Cast iron is one of the oldest metals in the world and even in modern times, this metal is popular as the ancient days. A cookware set made of cast iron has a different appeal to cooking lovers. Nowadays, there is a broad range of cast iron cookware sets (pots, pans, skillets, Dutch ovens, etc.) in the market from different manufacturers.
So choosing the best cast iron cookware set can be tricky for you. To make your buying experience smoother, here I am going to share the buying instructions with the top products from the best cast iron cookware brands. Stay tuned with me.
What is the Best Cast Iron Cookware/Skillet?
- Uno Casa Cast Iron Skillet Set (Money Saving)
- Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron 5 Piece Set (Best Overall)
- Cuisinel Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet 3-Piece Chef Set (Best Value)
- Victoria Cast Iron Skillet (Best Skillet)
- Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet (Best Pre-Seasoned)
Well, if you are looking for a quick recommendation, then check the Uno Casa Cast Iron Skillet Set.
This money-saving skillet set comes with two different size skillets, 10 inches and 12 inches. The high-quality cast iron material used in this set makes it most durable. The finely finished bottom area makes it compatible with any type of cooktop including glass and induction. This is a pre-seasoned skillet that comes with ready-to-use features. Overall, this is one of the best skillet sets that you can own for less than $40.
Quick Overview of 3 Best Cast Iron Pots and Pans
Top 10 Cast Iron Cookware Reviews
1. Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron 5 Piece Bundle
If you want to save money on your next deal for the best cast iron cookware set, you should order this Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron cookware set. This is a complete set that includes 10.5″ Cast Iron Griddle, 8″ Skillet, 10.25″ Skillet, 10.25″ Dutch Oven, and 10.25″ Lid. With a single set, you can complete all your tasks like a professional chef.
All items come with pre-seasoned to avoid the hassle. There is no chemical material being used in the seasoning to avoid health issues. All these products are the USA made to ensure the top quality. So if you are looking for the American made cast iron skillet, then this could be the best-budget one. The utensils are suitable for sautéing, frying, stir-frying, searing and baking, and more.
- Seasoned with vegetable oil for safety.
- Suitable to use for a wide range of cooking methods.
- All essential utensils in one set.
- Comparatively low price.
- Proper heat retention for slow cooking.
- Premium cast iron for the longevity.
- Keeping it unused for a long time can cause rust.
- Handles are a little bit sharp.
2. Cuisinel Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet 3-Piece Chef Set
Looking for the top rated cast iron skillet set but at an affordable price? If yes, this set of 3 skillets would be a good choice for you. You will get an 8″, a 10″, and a 12″ cast iron skillet in the set. These skillets are pre-seasoned and allow you to cook in a wide range of cooking methods. This is a smooth bottom cast iron skillet set and the smooth finishing allows doing frying and cooking in stoves or induction cooktops.
They are crafted from top-grade cast iron to ensure sturdiness. From light cooking to heavy meals, everything is possible in these cast iron frying pans. They don’t become messy quickly and easy to clean as well as maintain.
- Easy to clean with regular water.
- Proper heat distribution for even cooking.
- Suitable for fry, bake, and grill.
- Up to 480 degrees Fahrenheit heat resistant.
- Hot handle holder to save your fingers.
- Requires regular seasoning.
- They are not dishwasher safe and not suitable for cleaning with soap.
3. Victoria 12 Inch Cast Iron Skillet
This is a 12″ High Quality Cast Iron Skillet that allows you to cook in various methods at home. The Victoria Cast Iron Skillet comes with pre-seasoning to save your time. You can start cooking on it promptly just after getting it. The surface of the skillet comes with good finishing and it prevents attaching food. For slow and even cooking, this is the best inexpensive cast iron skillet.
It releases iron during the cooking to mix iron in your food items. If you need natural iron, this large cast iron skillet will fulfill your requirement in a healthy way. Comfortable touch larger handle allow to use it conveniently.
- Comes with a curved handle for leverage.
- Non-GMO Flaxseed Oil seasoning for safety.
- It keeps the food warm for up to 15 minutes.
- Suitable to use with induction, ceramic, oven and more.
- Easy to cook and bake several items.
- Lightweight for users’ convenience.
- One of the best cast iron pans for money.
- This is not made in the USA.
- Not safe for dishwasher.
4. Lodge 10.25″ Cast Iron Skillet
This is the USA made cast iron skillet which comes in the 10.25″ size and allows to cook evenly without burning. The surface of the skillet comes with pre-seasoning to avoid sticking foods. So, there will less mess and easy to clean. You will never get a burned flavor in your favorite food. With a single item, you can sear, bake, broil, sauté, braise, and fry conveniently.
Handling the skillet during cooking is easier with a wide handle. The skillet can hold enough food to cook for a small family. The heat retention feature allows to cook and keep the food warm for a long time.
This Lodge classic cast iron skillet also available in almost 15 different sizes. From 3.5 inches to 15 inches, you can choose the right size skillet that you can use for everyday cooking. So you can also get multiple sizes for making different recipes. People who are looking for American made cast iron pans also can choose this one for its awesome features and reasonable price.
- Seasoned with healthy vegetable oil.
- Durable cast iron for longevity.
- Heat resistant up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Easy cleaning with regular water.
- Ideal for the campfire and outdoor events.
- Lightweight and compact for carrying.
- Doesn’t have enamel on the surface.
- Requires slow cooking to avoid burn.
5. AmazonBasics Enameled Cast Iron Covered Dutch Oven
Do you have a good budget for the best enameled cast iron cookware? If your answer is positive, you should check this item from AmazonBasics which comes with enamel on the surface. It is constructed from heavy-duty cast iron that ensures durability and longevity. The Dutch oven is suitable for a wide range of cooking methods including marinate and storing food to keep it warm
There are loop handles on the side to move and handle it easily. You can prepare tasty soup and other food items without any burning taste. Moreover, the surface doesn’t allow food particles to stick.
- It is oven safe up to 400 degrees F.
- Doesn’t cause a heavy mess and easy to clean.
- Suitable for both stovetop and oven.
- Available in four different colors.
- Tight-fitting lid for faster cooking.
- Even heat distribution.
- It is a heavyweight Dutch oven.
6. Utopia Kitchen 12.5 Inch Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet
Are you struggling to find the best cast iron skillet just because of a tight budget? Then don’t worry! Utopia Kitchen has designed a 12.5 inch cast iron skillet which comes at a reasonable price. The skillet comes with factory seasoning that allows cooking immediately in it. The seasoning releases slowly and last longer that you don’t have to season it regularly.
This is versatile that is suitable for braising, sautéing, simmering, searing, baking, roasting, or frying, etc. Food particles never stick to the surface and it is easy to clean. If you use some olive oil each time before cooking, there is no need for further seasoning for a long time. Utopia is also one of the best cast iron skillet brands in the market, so you can consider having the skillet.
- Requires less maintenance.
- Pre-seasoned to cook just after receiving.
- Comes in a lightweight design.
- Curved comfortable handle.
- Good for iron deficiency problems.
- Well heat retention for convenience.
- It requires proper drying to avoid rust and keep the seasoning.
7. Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron Round French (Dutch) Oven
If you buy a skillet, you can fry, bake, roast, and some other things in it. But when you want to prepare some healthy soup at home, this best enameled cast iron dutch oven will help you. The capacity of the item is 7-1/4-Quart which is enough for a small family to prepare their favorite dishes. To avoid any unwanted issues, the surface is enameled.
It has built-in lid stabilizers that provide a secure, no-slide fit. So, your food item will be ready within a short time. Unlike some cheap Dutch ovens, there are larger handles to move it comfortably during cooking. Better heat retention to keep your food warm for a long time.
- It is heat resistant up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Enameled surface for less mess.
- Larger capacity for a good amount of food.
- Comes with a larger composite knob.
- Available in a wide range of colors.
- Durable construction for the longevity.
- Price is not affordable for all.
8. Lodge 3 Quart Cast Iron Combo Cooker
If you want to cook different foods in diverse methods then this is a perfect combo with the Best Cast Iron Pots. You will get a 3 Quart High End Cast Iron Pot and a convertible lid that can be also used as a skillet. However, you can also use the skillet for deep fryings, like a Dutch oven and the lid doubles as a shallow skillet. With the versatile design, you can use it for both indoor and outdoor cooking. You can use it for simmer, braise, bake, sear, sauté, roast and fry with the skillet.
The set is pre-seasoned and it comes with an easy-release finish for your convenience. It ensures even heating for well-cooked food items. The skillet is suitable to use with an oven, stove, grill or over the campfire.
- Convertible lead for additional area.
- Easy release seasoning with a smooth finish.
- Proper heat retention for keeping the meal warm.
- It causes less mess and easy to clean.
- Constructed from heavily durable cast iron.
- It’s heavier and difficult to move comfortably.
- Requires much time for heating up.
9. Simple Chef Cast Iron Skillet 3-Piece Set
It is always better to use the exact size of cast iron skillet to make the cooking easier. Thanks to Simple Chef for their 3-piece set of cast iron skillet where you will get a 6″, an 8″, and a 10″ pans. This wide range of sizing allows completing your cooking with more comfort. Each item is made of top-grade cast iron for durability.
You can start using them just after receiving them. They are factory seasoned and it lasts longer than ordinary seasoning. They are multifunctional that you can apply for a wide range of cooking methods.
- Doesn’t require seasoning.
- Superior heat retention for easy cooking.
- Versatile design to cook in different methods.
- Suitable to use with both stove and oven.
- Larger curved handle.
- Easy to transport for outdoor cooking.
- Doesn’t come with lids.
- The surface is not smooth.
10. Lodge 6 Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
Are you looking for a top-quality Dutch oven and you have a good budget? The Lodge 6 Quart Dutch oven would be a good option for you. It comes with a 6-quart capacity that you can use for a wide range of cooking. Also, it is suitable to serve your favorite dishes where the food item will warm for a long time.
It is an enameled Dutch oven which ensures the food items don’t get the metal flavor. You can use the item directly in an oven or on a stovetop. It allows to Broil, braise, bake or roast, Sauté, and fry.
- Enameled surface for easy cleaning.
- Doesn’t cause stain easily.
- Ensures even heating for perfect cooking.
- Doesn’t require any seasoning.
- Available in a broad range of colors.
- Comes with side handles for easy carrying.
- It is heavier and difficult to handle during cooking.
Why You Should Use Cast Iron Skillets?
If you are confused about why people are recommending to use a cast iron skillet, you should know the benefits of this item. There are several advantages of using cast iron cookware and here I am going to share in a short brief.
- The first notable feature of a good cast iron skillet is its even heating process. When you want to cook your food properly without burning, it requires giving heat to each part of that food item. Traditional skillet sets don’t heat evenly and may cause burning. But a good quality cast iron skillet will spread the heat to the surface to cook properly and make the item tasty.
- For your convenience, you may choose a nonstick pan for your daily works in the kitchen. But most of the low-quality nonstick pans contain Teflon which is not good at all for your health. When you are cooking in the pan, it causes a chemical reaction with the food items. But guess what? Cast iron utensils are almost naturally non-stick and obviously without chemical. And you can make the cooking surface more nonstick by proper seasoning.
- As I have mentioned earlier, the cast iron pan is naturally nonstick, so food particles hardly stick to its surface. You don’t have to apply anything additionally to remove the food particles. Only washing with water is enough.
- The good thing about cooking in the best rated cast iron skillet is, it fortifies food with iron. As a result, if you have iron deficiency in the body, a cast iron skillet could be a good solution for everyday cooking.
Different Types of Cast Iron Skillets and Cookware
Cast iron skillet or cookware can be categorized into several types according to their construction, shape and applications. But primarily cast iron skillet can be categorized into two types; Enameled Cast Iron Skillet and Non-Enameled Cast Iron Skillet.
Therefore, the cast iron skillet can be categorized into two more types according to their seasoning properties. They are pre-seasoned cast iron skillet and unseasoned cast iron skillet.
And lastly, cast iron skillets and cookware can be categorized into more than 15 different types according to their shapes and applications. And they are
- Dutch Oven
- Deep Skillet
- Wedge Pan
- Grill Pan
- Muffin Pan
- Fluted Cake Pan
- Loaf Pan
- Pizza Pan/Baking Pan
- Cornstick Pan
- Cast Iron Pot
- Cast Iron Waffle Maker
- Panini Press
- Tetsubin (Cast Iron Tea Kettle)
Pots or Dutch Oven?
People always ask what best, Dutch oven or cooking pots? Well, in general, both item serves the same purpose. Both are for cooking conveniently. But when it is about additional advantages, a Dutch oven will be the best. Dutch ovens made of cast iron and have tight-fitting lids while conventional pots may come with aluminum, stainless steel, or copper construction and with a lid. Though Dutch ovens are used to be heavy, the benefit is they retain heat properly.
If you are a slow-cooking method lover, you will find Dutch ovens are working better. It retains the heat and provides well-cooked food items. For baking and campfire cooking, this helps a lot. Almost all of them come with an enamel outer layer while pots have an aluminum layer. They also conduct heat well but make some chemical reactions with acidic foods which are not good for your health. So, if you are ok with the heavyweight, it is better to have a Dutch oven instead of pots.
Factors to Consider While Choosing the Best Cast Cookware Set or Skillet
You may have seen a TV program where the chef is making some delicious items in a cast iron skillet and it makes you hungry. Now, you are looking for the best cast iron skillet set and thinking you are ready to spend enough for a good product. But before you place an order, remember that expensive products are not always the best. Rather, you need to check some essential features in a cast iron skillet or cookware set. Here are the top features that you must look for.
- Size: Like any other cooking utensils, sizing is a crucial part of a cast iron skillet, pot or even Dutch oven. Choosing the right size depends on the foods that you are going to cook in it. There is a wide range of sizing available in the market. Usually, it starts from 6 inches and may go up to 15 inches. For casual cooking, smaller versions are good. But if you are thinking to use the skillet in some outdoor events, go for the larger versions.
- Weight: Whenever someone says about cast iron, the first thing that comes to mind is, they are heavyweight. But that is wrong as there are some lightweight cast iron skillet options available in the market. You need to balance between the weight and the size. Larger skillets come in heavyweight and moving them for regular cooking is difficult. Whenever buying a new skillet, go to the product page, check the weight and decide if that suitable for you.
- Non-Seasoned or Pre-Seasoned: Before you finalize a skillet or cookware set that made of cast iron, you should consider this feature carefully. There are both non-seasoned and pre-seasoned cast iron skillets available online. The thing is simple. If you buy a pre-seasoned set, it will be convenient for you but will cost some extra bucks. But when the cookware set is non-seasoned, you need to season it at home. However, seasoned cast iron cookware set also requires seasoning after a certain period. Remember that, once you have seasoned the skillet, it shouldn’t be cleaned with soap or in the dishwasher.
- Enameled or Non-Enameled: If you are looking for a cast iron skillet which is easier to take care of, you should pick an Enameled Cast Iron Cookware Set. They are easy to clean and you can wash them with soap and water. Also, enameled skillets are suitable to cook acidic foods. But non-enameled items won’t give you that advantage. However, the quality of the enamel should be good. Also, keep in mind that they are a little bit expensive than the non-enameled items.
- Price: The last thing you must consider is the price of the selected product. There may have diverse products with the same features but at different prices. So, you need to ensure that you are getting the best deal within your budget. For this, apply a simple trick. Sort the products with similar features and make a list. Now compare which one has less price but has more positive feedback and go for that.
However, there is no issue if you are ordering an item from the above list. I have included only those products in this cast iron cookware review article that giving the best features at an affordable price.
Seasoned vs Unseasoned Cast Iron Skillet
Nowadays, most of the cast iron skillet comes with pre-seasoned features. But what is a pre-seasoned cast iron skillet? That means they are seasoned by the manufacturer in the factory during the production process. Although most of the manufacturers like Lodge claimed that, their pre-seasoned cast iron skillet doesn’t need seasoning. You can use them directly first time without seasoning. But still, they need little seasoning to make the nonstick surface better and smoother.
On the other hand, you must Season an Unseasoned Cast Iron Skillet before first use. Because the inner/cooking surface of an unseasoned cast iron skillet is not nonstick. So food will get stacked or burned while cooking. Even most of the unseasoned skillet comes with such a harsh surface that you can’t cook food first time without seasoning.
So if you don’t have ideas on how to season cast iron skillet, then you must go for the seasoned one. They need only little and very basic seasoning before first use that anyone can do. And if you are an expert on seasoning, then an unseasoned skillet will be the best option as you can season them using your preferred method, oil and make them nonstick as much as you need.
How to Take Care Cast Iron Pots and Skillet
You may have already purchased the best cast iron skillet but without the proper take care, it won’t give you the best performance. Moreover, the life of the skillet will decrease. To avoid such issues, follow the following tips.
- The first rule for increasing the life of a cast iron skillet is, never wash it in a dishwasher.
- Don’t put your cast iron cookware in a microwave.
- If the skillet is not seasoned, season it properly and follow the user manual.
- Don’t apply a rough scrubber on the surface for cleaning.
- Avoid cooking acidic foods regularly to keep the seasoning safe.
- Before place, the skillet on the burner, match the size.
- Remove the food particles instantly from the surface for longevity.
Best Cast Iron Cookware Brands You Can Trust
There are tons of brands in the market with a variety of cast iron skillets. But if you want to ensure the top quality, it is always better to order from a reputed brand. You may ask your friends, neighbor or search on the web to know “Who Makes the Best Cast Iron Skillets”. Well, here I am going to share the names of the top 4 brands that produce top-grade cast iron cookware including pots, pans, skillets and other kitchen utensils.
- Lodge: This is the top American made cast iron cookware brand for skillets and other utensils. They are one of the oldest manufacturers of the USA which is making top-grade products for a long time. All the products from them come with the best construction and longevity.
- Le Creuset: One of the oldest and most popular brands for enameled cast iron cookware products. They are mainly well-known for their unique and expensive Dutch ovens and skillets. If you are looking for French cast iron brands, then you must check Le Creuset products.
- AmazonBasics: AmazonBasic is Amazon’s house brand which produces various products including kitchen utensils. They have some amazing cast iron cookware set. The benefit of buying from them is, they always give preference to the quality.
- Utopia Kitchen: They are a popular seller on amazon for their premium kitchen utensils. They produce different cast iron cookware including skillet. Products from Utopia Kitchen used to come at affordable prices.
- Victoria: Though it is not an older brand for kitchen utensils, they are making premium quality kitchen cookware and their best product is cast iron cookware. They have a wide range of product collections from where you can pick the desired one.
How to Season Cast Iron Skillets?
Tips on Using Cast Iron Cookware for Everyday Cooking
Some people find using a cast iron skillet is difficult for cooking. But it happens most often because of less knowledge about case iron. Here are some tips that can make your cooking easier with cast iron cookware.
- Always apply some olive oil before starting cooking.
- Though enameled items are dishwasher safe, you should follow hand wash.
- Don’t put your cast iron skillet at extreme temperatures.
- Season the skillet regularly to avoid sticking food.
- Always go for slow cooking that makes the food items tasty.
- Make sure you are storing cast iron cookware dry.
Cast Iron Cookware Knowledgebase
How Healthy Is Cast Iron Cookware?
Like other non-stick or Teflon coated cookware, cast iron won’t leach any toxin to foods while cooking. You can use less oil to cook with cast iron. And it leaches a little amount or iron to your food that is beneficial for your health.
Why Cast Iron Cookware Is Better Than Nonstick?
Cast Iron is better than nonstick for several reasons. Firstly, the nonstick surface of a cast iron skillet will last longer than the non-stick skillet. Secondly, cast iron won’t leach any harmful chemicals to the food at high heat as nonstick does. Thirdly, a cast iron skillet can last for several years where a non-stick pan can last only two-three years.
Is Chinese Cast Iron Cookware Safe?
The safety facts of any cast iron product depend on the raw materials and manufacturing process.
What is The Most Popular Size of Cast Iron Skillet?
10-Inch is the standard and most popular size of cast iron skillet. This size is ideal for most of the cake and cooking recipes.
Why is Le Creuset so Expensive?
Le Creuset is one of the oldest companies and they are mainly popular for their enameled Dutch oven and skillets. They use premium-quality materials and guarantee for their products. So their products are expensive as a highly reputed company with good-quality products.
Where Is Lodge Cast Iron Cookware Made?
South Pittsburg, Tennessee, USA.
What Should You Not Cook in Cast Iron?
Smelly foods like Garlic, stinky cheese, peppers, delicate fish, acidic foods, etc.
Is Rust On Cast Iron Dangerous?
According to Caroline Praderio from Foxnews, a little amount of rust is not dangerous. “(Even rust in drinking water isn’t considered a health hazard.)”
Is Cast Iron Carcinogenic?
Maybe using cast iron for a long time can be Carcinogenic.
Does Vinegar Remove Rust From Cast Iron?
Yes. Mix basic white vinegar with water and apply to the rusty cast iron pot/skillet. This vinegar solution will dissolve the rust quickly and easily.
Why Does Everything Stick to My Cast Iron Skillet?
Maybe you are using less oil/fat for cooking or your skillet not seasoned properly.
Now you know what the best cast iron cookware is and how to choose the right one. From the above list of top 10 cast iron cookware set, you can pick anyone. Just make sure you are ordering from the original merchant to get added advantages.
If you think you should order something different rather than from the list, follow the buying instruction which will lead you to the desired product.