I love to stir fry, so I often use a heavy duty wok. I’d feel comfortable using over an outdoor fire it’s so tough feeling.
Wooden utensils for the win, though. I feel more comfortable using them than plastic. Unsure why?
A kitchen tool that changed my life is a garlic press. No more having to peel and mince garlic!
I love cast iron. Though, I foolishly lent a friend my well seasoned family heirloom of a cast iron skillet and she RUINED IT. Left it out for a couple of weeks during the summer (I suppose) and it molded, and then tried to fix it by soaking it in soap. Sad.
I bet you can save the pan. Obviously not the seasoning, but you can re-season cast iron pans. It may take some serious scrubbing. For regular (non soap) cleaning, I have something called “Chainmail.” Yes...it looks like a 4” piece of midieval chainmail.
I’m a big fan of the press, though sometimes I’ll smash the clove with the side of a knife, slice it thin, and throw it in.
I too have a very solid traditional steel wok, and a non stick Calphalon wok...but something tells me I’ll be using the cast iron one a lot.
I use steel utensils on the grill, but strictly wood inside. Wood won’t damage pots and pans, and it won’t melt.
“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” - HST