I love cooking, and if I could only have one pot/pan, it would be the cast-iron pan. I absolutely love that it can do almost everything. The fact that it is (sort of) nonstick, can be used on top of the stove and also put directly in the oven are all incredibly helpful attributes — nonstick pans and baking sheets are significantly less versatile. There’s something about its accessibility which I also love. I’m sure that there’s a startup out there which has an upscale pan which “revolutionizes” cooking, but cast-iron pans are pretty accessible, at a price point of $15-$20 for a basic one, and you can get most things done. It’s also incredibly durable — you can drop it, scratch it, overheat it, or soak it, but it’s still recoverable. The smallest details on it are the spout for pouring liquids out and the hole on the handle to hang it, and these take it the last mile. That said, love can lead to complicated relationships: while I love my cast-iron pan, maintenance is a little hard (cleaning it and re-seasoning it take a little time), and the handle gets hot easily. The benefits, though, still outweigh these challenges.
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