Looking to buy a cast-iron pan...
Does anyone have any suggestions for a specific brand/ place to buy one? Or do you think that any one will do...
Thanks thanks thanks!
I got one from target in the camping section a few years back. It was inexpensive and has served me well so far.
I love my Le Creuset's....you certainly can't go wrong with this classic brand...
but, also, Lodge is excellent....& has a brand new line reported in today's NYTimes...."It's called the Signature Series, with stainless steel handles. That may not sound like much, but it means that the handles stay cooler for stovetop cooking and that the look is more 21st-century.
The performance of the pans is everything you expect from cast iron and they are every bit as heavy as the regular Lodge pans. The line includes Dutch ovens (4.5- and 7-quart $129.95 and $149.95), a 2.5-quart covered casserole ($129.95), straight-sided skillets that are more like sauté pans (10 and 12 inches, $89.95 and $99.95), and a 12-inch grill pan ($109.95).
Cookware stores, including Broadway Panhandler, sell the line."
Track down a local restaurant supply store, and you should be able to get a very good one (generic brand) for around $50. When cast iron grill pans were all the rage a few years ago, I found a restaurant supply store that had a bare bones grill pan for $9, and I get better grill marks from it than from an All Clad or other high end ($$$) pan. Actually, a plain cast iron skillet from Williams Sonoma was very reasonable, the last time I stopped in, especially if you factor in the convenience and ubiquity of W&S. Le Creuset is a wonderful product, but it's enameled cast iron. If you're looking for a plain and simple 14-16 wide cast iron skillet, I think any one will do.
If you're anywhere near an outlet town, and you decide that Le Creuset is the way you want to go, I've noticed they have been opening up outlets quite a bit in the last couple of years. I've had my eye on a cast iron tagine from them that is considerably less money at the outlet than at a regular retailer.
Since purchasing my Le Creuset 26 I have stopped using my Lodge Dutch Oven completely and rarely use my cast iron skillet (also a Lodge). However, there a few things that the cast iron skillet just does better than anything else. I still break it out for cooking tortillas, searing steaks like NY Strips or Ribeyes and, of course, for making skillet corn bread, I bought my Lodge equipment years ago but I don’t recall it being too expensive and I know it is cheaper than Le Creuset. The Le Creuset is a miracle item though; I use it almost everyday. It is very versatile and easy to maintain, it will stain a little and the lip will rust a bit. I plan on getting another soon so I don’t have to wash while cooking.
I have about eighteen Lodge pans but the one I bought for about $5 from Harbor Freight Tools is just as good. They sell a set of three for $10, but they are a bit rougher in non-cooking areas than the Lodge.
Walmart has Lodge at good prices.
IF you can't find locally, go to Amazon and look. Sometimes the Super Shipper Savings is eligible for (I believe) $2. Thats not bad for sending a bunch of iron through the mail.
re: Jimmy Buffet
Get your self to a thrift shop, not an antiques shop but a real thrift shop, you will be amazed at the prices and so what if it has a lot of burned on grease and crud. Run it through the self cleaning cycly of your oven and it will be good as new. Then start seasoning it with lard slowly. My very best 10" came from a thrift shop and cost me all of $1.50. It was a very old Griswold. I'd hate to think what an antiques dealer would hve charged for that!