02/29/2012 05:02 pm ET Updated Aug 31, 2012

Why You Should Be Cooking With Cast Iron

Let me tell you about my cast-iron pan. I bought it when I was at a Waldbaum’s in Jersey City, on a rainy night, for the cost of what then amounted to two pizzas. (Today, it would be one.) This black and craggy pan — mistreated, temporarily misplaced, abused, taken for granted and used in unspeakably heavy rotation for over 20 years — still sits on my range. It looks almost ludicrous atop the transhuman cool of that glass ceramic surface, like a MacBook Pro wired up to a punch-card reader. But that’s OK. This range will be out of fashion in a year or so, and the pan will be sitting on something else. That’s the point of these pans. They stand outside of the times and the trends, and all the bad ways we have trivialized and commodified the way we eat and live.