The Best Cast Iron Skillet (Guide) – 2016 Reviews

Cast Iron Skillet Review GuideWhether you’re an amateur that’s just getting started in the kitchen or a pro that loves to experiment, you probably already know that to cook a great meal you have to have the right tools. You want cookware that will cook your food evenly without burning, as well as cook it throughout so it’s safe to eat. You may have had experience with skillets in the past that just didn’t last. Whether the screws on the handle loosened, making the skillet unstable, or your food sticks to the skillet and burns, working with inferior cookware can be frustrating.

If you want a versatile piece that can be used to cook anything from delicious, juicy steak to your morning scrambled eggs, a cast iron skillet is something you need to add to your kitchen cupboard.

Compare: The 10 Top Rated Cast Iron Skillets of 2016

What is a Cast Iron Skillet?

A cast iron skillet is a type of cooking pan that is used in homes and even commercial kitchens. Cast iron is so popular because it is extremely durable, and it is known for its heat retention properties, so you can cook just about anything. With seasoning, which involves baking on a light layer of oil, you won’t have to worry about your food sticking, and you won’t had to add oil or cooking sprays while using it to prevent your food from getting stuck.

Cast iron is very durable, and a well-maintained skillet can last for many years. Since it is all one piece, you don’t have to worry about handles becoming loose or breaking. Simply put, these skillets have been used for thousands of years because they are so durable and have the ability to cook any kind of food to perfection.

What are the different types of Cast Iron Skillets?

The main difference you’ll find when purchasing a skillet is the size. Smaller skillets are great for preparing smaller portions or sides, while a larger one is ideal for cooking larger cuts of meat. However, there is another difference that you may notice when shopping for this type of cookware and that is how it is seasoned.

Pre-seasoned skillets – These skillets have already been seasoned, so all you have to do is follow the instructions included with your product to heat it and possibly wash it. Once you’ve done this, your skillet is ready for use. Over time, you will have to keep it seasoned to prevent food from sticking and to ensure your cookware lasts for many years.

Enameled cast iron skillets – These skillets do not require seasoning, as they have an enameled glaze that prevents food from sticking to the interior. However, you may find that the glaze wears off over time, so you will have to buy a replacement once it has completely worn off.

What are the Advantages of Owning a Cast Iron Skillet?

A skillet is a must-have item for any kitchen. You’ll be able to easily cook hundreds of your favorite recipes without worrying about the skillet breaking or becoming unusable. In fact, some skillets are so high-quality, they’ve been passed down from generation to generation, and most modern skillets are still designed in the same way.

With proper care, you’ll be able to keep this cookware around for years to come. Many people also swear by a better taste and more even cooking when using cookware made with cast iron, as opposed to modern cookware made of aluminum or stainless steel, which may need to be replaced over time. Cast iron retails its heat, so it can get very hot for searing meats, adding just the right flavor without making it too dry.

Who are the contenders for Best Cast Iron Skillet?

Lodge L6SK3 9-inch Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Skillet – You don’t have to pay a fortune to get a quality piece of cookware for your kitchen. This pre-seasoned skillet is ready to use right away. You can use it on your stovetop, over a campfire, in the oven, or even on the grill for even cooking of your favorite meals. You’ll get natural flavor that’s unmatched, amazing heat retention and even heating for reduced cooking times, and a great price tag. If this 9-inch size doesn’t quite work for you, you can choose from smaller and larger sizes at different price points.

Lodge LCC3 Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Combo Cooker – Get the most out of your skillet with this combination of two great cast iron pieces that are heavy-duty enough for any kitchen. With this set, you’ll receive two pieces at one great price. Each set comes with a 3-quart Dutch oven and a 10.25-inch shallow skillet that can be used for cooking or doubles as a lid for the Dutch oven. Both pieces offer exceptional heat retention, even cooking, and come pre-seasoned and ready to use right away.

Lodge L17SK3 Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet – If you’re cooking for a crowd, you’ll be able to do so with ease with this large 17-inch skillet. With dual side handles, it’s easy to hold, and its pre-seasoned and ready to use right away. This is a great skillet for using indoors or out, on your stovetop or over the grill. It even works with induction stoves. Your food won’t stick without the use of heavy oils and sprays, and it’s extremely easy to care for, so it can easily last for decades.

Considerations for Choosing the Best Cast Iron Skillet

If you want to add quality cookware to your kitchen, you just won’t go wrong with a cast iron skillet. However, not all skillets are made the same, and some will be a much better investment than others. Before you buy, keep the following things in mind to ensure you get a product that will fully meet all of your needs.

Price
You won’t have to pay an arm and a leg for cast iron cookware. In fact, you’ll find that it is far more affordable than many of modern pieces and is far more durable. Expect to pay anywhere from around $20 up to over $100 depending upon the size and overall quality and other features.

Warranty
You don’t want to pay for something that’s just unusable after a few weeks. This is why it’s always a good idea to look for products that come with a manufacturer’s warranty.

Size
If you’re cooking for yourself or you and one other person, you may not need a very large skillet. However, if you have a bigger family, frequently entertain guests, or plan to make large cuts of meat or other big meals, look for a larger size skillet.

Best uses
How do you plan to use your skillet? If you plan to hold it over a campfire, you want to make sure it has a long handle. If you want to put it on the grill or the stovetop, dual handles makes it easy to hold when it’s time to plate and eat your cooked food. Consider the overall design, as well as manufacturer’s recommendations, to make sure that the skillet you choose will serve its intended purpose in your kitchen.

Price

Lodge L6SK3 Skillet

For the 9-inch version, you’ll just pay around $22, which is a great price for a high-quality piece. If you’re interested in other sizes, there are similar versions in 3.5-inch sizes all the way up to 15-inches.

Lodge LCC3 Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Combo Cooker

This set of two pieces is priced right around $65, which is a great deal when you consider you get two pieces that can be used together or separately.

Lodge L17SK3 Skillet

This large skillet is a more high-end product and has a retail price of $110.

Warranty

Lodge L6SK3 Skillet

You won’t have to worry about quality, as this skillet is backed with a lifetime warranty.

Lodge LCC3 Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Combo Cooker

Like other Lodge products, this set is backed with a lifetime warranty, so you know you’re getting a great product.

Lodge L17SK3 Skillet

Your purchase is fully protected with a lifetime warranty directly from the manufacturer.

Size

Lodge L6SK3 Skillet

The $22 version is a 9-inch skillet. However, there are seven other sizes to choose from in this line if you need something smaller or larger.

Lodge LCC3 Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Combo Cooker

You will receive a 3-quart Dutch oven, as well as a shallow 10.25-inch skillet that can be used as a lid for the Dutch oven.

Lodge L17SK3 Skillet

At 17-inches, this skillet is great for cooking for a large family or a crowd.

Best uses

Lodge L6SK3 Skillet

This skillet is great for almost any purpose, including for use on your stove, in the oven, on the grill, or over a fire. It is ideal for slow cooking, simmering, searing, baking and sauteing.

Lodge LCC3 Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Combo Cooker

You can use this set for just about anything. Cook a roast in the Dutch oven quickly, or use the shallow skillet as a lid when you simmer your homemade soup or stew. The shallow skillet can also be used for baking, frying, and sauteing. It is safe for use on all cooking surfaces.

Lodge L17SK3 Skillet

Because of the size, you can cook multiple pieces of meat, larger cuts of meat, or more of anything for your entire family or a group of guests. It is safe for use on all cooking surfaces, inside and out.

Conclusion: Our Cast Iron Skillet Reviews Are In

Lodge L6SK3 Skillet – Best Cheap Cast Iron Skillet

Lodge L6SK3 9-inch Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron SkilletIf you’re looking for a versatile piece of cookware that’s priced at less than $30, this 9-inch skillet is just right for you. It’s multi-functional, allowing you to sear your steaks, make a mean stir fry, or saute your favorite veggies. This piece is pre-seasoned, so you won’t have to worry about your food sticking and burning. All you have to do is cook and enjoy food that is bursting with natural flavor.

This size is ideal for one to two people or for cooking small amounts, like heating up a tasty side dish. With the two side lips, you can easily pour your gravy and sauces without having to put it in a different container. Care is very easy, and with a lifetime warranty, you can enjoy many meals from just one great skillet.

Pros:

It’s very durable. It has a lifetime warranty. It’s pre-seasoned. It’s easy to maintain. It holds heat in well. It can be used on any cooking surface. It has a 16-inch handle, so it’s very easy to hold. It is extremely affordable. This line has several different sizes at different price points.

Cons:

It is rougher than skillets with a machined surface, making cooking some items, like fried eggs, difficult. The brand’s label is glued inside the skillet and leaves glue behind that is tough to remove.

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Lodge LCC3 Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Combo Cooker – Best Cast Iron Skillet for the Money

Lodge LCC3 Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Combo CookerThe saying goes “two are better than one” and when it comes to cookware, this rings true – especially when you purchase this great set. You’ll not only get a skillet for frying chicken, cooking steaks, or heating up your veggies and side dishes, you’ll also get a 3-quart Dutch oven for making your biggest and tastiest meals.

Both pieces are made of pre-seasoned cast iron, so you don’t have to worry about sticking, and when you’re done, they’re easy to clean and season again. Each piece has a long, sturdy handle with holes for hanging, and the classic design complements any kitchen. The price is low for two quality pieces, and if you’re worried about how long they’ll last, don’t be – these are backed with Lodge’s lifetime warranty.

Pros:

You get two pieces for one great price. You can use each piece alone or use the shallow skillet as a lid for the Dutch oven. They are a good size for family cooking. They are high-quality and durable. They come with a warranty. They are easy to clean and care for. It can be used indoors or out on any cooking surface.

Cons:

The surface is rougher than pieces that have been machine-finished. Food may stick until it has been used a few times.

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Lodge L17SK3 Skillet – Best Cast Iron Skillet Overall

Lodge L17SK3 Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron SkilletWhether you want to bake it, fry it, saute it, sear it, braise it, simmer it, or roast it, you can do it all with this skillet. If you have a bigger family, no one has to wait for seconds because you can make it all in this large skillet, which has a 17-inch size perfect for big meals. Like other cast iron products, you’ll get great natural flavor for your meats, veggies, and other recipes, as well as a natural non-stick surface that retains heat, cooks food quickly, and keeps it warm until it’s ready to serve.

This skillet is pre-seasoned, so it’s ready to use right away. You can use it anywhere, even on the grill. It has two loop handles, so it’s easy to tote from grill to table or stove to countertop to plate and serve. It’s easy to care for and when it needs to be seasoned again, you can do so very quickly and easily to ensure this skillet lasts a lifetime. If you ever have any doubts about the quality, you have a lifetime warranty that will protect your purchase, bringing you years of delicious, perfectly cooked food for you, your family, friends, and other loved ones.

Pros:

It is very durable. It has a large size that is great for cooking larger portions. You can cook several pieces of meat at once. It retains heat very well. It is backed with a warranty. It is safe to use on any cooking service. The loop handles make it easy to carry.

Cons:

It is more expensive than other skillets. It is very heavy and large.

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If you cook for your family often and you’re tired of using nonstick cookware that puts off harmful chemicals and doesn’t last for very long, consider cast iron cookware, which is so versatile, you can cook just about anything perfectly, even if you’re an amateur in the kitchen. If you like to make big meals for the whole family, the Lodge L17SK3 will be your go-to pan for just about anything. From breakfast pancakes to grilled fish for dinner, you can cook it all in this piece that will easily last for a lifetime.