I purchased this skillet because on our latest camping trip I noticed that we really could have used one more pan. There were 2 other cast iron skillets that other folks had brought with them so I decided it was time to invest in one for our family. I went home and did some research on cast iron pans and found that Lodge was the only brand made in America. Of course I turned to Amazon to check out reviews and prices. Reviews on the brand looked good and I couldn't find a better price of the 12 in skillet than getting the skillet/silicone handle combo here on Amazon.

Pan was purchased and it arrived in a timely manner and in perfect condition. I followed the tips i read here in the reviews and seasoned the pan 4 or 5 more times myself with coconut oil in an 500 oven for an hour, allowing the pan to cool in the oven each time. A couple days later I cooked a pound of bacon in my newly seasoned pan and it cooked up wonderfully. Clean up was a breeze, just a little warm water on a burner, barely any scrubbing, dried with a towel and then over the burner on low and that was it.

Overall I'm highly satisfied with this purchase. The pan will be a great addition to our camping trips. I actually plan on using this pan in our kitchen on a regular basis. I'm so tired of teflon/non stick coatings flaking off after a year or two. Eventually I'll be purchasing the 10" and 8" pans as well. Yes cast iron does require a little more care than your non stick pans but I think its worth it. By K. Harp
 
All good pans share common traits
Shared from http://www.finecooking.com/articles/pots-and-pans-to-improve-cooking

"In a well-stocked kitchen store, you'll see lots of first-rate pots and pans. They may look different, but they all share essential qualities you should look for. 

Look for heavy-gauge materials. Thinner-gauge materials spread and hold heat unevenly, and their bottoms are more likely to dent and warp. This means that food can scorch. Absolutely flat bottoms are particularly important if your stovetop element is electric. Heavy-gauge pans deliver heat more evenly (see "Good pans are worth their price...," below).

To decide if a pan is heavy enough, lift it, look at the thickness of the walls and base, and rap it with your knuckles—do you hear a light ping or a dull thud? A thud is good in this case.

You'll want handles and a lid that are sturdy, heatproof, and secure. Handles come welded, riveted, or screwed. Some cooks advise against welded handles because they can break off. But Gayle Novacek, cookware buyer for Sur La Table, has seen few such cases. As long as handles are welded in several spots, they can be preferable to riveted ones because residue is apt to collect around a rivet.

Many pans have metal handles that stay relatively cool when the pan is on the stove because the handle is made of a metal that's a poor heat conductor and retainer, such as stainless steel. Plastic and wooden handles stay cool, too, but they're not ovenproof. Heat- or ovenproof handles mean that dishes started on the stovetop can be finished in the oven."