Best Cast Iron Skillets 2019 – Top Picks Cast Iron Cookware

For the uninitiated, cast iron skillets can seem like an exceptionally complex type of cookware. Although cast iron cookware requires a bit of extra maintenance, it’s extremely sturdy and durable and has excellent cooking capabilities.

Because cast iron skillets are so different from regular skillets, it’s important to learn about some of the best products and what makes them amazing before making your final decision. This article will give you the knowledge necessary to make an educated, wise decision.

Best Cast Iron Skillet

Top 12 Best Cast Iron Skillets on the Market 2019

1. Cuisinel Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet – Best for the Budget

Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet 2-Piece Set Review

The Cuisinel Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet comes in a set of 2 skillets (10” and 12”). Each skillet is equipped with a removable silicone handle holder than can be taken off to allow for easy cleaning. As the name indicates, these skillets are pre-seasoned and ready for use.

One of the especially unique features of this Cuisinel skillet is that it can be used on almost all surfaces, indoors and outdoors. Both skillets are designed for use on grills, induction stoves, and stovetops alike, making this an extremely versatile piece of cookware.

The heat distribution of the Cuisinel Pre-Seasoned skillets is spectacular. The pre-seasoning of these skillets ensures a multifunctional cooking surface that is perfectly capable of sautéing, frying, braising, and boiling among all other techniques to result in evenly cooked food.

Reseasoning is necessary with this pan from time to time, but these skillets are durable and long-lasting, so they can go with you for years to come. Keep in mind that dishwashing and the use of soap is not possible with these skillet as it will damage the surface.

Pros

  • Possible to use indoors and outdoors
  • Compatible with induction ovens
  • 2-skillet set
  • Pre-seasoned
  • Heat-proof silicone handles
  • Oven-safe

Cons

  • Reseasoning is necessary
  • Not dishwasher-safe
  • Can’t use soap for cleaning

2. Victoria Large Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet – Most Environmentally Friendly

Large Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet by Victoria Review

Victoria is a Colombian cookware brand known for its high quality and durability. The company’s cast iron skillets are all made using a European cast iron machine combined with innovative technologies to create surprisingly functional cookware pieces.

This Victoria cast iron skillet is pre-seasoned using flaxseed oil. The skillet can be used easily with gas, induction, and electric stoves alike, and can even be used over an open flame for camping trips and outdoor excursions.

The shape and design of the Victoria cast iron skillet is part of what helped it make it onto this list. A round shape, pour spouts on either side (each complete with drip cutters), and a longer handle all make this cast iron skillet one of the best on the market for 2019.

One of the things that make this skillet special is that it’s made completely from recycled cast iron that has been melted and purified to bring it back to the purest form. For environmentally conscious cooks, the Victoria Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet is an ideal choice.

Pros

  • Comes in multiple sizes (6.5-inch, 8-inch, 10-inch, 12-inch, 13-inch, and a square size)
  • Made from recycled cast iron
  • Seasoned using flaxseed oil
  • Suitable for use on all stove tops, including induction overs
  • Comes with wide helper handle
  • Two pour spouts

Cons

  • Not dishwasher-safe
  • No silicone handle
  • According to some customers, the cooking surface is not completely flat

3. Utopia Kitchen Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet – Most Functional Skillet

Utopia Kitchen Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet Review

The Utopia Kitchen Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet is ready to use right away, no preparation needed. This cast iron skillet was seasoned using soybean oil in a process of many factory pre-seasonings to give you the best quality from the very beginning.

Utopia Kitchen designed this cast iron skillet to be functional on all different surfaces, including grills, induction stovetops, ovens, and campfires. This is by far one of the most versatile, functional skillets on this list.

This cast iron skillet comes in two different sizes, 10.25-inch and 12.5-inch so that cooks can choose the one that best suits their needs. Other features of the skillet include a helper handle, two pour spouts, and a longer handle for easy carrying and maneuvering.

Utopia Kitchen recommends that cooks use a vegetable oil to lightly coat the pan after every wash. Full reseasoning will still be necessary on a regular basis. It is acceptable to wash this skillet with soap, but customers should never use a dishwasher to clean this skillet.

Pros

  • Can be used on all surfaces from electric stovetops to campfires
  • Comes with a helper handle
  • Two sizes: 10.25-inch and 12.5-inch
  • Seasoned with natural soybean oil.
  • Excellent heat retention and distribution
  • Pre-seasoned

Cons

  • Not dishwasher-safe
  • No silicone handle for heat protection
  • Some customers experienced scratches on glass stovetops

4. Le Creuset Signature Cast Iron Skillet – Best Cast Iron Skillet for Professionals

Le Creuset Signature Iron Handle Skillet Review

The Le Creuset Signature Cast Iron Skillet is crafted from multiple materials, all mastered and purified, to create a durable, high quality, beautiful piece of cookware. Besides being a quality tool, this cookware comes in different colors, making it a fun and creative piece.

The interior lining of this cast iron skillet is smooth and non-stick with a black enamel coating instead of seasoning. This coating is stain-resistant and eliminates the need for regular seasoning. Plus, the coatings on the interior and exterior make the skillet dishwasher-safe.

The heavy weight of this Le Creuset skillet along with its non-stick interior makes it perfect for low-fat cooking. This skillet doesn’t require the use of oil to cook food properly, so it’s excellent for making healthy, oil-free dishes on the stovetop.

With professional-grade construction and all the best features, it’s not surprising that the Le Creuset Signature Cast Iron Skillet has a hefty price tag. For professional chefs or dedicated home cooks this is worth the investment, but for others a different skillet may be a better choice.

Pros

  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Non-stick
  • No need for reseasoning
  • Multiple color options
  • Excellent heat distribution
  • Helper handle
  • Enamel interior and exterior that resists staining

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not purely cast iron
  • Not possible to use metal utensils with this skillet

5. Bruntmor Ultimate Pre-Seasoned 2-in-1 – Best Dutch Oven Style Cast Iron Skillet Set

Ultimate Pre-Seasoned 2-In-1 Cast Iron Multi-Cooker Review

This cast iron skillet from Bruntmor is actually a 2-in-1 multicooker that can be used on all different surfaces for all different purposes. This Bruntmor product is easily one of the most durable on this list, and it’s also one of the easiest to use.

With two cast iron skillets, one deeper and slightly wider than the other, it’s possible to create almost any dish using only this cookware product alone. The main skillet is a 3-quart skillet, while the other smaller skillet is about half the size and can also function as a lid.

The Bruntmor Ultimate cast iron multicooker set is non-stick with an enamel coating on the pan interior along with a layer of seasoning to keep food from sticking. This non-stick surface helps save time and energy while letting you do more of what you love to do in the kitchen and home.

Best of all, this Bruntmor cast iron cookware piece is priced competitively against other similar skillets. As one of the most affordable cast iron Dutch oven sets on this list and also one of the most durable, this is a spectacular set for both amateur and professional cooks alike.

Pros

  • Dutch oven design; 2-in-1 multicooker
  • Non-stick coating
  • Low price
  • 3-quart skillet with smaller skillet as lid
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Pre-seasoned

Cons

  • Smaller circumference than other skillets on this list
  • Some sticking may occur with certain foods; use some oil if you’re uncertain

6. AmazonBasics Cast Iron Skillet – Simplest and Most Easily Accessible Skillet

AmazonBasics Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet Review

AmazonBasics may seem like a strange brand to make it on to this list, but the cast iron skillet from this brand is an excellent choice for many cooks. Plus, the skillet comes in 3 sizes, 10.25-inch, 12-inch, and 15-inch, meaning there’s a size option to suit most needs.

Like most of the other cast iron skillets on this list, the AmazonBasics skillet is also pre-seasoned and ready to use the moment you receive it. Of course, the pan should be reseasoned regularly, but this preliminary coating ensures longevity and better cooking.

The AmazonBasics Cast Iron Skillet can be used on most cooking surfaces, including ovens so long as the temperature does not exceed 500 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat retention and distribution on this skillet is notably good according to customers.

A long primary handle and a sturdy helper handle ensure that cooks can manage this cast iron cookware with ease. Unfortunately, this skillet is not dishwasher-safe, but it’s still extremely straightforward to clean and most cooks have no problem maintaining this skillet.

Pros

  • Helper handle
  • Multiple sizes (10.25-inch, 12-inch, and 15-inch)
  • Pre-seasoned
  • Functional on most cooking surfaces as long as heat doesn’t exceed 500 degree Fahrenheit
  • Good heat retention and distribution

Cons

  • Not dishwasher-safe
  • Not exclusively a cookware brand
  • Heavy

7. Bayou Classic 7439 Cast Iron Skillet – Best Cast Iron Skillet for Southern Cooking

Bayou Classic Double Handled Skillet Review

The construction of the Bayou Classic 7439 skillet is unique among the other skillets on this list, but that doesn’t diminish its competitive edge. This cast iron skillet has a uniquely Southern flair with the Bayou alligator etched on the bottom and its affinity for Southern cooking methods.

The Bayou skillet is large at 16-inches, and unlike other pans, it comes with a short, wide handle on either side and completely does away with the longer handle. Still though, this skillet retains the ever-important pour spouts and sturdy handle design.

The pre-seasoning of this pan contributes to the even heat distribution and retention at all stages of the cooking process. Regular re-seasoning is still necessary, but careful care and maintenance ensures that the Bayou Classic 7439 skillet will stay in the family for generations.

This pan is slightly heavier than some of the other cast iron skillets on this list at 11.5lbs, but it still is lighter than many skillets. Customers should keep in mind that this skillet is not dishwasher-safe and that it must always be washed by hand.

Pros

  • Large size (16-inch)
  • Pre-seasoned
  • Excellent heat retention and distribution
  • Pour spouts
  • Wide handles
  • Heavyweight and durable

Cons

  • Not dishwasher-safe
  • Heavier than other skillets at 11.5lbs
  • No long handle, only two short handles

8. Lodge 12-Inch Cast Iron Skillet – Best Overall Cast Iron Skillet

Lodge 12 Inch Cast Iron Skillet Review

Lodge is regarded as one of the best cast iron cookware brands in America, and this 12-inch cast iron skillet is no exception. A beautiful design, spectacular construction, and easy-to-use instructions make this skillet one of the absolute best products on the market for 2019.

This entry specifically discusses the 12-inch version of the Lodge cast iron skillet, but it also comes in 8-inch, 9-inch, 10-inch, 10.25-inch, 13-inch, and 13.25-inch designs. Some versions may also come with an iron lid to trap heat and aid the cooking process.

Lodge offers cooks silicone handles that come in different colors and designs to protect hands and add an extra layer of kitchen style. These silicone holders protect hands against heats up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Lodge Cast Iron Skillet comes pre-seasoned. Hand washing with soap and hot water along with a light coating of vegetable oil is often enough to adequately maintain this low-maintenance cookware piece. When in doubt, check with the manufacturer for exact instructions.

Pros

  • Multiple sizes (8-inch, 9-inch, 10-inch, 10.25-inch, 12-inch, 13-inch, and 13.25-inch available)
  • Silicone handles protect up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Pre-seasoned
  • Low-maintenance
  • Durable
  • Made in the USA
  • Can be used on an induction stovetop and on most other surfaces

Cons

  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Must be reseasoned regularly

9. Westinghouse WFL650 Series – Best Cast Iron Skillet for Travel

Commercial Chef CHFL650 6.5

This cast iron skillet from Westinghouse can easily produce flavorful and well-textured food creations. The WFL650 Series skillet has spectacular heat distribution and can go from the stovetop to the oven without any problem, making it extraordinarily versatile.

The small size of the WFL650 skillet (6.5-inches) contributes to the ease with which one can travel with this pan. Because this Westinghouse skillet is quite compact, it’s a perfect travel buddy for a hiking trip or a night spent outside around a campfire.

This skillet comes pre-seasoned, but it’s absolutely essential that customers keep up the maintenance on re-seasoning and proper washing practices in order to retain the longevity of the skillet. The user’s manual that comes with the skillet provides more detailed information.

Besides being compact, the WFL650 is very lightweight at only 1.85lbs. For hikers, single people or couples, or home cooks that like to have a smaller pan for side dishes, the Westinghouse cast iron skillet is a fantastic choice.

Pros

  • Compact, lightweight design
  • Pre-seasoned
  • Excellent heat distribution
  • Produces food with perfect texture
  • Long-lasting with proper maintenance
  • Adequate heat retention

Cons

  • Not dishwasher-safe
  • Not suitable for glass, ceramic, and smooth stove tops as it will scratch the surface.
  • Smaller than a lot of other cast iron skillets

10. Calphalon Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Cookware – Best Lightweight Skillet

Calphalon Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Cookware Skillet Review

This pre-seasoned cast iron skillet from Calphalon is durable and designed with features that make it easy to use and maintain. The Calphalon cast iron skillet can withstand a beating and doesn’t flinch at being used regularly, even every day. This is truly a high quality product.

A long, oversized handle along with a helper handle make managing and lifting this piece of cast iron cookware a breeze. Plus, the lightweight design of the skillet adds even more to the ease of use by taking the strain off your wrists and hands.

Unlike some other cast iron skillets, this Calphalon skillet can go between surfaces without any problem. Whether it be glass, nylon, metal or wood, your kitchen surfaces and your beloved cast iron skillet are both perfectly safe.

In addition to all the great features this skillet offers, Calphalon also provides customers with a lifetime warranty. An affordable price and effective features make this cast iron skillet an ideal choice for professionals, home cooks, and amateur cooks alike.

Pros

  • Lightweight (6.8lbs)
  • Specifically designed for slow-cooking and traditional cooking techniques
  • Oversized handle for easy lifting
  • Helper handle
  • Will not damage surfaces
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Requires reseasoning

11. Pioneer Woman Timeless Cast Iron Skillet – Best Cast Iron Skillet for Amateur Cooks

The Pioneer Woman Timeless Cast Iron Review

This cast iron skillet is sturdy, durable, and considered a favorite among cast iron skillet aficionados. It’s beautiful and long-lasting with plenty of excellent features incorporated into its attractive aesthetic.

The Pioneer Woman cast iron skillet has a non-stick enamel coating on the interior of the pan that gets rid of the need for reseasoning and also makes cooking and cleaning super simple. The non-stick interior makes it possible to make very low-fat meals with this pan.

Unlike some other cast iron pans that take time to heat up to a higher temperature, one of the best things about this cast iron skillet is that it heats quickly and evenly. Thus, you can reduce your waiting time and increase the creative cooking time that every dedicated cook so desires.

This cast iron skillet from Pioneer Woman is exceptionally easy to clean as well. After the pan has cooled, it’s possible to simply rinse it in the sink without the need for soap or a sponge. Even when a sponge is necessary, it’s still very easy to clean with little scrubbing required.

Pros

  • Beautiful
  • Affordable
  • Easy to clean
  • Non-stick
  • Enamel coating (reseasoning not necessary)
  • Even heat distribution
  • Heats quickly

Cons

  • Not dishwasher-safe
  • Lesser known brand

12. Staub Cast Iron 10-Inch Frying Pan – Best Professional-Quality Cast Iron Skillet for a Budget

Staub Fry Pan Review

Staub is a French cookware brand with a similar quality reputation as Le Creuset. The company’s 10-inch cast iron skillet is a wonderful product with just as much beauty as it has functionality. This brand has professional-level quality.

The Staub 10-Inch cast iron skillet has a matte enamel finish that makes the cooking surface non-stick and easy to clean. In addition, a helper handle and two pour spouts ensure that the skillet has all the features necessary to make it easy to maneuver in the kitchen.

Similar to Le Creuset, the Staub cast iron skillet comes in a variety of colors, including darker, more neutral colors as well as bright, playful colors. Of course, a classic black finish is also available for chefs or home cooks who prefer a traditional appearance.

No seasoning is required with this cast iron skillet, making it easier to maintain than some other skillets on this list. Plus, this Staub skillet works on almost all stove top surfaces, including induction, ceramic, gas, glass, electric, and halogen surfaces.

Pros

  • High-quality French cookware
  • Matte enamel finish (no need for seasoning)
  • Helper handle
  • Multiple color options
  • Works on all stove top surfaces
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Oven-safe up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Smaller size than some other skillets on this list

Things to Consider Before Buying

Choosing the Best Cast Iron Skillet

1. Pre-Seasoning

A pre-seasoned skillet can save time and energy when you first buy the pan, since it bypasses the need to season the pan yourself. Seasoning makes it so the food is less likely to stick to the pan and also provides a protective barrier between the food and the materials of the skillet.

Most cast iron skillets use organic oils for pre-seasoning, including (but not limited to) flaxseed and vegetable oils. The organic oils used to pre-season cast iron skillets gives these cookware pieces yet another edge in the realm of health and safety.

Even if a pan comes pre-seasoned, this doesn’t mean it will stay seasoned. Most cast iron pans require regular seasonings to keep them in good condition. However, a quality pre-seasoning can make all the difference in the long run.

2. Weight

Cast iron skillets are generally heavier than regular skillets, and some are heavier than others. For cooks with less strength or conditions that would inhibit lifting the heavy pan full of food, this is an especially important consideration because it can aggravate muscles and cause strain.

In the past, experts considered heavier cast iron skillets to be of a higher quality due to their excellency in heat distribution and retention. However, recent technological advances have helped create lighter weight cast iron skillets that still have excellent properties.

Weight isn’t the only thing to think about when it comes to buying a cast iron skillet, but it certainly is something to note. Some cooks may not be bothered at all by a heavier cookware piece while others may need something lighter. Try to test the pans before buying if possible.

3. Heat Distribution

Cast iron skillets are known for their spectacular heat distribution, but that doesn’t mean that all models and makes of this type of cookware are perfect. Do research into the skillets that interest you to learn more about their individual heat distribution properties before making a decision.

4. Heat-Proof Handle

Having a silicone handle or some kind of heat proofing on the handle of a cast iron skillet can make all the difference. This feature doesn’t come with every skillet, and it can make an impact in the ease with which one can handle the skillet during cooking.

Carefully designed skillets with protective features that prevent the cook from getting burned are the best choices. This diminishes the chance of injuries and also improves the possibility that the cook will be able to get the food from the skillet to the table or countertop without any slips.

Top 5 Best Cast Iron Skillet Brands

1. Lodge

Lodge Cast Iron ReviewLodge is an American cast iron cookware brand with an established reputation as one of the absolute best in the industry. Many home cooks swear by the Lodge brand and refuse to purchase anything else because of its low price as well as its longevity and durability.

As an all-American brand with a charming and powerful backstory, Lodge is a brand that customers can feel good about supporting. The company’s spectacular products and American ways make it a particularly good choice for patriotic chefs who want to support their country.

2. Le Creuset

Le Creuset Cast Iron Skillet ReviewLe Creuset is a professional-quality cookware brand that was created with the intention of encouraging cooks and chefs everywhere to explore their creativity and their craft. Each cookware piece is examined by French chefs to test for quality before being sold.

The bright colors and stunning design and construction of each Le Creuset cast iron cookware piece make it both a decorative part of the cooking process as well as an essential kitchen tool. For professional chefs or dedicated home cooks, Le Creuset is an amazing brand.

3. Cuisinel

Cuisinel Cast Iron ReviewCuisinel creates quality cookware for a quality price. Affordably priced cookware means that any cook with any budget can easily obtain a high quality cast iron skillet to use for all their fabulous new creations. Cuisinel is reliable and durable, and an excellent choice for the home cook.

This brand is a reliable, sturdy brand that home cooks across the world can rely on for its low cost and long-lasting products. Cusinel brings some of the highest quality cookware to kitchens everywhere so that all cooks can experience the delight of cooking with cast iron.

4. Bayou

The Bayou brand concentrates on American Southern-style cooking, and the designs and construction of their cookware pieces show this. Subtle decoration and tough, durable construction invoke thoughts of the South with every meal.

Bayou cast iron skillets are reliable and retain heat exceptionally well. Cast iron cookware from this brand must be reseasoned regularly, but with the proper maintenance and care owners of high-quality Bayou products can retain a product that will last a lifetime.

5. Victoria

This South American cast iron cookware brand follows traditional methods for creating spectacular cookware pieces while carefully incorporating modern technologies to create durable and beautiful skillets, pots, and pans.

The Victoria brand was born in Medellin, Colombia in 1923 out of both passion and necessity. The company grew until now, when it has reached 32 countries and has amazing success as a cast iron cookware brand that provides high-quality products to millions of cooks.

Cast Iron Skillet FAQs

Cast Iron Skillet FAQs

Q: What does it mean to “season” a cast iron skillet?

Seasoning a cast iron skillet is a process that takes a little bit of time but is absolutely necessary. The process involves “baking” the skillet with a coating of oil, margarine, or butter for 1 hour or more (depending on the pan) at a regular baking temperature.

Q: How do you clean a cast iron skillet?

Cleaning a cast iron skillet is usually a fairly simple procedure. Wash the skillet after it’s cooled with soap and hot water for the best results. Leaving the skillet overnight or even for a few hours can cause damage to the pan and create extra work in the future.

Use a scrub of coarse kosher salt to remove the stuck-on food, and then wash with the above mentioned soap and hot water. A sponge or scrub brush may also be used when washing if needed or desired. To dry the skillet, lay it upside down on a drying rack.

In some cases, a dishwasher may be used for both washing and drying but be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions and contact the company if you’re unsure. Dishwashing is usually an acceptable method of cleaning a cast iron skillet, but sometimes it can damage the pan.

Q: What are some of the pros and cons of cooking with a cast iron skillet?

Cooking with a cast iron skillet has its pros and cons, just like any piece of cookware. One of the major pros is the health benefits that cast iron skillets provide for the user. Other pans may come coated with chemicals that cast iron pans simply don’t have, making them a safer option.

In terms of health, up to 20% of the iron content of a cast iron skillet can make its way into the food. Thus, cooking with this type of cookware can be a good way to incorporate an extra little bit of this vital nutrient into every meal without risking any harm to your body.

Cast iron skillets are extremely easy to clean, making them a time and money saving cookware option in the long run. Plus, the iron from the skillet makes its way into your food to add an extra dose of this important nutrient to every meal.

While cast iron skillets have awesome benefits, they’re not for everyone. Cast iron skillets tend to be heavier than other skillets, and they can also require some extra preparation if they aren’t pre-seasoned. However, they’re still an excellent choice for many cooks.

Conclusion

Cast iron cookware is some of the best cookware on the market. With so many skillet options to choose from, it can be difficult to make a final decision.

Hopefully this list has given you a head start on finding the perfect cast iron skillet for your cooking needs and creative desires.

 

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