I'm sure everyone remembers those heavy cast iron skillets from their parent's or grandparent's kitchens. These aren't a thing of the past; in fact they are a great addition to any kitchen. When you first purchase a cast iron skillet, it usually has to be seasoned first. Some companies do offer preseasoned skillets if you would prefer to start off with a seasoned skillet.
Seasoning a cast iron pan is done by coating the skillet with oil and then baking it in a 350 degree oven for one hour. The more this is done, the more you will reinforce the nonstick coating. Each time you heat oil in the skillet it is helping with the nonstick finish.
Cooking with a cast iron skillet is beneficial in several ways; the best part being that you are adding iron to your food. The longer your food is in contact with the pan the more iron it absorbs. Cast iron skillets are a favorite with chefs because they get extremely hot and they heat food evenly.
You should never let your skillet sit and soak in water, this will cause it to rust. If you see that your pan is getting rust spots, scrub it with a stainless steel pad, rinse, dry thoroughly, then season again by coating it with oil and baking it for one hour. You should rinse your pan with hot water immediately after use and then dry it thoroughly to avoid getting it rusty.
Remember that the entire pan gets hot, so always use a towel or potholder when handling it during and after cooking as it retains heat for longer as well. It is also a good idea to keep one towel just for using to dry off your skillet after cleaning to avoid leaving marks on all of your kitchen towels.
One more benefit to using a cast iron skillet is that it will be around for many years and is much more durable and healthy for you than the nonstick pans that seem so popular today.