Best Cast Iron Skillets
Most Popular: Lodge 12 Inch Cast Iron Skillet
cast iron pans Credit: Courtesy of Amazon Lodge is a giant in the cast iron world, and for good reason. Founded in 1896 by Joseph Lodge in Tennessee, the company has gained a dedicated following over the decades because of its quality but affordable cast iron cookware. Today, it still produces American-made cast iron skillets in nearly every size you can imagine, from extra small for personal cookie skillets to large 15-inch pans for crowd-pleasing casseroles. For most cooks, the company’s standard 12-inch skillet is the everyday essential guaranteed to become a family heirloom. Large enough for roasting whole chickens or sear multiple steaks at the same time, this skillet has both an assist handle with silicone holder. This protects against heat up to 500° Fahrenheit. For a smooth, natural release it comes pre-seasoned. You could also season the pan if you wish. Lodge’s most popular pans rank high on Amazon with over 75,000 five-star rating. Users praise the cookware’s heat distribution, versatility, and durability.
Staub 10-Inch Frying Pot: The Best Enameled
Cast iron pans Credit: Courtesy Zwilling. There is a regular cast iron skillet and an enameled one. While traditional cast iron skillets build up a nonstick seasoning over time, the enameled kind is more stick-resistant out of the box. Enamel won’t react with acids such as tomatoes and can even make your food taste metallic.
Staub makes top-quality enameled, cast iron. The renowned French cookware brand’s fry pans are made in Alsace. They don’t require any additional seasoning, and they can hold heat for up to hours. The interior is a matte black, which makes them great for browning and searing. It’s also easy to clean. It has a low profile design that makes it easy to flip your food. There are two sprays so you can pour easily and the skillets are oven safe up to 910 degrees F. It is also resistant to rust and chipping, so the enamel coating won’t fade or crack.
Reviewers on the manufacturer’s site gush over the pan’s beauty and performance, saying it is an heirloom that will last generations. “The enamel coating keeps me from having to season and makes it much easier to clean,” one wrote. The matte texture provides me with the desired browning effect and the same cooking benefits that I have come to expect from cast iron cookware. For me, the exterior color is a bonus.” You can buy it for $175 at zwilling.com (originally $250).
Best High-End Pick: Le Creuset Signature Iron Handle
Cast iron pans Credit to Amazon Cast iron from France is a well-known brand. Its enameled pans made of cast iron are no different. Individually cast in sand moulds, each skillet has been hand-inspected and seasoned by specialists. For easier cleaning, enameled cast Iron is safe to use in the dishwasher. Le Creuset’s skillets come with a large loop handle to make it easier to lift, even when you use oven mitts. You can pour without dripping from the two side spouts. A wide range of colors are available, including trendy oyster and vivid cherry.
Le Creuset skillets can be trusted by professionals as well as home cooks. It boasts hundreds of five-star ratings on Amazon, with users praising the tool for its versatility and durability and saying it’s worth the investment. One user commented that while these pans may be costly, they are durable and last forever. The pans cook well, are sturdy, heavy and they have a lot of uses. One second said, “I’ve cooked the best steaks, hamburgers, and eggs in my entire life using this pan.” It’s also super easy to clean up! I’m a convert. We haven’t used any other pans. Buy from Amazon.com starting at $180 The Ultimate Skillet has a clear coating and is able to withstand temperatures up to 500°F. Milo pans work with both induction and glass stovetops like all enameled saucepans.
Many satisfied customers have written reviews for the company. Another user added that they bought the product to replace an older pan, which was much more expensive and finally broke down after 35+years. It’s amazing to me that it was less expensive than I had paid 35 years earlier and of the same quality. Definitely a bargain and I will buy additional items.” Buy: Kanalifestyle.com, $95
Our 2021 Top Cast Iron Skillets
In order to find the top 15 cast-iron skillets, we ran multiple tests.
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The Quick Take
Get the best everyday cast iron skillet:
The Best Lightweight Cast Iron Skillet:
A cast iron skillet can be described as a tool that every household needs. It is a great way to have a sturdy base for your tools, such as a hammer or a high-quality mattress. Cast iron can take a little longer to maintain than an stainless steel skillet, but for the extra care of a layer of seasoning you will get cast iron that’s tough enough to cook thick steaks while still allowing a frying pan to glide over its surface with no sticking. A cast iron pan can also last for generations, provided you don’t utterly abuse it.
When it came to purchasing cast-iron pots and saucepans, there wasn’t much you could do. Or you could inherit pieces that your grandmother had left, or buy a new Lodge. Let’s just say that this is not a criticism of Lodge. America’s late 1800s to early 1900s cast-iron heyday when cast iron companies like Griswolds Wagners Blacklocks made some the finest cookware cast iron has seen in America, almost saw the end of that era. Lodge was the sole domestic cast iron cookware maker left by the mid 1900s. The modern Lodge pans may not have the beautiful smooth finishes that some of the best vintage cookware has, but they are still solid and reliable.
*Or you frequented antique markets and yard sales for vintage cast iron pieces, then fixed them up yourself following our guide Recently, though, there’s been a cast iron resurgence, and many of the newer brands launched on sites like Kickstarter. Although it’s difficult to identify the reason for this revival of cast iron, I believe that crowd-driven financing models like Kickstarter and growing interest in heritage products have combined with increased demand has led to a rise in popularity. It doesn’t hurt, too, that cast iron websites like this one have been debunking and praising it for years. A few years back, I didn’t see the point in writing about cast iron cookware due to the limited options available. The market is completely different today. Today, the marketplace is flooded with choices, and prices can differ greatly. A 10-inch skillet could cost anywhere from $20 to $200, though I don’t include pricier enameled-cast iron like Le Creuset.
To explore this new cast iron landscape, I tested 15 cast iron skillets, all under a $200 price cap, to determine whether any of the newcomers are offering valuable performance enhancements that might justify the cost. The 10-inch size is the best for most households so I selected to review them. 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.
Lodge Chef Collection 12-Inch Skillet The Best Cast-iron Skillet. This skillet is lighter and more shallow than your traditional skillet. The perfect shape to use for roasting, searing and sauteing.
Sur La Table, $40. Williams Sonoma Lodge’s Chef Collection 12 inch Skillet was light in all tests. It’s not as deep as the traditional Lodge skillet, but its slightly sloped sides make this skillet great for baking and sauteing. It features a comfy handle and good factory seasoning. And, as with other Lodge skillets, is still made in the USA.
The Lodge performed well at nearly every task. We poured hot oil without dribbles and cooked bacon to a crisp without having to rearrange the strips. Cornbread fell off the pan, leaving a golden crust. The steak was perfectly cooked. It was as effortless as using a nonstick spatula to cook fried eggs.
Lodge Blacklock 95: This is the Best Cast-Iron Skillet for 10 inches.
We didn’t expect there to be notable differences between the 12-inch and 10-inch skillets we tested from the same brands, but it turned out that the 10-inch cast-iron skillet from Victoria (our 12-inch winner) had some drawbacks (more on that below). Instead, the winner for this category is from beloved cast-iron legacy brand Lodge, specifically the Blacklock 96 model, which was made to commemorate the very first Lodge foundry opening in 1896.
This pan looks similar to the classic Lodge skillet but differs in a few critical, useful ways. This pan weighs in at 4.6-pounds, as it is cast in a thin design, the company claims. That’s down from 5.2-pounds for the classic. Because it has a thinner and longer handle as well as a larger helper, the Blacklock is easier to move. We found that the Blacklock has a triple-seasoned coating, which produced a stronger natural nonstick layer. This is in contrast to Lodges, which only have one layer. It was easy to clean. The seasoning seemed to repel stuck-on food more effectively than other pans. It’s a 10-inch size, and we believe it is one of the best.
11 The Most Popular Cast Iron Skillets For Instantly Boosting Your Cooking
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Cast iron might seem a bit intimidating to novices, but there’s a reason it’s often the go-to material for many chefs and home cooks. Cast iron has a remarkable heat retention rate and distribution. If properly maintained, it can last generations. Whether you’re searing meat or baking cake, cast iron skillets deliver consistent and reliable results.
The metal of your skillet will acquire a patina over time. This means that the oil has been baked on to the surface. It will prevent rust from occurring and make it easy to cook eggs and sauces. Cast iron skillets should only be cleaned with gentle soap and non-abrasive brush.
Lodge’s iconic cast iron skillets make a great choice for everyday usage.
Cast iron skillets come in a number of standard sizes. For everyday cooking, a 10-inch or eight-inch cast iron skillet will be the best. But for those who cook for large families, a 12-inch or 14 inch skillet might work well. Just make sure you have enough space on your stovetop to accommodate larger skillets. You’ll also want to consider the depth of your pan, as a skillet with shallow walls isn’t ideal for making 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. Enamele cast iron does not stick like traditional cast iron. It can also be washed more frequently without worrying about getting scratched. Enamel cast iron can be a more cost-effective choice for beginner cooks who need to keep their pots and pans clean.
This list includes the best cast-iron skillets for beginners and those looking to build their collection. From the best budget pick to the perfect pan for beginners, any one of them deserves a spot in your kitchen.
Valor Pre-Seasoned Cast iron Skillet
Webstaurant. Store Valor 10 1/4 inch Pre-Seaoned Cast Iron Skillet With Helper Handle Cast-iron cookware is often expensive. However, there are many budget-friendly skillets that can compete with higher-end items. Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Sillets made by Valor are well-known in the kitchen. You can find Valor pans in all shapes and sizes, however, the classic 10 1/4 inch size is the most popular. This pan features two pour spouts as well as a helper handle to make cooking liquids simple.
.Best Cast Iron Skillets