Cast iron cookware has been around for centuries, but for good reason. The versatile kitchenware can do everything from baking to frying, and its revered for its ability to evenly retain heat and avoid burnt spots that can come from improper flame control, so it’s as at home on an open fire or in the finest kitchen. Whether you need to fry bacon for breakfast, simmer stew for dinner, or bake biscuits for dessert, you can do it with cast iron. You can even swap skillets and Dutch ovens from the stovetop to the oven, allowing you to brown the outside of your favorite cut to perfection but finish the center to your preferred shade of pink. Here’s a few tips to get started cooking with this age-old material.