Apart from giving your food a beautiful char and seared edges, cast-iron pans are also one of the sturdiest cookware in your kitchen.
With a long life-span, cast-iron pans are an easy way to get some iron into your food. While the average adult doesn’t get enough iron from their diet, cooking your food in a cast-iron can enhance your iron content by 20 times!
If you want to cook flavorful steaks, enchiladas, and quick skillet dinners, cast-iron pans are a fantastic option. They hold up flavor and heat really well, especially when you wish to transfer the zesty aroma of the seasonings from one dish to the other.
You’ve probably been bombarded with tons of cast-iron products in a department store. Cast-iron pans come in various shapes, sizes, and special features.
Choosing the one that best suits your needs requires extra research. You can’t just randomly toss an unknown brand into your cart without finding out the value it offers.
For this reason, we’ve combined some of the most durable, high-performance cast-iron pans/skillets for you to invest in. Below you can explore different pans with varying shapes, sizes, and features to help you find the best cast-iron skillet that meets all your needs.
Our Pick – Top 3 Cast Iron Pans
In case you’re in a hurry, here are my top three recommendations for the best cast iron pans for your kitchen.
|Lodge Cast Iron Skillet with Red Silicone Hot Handle Holder, 12-inch||T-fal E83407 Pre-Seasoned Nonstick Durable Cast Iron Skillet / Fry pan Cookware, 12-Inch, Black -||Amazon Basics Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet, 12-Inch|
Still confused about which cast iron pans is best for you?
Let me help by providing detailed reviews on the best Cast Iron pans that I found in the market (and the ones you can buy online).
These reviews will definitely help you gain awareness and understanding of the best features, pros, and cons of each cast iron pan.
Let’s get started!
Best Cast Iron Pans Reviewed
Below is the table that shows all the top 10 cast iron pans covered in this review.
Now let’s have a look at the detailed reviews of each of the cast iron pan covered in this article.
1. Lodge 3.5”-15” Cast-Iron Skillet
- One Lodge Pre-Seasoned 12 Inch Cast Iron Skillet with Handle Holder
- Assist handle for better control
- Unparalleled heat retention and even heating
Lodge features a range of chef-grade cast-iron cookware that is known for their eco-friendly manufacturing. Their cast-iron skillets are available in a range of sizes, so you can choose the one that suits you best. Normally, the 10.25” will work well for all types of cooking; however, if you want a smaller pan exclusively for eggs or pancakes, then a 3.5” will do.
Seasoned with 100% vegetable oil, Lodges is known for making eco-friendly cookware that is free from additives and synthetic coatings. The skillets are known for their amazing heat retention and hold up flavor really well. They also come with a silicone handle holder to safely remove the pan from the stove.
Holding heat up to 450 Degrees, Lodges skillet is a versatile and ergonomic skillet that can be used on a range of cooking surfaces like grills and campfires. Also, did we mention that it’s both oven and dishwasher safe? Lodges cooking pan is at the top of our list, and it’s rightfully one of the best cast-iron skillets to buy.
It also comes equipped with a silicone hot handle holder that provides protection from heat up to 450 degrees and is dishwasher safe as well. A helper handle simplifies tasks such as moving, carrying, or pouring from the skillet. This skillet is highly regarded as one of the best cast-iron skillets for purchase.
- Sloped-sides with teardrop handles
- Pre-seasoned with 100% vegetable oil
- A silicone helper handle to enhance safety and simplify kitchen tasks
- Can be used with different heat sources – electric, gas, ceramic glass-top stoves, oven, and induction
- Distributes heat evenly across the surface of the pan for even cooking
2. T-fal Non-stick Cast-Iron Pan 8”-12”
- Dress up grilled steak; fish and veggies with authentic restaurant...
- Large; extra long handle with easy to grip side helper handles and...
- Comes pre seasoned for first use and includes step by step...
This best-seller product is available as 3-piece cookware set on Amazon. Available in three different sizes, the T-fal cast iron skillet is perfect for frying, sautéing, browning, and searing your favorite foods. It tends to hold up the juices and flavor really well, so cooking delicate cuts won’t be an issue.
However, its star feature is its aesthetic and state-of-the-art design. Equipped with an extra-long handle, side helper handles and a smart thumb rest, this iron-skillet is easy to carry, use, and clean. It has a unique comfort factor that can make your cooking unimaginably easy.
Browning onions, for example, requires you to move the pan in circles for the oil to distribute evenly. And, T-fal non-stick pans make this task a breeze. It’s also pre-seasoned, but the product comes with a step-by-step guide to re-season the pan for future use.
T-fal cast iron skillet has amazing heat retention and can tolerate up to 400 Degrees on a range of cooking surfaces. With even heat distribution, the pan has pouring spouts, which makes transferring juices and curries from one dish to another an uncomplicated task. Suffice to say, this pan is one of the best cast-iron skillets for speedy cooking.
- T-fal Thermo-spot heat indicator that indicates when the pan is perfectly preheated for cooking
- Smart and comfortable design with thumb rests, super-long handles, helper handles, and pouring spouts
- Tempered glass lids that retain moisture and heat
- Silicone handles for comfortable and safe grip
3. Amazon Basics Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Skillet – 12”
- Pre-seasoned cast iron skillet with flared side edges; oven safe to...
- Cast iron for even heat distribution and retention; pre-seasoned...
- Always use hot-pads, oven mitts, or potholders while moving or...
Amongst all the 12” deep cast-iron skillets, this one’s a winner. As compared to most standard skillets, Amazon Basics features an extra depth to their exterior, which makes braising and tenderizing large cuts of meats super-easy and enjoyable. The depth of the pan traps all the flavorful juices.
With a signature over-sized and slightly curved main handle, the pan is easy to grab and shift from the stove to the counter. It also has an extra-large helper handle, which allows for safe, stable, and kitchen-friendly cooking. However, this pan is surely heavy. It might not be your best choice for cooking eggs, pancakes, or light crepes, even though it can perfectly handle those too.
With pouring spouts on both ends for easy-pouring, the pan is perfectly pre-seasoned. For the first few uses, you can enjoy the pan’s low smoking point. However, you will have to re-season it occasionally for fully non-stick cooking. Backed by a 1-year warranty, comfortable grips, and a durable design – is there anything the skillet doesn’t have?
- Extra-depth for braising, broiling, roasting large meat cuts
- Durable design with comfortable grips
- 1-year warranty
4. Utopia Kitchen Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Skillet
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While the top 3 brands have a range of different pans for different purposes, we wanted to create variety in the brands you can choose from. Hence, here’s a great entry on our list. The 12.5” Utopia cast-iron skillet is budget-friendly cookware with dual pour spouts, silicone handle sleeves, and helper handles.
It might not be as deep as the Amazon Basics cast-iron skillet, but it offers an adequate cooking surface for most of your food. It is pre-seasoned with soy-based oil – one of the healthiest and long-lasting fats for seasoning – and is ready to use straight out of the box. Make sure to give the pan a nice wash before you set it on the stove.
The pan will need re-seasoning over the months. The pan also has a well-built cooking surface, which allows a bit of iron to seep into your food every now and then. Durable, easy-to-carry, and offering standard non-stick quality – The Utopia cast-iron cookware is a budget-friendly investment.
5. Le Creuset Signature Iron Handle Skillet
- Enameled cast iron delivers superior heat distribution and retention
- Ready to use, requires no seasoning
- Easy-to-clean and durable enamel resists dulling, staining, chipping...
Most people consider Le Crueset cookware to be a tad bit expensive, but the product value they offer just makes it worth it. The 11 ¾” skillet is proof that the brand really lives up to their superior design and attention to detail. With a black enamel interior, the pan is naturally resistant to rust, stains, and scratches.
The cooking surface doesn’t need to re-seasoned. It is perfectly prepared to cook all types of foods, including highly acidic sauces and meals. The main handle has a hole in it, which makes it easy to dry over a rack by hanging. With spacious dual pour spouts and an additional large loop, you can safely toss around your food and move the pan across.
The durable, scratch-resistant enamel coating offers amazing heat retention and evenly heats up the pan. This allows for quick, easy, and even cooking. Another plus point is that the skillet is dishwasher safe and is super-easy to clean.
Customers have been quite vocal about this brand on Amazon as its long handle is easy to hold and performs with excellence. The skillet is relatively lighter than most of its competitors and boasts a durable yet aesthetic design. It’s also available in a range of different colors to coordinate with your kitchen theme!
- Dishwasher safe
- Stain-Resistant black enamel interior
- Ergonomic and comfortable grip with a large loop, dual spouts, and an extra-long handle
6. Jim Beam 10” Cast-Iron Skillet
- 3 PIECE SET : The Jim Beam 3 Piece Cast Iron Set has 3 skillets which...
- 6" 8" 10" SKILLETS : This set boasts variety, letting you use...
- SUPERIOR HEAT RETENTION : Cast Iron has been used in cooking for over...
When it comes to versatile cookware, nothing tops Jim Beam. With its superior heat retention and distribution, the pan can add a depth of flavor to a range of different cuisines. You can enjoy frying, braising, sautéing and roasting large portions of food without any hassle.
Whether you want a dry chop suey, a well-braised American steak, or comforting skillet-lasagna, JimBeam’s skillet is your go-to option.
Fully pre-seasoned, durable, and aesthetically designed – the skillet will offer years and years of use. And did we mention, this one is known for its super easy clean-up? You won’t have to spend hours scrubbing away the residue as all these skillet needs is some warm water and some dish soap.
It is available in a 3-piece set of 6”, 8”, and 10”— the largest size is spacious enough for both large meals and small, quick meals. As it is pre-seasoned with vegetable oil, you can use the skillet for different food quantities. Boasting its superior iron-health benefits, this skillet will definitely last for years.
- Heavy-duty Iron
- Jim-Beam patented
- Provides spacious and deep cooking surface
7. Victoria Pre-Seasoned 12” Cast-Iron Skillet
The Victoria skillet is a truly “the best straight out-of-the-box” cookware since its superior seasoning really sets it apart from the other pans. As it is seasoned with 100% flaxseed oil – one of the best, high-heat oils – you won’t need additional fat to cook your favorite foods.
Designed with a beautiful super-long curved handle, wider help handle, and dual pour spouts, the Victoria skillet is an Alpha product your kitchen needs. The long handle keeps your hand away from the stove and remains cooler for a long period of time.
The helper handles are relatively large. The pour spouts are bolstered by detailed drip cutters to avoid spills and make cleaning extra-easy. You may find the surface to be a little rough, but over time, the seasoning will smoothen it out.
One buyer on Amazon truly commended this pan for its high-quality material, durability, and affordability. The product can be used on a range of different cooktops like gas, campfire, oven, grill, etc. Offering better leverage, value, and flavorful cooking– this cookware is definitely worth investing in!
Stand out Features
- Pre-seasoned with 100% high-grade Flaxseed oil for natural, easy release
- Long, curved handle, pouring spouts with drip cutters, and easy-to-hold helper handles
- Aesthetic design
8. Simple Chef Cast-Iron Skillet
Owing to their simple and sleek brand name, the Simple Chef Cast-iron skillet is a cookware wonder. The pans come with dual pour spots and hanging holes, making it easier to store along your kitchen counter. As it is a heavy-duty cast-iron skillet, it has stood the test of time and is worth the investment.
With ready-to-use features, the pan is factory pre-seasoned, which is far more effective than at-home seasoning. The skillet is extremely easy to clean and will never need a dish-washer treatment. The coating is stout, durable, and resistant to scratches.
However, this one doesn’t have helper handles, so it won’t be able to handle large portions of food that well. Nonetheless, the long-lasting seasoned coating promises aromatic, flavorful, and juicy food. The skillet is known for its multi-functional features. It can be used over stovetops, in the oven, in campfires, and even as your very own slow-cooker.
The surface heats up evenly and retains the warmth, even after you’ve switched off the stove. The pan might be shallow than most skillets, however, it’s high-strength design makes it far more versatile. This skillet is ideal for quick cooking like meat searing, frying eggs or frittatas or stir-frying some veggies.
Many customers have testified that this skillet provides a gorgeous char and seared sides to thick meat cuts. As it promises excellent performance, comfortable grip, and easy cleaning – Simple Chef is certainly a worthwhile investment!
Stand Out Features
- Heavy-duty, high-grade cast iron that is scratch and stain resistant
- Versatile and multi-functional
- Factory pre-seasoned
- 30-Day satisfaction guarantee
9. Camp Chef 12” Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet
If you’re tired of all the fancy skillet features, then the Camp Chef 12” skillet is what you need. This product is easily on par with the top 5 high-end skillets in this list despite its simple and affordable design. Why – you ask? Camp Chef specializes in the simplicity of cookware.
The skillet has comfort grips that make it extremely easy to carry and transfer from stove to the counter. It has a ready-to-use, pre-seasoned smooth finish, which makes this dish-washer safe. It also has a comfortable helping handle, which makes lifting and transferring contents an effortless task.
If you’re new to cast-iron cookware and are searching for budget-friendly options, then Camp Chef is an affordable option. The dual pour spouts will also add to your cooking convenience. The best thing about this skillet is that it minimizes hours of prep time as the seasoning heats up well and keeps your food moist and juicy.
Stand Out Features
- True-seasoned finish cast iron
- High-performance and comfortable handles
- 100% chemical-free seasoning
10. Von Chef Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Skillet
Von chef cast-iron skillets are the definition of performance, versatility, and affordability in one product. Offering a set of three skillets, there’s a size for every food quantity you need to cook. Ideal for roasting, frying, searing, and baking – Von Chef products can withstand all kinds of hot surfaces. Because of its natural cast-iron skillet seasoning, this skillet can handle every cooktop, whether it’s ceramic, gas, induction or electric.
The coating has a smooth finish and offers high-quality heat retention. The surface distributes heat evenly, giving you piping hot, delicious food in minutes. This high-efficiency skillet significantly reduces prep-time for recipes and offers an amazing chemical-free, non-stick surface for cooking.
Stand Out Features
- Comes in a set of three skillets
- Traditional cast-iron construction
- Pre-seasoned with natural oils
- 2 Year warranty
Tips for House Owners When Cooking with Cast-Iron Skillets
Even though cast-iron skillets are common cookware, they still need to be used with care and precaution.
No matter how promising a brand is, if you don’t look after the skillet, your cookware will wear out and will have to be replaced.
However, as long as you keep your pan rust-free and well-seasoned, it will prove to be your best cookware investment. With that, let’s explore some helpful tips when cooking and cleaning cast-iron skillets.
Understanding the “Ready-to-use” Feature
Let’s start off with a key feature that most cast-iron pans have – “ready-to-use and pre-seasoned”. Some even claim that the product can be used straight out of the box. However, most cooking experts believe that you still need to give your brand-new cookware a bit of care when it arrives.
Initially, you should just rinse and dry it. A few coatings of healthy seasoning like flaxseed or soybean won’t hurt either. If anything, they’ll only enhance the pre-seasoning and build a nice base for your cooking.
When you pull it out of the box, give it a good wash, and prep it up with a home seasoning. Allow it to cool at room temperature, and your pan is ready to use.
Washing a Cast-iron Skillet
You’ve probably realized that many cast-iron skillets aren’t dishwasher safe. This is because the harsh detergents and scorching water can wear off the seasoning. You need to understand that your pan doesn’t need a hard scrub.
If you clean it with a metal scouring pad, you’ll be destroying the layer of fat that forms the base of your cooking. All your skillet needs is a gentle wash with eco-friendly dish soap. If there is hard residue, don’t be tempted to scrub it off. Read the next tip to find out what to do.
Cleaning with a Salt and Water Solution
If you only use your pan once a day, then dry cleaning with a paper towel will work on most days. However, if your pan catches stubborn grease and residue, then you can always soften it up with salt and warm water solution.
Start by placing your pan in the sink and fill it up with warm water. Add half a cup of coarse salt, which will work like elbow grease. Using a nylon scouring pad, gently scrub off the residue once it softens in warm water.
Rinse the pan one last time with some dish soap. However, to prevent it from over-drying and even rusting, bake the pan for 10 minutes in a 350-degree oven. You can even give it a good seasoning after the gentle scrubbing session.
Over-Oiling Your Skillet
Cast-iron pans are not built to be naturally non-stick, which is why they will need re-seasoning. For this reason, you shouldn’t heat the oil to excessively high temperatures.
The oil can stick to the metal surface. Over time, an excess of fat can cause the original coating of the pan to peel off.
If you notice black flakes peeling off the surface during cooking, then it’s probably the layer of polymerized fat.
High-heat will impel you to over-oil your pan, which can cause your pan to become quite sticky. Hence, cook your food at a moderate temperature.
Properly Storing Your Cast-Iron Skillet
It’s important to store your skillet once it has fully dried. If it hasn’t been oiled, stack it up with paper towels so that it doesn’t come in contact with moisture. You never know if other cookware around it is still wet.
Using Stable Utensils
Never use a plastic spatula as it can melt over time and release toxins in your food. Since cast-iron pans need high heat, using spatulas with heat retention is the best. For this reason, stainless steel, bamboo, and wood utensils are the best.
They are gentle and more stable than other materials and will last you a long time. You won’t even have to worry about scratches on your pan because stainless steel and bamboo are gentle and non-abrasive.
Although most cast-iron pans have excellent heat retention, you should start heating them up gently and gradually. Once the pan gets hot, it really gets hot. You might have to switch from high heat to medium and perhaps, even lower.
Hence, to be safe and avoid your food from burning, pre-heat the pan slowly. This will allow better control of the heat and tastier food.
Dry Your Pans on the Stove-Top to Avoid Rust
Rust can be deadly for a cast-iron skillet. Moisture will lead to rust. Therefore, after you’ve washed your pan, allow it to dry nicely over a stove-top. Wait for all the moisture to evaporate from the surface, handles, and the bottom before you store it.
In case you’re cooking something wet like pasta, a fruit pie, or frittata, make sure to serve it right away. If you let such food stay in the skillet, the chances of rust forming will increase.
A Final Word
Use this guide of some of the best-cast iron cookware brands to invest in a pan that caters to your needs.
Just remember that no matter how durable or tough a cast-iron pan is marketed to be, your cookware will always need care and maintenance.
A cast-iron pan that is well-taken care of will last you a life-time!
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