Whether you want to bake, braise, broil, roast, or saute, a cast iron skillet is a versatile cookware, essential in every kitchen. Moreover, it offers lifetime durability with incredible heat retention and even distribution to make tasty, healthy meals.
With so many options available in the market, it’s challenging for you to decide which cast iron skillet suits your cooking needs. That’s why this guide presents the best cast iron skillet reviews and bonus cleaning tips to increase their durability.
Table of Contents
- Top 5 Best Cast Iron Skillets for 2021 Reviews
- 1. Best High-End: Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Iron Handle Skillet
- 2. Best Budget: Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet
- 3. Best Cast Iron Skillet Set: Lodge Essential Pan Set, 7-Piece
- 4. Best: Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet
- 5. Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Deep Skillet
- How to Clean a Cast Iron Skillet?
Top 5 Best Cast Iron Skillets for 2021 Reviews
Here are our top picks for the “best cast iron skillet“:
1. Best High-End: Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Iron Handle Skillet
The Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Iron Handle Skillet is a 10.25 inches skillet that requires less oil for your cast iron skillet recipes so that you and your family can enjoy low-fat meals. Moreover, cleaning this cast iron skillet is a breeze because it’s dishwasher safe.
The elegant multi-purpose design of the skillet includes spouts on both the left and right sides for convenient pouring. Moreover, the sides are comparatively low, offering a larger cooking surface to cook pizzas.
Since it’s a cast iron skillet, it isn’t lightweight like any other non-stick pan. However, the helper handle allows you to carry or empty the skillet safely. Furthermore, the larger loop will enable you to quickly grab both the handles when the skillet is extremely hot.
The Le Creuset cast iron skillet features an enamel coating on the interior and exterior. Furthermore, the interior is black and not entirely smooth, giving it a raw cast iron outlook.
Another good news is that the cast iron used in the skillet doesn’t rust, courtesy of the enamel coating.
- Requires less oil
- Perfect for low-fat cooking
- Stain-resistant interior
- Convenient lifting with larger loop handle
- Exceptional heat retention
- Short sides
2. Best Budget: Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet
If you want to try delicious cast iron skillet recipes such as best cuts of beef to smoke or chicken roast, the Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet is an affordable 12 inches skillet featuring a pre-seasoned interior.
Based in the USA, Lodge has been designing cast iron skillets and other kitchen accessories since 1896.
One of the best things about the Lodge Pre-Seasoned cast iron skillet is the apt handle size. The handle is long enough for a secure grip and short enough to offer sufficient leverage to lift this heavy-weight pan.
Furthermore, you can see the helper handle on the opposite side so that you can lift the pan full of pasta without spilling around. The two spouts allow you to pour out the grease.
This sturdy cast-iron skillet comes with two-inches high sides, perfect for shallow frying without splatter.
You can use a smoker thermometer to check the oil temperature if you want to deep fry a whole chicken roast in the Lodge pre-seasoned skillet.
One of the distinct features that make this skillet one of the best cast iron skillets is its hot handle holder. The holder is made of silicone or leather, offering a snug fit to the handle.
It’s recommended to put the holders in the handle before placing the skillet on the cooktop. However, you shouldn’t use the holder inside the oven as neither silicone nor leather can withstand high temperatures.
- Recommended for induction cooktops
- Convenient handwashing
- Not dishwasher friendly
- Pre-seasoned doesn’t mean non-stick
3. Best Cast Iron Skillet Set: Lodge Essential Pan Set, 7-Piece
If you want to make a one-time investment in buying a durable pan set, the Lodge Essential Pan Set, 7-Piece, is a one-for-all and all-for-one pan set. It includes all the essential pans and accessories, including a 10.5-inch grille, 10.2 inches pan, six inches red silicone stand, silicone mitten, red pan scraper, and black grill scraper.
You no longer need to worry about seasoning a cast iron skillet because this cast iron skillet comes pre-seasoned with natural oil to facilitate cooking. Moreover, it’s a multi-purpose pan set that allows you to bake, roast, fry, boil, stew, and simmer.
Another good news is that silicone mitts can withstand heat up to 500F degrees, while the silicone support is heat-resistant up to 250F degrees. However, you shouldn’t be using both of them in the Cosori air fryer toaster oven.
Lastly, you can clean the cookware by hand using a mild detergent. Next, you should dry it immediately after cleaning and rub it with cooking oil to ensure its longevity.
The Lodge essential pan set is a multi-purpose cast iron skillet that you can use on different heating media. For example, it means you can make a tomato sauce alongside grilling by placing the pan on the Hamilton beach smokeless grill, which is the best smokeless indoor grill.
- Outstanding heat retention
- Dishwasher safe silicone accessories
- All-rounder pan set
4. Best: Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet
The Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet is a 17 inches pre-seasoned cast iron skillet featuring 100 percent vegetable oil seasoning instead of any chemical or synthetic coating. All you need to do is spray some vegetable oil on this ready-to-use skillet and start cooking right away.
You should know that a pre-seasoned interior doesn’t necessarily mean non-stick. Instead, it means you need to spray oil before cooking and after cleaning.
If you are an eco-friendly person, you won’t regret your decision about selecting the Lodge seasoned cast iron skillet. It’s because the skillet is made in zero hazardous waste stream foundry.
Whether you are an expert or a beginner, you can use this versatile cast iron skillet on different heat sources, including stovetops, ovens, and campfires.
The two inches depth and 17 inches diameter offer you ample cooking area to cook, roast, sear, roast, and more. Furthermore, the two handles available on both sides allow you to transfer the skillet from the stove to the dining table.
- Versatile 17 inches cast iron skillet
- Two-handle design for secure lifting
- No synthetic coating
- Slightly rough interior
5. Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Deep Skillet
As the name suggests, the Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Deep Skillet is a multi-purpose five-quart best deep fryer featuring an iron cover, assist handle and self-basting tips. It’s a high-performing cast iron skillet with exceptional heat retention and even heat distribution that allows you to fry, bake and slow roast.
Furthermore, the easy-grip handles allow you to lift the deep skillet or hand it for storage.
Another great news about this best slow cooker comes pre-seasoned with natural 100 percent vegetable oil instead of harmful chemical coating. This way, you can cook healthy meals for your friends and family by using minimal oil, butter, or fat.
Moreover, it’s convenient to clean the stick-resistant surface using mild detergent without any scrubbing.
This reliable deep skillet comes with an iron lid, thus saving your money in buying an additional cover.
- Comes with self-basting tips
- Pre-seasoned with natural vegetable oil
- Multi-purpose deep skillet
- Offers even heat distribution
- Includes an iron lid
How to Clean a Cast Iron Skillet?
A cast iron skillet is the most efficient cookware among the rest of the utensils. That’s why it has a reputation of being high-maintenance, and it’s justified.
First, you shouldn’t expose the cast iron to water or air as it will rust. Moreover, it’s unnecessary to soak it in soap or over-scrub as it will wipe away the seasoning. Similarly, you shouldn’t cook acidic foods in a cast iron skillet.
Lastly, reapplying an oil layer after washing and drying is an integral part of the cooking process.
Steps to Clean the Best Cast Iron Skillet
If you want to increase the longevity of your cast iron skillet, read along to learn essential cleaning tips:
- You should make a habit of cleaning cast iron skillet while it’s warm because it’s easy to remove the stuck-on bits.
- First, you should remove all the food using a paper towel or a sponge. You can also use coarse salt or brush to scrape the stuck bits from the skillet’s bottom.
- You don’t need to soak the cast iron skillet overnight or use soap to clean it; instead, you can apply a small amount of soap on the soft sponge or paper towel to clean the interior if necessary.
- You should not use a harsh material or steel wool to clean the pan as it can damage the seasoning.
- After removing all the bits, rinse the skillet with hot water.
- Next, dry the cast iron skillet using paper towels and place it on medium-low heat for three to five minutes until it gets completely dry.
- Once the skillet is dry with zero signs of any moisture, it’s time to apply a thin coating of vegetable oil on the surface with the help of an oil brush or paper towel.
- Lastly, you should rub the oil on the surface to remove the oil residue.
- As an additional step (not necessary), you can heat the skillet at 30F degrees in the oven to bond the oil to the skillet to form a natural non-stick even coating.
- You can place the cast iron skillet in a dry place inside the storage cabinet or simply hang it above your kitchen countertop.
One of the best things about using a cast iron skillet is its heat retention and compatibility with induction stovetops.
To sum up, the above cast iron skillet reviews will assist you in making a well-informed decision about buying a suitable cast iron skillet.