, and spices. Whether it’s served family-style at the dinner table or guests help themselves at the tailgate party, this dip is a showstopper in a rustic cast-iron skillet. Serve it up with freshly sliced veggies and/or toasted bread slices.” —Meghan Yager, Cake ‘n’ Knife
Cast-iron cookware used: Large skillet
Head Country BBQ sauce or seasoning used: Sugar Free BBQ sauce
FULL RECIPE: Skillet Southwestern BBQ Chicken Dip

Tailgater Pull Apart BBQ Chicken Bread Tailgate Party Recipe

Tailgating Pull-Apart BBQ Chicken Bread

What it is: Crazy fun, and not just because there’s no way to dig in and not get a little BBQ sauce and cheese on your fingers. The pull-apart chicken bread is perfect for a pre-game tailgate or to serve coffee-table style for your next game party.
What our chefs say: “I am always looking for the next recipe to make for a big crowd. Something fun, fast, and loaded with flavor. I am all for manning the grill all day long, but sometimes, you just need a recipe in the back pocket that can work for a make-ahead toss on the grill pre-game party. Gather the right group of friends, and make this. Because you need an excuse to toss this recipe down in front of them and make them think you are a total BBQ genius.” —Kita Roberts, Girl Carnivore
Cast-iron cookware used: Large skillet
Head Country BBQ sauce or seasoning used: Chipotle sauce, Original Seasoning
FULL RECIPE: Tailgating Pull-Apart BBQ Chicken Bread

BBQ Chicken Cornbread Skillet

What it is: Like cooking cornbread in a cast iron skillet, but with BBQ chicken and tons of cheese, it’s the main course. 
What our chefs say:
“This casserole-in-a-skillet is packed with all your favorite comfort-food flavors, from cornbread to BBQ chicken to two kinds of melting, bubbling cheese. Top with plenty of sliced green onion, and serve with sweet tea.
Cast-iron cookware used: Large skillet
Head Country BBQ sauce or seasoning used: Original sauce, Sweet & Spicy Seasoning
FULL RECIPE: BBQ Chicken Cornbread Skillet

How to Make Buttermilk Crispy Fried Chicken Tenders with Head Country BBQ Sauce

Buttermilk Crispy Fried Chicken

What it is: Want to learn to fry chicken in a cast iron skillet (read: the true, blue, old-fashioned way)? This recipe will show you the way. 
What our chefs say:
“The key to crispy fried chicken that’s rich, flavorful, and tender? It starts with a southern-style buttermilk bath, infused with our Championship Seasoning. After these tenders bubble to a glowing golden-brown in a cast-iron Dutch oven of hot shortening, they’re ready for a sprinkle of salt and a dip in our spoon-coating Sweet & Sticky BBQ sauce. Perfect for game day, family night, or a weeknight treat.”
Cast-iron cookware used: Dutch oven, regular or enameled
Head Country BBQ sauce or seasoning used: Sweet & Sticky BBQ sauce, Original Championship Seasoning
FULL RECIPE: Buttermilk Crispy Fried Chicken

Cast Iron BBQ Chicken Nachos

Cast Iron BBQ Chicken Nachos

What it is: If you’ve never had skillet nachos, then you don’t know how delicious nachos can truly be. This recipe is part dip, part nacho, and a whole lot of cheesy, saucy deliciousness.
What our chefs say:
“The slow cooker assists in this recipe to make it a weeknight wonder. Because the chicken is ready when you walk through the door at the end of the day, a skillet of BBQ nachos takes just 5 minutes from start to finish. Don’t skimp on the cheese, the sour cream, or the BBQ sauce—our personal favorite nacho topping.” —Amy Whitfield, The Speedy Spatula
Cast-iron cookware used: Large skillet
Head Country BBQ sauce or seasoning used: Original sauce, Sweet & Spicy Championship Seasoning
FULL RECIPE: Cast Iron BBQ Chicken Nachos

Pork Steaks with cast iron and mushroom blue cheese sauce

Pork Steaks with Mushroom Blue Cheese Sauce

What it is: If you’re looking for more searing practice on our favorite piece of cast iron, we nominate this recipe for pork steaks as your next cook. 
What our chefs say:
“This recipe turns inexpensive pork steaks into a succulent dinner, featuring a sauce of baby portobello mushrooms and tangy blue cheese paired with Head Country All-Purpose Premium Marinade. The steaks are seared on a piping-hot cast-iron grill insert or griddle.” —Adam McKenzie, This Jew Can Que
Cast-iron cookware used: Grill insert or griddle
Head Country BBQ sauce or seasoning used: All-Purpose Premium Marinade
FULL RECIPE: Pork Steaks with Mushroom Blue Cheese Sauce

how to make cornbread in cast iron

Cast Iron Buttermilk Cornbread with Spicy Honey

What it is: If you never had a grandma to teach you how to make cornbread in a cast iron skillet, this is your ticket to heaven, right here. 
What our chefs say:
“This cornbread recipe sizzles in pre-heated cast iron for a show-stopping, soul-satisfying side dish. Crust and crumb are sweetened with a hearty drizzle of honey mixed with a kick of our High Plains Heat Championship Seasoning. Add plenty of butter while still piping hot.”
Cast-iron cookware used: Skillet
Head Country BBQ sauce or seasoning used: High Plains Heat Championship Seasoning
FULL RECIPE: Cast Iron Buttermilk Cornbread with Spicy Honey

how to make burgers in a cast iron skillet

Smoked Breakfast Casserole with Sausage, Cheddar, and Ciabatta

What it is: A down-home cast iron breakfast skillet, but rustic and elevated. In other words, it’s about to be your new go-to for Mother’s Day brunch.
What our chefs say:
“This breakfast casserole comes bubbling out of your grill (or oven, if you choose) with rich sausage, hearty eggs, and heartwarming ciabatta bread for a brunch dish that is smoky and satisfying.”
Cast-iron cookware used: Dutch oven
Head Country BBQ sauce or seasoning used: Championship Seasoning, either Original or High Plains Heat
FULL RECIPE: Smoked Breakfast Casserole with Sausage, Cheddar, and Ciabatta

how to make burgers in a cast iron skillet

Green Chili Cheeseburgers

What it is: The best way to cook a burger in a cast iron skillet or on a cast iron griddle. Cast iron grill inserts are available for purchase online, and the rich crust they bring to the edges of your burgers are worth their weight in gold. 
What our chefs say:
“Burgers need to be simple and have the right meat-to-bun ratio. Buy the smaller buns, not larger. Also, make sure the meat is 80/20. A cast iron griddle is a must on all grills, as it helps to keep the burger together and helps with caramelization at the same time.” —Doug Scheiding of Rogue Cookers
Cast-iron cookware used: griddle
Head Country BBQ sauce or seasoning used: Championship Seasoning, either Original or High Plains Heat
FULL RECIPE: Green Chili Cheeseburgers

how to make potatoes in a cast iron skillet

Skillet Sweet Potatoes

What it is: This sweet potato skillet rounds out a breakfast of eggs and bacon, or a double-decker hamburger lunch, or a roast-chicken dinner.
What our chefs say:
“We love these sweet potatoes as a side dish to everything from burgers and fried chicken to lettuce wraps and roasted turkey. Cooking them in a big, heavy cast iron skillet allows the potatoes to caramelize, giving them a delicious crust that’s the perfect mix of sweet and savory.” —Marissa Allen, First and Full
Cast-iron cookware used: griddle
Head Country BBQ sauce or seasoning used: Championship Seasoning, Sweet & Spicy
FULL RECIPE: Skillet Sweet Potatoes

how to make burgers in a cast iron skillet

Sweet & Sticky Skillet BBQ Blue Cheese Burgers

What it is: Your new favorite burger to make inside on the stove, outside on the grill, or out and about at the hunting camp or campsite. 
What our chefs say:
“This skillet burger is bursting with big, bold flavors. Give it those coveted crispy edges in your favorite cast-iron skillet, then top with with your favorite blue cheese, a brioche bun, and plenty of our Sweet & Sticky sauce. Pairs well with a big pile of thick-cut potato chips.”
Cast-iron cookware used: Skillet
Head Country BBQ sauce or seasoning used: Sweet & Sticky sauce, Original Championship Seasoning
FULL RECIPE: Sweet & Sticky Skillet BBQ Blue Cheese Burgers

Cast Iron BBQ Chicken Nachos

Fire Station Skillet Barbecue

What it is: Morsels of sausage perfectly sliced for maximum seared crust-to-meat ratio, topped with plenty of lightly caramelized BBQ sauce. It’s perfect for when you’re in a rush for a main dish. 
What our chefs say:
“This recipe can be made using whatever sausage varieties you may have. Our version has been scaled to 6 hearty, saucy, cast iron-seared servings of our favorite combo.”
Cast-iron cookware used: Large skillet
Head Country BBQ sauce or seasoning used: Original sauce
FULL RECIPE: Fire Station Skillet Barbecue

Keto Smoked Buffalo Cauliflower

Keto Smoked BBQ Cauliflower

What it is: Our favorite way to trick ourselves into eating our veggies. Who knew all we needed was a little smoke, a dash of seasoning, and plenty of BBQ sauce? The caramelized crust the cauliflower takes from the cast iron skillet is out-of-this-world good.
What our chefs say:
“Combining buffalo wing sauce and smoke transforms cauliflower from ordinary vegetable into a delectable and healthy side dish, perfect for the family get together or the next party.” —Doug Scheiding of Rogue Cookers, BBQ World Champion
Cast-iron cookware used: Large skillet
Head Country BBQ sauce or seasoning used: Sugar Free BBQ sauce, High Plains Heat Seasoning
FULL RECIPE: Keto Smoked Buffalo Cauliflower

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