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A chef's right hand may be their knife, but the left hand—at least in my kitchen—is the castiron skillet, which earns its keep at least twice over. Some love their cast iron pans so much they go on and write odes to it in the form of cookbooks, like Charlotte Druckman did. Use it on the grill, or in the oven, or over a roaring fire at your campsite, or on top of a wood-burning oven, or on your stovetop for everything from a brunchy pan of shakshuka to a birthday cake.
The pan itself is mythic and revered, often with a story about where it came from (my dad pulled mine off the side of the road and seasoned it for me) and it's happy as a clam as long as you care for it (a process oft-debated).
It also carries a dose of cabin-in-the-woods romanticism to it—so there's no better time to sing its praises than during Summer Camp Week.
Here are just a few of the recipes that inspire us to pull out our skillets:
Is there one recipe you always make in your cast-iron pan? Or a fable about how your pan came into your life? Tell us in the comments.