Here's greenturtle's blog post from this afternoon from Ramblings on Cast Iron. She graciously allowed my to reprint it on 'Round the Chuckbox.
This is a cast iron 20-inch skillet. It's huge.
It's sometimes called a "lumberjack skillet."
These skillets were frequently used by railroad workers, to cook full meals for the crew. It's useful for large group fishing, hunting, or camping trips.
Cook an entire breakfast of eggs, bacon and hash browns, or an entire supper of fish and all the trimmings. Or steaks, fajitas, fried chicken, etc.
Since it takes a lot of heat to use this skillet, regular oven mitts won't do; You need heavy duty oven mitts with silicone.
The only brand still selling them is Bayou Classic, but I have not been impressed with their quality.
If you're lucky enough to find a better quality brand, expect to pay between $500-600. Way more than I'd want to pay!
A more affordable alternative, without sacrificing quality, is the Lodge 17 inch skillet for $69.
It's smaller, but will serve the same purpose, and you can at least use that in your oven as well as outdoors. The 20-inch will not fit in most ovens.