I love my cast iron pan.
There sure are a lot of tools made for the kitchen, and I have my share, but if I had to keep just a few, the cast iron pan would be one of them.
Cast iron offers a rare combination of being both cheap and good. You can get a Lodge 10″ frying pan for about $20, which is a fraction of what you can spend on high-end clad pan. But it’s also an excellent cookware material because it has a high thermal conductivity – certainly the best thermal conductivity for a common material. Most of the better conductors are precious metals (gold, copper) or require processing to create (aluminum), and iron has better thermal mass than all of them. This combination of thermal conductivity and thermal mass means you get strong, even heat.