- 1 Cast Iron Skillet: Our Top Picks
- 2 Our Professional Cast Iron Skillet Reviews
- 2.1 Best of the Best – Lodge 12 Inch Cast Iron Skillet
- 2.2 Best Value – Cuisinart CI22-24BG Chef’s Classic Enameled Cast Iron Skillet
- 2.3 Best Seller – Lodge L8SK3 10.25 inch Cast Iron Skillet
- 2.4 Most Versatile – FINEX – 10″ Cast Iron Skillet with Lid, Modern Heirloom
- 2.5 Most Durable – Legend Cast Iron Skillet 12 Inch
- 3 Cast Iron Skillet Comparison Table
- 4 Expert Buying Guide: Cast Iron Skillets
- 5 Checking the Construction
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions when buying the Best Cast Iron Skillet
- 6.1 Can I use my cast iron skillet on a campfire?
- 6.2 Does the product come with a lid?
- 6.3 Which cast iron skillet is the best in the market?
- 6.4 Why is cast iron preferred for cooking?
- 6.5 Where can I buy a cast iron skillet from?
- 6.6 What should I look for when buying the best cast iron skillet?
- 6.7 How to season the cast iron skillets?
- 7 A Quick Maintenance Guide of Cast Iron Skillets
Cast iron skillets are a key component all people should have in their kitchens. They are the best way to get that beautiful, deep and rich caramelized crust on your meats and vegetables. Finish on the stovetop or in the oven, these skillets are among the most versatile pieces of equipment you can buy.
What’s better, these skillets get better the more you use them. Their non-stick properties improve and enrich the flavors of your food.
In our professional buying guide, we’ve selected the best cast iron skillets for every budget, need and preference.
Cast Iron Skillet: Our Top Picks
Our Professional Cast Iron Skillet Reviews
Best of the Best – Lodge 12 Inch Cast Iron Skillet
Lodge 12 Inch Cast Iron Skillet. Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet with Red Silicone Hot Handle Holder
Protecting your hands from a painful burn is the first and foremost concern. With Lodge 12 Inch cast iron skillet, you can sear, bake, braise, grill, fry and embrace as many cooking methods. Don’t hesitate to use it on a stove top, oven and even the campfire. The Silicone hot handle protects your hands from burning. The product made it to our list for its excellent features which we have listed below.
Key Stats of the Product
- 12-inch skillet
- Weighs about 7.8 pounds
- Protects hands from heat (up to 450 degrees F)
- Hand wash
- Seasoned using oil
- No chemicals or synthetic coatings
- Use on the stove top, campfire or oven
- Easy to care for
- Silicone handle protects your hands
- Affordable range
- Shipping glitches
- The pre-seasoning may flake off
Most of the existing buyers are elated with the product and its low cost. With few shipping glitches, you may feel the need for the brand to do a strict quality check before sending. Overall, it is a good product and belongs to a brand trusted by most buyers.
Investing in a product is a tough decision. When you are buying a product, the comfort of holding the handle is the most important aspect. Cuisinart enameled cast iron skillet measures 10 inches and has a durable grip. The highlight is that it does not soak up odors and amend the flavors. With a classic blue color at the bottom, the product looks jazzy in the kitchen.
- Durable handle
- Stylish looks
- Easy to clean
- Dishwasher safe
- Excellent heat retention
- Evenly distributes heat
- Comfortable grip
- Available in three colors
- Outer enamel may fall off after few uses
- Starts chipping soon
Key Stats of the Product
- Enameled cast iron skillet
- Weighs about 3.95 pounds
The product does have a lot of potentials to be on the top. The enameled cast iron skillet looks good in the kitchen and let’s not forget that there are three color options to choose from. The 10 inches cast iron skillet is a decent buy and is worth every penny. The only drawback is chipping. However, there was only a bunch of existing buyers who had chipping issues. Also, the product is a best-seller America Test Kitchen recommended it.
Best Seller – Lodge L8SK3 10.25 inch Cast Iron Skillet
The lodge is known for creating outstanding products. It is a go-to pan which measures 10.25 inches and is pre-seasoned with 100% vegetable oil. No chemicals or synthetic coatings have been used for seasoning the product. There is no complication with reference to the maintenance and care of the product. Also, the brand entered the industry in the year 1896 and ever since, they have delivered!
- Excellent durability
- Pre-seasoned with vegetable oil (100%)
- Good design
- Trusted brand
- Versatile cooking
Key Stats of the Product
- Weighs about 5.67 pounds
- 10.25 inches
- Pre-seasoned with vegetable oil
Some buyers complained about the roughness of the product, but it is a great deal for the price you pay for it. The product is certainly offering much more than what other manufacturers may give at a higher rate. It is pre-seasoned and has a comfortable handle. Don’t forget, the price is ideal and does not pinch your pockets.
Most Versatile – FINEX – 10″ Cast Iron Skillet with Lid, Modern Heirloom
The FINEX cookware is built for lifelong use. It is versatile and allows the user to sear, roast and pan fry. It comes with a lid to trap all the flavors inside. This is best used for simmering, steaming and braising. The handle of the product is comfortable to hold and does not burn your hand. It has been pre-seasoned with no chemical coatings. Organic flaxseed oil has been used for pre-seasoning the product. Excellent heat retention and even distribution of heat make this product worth the purchase.
What makes the 10 inches cast iron skillet a real catch? Let us find out its pros and cons.
- Satin smooth finishing
- Even heat distribution
- Excellent heat retention
- Comes with a lid
- Works on induction and gas
- Versatile product ideal for frying, roasting, and searing
- Excellent looks
- Pre-seasoned with organic flaxseed oil
- Oven safe
- The handle may seem large
Key Stats of the Product
- Weighs about 2 pounds
- Seasoned with Flaxseed oil (organic)
There is no doubt that the product looks exceedingly beautiful. However, it comes with a price. Most buyers were elated with the product as it delivers what it claims. It works on your gas top, induction and is oven safe. In fact, you can even use it on a grill or an open flame. We consider it a top product for its durability, features and no chemicals have been used for the pre-seasoning. Overall, it is a catch but is towards the expensive side.
Most Durable – Legend Cast Iron Skillet 12 Inch
Known for versatility and durability, the product has smooth finishing and the more you cook in it, the better it gets. The icing on the cake is that the product comes seasoned right to your doorstep. No chemicals or harmful ingredients have been used for the seasoning. 100% vegetable oil is used and the even distribution of heat makes it a winner in the market.
- Excellent durability
- Comes with foundational seasoning
- Smooth finishing
- Silicone heat grip (removable)
- Perfect heat distribution
- Gives you the perfect sear
- Reasonable product
- Versatile product for sautéing, searing, broiling, baking and more
- Packaging issues
Key Stats of the Product
- Weighs 6.77 pounds
- 12 inches skillet
- Lightly seasoned with 100% vegetable oil
Other than the packaging issues, there was no drawback. Overall, the product has excellent ratings and most of the buyers were happy with the perfect heat distribution, smooth finishing, and durability. It is specifically known for its versatility and durability. If the manufacturer takes care of the quality control of each product they send to the buyers then this has the potential to be the #1 skillet.
Cast Iron Skillet Comparison Table
|Cast Iron Skillet||Rating||Size||Oven Safe||Sizes Available||Weight||Price|
|Lodge 12 Inch Cast Iron Skillet. Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet with Red Silicone Hot Handle Holder||4.5||12 inch||Y||Y||8 pounds||$$.$$|
|Cuisinart CI22-24BG Chef's Classic Enameled Cast Iron, Provencial Blue, 10||4.5||10 inch||Y||Y||3.95 pounds||$$.$$|
|Lodge L8SK3 10.25 inch Cast Iron Skillet, Pre-Seasoned and Ready for Stove Top or Oven Use||4.5||10.25 inch||Y||Y||5.67 pounds||$$.$$|
|FINEX – 10 Cast Iron Skillet with Lid, Modern Heirloom, Handcrafted in the USA||4.5||10 inch||Y||Y||2 pounds||$$$.$$|
|Legend Cast Iron Skillet 12 Inch||4.5||12 inch||Y||N||6.77 pounds||$$.$$|
Expert Buying Guide: Cast Iron Skillets
When you make the decision of buying a cast iron skillet, there are some factors that you must consider before the investment. We’ve got you covered!
Checking the Construction
You want a cast iron skillet that is one solid piece. Any skillet made with a separate handle or with varying layers of material should be avoided.
Seasoned vs Non-Seasoned
There are two types of cast iron skillets – coated and uncoated. Knowing the difference between the two is an important aspect. The coated type can be washed with soap and seasoning is not required. We shall describe the terms which are related to a cast iron skillet. The user cannot make use of the product on extreme heat.
On the other hand, the uncoated type is not seasoned. The user would need to season it first in order to use it to its full potential. Since it is seasoned by the user, they cannot wash it with soap. Many people do not opt for the seasoned ones for additional health benefits. As a buyer, you need to choose whether you want a skillet which can be cleaned easily or you want a seasoned pan.
The Best Size and Weight For Your Kitchen Requirements
When you step into the shop or buy the product online, you must check the weight and size. Is it perfect for a family or a bachelor? Every individual has a different need. A bachelor may require a smaller fridge as compared to a family of four, who require a double-door refrigerator.
Similarly, check the size and weight of the product. If you do not want a heavy product in your kitchen, opt for the lighter models. Secondly, check the thickness of the product as most of the cast iron skillets are thick. They will be heavy in weight but are able to hold the heat efficiently.
At the end of the day, it is all about your inclination/preference. The question is – What are you going to use it for?
The Important Terms You Must Know
Enameled – The enameled products have a glaze underneath. These prevent the product surface from rusting. Overheat, cold water and sudden drops are the cause behind chipping of the enamel.
Seasoning – Creating a glossy and slick coating is known as seasoning the cast iron skillet. Some products are pre-seasoned and some you can season yourself using vegetable oil or unsaturated fat.
Frequently Asked Questions when buying the Best Cast Iron Skillet
Can I use my cast iron skillet on a campfire?
Before investing in the product, check the features and see if it is a versatile cast iron skillet or not. Most of the quality skillets allow you to cook using different methods. On seconds thoughts, cast iron skillets are versatile cookware and you should be able to cook any way you like.
Does the product come with a lid?
Some manufacturers make a cast iron skillet with a lid and some do not. You must check the product specifications and description before purchasing it. You must also check whether it has a glass lid or a cast iron lid. If you wish to buy a product which comes with a lid, you must find one which has included it.
Which cast iron skillet is the best in the market?
Lodge and Cuisinart products are selling like hot pancakes. These are the two brands that offer excellent skillets within your budget.
Why is cast iron preferred for cooking?
The USP of a cast iron skillet is that it distributes heat evenly. You get the beautiful browning on top of your food. If you wish to cook your proteins and veggies evenly, cast iron would be a wise choice.
Where can I buy a cast iron skillet from?
It is very easy to shop for the best cast iron skillet. You can buy the product from an online store but make sure it is a trusted one. Amazon is the best bet in this case! You will be able to find all the products and compare the price, specs, and features. The product will be delivered to your home and the easy returns policy is plausible. You can also find them in stores near you. Go to kitchen accessories or home store to find these products. However, we would suggest you embrace technology.
What should I look for when buying the best cast iron skillet?
There are some factors you have to consider before buying the best cast iron skillet.
- Opt for a pre-seasoned product
- Choose the right size and weight
- The handle should be comfortable to hold
- The handle should be durable
How to season the cast iron skillets?
Seasoning the cast iron skillet is easy. Using oil or fat is recommended for seasoning the product. Use unsaturated fat and then bake it in an oven. The temperature should be 350 degrees F. Most people will use vegetable oil and that would work well too!
These were some of the FAQS that prospective buyers ask. Do you have any more questions? Feel free to ask away and we shall answer them.
A Quick Maintenance Guide of Cast Iron Skillets
There are a few pointers which would help you to take good care of a cast iron skillet. It is not rocket science and you will be able to maintain it perfectly. Quit fearing and learn the art of cleaning and seasoning a cast iron skillet with ease.
Firstly, get a scrub brush which also works as a scraper. You can get it online or a store near you.
Note – Never soak your skillet in water for a long duration. Wash it right after each use. Whether it is hot or cold, washing it after the use will save you from doing it later. If you leave it in the sink, chances are that it might rust.
Things you will need for cleaning your skillet:
- Vegetable oil
- Dry cloth or paper towel (make sure it is clean)
- A stiff brush
- Wash the skillet with warm water
- Always wash it immediately after using
- Use kosher salt to scrub off the remains
- Dry the skillet using a paper towel
- Use a cloth to oil it. Use vegetable oil or shortening
- Always store the skillet in a dry place
This is the only thing that you need to do to maintain it. There is no fuss around cleaning and drying off the product. You will get the hang of it after 3-4 uses. Always remember that your skillet should never be resting in a sink. Keep it clean and dry at all times!
It will take less than 6-7 minutes for you to wash your skillet perfectly.
Was this post helpful for you? Your quest for finding the best cast iron skillet should NOW end. It may seem complicated at first, but nothing is impossible. We tried to keep it simple and precise for you. Most of the products mentioned-above are affordable. We took special care that they should have the basic features that a good skillet requires.
As long as you keep it sparkling clean and do not let it sit in the sink for a long time, you will have a long-lasting and durable skillet.
It is time to learn some yummy recipes by heart because you are now going to get the finest cast iron skillet. These are your best companions and once you get these in your kitchen, you would not need to stalk up many utensils for cooking. The next time somebody asks you about the lack of utensils in your kitchen, you can show off your cast iron skillet which is versatile and durable.
Always make sure you are buying a pre-seasoned product. If not, the seasoning procedure is fairly simple. Use vegetable oil but the best way to the season would be to use unsaturated fat. The seasoning procedure does not take more than a couple of minutes. Secondly, ensure that the handle is good to hold and does not burn your hand.
Choose the best product from the list and tell us how you liked it! After spending a considerable amount of time researching and interviewing existing buyers, putting up a list of the best cast iron skillets was a fun task! Whatever you choose, we know that you will make good use of it.