Whether you call our favorite Thanksgiving side “stuffing” or “dressing” likely depends on where you grew up. If you say “you all,” you probably call it stuffing, whether or not it’s cooking inside a turkey. Or if you’re in the “y’all” camp, stuffing belongs in plush toys, and “dressing” belongs on the dinner table. And if you live in the Midwest, you can’t make up your mind.
One thing we can all agree on, though, is that the best stuffing/dressing is simultaneously moist on the inside and crispy around the edges, like a perfect brownie. And the best vessel for achieving this textural duality is a cast iron skillet.
Why? Unlike a baking pan, both the bottom and sides of a cast iron skillet get hot—and stay hot!—which ensures a well-browned exterior on all sides of the stuffing/dressing. Our method calls for preheating the skillet in the oven before you fill it and bake, which will give your stuffing/dressing maximum crispiness.
Plus, cast iron’s superior heat retention will keep that stuffing/dressing warm long after it emerges from the oven, which eliminates the need for last-minute reheating. Bonus points: If you do need to reheat, you can do so on the stovetop, which will also re-crisp the exterior.