Your grandmother probably loved it, your parents likely shunned it in favor of Teflon and your peers buy as much of it as they can. What are we talking about? Cast iron, of course.
Although cast-iron cookware has been on the market for more than 100 years, it has experienced a bit of a resurgence in the last decade. In fact, sales of cast iron have experienced more than a 225% increase in the last ten years, according to the Cookware Manufacturer’s Association.
This is due in part to the revelation that the chemicals in non-stick skillets might be causing cancer. Cast iron is a natural non-stick alternative, and the material also has the ability to go from stove to oven to grill with ease. Plus, it requires less oil and might infuse food with iron, making it a healthier type of cookware all around.
If you’re ready to switch to cast-iron cookware, buying one of the best cast-iron skillets is a good place to start. Most of these versatile pieces come pre-seasoned, meaning you’ll be ready to cook everything from corn bread to fried chicken as soon as your order arrives.
1. Lodge Cast Iron Skillet
Since the modern resurgence of cast iron, Lodge has become a giant in the skillet business. This specialized company makes a range of affordable, pre-seasoned cast-iron cookware that both beginners and experts will enjoy. In particular, their 10 and 12-inch cast-iron skillets get tons of praise as they are heavy enough to take on searing and braising and boast a natural, easy-release finish.
2. Utopia Kitchen Pre Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet
A quality cast-iron skillet doesn’t need to be expensive, and this Utopia Kitchen Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet proves just that. The sturdy, 12.5-inch skillet arrives pre-seasoned and ready to cook out of the box. With superior heat retention, this piece of cookware can be used on stovetops, in ovens and even on the grill. Keep in mind that the factory pre-seasoning will need to be supplemented by additional seasonings at home to create a nearly 100% non-stick surface.
3. Hamilton Beach Enameled Cast Iron Skillet
When choosing a cast iron skillet, one of the choices you’ll need to make is whether to buy bare or enamel-coated cookware. The former are more reactive to heat and need to be seasoned to develop a patina. The latter are non-stick out of the box, have many of the same qualities as a bare cast-iron skillet but require less intensive care. If an enamel-coated cast-iron skillet sounds like the right option for you, consider the Hamilton Beach Enameled Cast Iron Skillet. This affordable pan is available in several ombre colors and can be used to fry, braise and bake your recipes.
4. Charlton Home Maymie 3 Piece Cast Iron Skillet Set
If you already know that you love cooking with cast iron, invest in this Charlton Home Maymie Three Piece Cast Iron Skillet Set. The set comes with a six-inch pan, a seven-inch pan and a 10-inch pan for all your cooking needs. Like the others on our list so far, these Charlton Home skillets come pre-seasoned and are made from heavy duty cast iron. At just over $10 per pan, there’s no real disadvantage to purchasing this set.
5. Legend Cast Iron Skillet with Lid
BEST WITH LID
Most cast iron skillets are a one-piece purchase. But the Legend Cast Iron Skillet gives consumers a few extras, like a lid and a silicone handle cover. These extras make a huge difference when cooking with cast iron, as many recipes require covering during the cooking process. In addition, moving a cast iron skillet without a handle cover can be dangerous. As the pan is entirely made of iron, the handle gets hot too! Together with the pre-seasoned skillet itself, this three-piece set means you’re ready to cook the minute you receive your order.
6. Staub Mini Cast Iron Fry Pan
We promise the Staub Mini Cast Iron Fry Pan isn’t just on this list because it’s so darn cute. This piece of cookware might be small, but it packs a punch thanks to its enameled bottom, which means it can be used on any stovetop. What’s more it boasts the ability to withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees F. Plus, it’s already seasoned and has a slightly rough surface to create an ideal cooking environment. From the oven to the stove, this is a little pan that could.
7. Smithey Ironware Company Double Handled Cast Iron Skillet
BEST DOUBLE HANDLED
Do you cook for a crowd? The Smithey Ironware Company Double Handled Cast Iron Skillet was designed to do just that with its 14-inch diameter and double-handled design. It can help you fix up a delicious paella, roast a whole chicken or braise enough meat for a small dinner party. In addition, this gorgeous piece of cookware comes pre-seasoned and is nearly non-stick out of the box. The almost too shiny exterior means this is a pan in which you’ll be happy to serve your dishes on the table, too.
8. FINEX 12 in. Cast Iron Skillet with Lid
Last but not least, may we present the FINEX 12-inch Cast Iron Skillet with Lid, which is something unique in the world of cast-iron cookware. Its octagonal design and matching lid are certainly more eye-catching than the average skillet. Add to that the coiled handle, and you’ve got a skillet that’s worthy of display. In addition, this piece of cookware is made to be heirloom quality thanks to the high-quality production process used by FINEX. It takes eight hands-on people and a tumbler full of river rocks to produce this gorgeous skillet and its ultra-smooth cooking surface.