Their modern pans don't sport the smooth finish that the good vintage stuff is prized for, but they're otherwise totally reliable pieces of cookware. * Or you frequented antique markets and yard sales for vintage cast iron pieces, then fixed them up yourself following our guide.
I chose to run the review using 10-inch skillets (or the closest to that measurement available from each manufacturer), since it's one of the more useful sizes for most homes. Ten-inch skillets are also more affordable than their similarly useful 12-inch counterparts; if I'd conducted this review using the larger 12-inch sizes, several brands would have been eliminated due to their being over my $200 limit.
Add in that it's made in the USA by an established company with a proven track record, and we see little reason for most folks (living in the United States) to look elsewhere. We found little to no difference in performance between it and its heavier counterpart, so if you can spend more, you'll likely appreciate how much easier it is to move this skillet around your kitchen.
I nearly drove myself nuts before initiating testing for this review just trying to decide what qualities a “good” cast iron pan should have. The mass of a cast iron pan is, at least in theory, central to its ability to hold lots of heat.
Yes, you read that right: For all their variations in weight, size, smoothness, and form, most cast iron pans perform about the same under the same conditions. This finding left me with a much easier determination to make, one that mostly took into account cost, brand reliability, as well as ergonomics and other user experience (UX) considerations.
To assess these pans, I focused on tasks that would reveal how well each cast iron skillet performed its most important functions: searing, frying and sautéing, and baking. I allowed all the pans to cool back to room temperature and then repeated the test while measuring each skillet at its edge (to keep the “edge” position consistent on pans of slightly different diameters, I used the bars on the stove top grate underneath to help me set my sights).
In its case, the distribution of metal may help explain why it heated so much slower than the other pans of similar weight: The Butter Pat has much thinner walls and more of its mass in its base. After running through my heat conduction measurements, it was time to take these pans for a real spin.
Since castironcookware requires ongoing maintenance to build up great seasoning, I didn't necessarily think skillets that underperformed in this test should be disqualified, but I figured it could help as a tie-breaker. This was exactly the heat level I'd use in one of my prized cast iron skillets at home to gently fry an egg without it sticking.
In every single pan (except the Starfruit, but it's an outlier with some kind of coating on it), the eggs fused to the metal. The clear lesson here is that almost no cast iron pan arrives with its potential nonstick surface fully realized: You will need to build up the seasoning at home no matter what.
Then, working one at a time, I removed them, added 1 tablespoon of oil, then seared two large short rib slabs in each, turning them every 30 seconds for a total of 3 minutes per side. Each one browned the bread evenly and deeply on both the bottom and sides, indicating that they all have enough stored heat all over, certainly more than the room-temp batter could counteract when it was ladled in.
Given how little light was shed on the skillets based on performance, other characteristics like price, comfort, and some design considerations were going to be the primary deciding factors. During all the prior testing, I had been taking UX notes, including which skillets were the most uncomfortable to hold and which were just to dang heavy.
I also ran an oil-pouring test, filling each skillet with a half-cup of oil, then pouring it back out into a narrow jar to see which channeled the fluid most effectively. Given how similarly all the cast iron pans performed in these tests, the real decision came down to comfort, ergonomics, and price.
For that reason, I'm recommending two Lodge skillets, since they're affordable, reliable, and backed up by an established company with a proven track record. This is a step that adds labor and cost to the manufacturing process and contributes to a higher price.
A smoother surface may not have much impact on performance, but it's without a doubt more pleasurable to run a metal spatula across it. There are also economies of scale to consider: It's to be expected that smaller manufacturers that are just entering the market won't be able to compete with a large company like Lodge on cost.
Competition is still a good thing, and I'm glad it's been reintroduced into the castironcookware market; hopefully over time the presence of these new contenders will be a benefit to the consumer overall. They're affordable and well-made by a company that has a longer track record producing castironcookware than any other in the Unites States.
And while the basic line from Lodge doesn't have the lighter weight and smooth finish of vintage pieces and more expensive contemporary brands, there's little to no impact on performance as a result of this. If we have one gripe, it's that Lodge's pour spouts are small and shallow, leading to more frequent dribbles and spills in our tests, but this is hardly a reason not to buy one given the price and overall quality.
But given that Lodge has managed to keep the price of this skillet close (at the time of publication) to its basic line, most folks would do well to consider this first. In addition to the models listed below, I also included two “chef-style” cast iron skillets in this review, one from Lodge and one from Smithy Ironware.
Chef-style cast iron skillets are cast in a more traditional frying pan shape with sloped sides, which allow for tossing ingredients more easily when sautéing. They performed well in all the tests, but baked up slightly wonky looking cornbread given the different form.
I'm on the fence about how I feel about them (they weren't bad by any stretch), but am inclined to suggest slightly lighter-weight carbon steel skillets for sautéing purposes instead. Utopia Kitchen's cast iron skillets came as a set of three for just $23 bucks, making it quite the deal, but they arrived with visible flaws in the casting, including deep pinhole pits in one of the skillets, which was sufficient cause to eliminate them from further testing.
It performed reasonably well throughout testing, and is certainly inexpensive, but its surface is extra rough and, at least in the hand, doesn't feel like a particularly high-quality piece of cookware. It managed to cook an egg without sticking, but its sloped sides and seeming inability to pick up layers of seasoning due to the nonstick coating left me puzzled about how this skillet relates to more traditional cast iron.
It's worth considering if you're seeking a smoother finish, but didn't make the top picks due to its higher price relative to performance. Fine was, at least for a while, the darling of food stylists and Instagrammers, all thanks to its unique octagonal design and massive coiled handle.
Add to that its thick handle, which I found difficult to hold securely (I can only imagine how someone with smaller hands would fare), and I can't recommend it. Field is another company offering lighter, smoother cast iron skillets, and it does a nice job with this one.
This design feature, though, didn't produce noticeable enough performance results to set it apart from the crowd, and, yet again, the high price means it's not the right pick for most folks. The Number 10 skillet from Smithy Ironware performed as well as all the rest, but, being the second heaviest of the group at 5 3/4 pounds and among the higher-priced options, I'd be reluctant to recommend it.
The Skillet from Stargazer arrived too late to be included in the testing, but we hope to update the review soon once we put it through the paces. This beefy 12.5-inch cast iron skillet can hold a hell of a lot of food, and it’ll develop a nice layer of non-stick patina over time if you season it up consistently.
Cook vegetables and meats in the same pan due to its size. The Logic 12 has a spacious surface and a factory seasoning that makes both cooking and cleaning easy.
Stargazerstargazercastiron.this medium-sized skillet is perfect for everyday cooking, able to fit up to three burger patties. The sloping lip means you won’t get as much oil splash when you’re cooking, and the large handles help you keep your food steady as you serve it.
This enameled Stab pan also has excellent heat distribution and can do pretty much anything from browning meats to sautéing vegetables. 8 is a great choice: a little over eight inches of cooking surface, capable of holding four fried eggs.
Its two integrated handles help you transfer the pan from stove to table, and the enamel is chip and crack-resistant, so it’s worth the investment. FINEXamazon.these Portland-based craftsmen apply an octagonal shape of their skillets for easier pouring.
Grover freaking' Cleveland was President of the United States of America. And they've existed for that long because they have, unlike Grover Cleveland did, a pretty damn good job.
Or the Eggplant and Zucchini Lasagna that's featured on the cover of this here book? If you like the sound of those, there are 98 more in the A Man, A Pan, A Plan cookbook, which features all the pan-based meals you could ever need.
Though cast iron has low thermal conductivity, meaning it doesn’t heat as evenly, it offers superior heat retention that makes it ideal for high-temperature cooking such as searing steak and caramelizing vegetables. Cast iron can be a serious investment, so we had cookbook author David Joachim test these 10 skillets to help you select the best one for your kitchen.
That’s because the cast iron found in your grandmother’s kitchen or antique markets was likely hand-polished to create that coveted smooth surface. Polishing is time-consuming and expensive, so most of today’s manufacturers leave the gritty texture from sand molds, so companies compensate by reasoning to reduce stickiness.
You could search for vintage pans like Griswold and Wagner, but there’s no need to lose hope on modern options. From the renowned Lodge name to the small-batch Stargazer brand, new high-quality cast iron still provides excellent nonstick surfaces that’ll only get better with use.
With the right skillet and skills, you can build up the seasoning on your new pan to rival those you’d find at the flea market. A quick internet search will reveal that just about everyone has a different opinion on how to season cast iron, but there’s actual science behind the right methodology.
This “seasoning” is really just polymerized oil, created through the chemical process of monomer molecules forming polymer chains. Applying a thin layer of oil and heating it above its smoke point (usually between 400 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit) for up to an hour will vaporize lighter hydrocarbons, leaving heavier molecules to form a polymer on the iron.
Cast iron has a reputation for being difficult to clean, but it doesn’t actually have to be a challenge. While each brand may have distinct care instructions, you can follow Joachim’s method of seasoning and tips for maintaining your cast iron.
Place the pan upside down in the oven, heated to 500ºF, and bake for one hour. Repeat the process up to six times to achieve the thickest, most durable layer of seasoning.
Cookbook author David Joachim conducted a series of five tests on 10 skillets from reputable brands to judge their heat conductivity, heat distribution, smoothness, stickiness, and ergonomics. First, we measured smoothness by scraping a metal spatula over their surface and recording the decibel levels.
We judged factory seasoning by frying an egg with no oil at medium heat. Using paper circles in the pans, we observed burn patterns to evaluate heat distribution.
Then, we seared four-ounce boneless strip steaks to monitor speed, evenness, and depth of browning. In addition to considering their value, we ranked each skillet from 1 to 10 (worst to best) on the stickiness, searing, heat distribution, and pouring tests.
One of the new companies taking inspiration from vintage pans, Smithy Ironware polishes the interior of its skillets to create a gorgeous, glassy surface. Smithy’s cast iron quickly delivered an even, dark sear with no hotspots and very little sticking.
With such a high heat capacity, you’ll have to ensure you regulate the temperature to avoid burning. Unfortunately, the small helper handle doesn’t have a loop to assist with its weight, but it instead features three holes that signify the Smithy brand.
Another new brand making smooth cast iron, Stargazer reigned supreme with its nonstick surface. Though it doesn’t have any spouts, its pouring was still precise due to the unique, rolled rim.
The Classic 12-inch skillet doesn’t necessarily exceed others at any particular task, but it’s a popular and affordable choice that’ll last for decades. Just be sure to use some extra cooking oil until the seasoning builds up more to prevent some sticking.
It may require some extra seasoning to improve its nonstick surface since our egg stuck quite a bit with no oil, but overall, it supplied even heat distribution and a great, even sear. It’s hard to justify spending about $300 on a skillet, but the Butter Pat’s performance just about warrants the hefty price.
Butter Pat pans are cast thin and polished on all sides, making them relatively lightweight and good at heating evenly. We found that the underside of the handle dug into our hands a little, but overall had decent balance and poured well from the rounded spouts.
With similar searing capability as the Le Crest, this 12-inch Stab fell just behind with one hotspot during our heat distribution test and a bit of sticking while frying an egg. We also found its pointed pour spouts spilled more, but were pleased with its smooth handle and balanced weight.
Standing out from the crowd of round skillets, the Fine features an octagonal design with each corner able to act as a pour spout. The Fine excelled at searing, though like the Smithy, has a high heat capacity that you’ll need to watch to prevent burning.
The coil around the handle helps keep it cool, though we found its diameter to be too large for a good grip. One of the latest skillets in Lodge’s extensive lineup, the Black lock rules as the lightest of all the 12-inch models we tested at under 6 pounds.
It’s slightly more expensive than a Classic Lodge skillet, but offers a longer, thinner, and curved handle. Our test results indicated that its shaved pounds may sacrifice a bit of evenness of heating.
It doesn’t have pour spouts by design, so it won’t drip any grease into your campfire or grill. The Field looks smooth with a grapeseed oil seasoning, but our egg stuck a bit.
We also noticed some hotspots during our heat distribution tests, which resulted in slightly uneven, but still dark, searing. Though its helper handle is too small for practical use, its light and balanced weight means you don’t really need help when carrying it anyway.
Cast iron skillets are so popular due to the ability of the material to retain heat, making it an ideal item for quick cooking. However, because the sides of most skillets are slanted, the issue of even heating comes up, and many products are unable to provide this.
With its impeccable construction, it has somehow perfected the art of even heating and cooking, and in this particular feature, it does a better job than most products on the market. Apart from that, the pan also comes pre-season with vegetable oil, which enables it to execute an easy finish, which, in turn, improves the user experience of the product.
Speaking of user experience, the Lodge Caution Skillet also seeks to ensure that you can cook with no worries about your safety, this is why it comes outfitted with a red silicone hot handle holder which provides that you can take the pan off the fire at any time without worrying about harming your hands. This also has the added advantage of improving the quality of your food as some meals are best served immediately the cooking is done, but a hot handle could mean lost minutes as you wait for it to cool down.
With the red silicone hot handle holder, this no longer has to be a problem, and you can now serve your dish as planned. The cleaning of this fantastic product is also effortless as you only need to hand wash it and rub some cooking oil in it, and it’s ready to be used again.
The AmazonBasics Caution Skillet is 15-inch pre-seasoned cookware that is used by many novices and professional cooking enthusiasts for techniques such as roasting, pan-frying, searing, broiling, sautéing, baking and many more. This cooker has been pre-season with vegetable oil to preserve it and also to prevent your food from sticking to its surface.
Use your AmazonBasics skillet freely in your oven, provided the temperature is at a maximum of 500 degrees. Roast, bake, sauté, broil or pan-fry your foods with this excellent piece of cookware.
All these techniques are made possible, thanks to the flat base, round outline and slightly flared edges of the skillet. Don’t hold back with such a cooking tool sitting pretty in your kitchen.
The Pre-season Caution Skillet is a safe oven piece of cookware which comes in a two-piece set and is suitable for use on induction stoves, grills, and stove tops. The manufacturers of this skillet have passed its material through various stages of rigorous testing to ensure that users are offered with nothing but the highest quality cookware.
This is due to the pre-season of the skillet’s surface, which ensures that your food is well and evenly cooked, whether it is being done on a grill, induction cook top or a stove. Enjoy every cooking technique with this skillet, from braising and seasoning to frying and also sautéing, grilling and broiling.
For long-term reliability and for your iron skillets to have the ability to withstand years of regular cooking and washing, it comes already seasoned. Don’t forget to also check out our top picks of the best smart kitchen gadgets for more great products for your home.
This excellent enamel skillet is well constructed and the interior is smooth and clean while at the same time preserving a pristine surface that doesn’t impact the flavor of your food nor absorb any odors. What’s more, the design is also something to consider as it features an attractive red color that stands out from the norm and fits into the kitchen perfectly.
Most fry pans are black, so having a red one in the kitchen already gives it an edge over other products in the aesthetics department. More intriguing still is the maintenance of this product, unlike the other skillets we’ve looked at, the Cuisinart CI22-24CR Chef’s Classic Fry Pan is dishwasher safe and is really easy to clean.
At a glance, you see a product suitable for many kitchen activities such as broiling, searing, baking, frying and sautéing. This cast iron skillet is a tool that performs excellently on induction cook tops such as the comfort of your oven, on your indoor grill or stove or over the campfire.
All it requires is periodic cooking oil rubs, hand washing, and drying. The Lodge cast iron skillet also protects your hands from the heat of up to 450 degrees with its silicone hot handle holder, and this is the essential feature that distinguishes this model from its predecessor.
This skillet model doesn’t compromise style, but it ensures that your hands are kept safe during usage. Overall, this is a great product that has been manufactured from the Lodge Family, a brand that has been developing high-quality cookware since 1896.
Located in Pittsburgh, this company is built not only on high-quality cookware but also on family values and American history. With every product manufactured, you are getting a piece of American craftsmanship passed on from an earlier generation to yours.
Some features that make clean-up of this skillet easy are its round shape and pour spout, which comes with the intricate detailing of drip-cutters. This handle isn’t just aesthetically pleasing and ergonomic, it also stays colder for a long while on the stove top and also helps keep your hand farther from the heat center.
If you are in need of versatility, try the Westinghouse Seasoned Caution Skillet, as its magnificent design enables you to make various delicacies all with a single pan. It is that skillet that helps you create restaurant-quality potato pancakes or French toast with crispy exteriors.
Some tips we suggest for moments of routine maintenance include regular washing and drying after it’s been cleaned. Designed to hold heat for the traditional and slow cooking techniques we know, the Clifton Caution Skillet is one piece of cookware that can be used on induction stove tops, as well as stoves that make use of gas or electricity.
If you have an oven or grill, you can enjoy warm, great tasting food from your favorite skillet. The Clifton pan’s pre-season cast iron construction makes it extremely durable, which means you can always cook your food consistently and steadily, for days on end.
It has also been developed to withstand heavy use, prevent your foods from sticking and lastly, to enable natural movement from one cooking surface to the other. Make this Christmas a delicious one by enjoying some of your favorite meals such as baked cornbread, steak, and tasty frittatas.
The need to make cooking more joyful, since it’s more of an art than a science, has been made possible with through Le Crest. This is a brand that is focused on empowering and inspiring many potential and professional cooks to be better regarding their culinary skills.
Since their start in 1925, this company has provided durable and sturdy pieces of cookware hand-inspected by French artisans. Cast in sand molds individually, each piece carries a strong sense of heritage, as it promises to keep the tradition of authenticity and long-lasting design.
The Le Crest Signature Iron Handle Skillet is made from a broad range of materials which include cast iron, metal, silicone, and stoneware. This skillet features a matte black interior enamel that makes it ideal cookware for frying and searing.
Unlike other cast iron skillets we know about, the Le Crest is not seasoned, but rather, it spots a black enamel interior that helps resist dulling, staining and wear and tear. Discover some of the healthiest ways to cook your food with the Bruno Ultimate Pre-season Caution Multi cooker.
Cook efficiently all the time with this incredibly durable cookware that stands out from among its competitors. The Bruno Ultimate Caution multi-cooker features sturdy and solid construction that protects it while helping it withstand all the abuse it has to endure in your kitchen like high temperatures.
This pre-seasoned cooker can be used for a broad range of cooking tops; the tastes will be different because of the various methods, but the results will be incredibly similar. All products offered are made with the highest level of quality at extremely competitive prices which makes them a perfect gift for foodies.
Modeled with heightened professionalism and precision, this is one piece of cookware that has been introduced to the market, to change the face of cooking around the world. For a smoother finish, this skillet has been pre-season feeding us with other benefits such as the transfer and even distribution of heat throughout our foods.
Nice large handles to make it safer and easier to move around. I agree with Americas test kitchen Le Crest make fine Dutch Ovens.
Others prefer to not have to lift weights before being able to cook with their enameled castironcookware. Unfortunately much cheaper enameled cast iron tends to be cast extremely thick and too heavy for a lot of people.
This is very important if you are looking for a Dutch oven which can become weighty when you consider the added weight of food and liquid. So if you’re interested in learning more about new and vintage cast iron you’ve come to the right place.
I really don’t think you look past the Le Crest 5 1/2 quart Dutch oven which is available on Amazon if you want to see the latest prices (affiliate link). Sure bigger sizes are available, but they start to get really heavy when you take into account the food and liquid.
Here’s an external link to a Le Crest size chart. Oval Dutch ovens are great for cooking a roast chicken or a joint of lamb.
However, round Dutch ovens are ideally suited for gas hobs and electric elements if you want to make soups or casseroles. Some best enameled cast iron pans have wide handles you can place your hands comfortably on to carry your delicious food.
Although a skillet with a large handle helper can take up a lot of space in the oven. Le Crest makes some best enameled frying pans.
Le Crest makes their Dutch ovens with nice large handles. You’ll need to decide if you want to sell a kidney for your cast iron or use what’s in your piggy bank when it comes to purchasing the best -enameled castironcookware.
Prices vary depending on size, shape, type, and of course, and brand. Le Crest and Stab are heads and shoulders above competing brands.
If you’re not interested in seasoning your cookware then I really believe that Stab and Le Crest are by far best enameled cast iron if your budget allows. Stab is lesser known than Le Crest but the quality of enameling is stunning.
Instead, they have opted to make their enameled cookware in China to ensure costs are kept low. Although I find it lighter than the Stab skillet which is why it’s on my recommended list.
The large loop handle makes it easy to carry the skillet around. Despite the size, it cooks food evenly and provides superior thermal density.
I’m more of a traditional boy and prefer Le Crest’s signature color “flame”. However, again I find the Le Crest lighter than the Stab so it’s possibly more suitable for a wider range of users.
Well, some people don’t, but they may like it better if it was cooked in this Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Enameled Caution Casserole Pot. Currently, Cuisinart has three colors available which include: red, blue and black.
While the reviews are not as favorable as Landaus, Cuisinart is priced lower and is one of the most popular choices available. The benefits include; porcelain enamel, dishwasher safe, and they have large wide ears or handles which makes it easy to carry.
This is the best enameled castironcookware for cooking, serving for a family and entertaining for a group. This size is on the upper limit I would recommend for a first time user of cast iron.
Click if you’re interested in reading the reviews (affiliate link). It comes with solid brass and chrome stainless steel knobs.
It is a professional grade cast iron that distributes heat evenly for perfect cooking. The great slow cooker brand has designed enameled cast iron for people who want all the benefits of it without having to pay for professional grade cookware.
It does have a self-basting lid and Crackpot are a specialist in slow cooked cookware. Cleaning is a breeze, and just like other enameled castironcookware, you never have to worry about seasoning your pot.
Crock Pot sure knows a thing about slow cooking, and they have some very good reviews. This is cute, but mighty Dutch oven comes in blue, red and silver.
Many people add this Dutch oven to their Tramontina cookware collection. The company has a huge range of cookwares which includes stainless steel and knives.
Stab makes a large pan with a huge 13” inch cooking surface. As long as you purchase good quality enameled castironcookware, you’ll receive all the benefits of it the way you should experience.
As I mentioned earlier, start with what you love the most, and then you can move on to other sizes, weights, and brands. It’s just like any other collection, except this one, continues to deliver delicious foods in a beautiful way.
It not only transitions from grill to stove top to oven with ease, but it’s versatile enough to sear steaks and seafood or bake fluffy frittatas and cakes. So to help you find the bestcastiron skillet for your needs, we turned to reviews from real customers who have purchased and tried these products for themselves.
Cast iron heats slowly, but thoroughly, staying hot far longer than stainless steel pans. They also can withstand the high temperatures of an oven or grill, making them great kitchen workhorses.
To prevent rust, set the skillet over a burner on low heat so water can evaporate, then wipe the interior with a few drops of vegetable oil. Founded in 1896 by Joseph Lodge in Tennessee, the company has gained a dedicated following over the decades because of its quality but affordable castironcookware.
For most cooks, the company’s standard 12-inch skillet is the everyday essential guaranteed to become a family heirloom. Big enough to roast a whole chicken or sear multiple steaks at once, it features both an assist handle and a silicone holder that protects from heat up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Over 3,000 customers have rated the skillet five stars, praising its heat distribution, versatility, and durability. It cleans up super easily, and after a few uses, it has proven to be just about as non-stick as any of my non-stick pans, but cooks better, more evenly, browns nicely, and cleanup is a breeze.
I clean it like any other pan, with some mild dish soap and a plastic scrub, dry it, then apply a very light coat of oil before storing it. While traditional cast iron skillets build up a nonstick seasoning over time, the enameled kind is more stick-resistant out of the box; plus, it won’t react with acidic ingredients like tomatoes, which can make food taste metallic.
With up-and-coming startup Milo, you get the quality of versatile enameled cookware at a fraction of the cost you see from traditional cookware brands. Its Ultimate Skillet is coated with glassy enamel, and can handle temperatures as high as 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Milo customers rave about both the enameled skillet and the company’s Dutch oven, with nearly 400 ratings it has a perfect five stars. “I bought this because I have only standard seasoned cast skillets and griddles and a couple cheap enameled Dutch ovens,” a shopper wrote.
I have to say that I am glad that I can cook acidic foods (tomatoes & citrus heavy sauces) without worrying about losing or weakening any of my seasoning on my traditional cast. Cast individually in sand molds and hand-inspected by experts, the skillets feature a black enamel interior that needs no additional seasoning.
Choose from a wide variety of colors, including vibrant cherry or chic oyster. Thousands of shoppers swear by the heirloom-quality of Le Crest, including hundreds who rate the skillet five stars on Amazon.
Reviewers talk about how durable and beautiful their Le Crest skillets are, saying it’s worth the price. Super easy to clean (I bought the nylon brush by Le Crest).
I use it for all sorts of jobs, from searing steak, cooking pork chops or frying Dover sole. Based in Charleston, South Carolina, Smithy Ironware began with founder Issac Morton’s passion for restoring rusty old cookware to its former 19th-century glory.
After years of developing his expertise, he decided to create a new line of castironcookware that combined those classic techniques with modern technology. The result is a beautiful pan made with heavy-gauge iron and expertly polished, nonstick surface.
The skillets have an avid fan-base, with hundreds commenting on Instagram posts showing what goes on behind the scenes at the company. “Had the absolute pleasure of cooking in these gorgeous pieces of artwork this past week at a clients home and I can’t say enough positive things about your product!” one shopper wrote.
Its unique octagonal shape makes for easier pouring or removing your masterpieces with a spatula, while its spiraled stainless-steel handle remains cool to the touch. Amazon shoppers love their Fine pans for looks and performance, calling them investment pieces.
“Received it today, wiped it down with a damp cloth, dropped in some butter, fried 4 eggs. Thankfully, castironcookware is durable enough to handle the open flames of a campfire, making it an indispensable tool while camping.
Its 8-inch pan is big enough to fit four fried eggs or two New York strip steaks, but only weighs 4.5 pounds. Over 1,000 reviewers have rated Field skillets five stars on the company’s website, saying it’s ultra-smooth and a modern heirloom.
More Field pans will become my presents to the younger generation in my family and those of my dear friends. If you’re craving fried chicken or homemade potato chips, consider this option from Lodge your perfect skillet.
It’s deep enough to safely hold bubbling oil and includes a lip to retain moisture. Plus cast iron gets and stays hotter than other materials, which translates into the crispiest, golden crust you’ve ever cooked.
Amazon shoppers call the skillet an incredibly durable multitask er, leaving it an impressive 4.7 rating. “It can do duty as a skillet, soup pot, Dutch oven, baking pan and flipped over works as a griddle.
I have made soups, stews, spaghetti sauce, roasts, bacon & eggs, , cherry & peach cobbler, hotcakes, pineapple upside down cake and of course fried chicken in this fryer. Brown your chicken in batches then pile it all in, slap on the lid and put it in the oven (or fire) to finish.
The lid has just enough lip to hold coals when baking and seals tight enough to keep debris out of the pot. I have a small round wire rack that fits in the bottom of the pan and use it to steam large crustaceans (mostly denseness crab) with corn and potatoes.
Just grab this cast iron pan from Lodge and you’re on your way to a juicy charred burger or gorgeous steaks. You can use it on any cook top, including induction, and its high sides will protect you (and your countertops) from splatters.
What’s more, it is designed with high ridges to leave those beautiful grill marks on your food. Over 2,800 Amazon customers have given the square pan a five-star rating, praising its heavy-duty design and heat distribution.
Personally I prefer my steaks grilled over charcoal, but that violates my rental agreement because someone thinks it's a fire hazard. It makes up for its price with a number of features that even the Field Skillet lacks, like dual pour spouts and a more comfortable handle.
Sloped walls Pour spouts Comfortable to hold Extra smooth The brand makes insanely cheap skillets that don't eschew quality despite the low price tag.
Field Company’s cast iron is lighter, smoother and simpler than that of many new brands. A proprietary hand-casting method allows the piece to be thin where it can be and heavy where it needs to be, making for a lighter than usual skillet.
Pour Spouts: If present, small areas cast into both sides of the pan meant to easily discard (or save) sauces or excess grease. We just wouldn’t cook eggs, fish or anything too delicate before you have a serious base of seasoning.
Though it’s hard to place it as absolute best at any one thing, the Stargazer is a great blend of all buying factors. High-sloping walls with a unique and fairly dramatic lip around the edge mean you can toss veggies and home fries up and back down with little oil splash.
It’s middle of the pack in weight, and it has a large square-angled front grip that is easy to get a hold of when you’re wearing an oven mitt. In most industries, retrospective homages to products past are meant more to trigger nostalgia than perform to the day’s standards.
Smithy’s skillets are made with heavy gauge iron, a three-finger front grip and an exquisitely milled down, pre-season cooking surface. There’s even a heat ring on the base of the pan, so if you somehow find yourself standing in front of an old indented wood stove, you’ll fit right in.
There are no pour spouts, the front grip is very small, and the handle isn’t elevated or elongated in any way. The corners create many areas to pour out sauces or excess grease, yes, but there isn’t much out there on its proficiency in the oven.
Based in Ow ego, New York, Borough Furnace has its eye trained on unique skillets. Its pans feature low walls that allow more air flow than any other on this list, an extra-large front grip and a really, really heavy base.
The whole facility is run off wind off-sets and solar power, and every skillet is made with recycled iron. To makes some of the most comfortable underwear that you’ll ever own, using super-soft, sustainable and breathable bamboo fabric.
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Final Verdict top pick is the Lodge 10.25-Inch Seasoned Caution Skillet, which, at 5 pounds, made it lighter and more versatile to use than its competitors. If you're interested in cast iron cooking but not the special care required, try the Le Crest Signature Skillet.
While it comes at a higher price tag, it does everything a cast iron pan does, but doesn't need to be seasoned, and is dishwasher safe. The Spruce Eats writer and cookbook author Donna Carrie is a self-avowed lover of castironcookware, especially those that add versatility to her kitchen collection.
“I’ve had Lodge skillets knocking around in my kitchen for decades, acquiring seasoning and becoming beautifully nonstick,” she says. This piece was edited by Bernadette Ma chard de Gramont, an LA-based writer who specializes in global food and wine content.
She researches and tests a variety of cookware, bakeware, and wine tools, and interviews field experts for their insight. Be sure to dry thoroughly and then wipe on a thin layer of oil to prevent rust during storage.
An easy method is to apply a small amount of oil to the pan, wipe it onto the sides, and then heat it on the stove until it’s very hot. Wipe the exterior with oil and place the pan upside down (to allow excess grease to drip) in the oven at 450 degrees for an hour.
Let the pan cool for at least an hour and then scrub it with hot water and kosher salt to remove any oil residue. Cast iron also gets extremely hot and retains heat well so it’s best to avoid cooking delicate fish that will easily break apart.
However, it may be too heavy for some glass cook tops, so check with the manufacturer of your stove to make sure it's safe. This makes it ideal for frying, braising, grilling, and other cooking applications where it’s important for the pan to stay hot after adding food.
The Spruce Eats / Gayle Squires Enameled cast iron pans never need seasoning, and some can even be washed in the dishwasher for easier cleaning. Uncoated cast iron may come preseasoned so it can be used immediately, but it becomes even more nonstick with additional seasoning and use.
Other uncoated castironcookware is not preseasoned but arrives with an oil coating that protects it from rusting. Castironcookware needs different care than your typical stainless steel or aluminum cookware, but once you learn how to handle it, it’s just as easy as any other pots or pans you own.
One of the downsides to cast iron is that it is much heavier than cookware of a similar size that’s made from other materials. The weight might also affect your storage options, since shelves need to be strong enough, and you probably won’t want to stack any but the smallest pots or pans.
The Spruce Eats / Donna Carrie Castironcookware is great for specific purposes, which is why you won’t see entire cookware sets made from cast iron. Consider what you’re going to cook, then find the pan that fits the purpose, whether you want to grill, fry, or braise.
They’re great for any kind of shallow frying, as well as for searing steaks and chops, and they can go from stove top to oven. They usually include a lid, which sometimes has small spikes underneath to channel moisture onto the food for moist cooking.
They don’t require special care or seasoning, and some can even be washed in the dishwasher. These are ideal for braising on the stove or in the oven and have become quite popular for baking artisan bread.
Some Dutch ovens designed for camp cooking have legs that allow them to be placed over hot coals, and some include concave lids so coals can be put on top, which allows the pot to heat from both the bottom and the top. The Spruce Eats / Gayle Squires Lodge is well known for its reasonably priced, but high-quality uncoated castironcookware that is made in the US.
While Fine isn’t as well known among the public, it has become popular among foodies who love high-end cookware. While it’s at the high end of uncoated castironcookware, the unique design makes it stand out in any kitchen.
Besides Dutch ovens, the company makes a wide range of enameled castironcookware, all of which is made in France. Another high-end French brand of enameled castironcookware, Stab has a wide variety of pots and pans that are similar in quality to Le Crest.
Tramontina manufacturers budget-priced enameled cast iron Dutch ovens and other cooking products. These might not last for generations, but they’re a good buy for people who are looking for a cast iron Dutch oven that won’t break the bank.
The Spruce Eats / Gayle Squires Enameled cast iron generally doesn’t need special care, and some of it can even be washed in a dishwasher. Some manufacturers suggest seasoning the cooking surface by heating it with a little oil prior to the first use.
It should be washed in soapy water, dried thoroughly to prevent rust, and seasoned immediately. While there are a number of seasoning methods, one of the simplest methods is to add a small amount of oil to a pan, brush or wipe the oil onto the sides of the pan, and then heat it on the stove until it’s very hot or slightly smoking.
It’s a good idea to have some aluminum foil on the rack below the pan to catch the drips. The pan may smoke during this time, but if you don’t open the oven door, it shouldn’t be a problem.
When the pan is cool, scrub it with hot water and kosher salt to remove any oil residue. A very well-seasoned pan will be smooth, black, and shiny, and drops of oil will bead up on the surface.
To clean a seasoned cast iron pan after cooking, you can use hot water, kosher salt, and any kind of kitchen scrubber. If it is not very well seasoned, you can use a paper towel to wipe on a thin layer of oil after cleaning to prevent rust during storage.
Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. It can sear a steak beautifully, hold a constant temperature for deep-frying, and can also be used as bakeware for your favorite cornbread recipe.
“Weighing a pound less than competitors puts this Lodge skillet in a class of its own, and I'm more likely to reach for this pan time and again,” our reviewer declared. It also comes with a Noon leather heat-resistant handle holder, but our tester felt this “extra” isn't worth the additional price and thought it should be sold separately.
This 10-inch pan by South Carolina-based Smithy Ironware is the first skillet that the company produced, and it has become one of their most popular products. Made of thick cast iron, it features a smooth, polished interior which makes the skillet easier to clean and maintain.
“I tried hard to find things this skillet couldn’t do, and I failed spectacularly since it did everything I asked of it.” Like the rest of Le Crest's cookware, this cast iron crêpe pan doesn't disappoint in terms of aesthetics and durability.
It has a gorgeous enamel exterior and a high-quality nonstick surface, meaning that, unlike raw cast iron, it doesn't need to be seasoned before use and can be popped into the dishwasher. And the accompanying pastry spreader and crêpe turner, which has beveled edges and a pointed tip, are also very helpful, she adds.
Designed to last a lifetime, the versatile Fine Caution Skillet is perfect for searing meats, making hamburgers, roasting vegetables, baking bread, and so much more. Our reviewer was a fan of the unique octagonal, “multi-pour” design and spring-covered, speed-cool handle, which stays cool longer and releases heat quickly.
“This is the skillet you want to imagine that the pioneers might have used, but in reality, the design is very modern, with close attention paid to all the details,” she raved. The tall sides make it ideal for simmering soups, reducing sauces, or cooking casseroles on the stove or in the oven.