Cast-iron pans go from stove to table in glorious fashion, but the iconic cookware is often a hassle to care for. Seasoning, cleaning, drying, storing, and protecting cast iron requires a lot of effort. What's more, many of us treasure those pans because they once belonged to the matriarchs and patriarchs of our family's culinary lineage. We'd never want to risk ruining them by doing something dramatic, like washing with soap (gasp!).
Thankfully, the folks at Sabatier heard the call for cast iron that didn't require so much attention. Their new cookware line of pre-seasoned cast-iron pans features all the high-heat browning glory of traditional cast iron, but you don't need to season anything before your first use, and you can wash with soap after you're finished. You can even pop the pans into the dishwasher if you don't feel like scrubbing. The new formula is rust-resistant, so a spin in the dishwasher won't damage the finish.
Think of this line of cast iron as your weeknight cast iron. Yes, you could bring out your trusty piece you've had since your first apartment, but you already know you'll have to season it before you cook with it, and who has time for that on a busy Tuesday? Instead, add to your collection with a few of the new Sabatier pieces so you can keep your classic pieces and have some options for when you want the flavor of cast iron without the work of cast iron.
Start with the most essential cast-iron piece: a 10-inch fry pan ($49, amazon.com). The long handle, plus a helping handle on top, makes transport to and from an oven much safer. The sides also feature pour spots.
A grill pan ($65, amazon.com) is an easy way to get outdoor flavor indoors. Plus, this one is a double reversible griddle with a flat side and a raised grill side for many cooking needs.
Lastly, if you're committed, a five-piece set starts at $145 (amazon.com). It features an 8-inch fry pan, 10-inch fry pan, a smaller grill/griddle pan, and a 5.5-quart Dutch oven with lid.