cast iron is the only way to go.
Always in the oven or on stove top except for the dutch oven. Ready for duty! Mine is treasured and used almost daily.
My best skillet belonged to my mom and dad originally, that is at least 50 years old and still a treasured tool at our home. Wooden utensils are best. My dutch oven is at least 40 years old, and will be used this weekend at a chili cook off. One of my sister's is from our grandmother's kitchen and we remember it being used at family gatherings in the early 1960's.
Use it often, and treat it right and it will last a life time and then for future generations.
Basic steps for care and use are easy.
Season it with oil when first used, clean it after each and every use, (hand wash NO soap, bristle brush or salt as abrasive), re-season it with a dab of oil after cleaning, never let it stay wet for more than 2 minutes and make sure it is bone dry when storing
I hand wash with NO soap ever, use a little water to boil off any residue, or deglaze and then rinse with clear water, heat on low to dry. Re-season with a dab of oil and then cool before placing in storage.
Can't beat it for cornbread, cobbler, beans, chicken, gumbo, jambalaya, and the list goes on and on.
Best of luck!
I was just recently gifted these.
I have them all seasoned up now except for the big DO. I can't wait to get it all cleaned up and cooking. All of these are old. Some French, some pre imperial Japanese. I lucked out.
Love my CI. I have mostly Lodge, some older, some new. The oldest one I have came from the wife's great grandmother's house when we got married. It's a deep skillet that's perfect for frying chicken.
Also have a dutch oven that I cannot age or get the name of because the pot and lid do not have any markings on them whatsoever. I know it to be at least 20 years old, because that's how long I've had it :) It was at my grandmother's house in the garage with the camping stuff. No telling how long it sat there before I dug it out.
I use my cast iron daily. I have a couple pieces that only get used on campouts because they're too big for the stovetop / oven, but otherwise, pretty much all of it gets used regularly.
Dutch Baby's are GREAT! I do Alton Brown's recipe from the food network. It's a good one and easy to do. A little lemon curd and some powdered sugar and that my friends is a breakfast you won't soon forget.