Cast iron skillet
We get a lot of questions about what cookware to get and one thing we always recommend is a cast iron skillet. Cheap, dependable and naturally non-stick, a cast iron skillet will quickly become one of the most frequently used pans in your arsenal. Properly cared for it will also outlive you--try doing that with your teflon coated non-stick pan. Our preferred choice is the Lodge Logic 12" pre-seasoned skillet [$27.50]. This American made pan is great for everything from making fried chicken to pancakes to cornbread.
Lodge's Logic and Pro Logic series of pans come pre-seasoned which means they are ready to use when you get them. Your pan will on more of a patina and get a bit more seasoned as you use it, but having a "base coat" down from the factory is a nice time saver. If you let it get rusty or just want to go it your own, follow our directions on how to re-season cast iron.