Cooking,  Gifts

my kitchen wants…


Ruth Reichl posted about how much she loves her 15″ cast iron skillet, and now I really want one. Ruth drives me a little crazy on Twitter (sample tweet: So still. Clouds stretch across the valley like a soft white ribbon. One red bird flies past. Fragrant black beans. Fierce salsa. Tortilla.) and yet, I still follow her! But her blog is the wisdom and writing that you’d expect from the former Gourmet editor in chief, especially if you’ve read any of her books.

I have the same hesitation she did—too much space and too heavy! But then whenever I have a big steak or want to make lots of pancakes, the thing I really find myself needing is big heavy hot pan. It seems like the kind of thing where once you buy it, it’s your daily staple. Right now I have just one petite cast iron pan. Maybe it’s time to go big or close-up shop altogether.

Photo from West Elm


  • Abbie

    I have a ten-inch, and I love love love it. When I get to the making-pancakes-for-a-crowd stage of my life, though, I’m pretty sure a 15-inch will be the way to go- my mom has one, and it just lives on the stove- no need to move it around, except to clean it!

  • Julie

    I was against it forever (too heavy!) but my husband was obsessed, and so we finally got one…best purchase ever. Like Abbie says, it just lives on our stove, since we use it in every single meal we make.

  • joannabc

    Yes, I use mine nearly every day (I have two sizes, and want a third, actually). It is perfect for everything, lives on the stove, and is the easiest thing ever to clean.

  • Erin

    I have one but I’m a little too concerned with keeping it looking like the one in the photo. So I use a scrub of salt after any use that can’t be wiped away with a towel, followed by oil. It still looks good and cooks well, but I don’t consider it as easy as my indestructible stainless. Still worth it, though.

  • Melanie Yarbrough

    You know, cast iron pans are like umbrellas—you don’t want to buy one until you need it. Every time we’re at a flea market or a garage sale, I somehow talk myself out of buying the cast iron pan. I told my boyfriend to remind me of cornbread and cobbler next time I try to.

  • bridget

    my dad is a die-hard cast iron skillet man. his is huge and he barely goes anywhere without it. he won’t let anyone else clean it either. no soap or something yada yada yada. people who love them LOVE them. i want to know what you think.

  • jolie

    I asked for one last Christmas and was hemming and hawing over it. “Do I REALLY want something so gargantuan?” My kitchen is tiny. Turns out is does become your staple, and I just leave it on my back burner. I like how it looks anyhow!

  • EmmaCameronSummer

    We are CRAZY about cast iron over here and since my job is the wood (chopping block, wooden spoons), his job is the cast iron and they are so perfectly seasoned you could cook eggs in them with no oil and no sticking. we have a tiny a medium and a large and use them all, almost every day. the best.

    like melanie, one of my favorite things is cast iron skillet cornbread. mmm, butter.

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