Question: Do you own a cast iron pan? And if yes, how often do you use it?

I have been thinking about cast iron pans since last week when Lindsey used one in this recipe post. I realized as I read her note about the pan, that the only cast iron cookware we own are Dutch Ovens — the kind used for outdoor cooking or camping. And we almost never use them. In fact, I don’t think we’ve used them since we moved to Oakland, though I know they are sitting in the shed on a shelf waiting for some attention.

A quick search on cast iron pans led me to the video above, and now I’m dying to get my hands on one. I love the idea that they can go seamlessly from stovetop to oven. And I think I love even more that in the video, the voiceover mentions they get better with age. That is so appealing to me!

Also, I had no idea, but they are a total bargain! This Lodge version is only $15 and has over 10,000 positive reviews. That is nuts!! I haven’t ever seen such a low price for cookware. Especially cookware that apparently lasts for ages.

Am I just dreaming here, or are cast iron pans as good as they sound? If you use one regularly, I’d love to hear what you like to cook with it. And do you have a preferred size? Because I totally want to buy one (or maybe this set of three).

P.S. — More favorite kitchen tools. Also, have any of you given new life to an old Dutch Oven? Because I’m pretty sure ours have a mottled coating of rust that has settled in. Do you think they’re salvageable still?