Many professional chefs agree that cast-iron skillets are a kitchen staple, but they have a steep learning curve for newcomers. They have to be seasoned and handled in a particular way, and the cleaning process can take some getting used to. If you're looking to try out your first piece of cast-iron cookware, Lodge has an entry-level model on sale right now for 33 percent off, which brings the price down to just about $18.
This 4.7-star-rated skillet from Lodge comes pre-seasoned with 100-percent natural vegetable oil, so you don't have to do it yourself quite yet. According to America's Test Kitchen, a well-seasoned skillet will have a “semiglossy finish,” won't be sticky or greasy to the touch, and should not experience any major sticking. Seasoning cast iron is pretty simple, too. All you have to do is heat oil on the cooking surface until the fat polymerizes, which means that “the fatty acids oxidize and reorganize together into a new plastic-like layer of molecules.” This creates a nonstick coating that will only improve after a few more uses.
This Lodge skillet is 10.25 inches across and can be used in the oven, stove, grill, over a campfire, and even on induction cooktops. You can use it to sear steaks, bake pies, grill vegetables, and so much more. If you want more tips on using a cast-iron skillet, head here.
Find out more about Lode's cast-iron skillet on Amazon.