- ⭐ Best All-Around Choice: 10 1/4 Inch Enamel Cast Iron Skillet by Le Creuset
- Best Large Cast Iron Skillet: 12 Inch Cast Iron Skillet by Lodge
- Best Small Cast Iron Skillet: 8 Inch Cast Iron Skillet by Lodge
A cast iron skillet is a great tool (if you know what you are doing):
- It has unparallelled heat retention: steel will lose temperature when you add food, whereas cast iron won’t.
- Over time, a cast iron skillet will get “seasoned”, meaning that it will get a nice surface that improves with every time fat or oil is applied. It really adds to the flavor.
- It is practically indestructible.
Do I Need Cast Iron or Steel?
Cast iron is for long lasting, even heat — like grilling, browning or blackening, and steel pans are for fast heat control — like saute work. You can still grill a cheese sandwich in a steel pan and you can make a nice piccata in a cast iron, but that’s not the ideal use of those tools.
If by now you’ve made your choice, here’s my list of best cast iron skillets to buy today.
Best Cast Iron Skillets
Best All-Around: Le Creuset 10 1/4 in. Enamel Cast Iron Skillet
- Heavyweight fry pan requires very little oil, making it an excellent choice for low-fat cooking
- Optimized for steady, even heat, Le Creusets improved enamel interior resists staining, dulling, and wear and tear
- Black enamel interior requires no additional seasoning, unlike other cast-iron cookware
- New large loop helper handle facilitates lifting the pan and provides a better grip even while wearing oven mitts
- Enameled cast-iron construction provides superior heat retention. Dishwasher safe for fast, convenient cleanup
- Fantastic cooking
- Looks are top of the shelf
- So durable that it might just outlive you
- Has a learning curve
No wonder Le Creuset cookware is the Buy-It-For-Life crowd’s favorite: it has the whole package. It looks and feels incredible, and it cooks better than any other cast iron skillet — provided you know how to use it.
It is not your regular cast iron:
- The inside is enameled so it doesn’t need seasoning
- Make sure to always pre-heat it before use. It doesn’t have a non-stick surface, so if you don’t pre-heat it things will stick to it. If you do pre-heat, there’s no problem.
- You can clean it in a dishwasher, unlike other cast iron
If you keep everything above in mind, I promise you: you will love it. If you can afford it, I recommend you go with this as your primary skillet.
Best Large – 12 inch Cast Iron Skillet by Lodge
- One Lodge Pre-Seasoned 12 Inch Cast Iron Skillet with Handle Holder
- Assist handle for better control
- Unparalleled heat retention and even heating
- Pre-seasoned with 100% natural vegetable oil
- Use to sear, sauté, bake, broil, braise, fry, or grill
- Great cooking
- Nicely priced
Cast iron skillets from Lodge are another favorite, and I recommend the 12-inch one with a silicon handle cover as the best large cast iron skillet. You can cook for the whole family in it, but the 12-inch version is pretty heavy. This one is factory pre-seasoned, but you might want to season it anyway.
Best Small – 8 inch Cast Iron Skillet by Lodge
- Great cooking
- Nicely priced
- Not big enough for more than one meal
This is the small, 8-inch one. This one is pretty light and, like the large one, checks all the right boxes.
Bonus: Buy a Set
If you don’t want to cherry-pick your skillets, this is the one I would get. I’ve heard very good things about this set, though the brand is not as established as Le Creuset or Lodge. Biggest drawback is the surface: some people mention that it’s not as good as the others.
- HEAVY DUTY – Cast iron skillets are a timeless must-have for every kitchen. The Simple Chef Cast Iron Skillet 3-Piece Set is virtually indestructible and will last years, decades. Better than any Lodge cast iron set!
- READY TO USE – The skillet set is ready to use, straight out of the box. They are factory pre-seasoned, which is much more effective than at home pre-seasoning. Factory pre-seasoning makes our cast iron skillets virtually non-stick, easy to clean, protected against scratches, and will also make your food rich in flavor!
- MULTI-FUNCTIONAL – Our cast iron cookware is multi-functional, and suitable for many different cooking methods. Use our skillets on the stove top, in oven, over a campfire, and even when slow-cooking! Our set is great for frying, sautéing, cooking, grilling, and more.
- HEAT RETENTION – Our design provides superior heat retention for cooking. And they conduct heat evenly, so that your meals will turn out perfectly cooked every time. Plus the sturdy handle aids in lifting, and provides a hole for hanging when not in use.
- SATISFACTION GUARANTEED – We are so confident in the quality of our product that we offer a 30-day satisfaction guarantee! If you are unsatisfied, simply contact us to return the product for a full refund.
Hope you liked this!