What’s the difference between an iron pan and a cast iron pan?
The most important difference is how the pans get their shape.
A pan that is simply described as iron might be smelted and then poured into a lump (or “pig”) of iron that is re-melted with other chemicals, poured and rolled (“wrought) into a flat sheet of iron, heated to make it malleable, and then hammered or pressed (again, wrought) by a stamping machine into the shape of a pan.
Alternatively, the pig iron might be re-melted, alloyed with other forms of iron, and poured (“cast”) into a mold to make a cast iron pan
Aswrote, the metal of cast iron differs from wrought iron (Jonas didn’t name it), and as wrote, the different metals’ characteristics lead to different shaping techniques and acceptability of surface coatings when making cookware.