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There is no greater tool for searing, frying, grilling, sautéing, and braising than a good cast iron skillet. When it comes to cookware, the cast iron pan remains sovereign and it is not hard to see why. They are capable of cooking almost any dish you might want to make. Cast iron skillets are also known to last very long and the right cast iron skillet can even be passed down through generations as long as they are maintained properly. All of these benefits only come about if you purchase a great pan. That’s why in this article, we will be giving you the top-rated cast iron skillets. We will also be including a buying guide so that you can be sure that whichever one you pick will be the perfect fit for you.

Comparing the Top Cast Iron Skillets

Lodge Cast Iron Skillet

– Best Overall

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The Lodge cast iron skillet is 10.5 inches wide and built to last for generations. This skillet delivers unrivaled heat retention and even heating. It is pre-seasoned with 100% vegetable oil and no chemicals at all. Its longevity and time-honored reputation make this option the best overall on our list.

Pros

  • It is well suited to a variety of cooking methods as it can be used in the oven, on the stove, on the grill, over a campfire, and induction cooktops
  • It is multipurpose as it can be used to sear, sauté, bake, broil, braise, fry, or grill
  • It comes with a silicone assist handle for easy gripping

Cons

  • Even though it does come pre-seasoned, it still requires frequent seasoning

Utopia Kitchen Cast Iron Skillet

– Best Pre-Seasoned Option

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This cast iron skillet comes ready to use as it is factory seasoned with soy-based oil. It is properly seasoned and you do not need large amounts of oil while cooking so it promotes a healthier diet. It is also up to 12.5 inches wide and this gives you ample cooking space for anything you like.

Pros

  • It comes with superior heat retention so it keeps food warmer for longer
  • It is durable
  • It is multifunctional

Cons

  • It does not come with a handle holder and its handle can get very hot

Cuisinel Cast Iron Skillet

– Best Accessories

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The Cuisinel Cast Iron Skillet is crafted with seasoned cast iron that can outlast years of regular cooking and washing for long-term reliability. Its unparalleled heat retention and consistent heat distribution make it the skillet of choice for professional chefs. It is versatile and can be used in the oven, on the stove, on the barbecue, or on open fire.

Pros

  • It comes with a glass lid
  • It also comes with a silicone holder for easy handling
  • It is 2.5 inches tall, giving it a large capacity

Cons

  • It is a heavy pan at 11.66 pounds, so it might be too heavy for some cooks

Cuisinel 2-Piece Set Cast Iron Skillet

– Best Set

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This Cuisinel set has all the benefits of the Cuisinel cast iron skillet but now it comes twice. The set has one 10 inch pan and a 12 inch pan. They are very versatile because of their varying sizes. With their heat retention, they can be used to serve food, giving you a rustic feel.

Pros

  • It is an affordable combo package since you get two
  • Both pans are very durable
  • Both skillets come with their respective lids

Cons

  • Just like the single Cuisinel skillet, the pans in this 2-piece set are also on the heavier side

Victoria Cast Iron Skillet

– Best Heat Longevity

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The Victoria 12 inch large cast iron pan has great retention and distribution of heat. The frying pan boasts of being able to keep your food hot for 15 min or longer. It is pre-seasoned with 100% non-GMO flaxseed oil and it gives it a perfect and natural easy-release seasoning that gets even better with time.

Pros

  • Its hanging holes are bigger than most other bands so making it easy to hang and store
  • It has a long and ergonomic handle for easy grip
  • It also has a wide helper handle that makes handling easier
  • It is multifunctional and multifaceted

Cons

  • It requires frequent seasoning and maintenance

Amazon Basics Cast Iron Skillet

– Largest Option

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At 15 inches wide, the Amazon Basics cast iron skillet is one of the largest you will find on the market so can be used for a large variety of dishes including huge steaks and deep-dish pizza. The pan is versatile and functions seamlessly from the refrigerator to the stovetop or oven to the table for easy serving and single-dish cleanup.

Pros

  • It is multifunctional as it can be used on the stovetop or in the oven or BBQ for searing, frying, baking, and more
  • It has a curved handle for easier grip
  • It is pre-seasoned with penetrating vegetable oil for a beautiful black patina and easier food release

Cons

  • You will need to re-season it yourself, as its seasoning does not last very long
  • It does not come with a handle holder

Calphalon Cast Iron Skillet

– Most Multipurpose

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This Calphalon cast iron skillet is ideal for traditional and slow cooking techniques. It is designed to heat evenly and steadily, holding heat so foods stay warm even while serving. It also features a pre-seasoned cooking surface to help prevent sticking and oversized handles for easy and secure lifting. Additionally, the cast iron skillet can be used for both stovetop and in the oven, and it is perfect for preparing food such as delicious seared steaks, baked cornbread, or tasty frittatas.

Pros

  • It comes with a full lifetime warranty
  • It has a lighter weight than many other cast iron pans, so it is easy to maneuver while cooking but it is still of high quality
  • It has durable cast iron construction
  • It is oven and broiler safe

Cons

  • Its handle is large but short in length
  • It does not come with a handle holder

Buying Guide to Cast Iron Skillets

The cast iron skillet is an essential tool for every kitchen. It is also built to last forever as long as you carefully maintain it. Even if something goes wrong, it is usually fixable. The cast iron pan is such a great tool. Unlike most other kitchen equipment, it comes with a vibrant community of other cast iron users that are available for discussion.

There are many different sizes and styles of cast iron skillets, so it can be hard to decide which one to choose for your kitchen collection. To help you find the perfect cast iron skillet for your needs, we have put together this buying guide that contains all the information you will need to make the right decision.

Why Are Cast Iron Skillets So Special?

If you have never used a cast iron skillet, you might have wondered what all the fuss is about. Well, they are certainly not overrated. They are made of iron so they are strong, sturdy, and immensely durable. They are commonly passed down through generations. Cast iron skillets have incredible heat retention and distribute heat evenly. They are incredibly versatile because they can take the heat and they can be used for several tasks. For a piece of kitchen equipment that has so many advantages, they are generally very affordable. Lastly, and this goes without saying, they are non-stick – they don’t need non-stick coating that can have harmful chemicals.

What Should I Consider When Buying a Cast-iron Skillet?

Now that you are convinced of how great a cast iron skillet is, here are the things to consider before buying one.

What size should the cast iron skillet be?

This depends on how much food you cook at a time and how much space you have for storage. While a bigger cast iron skillet would mean you can cook larger portions, you would need larger storage space. You should consider the number of people in your household before deciding but your cast iron pan generally should not be less than 10 inches wide.

Is the cast iron skillet pre-seasoned?

Most cast iron pans these days are pre-seasoned so you can use them immediately. You should check for the method of seasoning to make sure no harmful chemicals were used.

Cleaning and seasoning helps ensure a long, healthy life for your cast iron pan. Take a look at this video from Epicurious for a tutorial:

How compatible is the cast iron skillet with your heat source?

This depends on how you want to cook with your cast iron skillet. If you will be using it in the oven, make sure it is oven safe. If you will be using a cast-iron skillet on various heat sources including grills or broilers, you should get a versatile cast iron skillet. Most cast iron pans are compatible with all heat sources so this will not be difficult to find.

How durable is the cast iron skillet?

Cast iron pans are generally known for their durability. Select a cast iron skillet with a lifetime warranty.

How heavy is the cast iron skillet?

Cast iron skillets are heavier than most other pans but some are made from lightweight but still good quality iron. This can make them easier to carry around the kitchen and maneuver. If you do not like heavy kitchen equipment, go with a lightweight one.

What kind of handle does the cat iron skillet have?

The handle of a cast-iron skillet largely determines how easy it is to use. Skillets that come with silicone covers or holders for the handles offer easy grip. Also, some cast iron skillets have handles that are ergonomically designed so they are easy to hold. Skillets with longer handles are also usually easier to use than those with shorter handles.

People Also Asked

Q: How do I care for my cast iron skillet?

A: The method you choose to clean your cast iron skillet is one of the most important things to consider when it comes to its longevity. It might seem like an unusual process, but keeping your cast iron pan clean the right gets simple with time. The first thing to note is that your cast iron skillet should be cleaned immediately after each use. Wash by hand with hot water. You can use a mild soap if there is a lot of grease build-up, but never wash it with a dishwasher. Next, wipe your skillet down with a paper towel or heat it up to boil off the water till it’s dry. Never let it air dry. You can then wipe it down with a thin layer of oil and store it in a dry place.

Q: How do I season my cast iron skillet?

A: Seasoning can seem scary to a newbie but it can be very easily done. Wipe oil on the pan and make sure you apply to the sides too. Flaxseed oil is a good option. Next, heat it up on the stove till it is very hot. Then take it off, wipe the exterior with oil and then place the pan upside down in an oven to about 450 degrees for an hour. Lastly, let the pan cool for at least one hour and then clean to remove any oil residue.

Q: Can I fry eggs with a cast iron skillet?

A: Many people have difficulty frying eggs with cast iron and some people avoid it completely. However, you can fry eggs seamlessly with a cast iron skillet if you follow these steps. Make sure your pan is well seasoned. Heat up the pan first and then turn the heat down before you put in the egg. Use a fatty oil such as butter or coconut oil.

Q: What do I do if my cast iron skillet rusts?

A: If your cast iron skillet rusts, it is can be easily restored. First of all, remove all the rust with a steel wool scrubber till you reach raw cast iron. Then clean and season your pan as instructed above. Don’t forget the handles and the bottom during this process.

Q: Does using a cast iron skillet increase my iron intake?

A: Yes, it has been shown that using a cast iron skillet can increase your iron intake by up to 20% due to traces added from the pan. Iron is an essential nutrient and using a cast iron pan is an effortless way to boost your intake.

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