Looking for a CI skillet.

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Lodge is common everywhere and is very affordable. Just make sure that you actually look them over rather than just ordering one. Some are about as rough as 80 grit sand paper, and some are decently smooth.

I don't have anything fancy in my lineup. I have a camp chef DO, a department store 10" skillet (my daily driver), and a J.A. Pan and Co Levcoware skillet. Of the three, the Levcoware has the smoothest finish I've seen on a cheap pan. It compares to the really old smooth pans and the now MUCH higher priced machined ones.
Lodge is a easy to find and inexpensive. You can take almost any garage sale/Goodwill cast iron pan and make it a champ also with a bit of time. Some other pricier American made options:
Field Company
Grizzly Cookware
Lancaster Cast Iron
Smithey Ironware

I have several Lodge and Griswold's that I use.
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Not sure what size you're looking for . You can get the Lodge 12" skillet for around 30 bucks .
I wouldn't worry about it being rough or not . They will smooth out some with use . Plenty non stick too .
This is mine not long after I got it .
This is today . It's my dedicated bacon frying pan .
I'd say it's about 8 years old now .
I also recommend Lodge. I've got a vintage lodge with a glass smooth surface as well as a modern one I've used for years. Honestly I can't tell a bit of difference in the performance or "non-stickness" between the two. Lodge is made in the U.S. It's a no brainer to me. You could go a more expensive boutique brand pan if you want something lighter, or you could go with a carbon steel.
I forgot that I have a couple of 12" ones too. I find them a bit big for most times, but they have a purpose. This is my department store 10" skillet. I think it was under $15 CAD.


I can even make slidie eggs with it, which for some people on social media, is the grail of seasoning 🤷‍♂️. I've never worried about it. I'm in the "just cook with it" camp, rather than fuss over how it looks on any given day.
Lodge and enamel is nice but not necessary, have a 15” and they quit making lids for them and I found 1 for another brand cheap, more cast iron than I can carry, I prefer rough as I think it holds the seasoning better, have 1 with a slick bottom and cant build a slick surface
I got lucky and have my Grandmother's circa 1960's Lodge 12" that was smooth cast. Love that thing. However, my others are the newer rough cast that work very well after some bacon frying a few times. You can't beat the price either. Being made in TN, and also having toured their factory pretty much sealed the deal for me.
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