There are two routes one can take when purchasing a cast iron skillet: The "traditional" un-coated black pan, or the enamel coated kind. To help you determine which pan is perfect for you, America's Test Kitchen has created a nifty quiz. Photo by Naotake Murayama.
Click the link below to take the full quiz, but it mainly boils down to how much work you're willing to put into caring for your skillet. Traditional cast iron pans require a little more effort to prepare for first-time use, and a little more TLC to maintain, but they're cheaper than their enamelled counterparts and they can last forever if you treat 'em right. That being said, there's nothing wrong with going the easier, enamelled route. The whole point of buying cooking equipment is to use it, and if an enamelled pan will get you in the kitchen more often, then it's totally worth a little extra cash.
What Kind of Cast-Iron Skillet Should You Buy? [America's Test Kitchen]
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