Cast iron skillets are heirloom objects, often lasting hundreds of years, passed down from generation to generation. Cast iron rejects obsolescence—cast iron skillets are literally made to last lifetimes. It’s made of a singular material (iron) which is relatively simple to melt down and use to make something else. Cast iron cookware leaches healthy doses of iron into your diet, in contrast to contemporary cookware which leaches traces of carcinogenic teflon. We're also quite fond of the connotations people have with a cast iron skillet, such as memories of grandma fryin’ up eggs and toast for breakfast, lumberjacks cooking a stack of flapjacks over an open fire, or old fashioned wives chasing their ne’er-do-well husbands out of the house.
It’s hard to say since we’ve only used a couple brands. If you’re looking for an heirloom piece, the best classics are Wagner and Griswold. Lodge makes quality, affordable skillets (and even the most affordable cast iron skillets are still awesome). Finex makes modern cast iron skillets with great design details. But if you want to go balls out, no one beats Borough Furnace.
Always lube it up with cooking oil or butter before cooking on it. Wash it with a hard-bristle nylon brush and water, no soap necessary. Add salt if you need extra abrasion. Hand dry it immediately after washing and apply a thin coat of cooking oil to prevent rusting. Never put it in the dishwasher. Make sure to tell it that you love it.
We do often receive skillets as gifts from clients, friends, and family. We are very grateful for the generous gift, but we ask that if you do decide to get us a skillet, make it a unique one. We’re not just talking about a miniature one, we’re talking something really old, obscure, odd, or unique.
No, we do not. Please stop emailing us about it :(