My sister called me recently because she had bought a cast iron skillet, and she knew it couldn't go in the dishwasher, but she wasn't sure exactly how to take care of it. She called me because I am always cooking with cast iron. My skillet is the most used thing in my kitchen. Cast iron pans are so great! They are versatile - you can use them on stove top, in the oven, or even over open flame - and just require a good wipe down when you are finished with them!. (If you must scrub it, NEVER use soap! Only use hot water and dry immediately with a towel!) Back in the day, people had to season their pans to make them non-stick, but these days I believe you buy them already seasoned. In fact the only remaining producer of cast iron cookwares (Lodgestone) in the US is right here in Tennessee. Mine, like so many things I have that I cherish, came from my Grandma. With her arthritis she can't lift them anymore, so I got her collection. This included two large skillets, one of which I gave to my dad, a small skillet, a big dutch oven, and one of those molds shaped like corn cobs for corn bread. I use the large skillets so much that it lives on my stove top. I have a glass top stove (I often lust after the gas stove at my parents house). I have heard that it is not recommended you use cast iron on those, but I have and haven't had a problem. I just have to be careful when I am moving it around not to slam it on the stove top. A good cast iron skillet, if cared for properly, can last for generations. I wonder does anyone else prefer cast iron too?