Only a professional cooking expert or chef can tell you how useful a cast iron skillet is in day-to-day cooking. It’s the inspiration for all kitchen appliances, and unlike aluminum or stainless pans, a cast iron pan doesn’t require much oil and its non-stick base is free of synthetic chemicals. Pan-fried chicken is suitable for cooking with mushrooms, crispy chicken thighs, frittatas, sauces or even in a classic tart tatin, while some may use the pan over a fire pit, or pizza oven or barbecue. Pans made of cast iron are generally the best example of strength and sturdiness. But, don’t just focus on its hardness as these pans require a certain level of maintenance and care. If you keep the pan well, it will last a long time and serve to produce a high-quality meal with plenty of flavors.
There are numerous different styles, shapes, and toughness of cast iron skillets available, so it can be difficult to determine which one is perfect for your kitchen. In addition to the type of pan, you should also focus on the well-positioned handle, large pour spout, smart design, maneuverability and cleaning guide.
Best Buy Cast Iron Pans For The Money
To help you choose the best, we tested and researched 8 cast iron pans and shortlisted some of the best-cast iron pans, which are easily available on online stores and supermarket.
1. Lodge L8SK3 Pre-Seasoned Skillet: Best Overall
First, you need to understand why you should invest in a Lodge cast iron pan. As it is a competitive American brand with a great reputation, assurance of performance and quality. American engineered this cast iron skillet has been unbeatable for oven a century in terms of quality. Whether it is versatility, durability, or affordable easy-release finishes, lodge cast iron pans have all of these qualities.
Designed thoughtfully for baking, searing, sautéing, grilling, frying, and braising, this 10.25-inch Cast iron skillet offers even heating and great heat retention. Since it is pre-seasoned with pure natural vegetable oil, your food won’t stick to the base of the pan. Being versatile, you can use it on the stove, in the oven, over a campfire, and on the grill.
It can cook thoroughly without sear meat and scorching at higher heat. This 10-1/4 inches in diameter and 2-inches deep cast-iron skillet enables you to prepare steaks, pancakes, hamburgers, chicken, pancakes, casseroles & desserts. A true cooking companion by Lodge, you are allowed to work with it in your kitchen or camp.
- It is one of the premium quality pre-seasoned cast iron skillets.
- Cleaning can be effortless as food won’t stick to its base.
- The company should more work on its seasoning.
2. Utopia Pre-Seasoned Cast-iron Skillet: Runner Up
Another quality cast iron pan by one of the renowned brands, Utopia. This 12.5-inches black cast iron skillet enables evenly distributed heat to the food across the base. This quality improves cooking and frying. Utopia cast iron skillet is stovetop and oven compatible. Hence, you are allowed to prepare a variety of different meals of your choice. Being a good conductor of thermal energy, you can expect to have quality cooked food with unbeatable flavours and taste.
Already at a pre-seasoning stage with soy-based oil, which makes it ready to be used straight out of the packing. Just keep in mind, that cleaning & upkeep is a must to prevent the surface from tearing. Enhance your cooking experience at home with this skillet, be it simmering, sautéing, searing, baking, roasting, frying, or braising. Note that it is not dishwasher safe, and manual cleaning is recommended.
- Due to the presence of thermal conductivity, you will be assured of quality and delicious food.
- An ample cooking space is offered to cook food in a large batch.
- Not found.
3. Amazon Basics Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet: Considerable
Amazon itself is a hub of cookware and accessories made using different materials. One such is Pre-seasoned Cast Iron Skillet, S281 Model No. A quality yet vital piece of cookware for every Kitchen, the pre-seasoned cast iron skillet is suitable for frying, searing, baking, and more. Further, it can be used in the BBQ or oven or on the stovetop. This 15-inch skillet in diameter is popular among numerous users because it offers even heat retention and distribution.
Forget about food sticking to your pan because the base of the pan is so smooth that the food will drain easily. The reason behind the smooth surface is that it is well pre-baked with natural vegetable oil. When it comes to pre-seasoned cast iron skillets, we all expect versatility from them. Fortunately, the Amazon Basic is also versatile enough to move seamlessly from oven to table or refrigerator to stovetop for single-dish cleanup and serving. Being offered at a budget-friendly price, every user can easily pay for it.
- A quality pre-seasoned pan with a smooth finish is suitable for versatile cooking.
- The most affordable pan on this list is by the sought-after brand, Amazon.
- It is a bit bulky.
How To Choose The Best Cast Iron Pan
Using cast iron pan can help you become a better cook, and it’s also good for your diet. However, there are a few important considerations to make before making the purchase. Before investing in a set of cast iron pans, keep the following things in mind:
Cast iron cookware used to be seasoned using time-honored techniques. Pre-seasoned cookware is now widely available from most manufacturers.
To make an informed purchasing decision, be sure to review the product details, including its pre-seasoning procedure, before making a purchase. If a company doesn’t offer pre-seasoned cookware, you should steer clear of them.
Using chemical coating
Some of the brands promise a chemical surface, but you’ll find that most of them aren’t trustworthy. To ensure a positive experience, it’s best to go with a well-known manufacturer.
It is possible to use cast iron cookware for many years, and you must be extremely careful in your selection. Invest in cast iron cookware from a well-known brand or manufacturer.
Cast iron cookware is more expensive than nonstick cookware because of its heavy construction. When shopping for cast iron cookware, it is important to keep your budget in mind. Also, don’t spend a fortune on high-end cookware.
Cast iron cookware, on the other hand, is very reasonably priced when compared to the other options on the market. Be careful not to buy too many things.
A basic cookware set will suffice if you are on a tight budget. If a product is inexpensive, it doesn’t mean it’s going to be less effective or cheap. You can get good products at a reasonable price from well-known brands.
You ought to give this a second thought. Choosing cast iron cookware, that has long-lasting handles, is essential. It would help prevent kitchen accidents. When there are many children running around the house, this is especially important to keep in mind. While cooking, a well-built grip can offer you with the necessary support.
Size and weight
When shopping for a cast iron pan, it’s the most important thing to keep in mind. Cast iron pots and pans come in a wide range of sizes and weights. Iron pots and pans tend to be large and hefty. Make your choice based on your personal preferences.
Smaller, lighter-weight pans are best if you reside alone or with a small family, according to us. It would be a waste of money to purchase expensive cookware sets.
When pressing along upper edge of the pan, see if there is any movement. With larger pans, you’re more likely to notice some movement, but this isn’t a big deal.
The flatter the skillet, the effectively it will collaborate on a flat cooktop, such as a electric or convention one. Raised burners, the outdoor cooking & baking call for a pan can rock and spin a little bit. Take a pass if there is excessive warpage.
It is possible that some cracks can be seen clearly, while others will be hidden by years of corrosion and weathering. Using your knuckles, gently scrape the bottom. Cast iron pans with no cracks will have a bell-like ring to them. The last thing you need is a skillet that makes a budget-friendly piece of tin sound good.
Using cookware that has more than a small amount of pitting just on food preparation surface can make it increasingly challenging to get a uniform layer of seasoning on your food.
Enameled or non-enameled
Using enameled cast iron pans does not require seasoning. Cooking acidic foods on any sort of stovetop or oven is simple here. It only has one flaw: the potential for cracking or chipping. Acidic foods should never be cooled in non-enameled cookware because the reactive nature of the non-enameled kitchenware results in a metallic taste.
Handle design is critical for cast iron pans, which are heavy and retain a lot of heat. In order to keep one safe, study handles are essential. A good grip is also necessary to keep them from slipping out of your hands.
Cast iron utensils come in many varieties, including frying pans, casseroles, grills pans, woks, and pizza pans. The utensils you need can be found by following the instructions in the buyer’s guide provided above. Take care of them and make sure they are well taken care of for a long time to come.
Cast Iron Pan Frequently Asked Questions
- How to store your cast iron pans?
More important than where you keep the cast iron is how you keep it. Before you hang or stack any cast iron, make sure it is completely dry. Your carefully acquired seasoning will be destroyed by rust. Second, if you’re stacking the skillet with other saucepans for storage, we recommend lining it with a single paper towel. It prevents the pan’s surface from getting ruined by dampness and wicks away any excess.
- Can I use soap for cleaning cast iron pans?
Soap can damage the cast iron’s finish and seasoning, so there’s no point in using it. Soap and water can be used to kill any lingering bacteria after cooking, for example with raw meat. But it’s not needed for regular meals.
- Is it important to oil a cast iron pan or can be used directly?
People like to use a little oil when they cook, it really isn’t necessary. Cast iron benefits from being recoated with oil every so often, but this is not required before each use.
When cooking an egg, for instance, most people don’t want to add any extra oil to the pan first. However, a small amount of oil is helpful for searing vegetables and grains and preventing them from sticking while stir-frying.
A little trial and error may be required before you figure out which dishes call for oil and others do not.
- Can I fix a rusty cast iron pan?
Don’t stress out if the cast iron is rusting. Cast iron is susceptible to these issues after being wet for a prolonged amount of time or after its seasoning has faded off.
If your cast iron ever rusts, you need only start the seasoning procedure over, paying close attention to the initial scouring and cleaning step and using a stainless brush pad to remove any remaining rust.
- Are there any health benefits of cooking in a cast iron pan?
For premenopausal women who don’t consume the recommended daily amount of 18 milligram of iron, “leaching” iron into food from cast iron cookware can be a benefit rather than a drawback.
- Is there any drawback cooking in a cast iron pan?
Using a cast iron pan can be harmful for those whose diets already include too much iron. Thus, always check on your diet plan before using this pan for everyday cooking usage.
Hi, my name is Ashley Robinson. I’m a food blogger and a part time chef in Food & Drink Junction, Denver. With my blog I’m sharing information & tutorials about different kinds of cooking pans.