I bought a new piece of cookware 2 months ago, and I just love it
I bought this small cast iron dutch oven from Amazon:
It's a Lodge 2 quart (2 liter) size, and measures 8 1/4 inches (21 cm) in diameter and is around 3 inches (7.6 cm) inches deep. It comes with a ci lid that fits tightly and has those self-basting knobs on the underside. I bought this to bake small loaves of no-knead bread and to roast chicken and vegetables. I could not be happier with it! It bakes and roasts to perfection, and holds just enough food for my small household (1 adult and 1 cat).
It comes "pre-seasoned" from the factory with a spray-on coating of veg oil, but I like to do another round of seasoning before I use any new cast iron. I scrubbed it inside and out with hot water, a bit of Dawn liquid and a stainless steel scrubber. That removed any loose residue and turned the suds grey. After drying thoroughly with a towel and some air drying, I rubbed it with canola oil and then wiped off any excess with a terrycloth. The pot and lid then went into the oven, which was then heated to 450* F. I left the oven on for an hour and then turned it off, leaving the pot and lid to cool gradually. I repeated the oil, wipe and bake process 2 more times and then it was ready to use. Since then, I've baked several loaves of bread and made several dinners in it, and for me, it's been a winner. Well worth the $35 I paid for it.
regarding prepping a new cast iron piece. Happy to hear how much you love it. Enjoy!
She cooked just about everything in cast iron, including biscuits and cornbread. When I got old enough to help out in the kitchen, she showed me how to use and care for the pieces she had. Now, let's just say that some of her instruction runs contrary to current opinion, but it works for me as it worked for her. The only difference is that she seasoned her cast iron with bacon fat, and I use veg oil.