Are you looking for high-heat cooking? Such as charring vegetables or searing steaks, Cast Iron Skillet is the best choice and it is a lot more versatile than other tools.
Most people prefer cast iron because it distributes heat equally around the corners and needs very low fat or oil for cooking. So, it is good for healthy cooking. Rather than nonstick pans, prefer cast iron skillets because it is fully safe from toxic chemicals released while cooking in nonstick pans and cause a lot of health issues.
Cast iron is very efficient, strong, cost-effective, versatile, and is built to last. Even better, they give better value over time.
What is Cast Iron Skillet?
A cast iron skillet is a frying pan which is very heavy. They have been the best staples for your kitchens for hundred years. They are the best choice for searing, browning, slow cooking, stovetop frying, oven baking, and searing in high temperature. They are oven safe and can also be put on stovetop.
They are so versatile that you can use them for lunch, breakfast, dinner and even desserts. They are supposed to be the best choice for one-pot meals. You can buy skillets with pre-seasoned, cast iron and enamel coatings. No matter what you prefer, just make sure it is oven safe. However, it is recommended to wash with hands only. Check here our Best Omellete pan Reviews also.
Buying Instructions For A Good Cast Iron Skillet
Cooking on cast iron skillet has its own perks. But before buying one, you need to look for certain features –
Spoon rest – Generally cast iron skillets come with spoon rests and curves for pouring vegetables.
Enameled Cookware – Be sure to choose an enameled pan if you don’t want to season it again and again or if you are going for a bright cookware for your kitchen.
Factory Seasoned – Choose cast iron skillets that are pre-seasoned and ready to use just at the time you bring it to your home. If your skillet is not factory seasoned, you need to season it before use. Even if it is pre-seasoned, many cooks recommend seasoning it before first use for best results over time.
Size – Generally, skillet sizes are ranging from 8 inches, to 10 and 12 inches. If you need to choose one, it is better to go with 10-inch skillet as it is more versatile. You may buy 12-inch skillet if you have large family or want to cook large amount of food.
Handle – Generally, cast iron skillets are made with long metal handles. Make sure these are covered with silicone for easy movement and lifting while cooking.
After checking all the aspects we have listed out some of the top rated cast iron skillet, please take a look below:
Best Cast Iron Skillets Reviews For 2018
1. Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet
Lodge Seasoned 12-inch cast iron skillet is both versatile and stunning to your pantry. No matter you are a beginner or a professional cook, this skillet is everlasting. You can also pass it on to the next generation if you care for it well. Make every meal delicious with this skillet.
It is also very easy to care for this cast iron skillet as it is pre-seasoned. There is no need to season it before making your favorite recipe. Use it on campfire or stove top, you can enjoy the silky smooth finish of cast iron. It is recommended to hand wash it. Just place it on burner and remove a thin layer of fat to retain its seasoning for years.
- Great value for money
- Easy to cook on stovetop and campfire without burning food
- It is safer than Teflon and other non-stick pans
- Solid and very versatile
- Not oven safe
- Not dishwasher safe
2. Utopia Kitchen Pre-Seasoned 10.25-inch Cast Iron Skillet
It is another ready-to-use cast iron pan for you. Utopia Kitchen is a household name in offering pre-seasoned skillets. On these skillets, soy-based oil is applied to put a first layer of seasoning. It is similar to around 10 to 15 rounds of home seasoning. Hence, this cast iron skillet is totally ready for your favorite recipes. You don’t need to season it before you cook your first meals.
But it needs proper seasoning on timely basis to retain its factory-seasoning layer of cast iron. Proper maintenance and regular use can help maintain the desired non-stick coating on the pan. Overall, this 10.25-inch well sized skillet provides ample space for cooking. So, it is safe for oven, grill, stove, and even campfire. It is also compatible for electric, gas, ceramic-glass and induction tops.
- Perfect for cooking on all cooktops and oven
- Ample space for cooking your favorite dishes
- No need for initial seasoning
- Slight sliding on glass cooktop may cause scratch
- Needs proper seasoning from time to time
3. T-fal E83407 Pre-Seasoned 12-inch Cast Iron Skillet
This cast iron skillet from T-fal is extra durable and nonstick cookware. It resists heat up to 600oF. So, it is best to cook over stovetop, grill, or even campfire. It is also oven safe but make sure not to exceed its recommended temperature level. Its heavyweight cast iron body makes it ideal for browning, sautéing, frying, and searing your favorite chicken, fish, veggies and steaks. This heavy-duty, durable cookware is built to last.
All in all, it is the perfect cookware to get started. The more you use it, the better value it gives as it is seasoned for perfection. It is also easy to wash and heats constantly and evenly. Its long handles have thumb rest making it easy to hold.
- Easy to handle and cook
- Even heat distribution
- Can be used in BBQ, oven, stove tops and campfire
- Cadmium free and PFOA Free
- Sometimes fried eggs stick to the bottom
- Requires proper seasoning as per the instructions
4. Le Creuset Enameled 6.33” Cast Iron Skillet
The Enameled Signature skillets from Le Creuset come with a helping handle which adds more control and easier lifting when it comes to move between oven, stovetop, and table. Cast iron skillets have been treasured for longer and are the best staples for oven baking and stovetop frying. The matte black interior gets better over time and form a patina naturally for easy frying and searing.
Enameled cast iron gets better with age as it is a strong and durable material which meets all your needs for modern cooking. It is versatile enough for stir frying, slow cooking, high-temperature searing and baking.
- Versatile for all cooking styles
- Long lasting and durable
- Available in different color options
- Suited for all stovetops
- Not nonstick
- Needs oil and butter
- Lacks in space so it is good only for small family
5. Calphalon Pre-Seasoned 12-inch Cast Iron Skillet
This pre-seasoned 12-inch cast iron skillet is best for slow cooking in a consistent and steady way. It retains heat for hours before serving. It is made of pre-seasoned, durable cast iron to slide food smoothly and its long handle makes it easy to lift. It is safe to use in broiler and oven and comes with full lifetime warranty.
It features a generous area to cook food properly and it is good for sautéing veggies, searing fish, steaks or chicken, and making your favorite cornbread. It has enough space with 12-inch diameter to prepare food for full family at once. It is good for searing meat on stovetop thanks to its oven-safe design.
- Large space for cooking multiple servings
- Oven safe design making it good for all your cooking styles
- Pre-seasoned, durable cast iron skillet comes with lifetime warranty
- Good for slow cooking
- Slightly more expensive than other cast iron skillets
- Handle must be a inch longer
6. Universal Housewives Pre-seasoned Cast Iron Skillet
At the moment you take it brand new to your kitchen, this pre-seasoned cast iron skillet is ready to cook. Each skillet is factory seasoned with vegetable oil which is baked at high temperature to ensure smooth and natural surface area. This skillet set is best for all your cooking needs as it covers all the popular skillets you need.
It is recommended to hand wash it and dry it quickly for best results. When needed, it is also advised to re-season it to ensure longevity. If it turns gray, starts looking dull, and food sticks to the area, or it shows rust, you need to re-season your cookware.
- Ready to use as it is seasoned already
- Easy to clean
- Good for searing and adding taste
- Even heat distribution and retains heat for hours
- Long lasting cookware with less maintenance
- Not dishwasher safe
- Not microwave safe
- Needs proper seasoning over time
7. King Kooker CIFP12S 12-inch Pre-seasoned Cast Iron Skillet
King Kooker CIFP12S cast iron skillet is great for use in the kitchen or at campfire. The helper handle, pouring sides, and primary handle are the beauty of this skillet. The primary handle has hole to hang it in your kitchen. It removes cold spots and is good for even heat distribution. The cast iron skillet is pre-seasoned and is ready to cook and fry.
- Provides good value over time
- Easy to lift with helper handle and primary handle
- Good choice for even heat distribution
- You have to pre-season it, as factory seasoning is not effective enough
- Not easy to clean
- The pan is quite heavy
8. Victoria 12-inch Cast Iron Skillet
Victoria’s cast iron skillets are the perfect example of innovation in cooking as they are very functional. The handles on these skillets are bigger, curved, and more beautiful and ergonomically designed as well. So, you can easily handle or iron with better grip in the oven, campfire, or stove.
Its curvy and long handles are cooler on the stove and provide better maneuverability. This 12” cast iron skillet is the best choice for professional testers and chefs for great pre-seasoning. It is good for frying, baking, and BBQing. It is compatible to ceramic, induction, grill, campfire, and oven. It is deep enough to cook multiple servings. You can sear, fry, and bake food with safety.
- Great design
- It never gets too hot to handle and distributes heat evenly
- Good for frying, baking and over the BBQ
- Easy to maintain and handle
- Not suited for electric stove
9. VonShef Pre Seasoned Non Stick Cast Iron Sauce Pan and Skillet Set
VonShef Pre Seasoned Non-Stick cast iron pans are the first choice for many professional chefs and home cooks thanks to their longevity, reliability and unmatched performance in even heat distribution and retention for best results. The pans are best suited to gas, ceramic/halogen, electric, and induction cooktops and also oven and BBQs and open camp fires.
The skillet pans are ideal to cook different types of dishes. These are ideal to fry, sear, grill, sauté, bake and roast, or you can use different methods to cook your favorite dish. For example, you can sweat down onions and various ingredients before adding eggs and cooking in oven. You can sear duck or chicken breasts on the hob before you roast it. It is best for cooking steaks, bacon, and other meat, fish and poultry along with veggies.
- Made with traditional cast iron which is durable, long-lasting and can distribute heat well.
- Efficient, fast and versatile cooking
- Versatile and best for ceramic, induction, gas and electric heat sources
- Cook all types of dishes as it includes pans of various sizes
- Handle is not well designed but still cooks well
- Hard to clean.
10. Camp Chef 12” Pre Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet
With Camp Chef 12” seasoned cast iron skillet, you can cook virtually any delicious meals from twisted eggs to monkey bread. It has got comfort grip on the handles and you can easily pour and carry the pan. Its dual pour spouts give added comfort. Even better, its non-toxic, pre-seasoned finish saves hours of your prep time and you can cook your meals right away.
- Seasoned finish cast iron for fast cooking
- Comfortable design handle
- Helper handle for added support
- Pan is a bit heavier
Cast Iron Skillet Seasoning and Cleaning Instructions
Generally, cast iron skillets are factory seasoned with vegetable oil. But it’s still better to season it yourself to promote the nonstick properties. Seasoning is not as difficult as you assume.
- First of all, clean up a frying pan you want to season.
- Rub oil inside and outside the surface with a paper towel. You may want to use vegetable, corn, and canola oil.
- Rub the oil gently so it can soak on the metal. Make sure skillet has no puddles or drips of oil.
- Put the pan in the oven placed upside down on temperature up to 450°F. Let it go warm for 30 minutes. You might find it smoking a bit. Make sure to layer the foil under it to catch oil drips.
- Let it air dry and repeat it when needed.
Frying Pan vs. Sauté pan vs. Skillet
Skillet, frying pan, and sauté pan are just the terms used for same cookware. Skillet has long handles and gently sloped edges. You may not find lids in most skillets but you can buy them individually.
Cast iron skillets generally have a helper handle on opposite site because they are a bit heavy. On the other side, sauté pans are usually deeper and have slight edges. They are versatile for any cooking style which needs liquids like sautéing and frying.
We hope you’ve liked our guide and reviews to choose the best cast iron skillet. We have handpicked some of the best-selling, durable and versatile cast iron skillets that are supposed to make your cooking fun, easier and more productive. These are our top picks for your cookware collection. All of these are sturdy and easy to clean.