The cast-iron skillet may be the only cookware item with its own fan clubs and communities. Through its temperamental heating, hands-on cleaning and occasionally frustrating seasoning process, it prevails as a piece of kitchen gear that inspires loyalty. That’s partly because cast-iron cookware can endure centuries of abuse. These five cast-iron skillet accessories aren’t groundbreaking, but they make cooking in a cast-iron skillet better.
Despite what pan makers might or might not say, there is no cast-iron skillet handle that doesn’t become scorching hot during use. These silicone holders from Lodge slip on to the handle of your pan and protect your hands from heat up to 450 degrees.BUY NOW: $4
In the name of not chinking your cast-iron skillet’s armor (seasoning), please don’t use metal tongs or other kitchen utensils when cooking in it. Oxo’s silicone-tipped tongs are great alternatives to metal-tipped tongs. It’s worth looking into a silicone spatula as well — we recommend Brooklyn-based Get it Right’s version.BUY NOW: $13
Felt pan dividers are great at preventing scratches and dings for all the pots and pans you stack in your kitchen, but they’re especially good for stacking cast-iron skillets. It’s easy to scuff the seasoning on a skillet, especially if its relatively new seasoning. This leads to an uneven seasoning layer and an overall bad time.BUY NOW: $17
Chain Mail Scrubber
Where brushes, rags and salt fail, there’s the chain mail scrubber. Its rounded edges remove hardened and dried food from the pan without tearing up your hard won seasoning. It’s also machine-washable if you get it extra dirty.BUY NOW: $17
The Blue Book
The Blue Book isn’t its formal title, but The Book of Griswold & Wagner (as well as a host of other storied labels) is the de facto starting point for any would-be cast iron collector. Its pages are stuffed with photos (more than 1,000 of them) of old cast iron along with the historical context of said pieces. Basically, it’s half catalog, half history book.