Being an engineer and a foodie, I sort of have this perverse need to have the perfectly engineered pan for whatever job is at hand. It's a compulsion, but of course I absolutely love all of the carefully chosen pieces that I buy. I've gathered that Griswold is definitely "it" when it comes to cast iron. I just want to know from the hardcore fans if there is much difference between early pieces and those produced later. Would you recommend a particular series, w/ heat ring or w/o, and what size? (Ideally, answers to this post do not lead me to a collection, but just one wonderfully versatile pan!)
My current skillet (Lodge) seems to be a very rough, heavy casting, and no matter the seasoning or the fat used sticking and cleanup are huge problems (yes, I know how to cook properly in cast iron, it really is the pan!) This skillet will be used on gas and electric ranges, as well as in the oven, and mostly for searing meats, cornbread, dutch babies (!), bacon and eggs.