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.
The more a skillet is used and seasoned, the less food will stick, so cookware connoisseurs seek out vintage pans. Skillets with nearly straight sides hold oil better for deep-frying and have more surface area for searing.
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. 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. Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here.
One of the most well-known brands of castironcookware is Le Crest, which offers top-quality pots and pans in a rainbow of stunning colors. While Le Crest Round Dutch Ovens aren't cheap, they’re widely regarded as one of the best pieces of castironcookware you can buy, thanks to their superior performance, nonstick enamel coating, and chip-resistant finish.
14 Dual-Handle Skillet from Smithy is ideal for those times when you want to serve a meal right out of the pan, since you can simply pull it out of the oven using its two sturdy handles and easily carry it to the table (on a trivet, of course!). This skillet is 14 inches wide with a polished interior that’s the perfect smooth surface to build up a lovely, non-stick seasoning.
This company specializes in lighter weight cast iron that has a beautifully smooth finish, offered in a wide range of sizes. With these three popular sizes at your disposal, you’ll be able to cook meals for one or food for a crowd, and when taken care of properly, these high-quality skillets will be able to be passed down to the next generation.
The skillet has a pouring lip for draining off liquid, and both the pan and its lid are oven-safe up to 450 degrees, letting you tackle a wide variety of recipes with just one piece of cookware. The hefty cast iron pan has a ridged cooking surface that creates delicious sear marks while also lifting food away from oil and grease.
The long handle is designed to give you better leverage, allowing you to carry it around the kitchen with ease. This 12-inch cast iron griddle includes a heavy ceramic press that you can use to apply weight to whatever you’re cooking, resulting in a deliciously crispy exterior.
Not only is cast iron one of the best cookware materials for heat retention and distribution, but it’s also unbelievably durable, lasting for generations if cared for properly. Whether you’re searing meat or baking cake, the bestcastiron skillets deliver consistent and reliable results.
You’ll also want to consider the depth of your pan, as a skillet with shallow walls isn’t ideal for cooking sauces. As you shop, you’ll likely encounter the term “enameled cast iron,” which means the metal has been coated with a durable non-porous glaze.
Lodge is an American company known for its affordable castironcookware, and many experts agree its budget-friendly skillets work just as well as those from high-end brands. For instance, the Artisanal Kitchen Supply Caution Skillet is the perfect option for beginners or anyone on a budget, as it’s incredibly affordable and comes with a twice-seasoned interior cooking surface, giving you a jump start on building up a solid seasoning.
All the pans in this set are made in the USA, and they’rep re-seasoned to give you a jump start on building up a durable nonstick finish. The grill pan is ideal for searing meat and even vegetables, and the griddle will come in handy when you’re cooking pancakes or eggs on the weekends.
“Next, add a 5-quart Lodge Dutch Oven (which also gives you a lid that works with this set, albeit a heavy cast iron one), there won’t be much you can’t do.” If you frequently serve food right out of the pan, the Stab Double-Handle Skillet makes it easier to transport the hot cookware from oven to table.
This 13-inch skillet, which comes in five colors, would be the perfect pan for deep-dish pizza or party dip, and it has an enameled interior surface that doesn’t require seasoning. Its two loop side handles give you a better grip when moving the skillet, and as an added bonus, it’s also easier to store.
This 12-inch skillet has a unique octagonal design that allows you to pour out liquid from any angle, and it includes a matching cast iron lid with integrated self-basting rings for better flavor when you’re oven-braising or making sauce. Plus, this grill pan gets top marks from reviewers, who say it delivers great flavor and is surprisingly simple to clean.
This high-end brand is known for its top-tier construction and brightly colored finishes, and while its 10-inch skillet isn’t cheap, it will last for decades if taken care of properly. The fry pan is available in a rainbow of colors, and it features a black enamel interior that requires no additional seasoning and minimal oil while cooking.
One of the downsides of cast iron is that it’s extremely heavy, making castironcookware hard for some people to handle. This cast iron skillet is 10-½ inches in diameter with 2-inch sides, and it offers a convenient helper handle on the front of the pan that makes it easier to remove from the stove.
It has a unique flared rim that allows you to pour off liquid from any angle, and you can even choose whether you want the cookware pre-season or bare. “Its unique handle design remains cool to the touch for very long cook times.
The angle of the rounded edges make it very easy to cook and move food around without sticking.” This polished cast iron skillet is surprisingly lightweight at just over 5 pounds, and its smooth surface is easy to clean and maintain.
These pans maintain heat and cook food evenly, whether you’re making steak or pancakes. It takes a lot more material and effort to create a cast iron skillet compared to say, non-stick cookware.
Making a cast iron pan is also time-consuming: It requires a lot of grinding to get the right finish. I value castironcookware for its superb heat retention, durability, and its capacity to endure extremely high temperatures.
Read on to find why you need cast iron in your kitchen collection and the bestcastironcookware sets in the market. The idea of seasoning is to form a nice non-stick layer on the cast iron to prevent your food from sticking.
Clean and dry your pan Warm in oven Apply a small layer of oil (preferably flaxseed oil) Heat in oven at 200 (400) for an hour Repeat 3-5 times However, this same advantage makes it harder to use in cooking delicate foods like fish that require a quick temperature change.
If you are a fan of acidic foods such as tomato sauces, then uncoated castironcookware might not be the best option. This is because cooking acidic foods for extended periods will ruin the pan’s coating resulting in a metallic taste.
If you do cook acidic foods, do it quickly, and clean the pan straight away. It takes longer to warm up and cool down, and retains its heat better when exposed to food.
In theory, it would also make it great for stir frying, yet woks are so big and cast iron so heavy, that it would not be easy to toss them! Most castironcookware will come in the form of single skillets rather than complete sets.
There’s a risk you spend a lot of money, only for it to end up sitting in the pantry, unused. Skillets and Dutch ovens are among the most standard and affordable cast iron options out there.
I love enameled cast iron because it never requires seasoning and sometimes can fare quite well in the dishwasher. With this type, you can comfortably slow cook your acidic foods without the worry of acquiring a metallic taste.
Just remember to avoid sticky foods like eggs before your pan is well seasoned. They are considerably heavier than similar sized cookware made of other materials.
Keep in mind that, with cast iron, you aren’t typically going to get an insulated handle that you can hold with your bare hands. Bigger pots will come with helper handles that help in moving and emptying.
If weight is an issue, you can opt for castironcookware made from thinner material. Although considerably lightweight and more comfortable to handle, it doesn’t heat evenly compared to its thicker counterparts.
If you are not a fan of one-trick ponies like me, you will be delighted to know that this ‘single’ piece serves as a skillet and a pot. I find the lower-edged pan (lid) ideal for pancakes and eggs, while the pot serves many of my other cooking needs.
Curved lid unsuitable for camping (hard to get coals to sit on top) You will need to add some seasoning yourself Lodge is an old Tennessee company known for making the bestcastiron pots and pans.
The set includes a 10.5-inch (26 cm) griddle, 10.25-inch skillet, 10.25-inch grill pan, 6-inch (15 cm) silicone pot holder, silicone handle mitt, and grill scrapers. Lodge has also been smart with the lid here as it fits both the skillet and the Dutch oven.
As an avid bread baker, I love baking and searing a steak in the same pan. The ‘lid’ skillet is excellent for smaller meals, eggs, and grilled cheese.
The bottom can do different dishes, including pasta and fried chicken. I also appreciate the extra loop on the deep pan, which makes it easier to lift.
My top pick is the Lodge Pre-season Caution 5-Piece Set, which is versatile and great for induction cook tops. While it comes at a higher price tag, you get what you pay for: And what you are getting here is service that lasts lifetimes.