A Cast Iron Skillet is not expensive, you can pick up a 12” skillet for about $30. (Amazon) Of course, the larger you go, the higher the price. Just be sure it’s the real thing. I have a Lodge skillet and have had it for years.
It’s going to be super heavy…great for frying chicken, searing steaks, making Philly Cheese Steaks, corn bread and great to grill up the perfect Thanksgiving burrito! You can easily go from cook top to oven and the pan will perform beautifully.
When you purchase one, you may see that they are pre-seasoned. This just means some kind of wax or oil has been applied to the surface in order to help it be a non-stick surface. This will also allow you to use soap and water to clean it occasionally since there is a seal. However, as a routine, I don’t suggest using soap when you clean your skillet after each use. You run the risk of a soapy residue to linger, thus impacting the taste of your food going forward.
Re-seasoning your skillet is a good thing to do every so often. It’s pretty easy to do. Clean your pan thoroughly and be sure to dry it. Next apply a thin coating of a taste-free oil (grape seed, vegetable or canola) inside and out. Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees and place your oiled pan upside down on the rack and heat for 30 minutes. (Tip: Place a sheet pan under the skillet on another rack beneath to ensure if any oil drips, the pan will catch it). After 30 minutes, remove carefully and when it’s cool enough to handle, repeat the oil and bake steps. Your pan should be clean and glistening – ready to use!