I love my Lodge cast-iron pan. It has already developed a deep, dark carbon patina to which nothing sticks. It goes perfectly from stove to oven and cooks with a nice even heat. But I learned painfully today that you must have great presence of mind when using one.

I made some gigantic shrimp in it today for lunch. A few seconds searing on the stove top and then 10 minutes in the oven at 400F. Then back on the stove top for serving. I had left the pan handle protruding over the edge of the stove and decided to push it in to avoid any accidents. Oops! Grabbing a cast-iron pan handle just seconds out of the oven is a particularly nasty way to learn the lesson: Always put a pot-holder over the pan handle as a reminder that it’s crazy hot! And it stays hot for quite some time, usually longer than it takes to forget that it’s hot! I have a nasty burn on my thumb and two smaller ones on my finger-tips.

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