It's the divide we didn't even know we had.
Skillet with Dish Towel
Credit: Natasha Nicholson/Getty Images

Southern cooks love their cast iron. There's no substitute when it comes to making cornbread, macaroni and cheese, and old-fashioned biscuits (and gravy). We love our cast iron like family, which is why we care for it regularly and season it appropriately. We wouldn't dare throw it in the dishwasher. While we all share some cast-iron habits, there's one practice that divides Southerners—how do you handle hot cast iron? When it comes to grabbing the handle of a hot skillet, are you team dish towel or team handle cover?

It's the rivalry we didn't even know we had. While both methods place a barrier between the hot surface and your hands, and functionally, they're about the same, Southern cooks all have their own favorite cast-iron-grabbing methods. So how do you protect your palms?

When it comes to a dish towel, you can fold it or bunch it up and tie it around the hot handle. On the other hand, a handle cover, whether fabric or silicone, slides over the iron handle in a cushioned low profile. They're both removable. The dish towel can be repurposed a number of different ways in the kitchen. The handle cover is a handle cover and, depending on the style, can really only be used as a handle cover. Is one better than the other? More reliable? More secure as a guard for tender hands?

We're not taking a side, but we love it when you do. So where do you cast(-iron) your vote? Are you team dish towel or team handle cover?

No matter which way you handle it, break out your cast iron and try some of our favorite skillet dishes today. Start with Texas Skillet Cake and King Ranch Chicken Mac and Cheese, and graduate to Ben Mims' Perfect Cornbread for a memorable cast-iron meal.

WATCH: Ben Mims' Perfect Cornbread

What cast-iron accessories do you always keep on hand for when things heat up in the kitchen? What's your go-to strategy for handling hot stuff on the stove and in the oven?