Best Cast Iron Cookware 2018 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Cooking is an art and a good cook is one who knows how to build up and maintain heat during the cooking process. The ability of a vessel to retain and to transfer the heat to the ingredients determine the taste and nutrition value of the recipe. Want to know which cookware is the best cast iron cookware, undoubtedly. This is mainly because the ferrous metal possesses the ideal qualities that are required for cooking and have been relied upon by generations over the years. Despite the availability of new materials and designs, this has remained indispensable in most kitchens. Getting a whole set is certainly an added advantage as you can try out various recipes which may demand different sized cookware.

 Top 10 Cast Iron Skillet Reviews

1. Simple Chef Cast Iron Skillet 3-Piece Set

  • Set of three – 10” 8” and 6” dia
  • Antique look
  • Non stick surface
  • Perfect set for pizzas, frying and sautéing.

Cast Iron Cookware ReviewProduct Features 

  • Pricing – If you are looking for the cast iron skillet at a reasonable price, then this is worth every single buck, with a set of three helping you meet most of your requirements.
  • Design –Definitely appealing, with an antique look about it.
  • Handle – The handle is easy to grip and the double spout makes it very handy during preparation of recipes that involve ingredients with more liquid content.
Pros
  • The non stick surface makes it easy to cook
  • Superior quality cast iron
  • Ready to use
Cons
  • Lids on the skillets, or atleast on one of the skillets would have been pretty useful.

The Supremo At Number One 

With a very affordable price tag, this set of three is definitely a winner, and will take care of many cooking needs of an entire family with ease.

2. Bruntmor – Heavy Duty 3 Quart Skillet and Lid Set

  • 3 Quart
  • Amazing 2-in-1 design
  • Easiest option as Dutch Frying Pan

Product Features 

  • Pricing – Your search for a deep frying pan that is not expensive actually ends here with this superior quality 2-in1 combo sauce pan.
  • Design –Contemporary with a nice grip opposite the side of the handle.
  • Grain – The superior grain of this skillet makes it develop a surface that becomes non stick with use.
Pros
  • Large cooking area
  • Non stick qualities
  • Strong build quality
Cons
  •  Needs proper maintenance to prevent rusting.

Versatile Product At Number Two

For the cost at which it is made available you really would have no reason to complain. The design is perhaps the good part. You get two skillets, with the smaller one doubling up as a lid whenever required.

3.LodgeCast Iron 2 Skillet Bundle

  • 12” dia + 10.25” dia
  • Highly durable
  • Incredible heat retention

Best Cast Iron Pans Product Features 

  • Pricing – With positive Lodge reviews hogging the digital space, you will find it pleasantly surprising to note that it is not priced steep.
  • Design –The contemporary design and the firm grip on the handle makes it easy to lift the skillet off the fire, without any additional grip.
  • Quick heating – Most of the users have found the heating and retention qualities top notch and superior.
Pros
  • Reputed brand
  • Proven heating and retention qualities
  • Extremely durable, easy to clean
Cons
  •  A lid would have been very helpful, in keeping preparations nice and hot within the lodge roasting pan itself.

Popular Option At Number Three

With positive reviews flooding sites, this is certainly a good option positioned at number three.

4.Outdoor Gourmet 5 Piece

  • 4 Quart, 4.5 Quart, 2 Quart cast-iron skillets
  • Dutch broiler
  • Frying pan

Cast Iron Cookware for Your HomeProduct Features 

  • Pricing – This  isone of those deep fry pan and fry pan combination offering all round use with unrivalled qualities. With a stylish cast iron top thrown in, you will surely find it extremely useful
  • Design – The design is appealing, with contemporary styling matching with exceptional build quality, combining to offer an overall appealing look.
  • Quick heating – As an saucepan and deep fry set combo, this set offers superfast heating properties.
Pros
  • Combination offers a large cooking area
  • Crack resistant
  • Steady heating properties
Cons
  •  The build quality is good overall, but could do with improvements in the detailing strength of the products.

Masterpiece Design At Number Four

This set of five certainly one of the more good looking combination pieces, with the added advantage of offering steady heat during cooking.

 5. Lodge Elements SC90SET 8-Piece

  • 8 Quart, 3.4 Quart, 1.9 Quart, 10 ¼” dia
  • Multi layer stainless steel bottom
  • Large cooking area, ideal for sautéing, frying and making pizzas

Cast Iron Cookware SetsProduct Features 

  • Pricing – Reasonably priced, this needs to be a part of your cooking set.  Stainless steel and multi layered it will add value to your cooking.
  • Design – The aesthetic design makes it a great offering, with the different capacities meeting most of your requirements easily.
  • Quick heating – One of the highlights of stainless steel bottom pans are the ability to retain heat quickly, while making it easy to maintain it.
Pros
  • Different capacities makes it easy for cooking different recipes
  • Quick heating from stainless steel
  • Appealing designs makes it a good addition to your cupboard
Cons
  •  Cleaning of stains requires a little more effort than expected from a stainless steel vessel.

Impeccable Design At Number Five

While appearing similar in offering to others in the category, the large cooking area, the stainless steel bottom and the literally all encompassing sizes makes this a must on this list.

6.Calphalon Non-Stick 2 Piece Set

  • 10” dia and 12” dia
  • Smooth sloping sides
  • Extremely durable

Product Features 

  • Pricing – Among the types of pans that are available on this list, this is a heavy duty set of two pans.
  • Design –Neat finish and double spouts make this a very useful set, and the handle easily takes care of the weight of the pan and the ingredients.
  • Quick heating – The non ferrous metal ensures that the ingredients heat up pretty quickly, and retains heat in an even manner.
Pros
  • Gentle sloping sides
  • Heavy duty pan
  • Suitable for left and right handed use
Cons
  •  Most of the models featured here share the same disadvantage with these model – the lack of matched lids.

Heavy Duty Set at Number Six

At number six, you actually get a lot in terms of superior quality, decent cooking space and double spouts.

7.Le Creuset Signature Enameled 3-3/4-Quart Round Braiser

  • 3 ¾ Quart
  • Enamel covered cooking utensil
  • Superior finish

Product Features 

  • Pricing – Probably one among the top in the competition of enameled vs non enameled,this  is certainly a splendid deep fry pan that will adorn kitchens, with excellent qualities.
  • Design –The design is appealing, with colors making the enamel coated grill pan looking very attractive.
  • Quick heating – As an enameled saucepan, this one offers superfast heating properties, making it ideal for sautéing, frying etc.
Pros
  • Large handle area offering sturdy grip
  • Crack resistant
  • Steady heating properties
Cons
  •  The lid requires to be handled delicately, and rough handling may result in the enamel chipping away .

Masterpiece Design At Number Seven

This pan with enamel coating is certainly one of the more good looking Le Creuset pieces, with the added advantage of offering steady heat during cooking.

 8.Lodge L17SK3 17-Inch

  • 17” dia
  • Double grips on either side
  • Extreme durability

Product Features 

  • Pricing – A hit in Lodge outlet stores this is one giant of a pan, falling in the category of huge pots. Despite its huge size, it is priced relatively reasonably and you can surely go for it, if you have bigger needs.
  • Design –Neat American design with simple grips on either side. With a pan this large you really should not be looking for a handle.
  • Quick heating – Though being on the larger side, it heats up pretty quickly, because of the quality of the cast iron metal.
Pros
  • Extra large cooking area
  • Sturdy grips on either side
  • Superior American build quality
Cons
  •  The grips could have been made a little larger to offer better control while transferring contents to other utensils.

The Jumbo At Number Eight

This was the challenge we faced. Putting it at number eight, despite being entirely different in size. However, it will mainly cater to a specific segment of users and hence goes down on the popularity and usability meter.

9. Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron 5 Piece Bundle

  • 10.5”, 10.25” 8”, Oven and lid
  • Antique look
  • Non stick surface

Product Features 

  • Pricing – If you are looking for the good cast iron skillet set then this is one set of five that comes at a reasonable price, backed by the reputation of Lodge.
  • Design – Definitely appealing, with an antique look about it, and convenient double spouts.
  • Handle and Lid – The handles are easy to grip and the lid of the oven has a convenient handle on the top.
Pros
  • The non stick surface makes it easy to cook
  • Superior quality cast iron
  • Ready to use
Cons
  • Food residue collection needs to be sorted out with improved grain and pre-seasoning.

The Strong Contender At Number Nine

This is one of those made in USA products that stand out for quality, crafted by hand and priced reasonably. You get a winning set with this combination offer.

10. Lodge L8DO3 Cast Iron Dutch Oven

  • 5 Quart
  • Snug fitting lid
  • 10 ¼” dia

Product Features 

  • Pricing – This Lodge dutch oven keeps its reputation as a superior product intact. The low price band and the brands reputation makes this a fabulous choice for the kitchen.
  • Design – The typical oven design makes this a proud acquisition. You will adore the contours, and the finish of the product, with the thoughtful coiled handle offering great ease of use.
  • Quick heating – Superior quality cast iron and grain makes the heating superfast and even, lending a great hand during cooking.
Pros
  • Heavy duty
  • Large capacity
  • Superior lid fit
Cons
  •  Needs to be kept away from the elements to prevent rusting from damaging the finish.

A Steal At Number Ten

The price, the quality and the looks combine to make this a mouth watering offering at number ten on this list.

Things To be Considered Before Buying The Best Cast Iron Skillets

Our cast iron skillet reviews will help you to choose the cast iron pan or individual piece for your kitchen. However, here are a few tips and points that you need to bear in mind while making your choice. The cast iron skillet reviews have listed out the product features and highlighted the pros and cons of each product. After you have been through that, you need to use the following filters to select the most suitable one.

  • Cooking Area – Ideally the skillet that you need should cater to the requirements of your family. If you have a small family, then a 10” one would suffice. However, if you have a large family the 12” or 17” one would become the best cast iron pan for you.
  • Coating – Ceramic coated and porcelain coated skillets will offer longer life, in addition to even heating and retention properties. Choose one that is coated if your cooking needs demand it.
  • Handle – Regardless of the size of the skillets, you need to ensure that the handle is nice and strong. It should take the total weight of the skillet and the food easily. If you buy one with grips on either side, you should look for large handle grips.
  • Lids – This depends on the type of cooking. If your cooking requires more amount of simmering with a lid on, it would be a good option to choose one with a matching lid. However, if your cooking does not require too much of simmering, then you could opt for the lidless models.
  • If you are looking for a set, try and look for a set that offers unique options like a good deep fry option, a skillet with a lid and a small one. This way, you will find it easy to meet all your cooking needs.

Conclusion

We have made your search for the right cast iron skillet a lot easier with our cast iron skillet reviews. However, we feel it is right to explain how we went about completing the cast iron cookware reviews, so as to reassure you that you are actually looking at a list of ten of the best cast iron cookware.  First, we went by brand reputation. This was checked by the durability of the products and the reviews of actual users. We then went on to the cooking area of the pot and pan sets. We found that most users preferred 12” models, but there were many who did find the need for 10” ones and the mammoth 17” ones also. We have also featured a deep 3 ½ Quart model for users who would find the need for one.

Next came the coating – here we looked at models that had multiple layers of coating, and those that did not have any kind of coating were rated on the basis of the grains that made up for a non stick surface.  We then looked at the grips and the spouts of the models. You may want to use a spatula with your right hand or your left hand while pouring or transferring food from the skillet on to another utensil. This may make it necessary for spouts on either side.  This is a small design improvisation, but certainly a huge help during cooking. The quality of non stick surface was an important parameter we looked at, because cooking is a routine activity and you really should not be spending time trying to clean utensils. All of these factors were rated accordingly before we carefully compiled this list of the top cast iron pans.

Related Category :
Buyer’s Guide For Best Anodized Cookware
Copper Cookware Reviews

Reference Links:
What’s the Difference Between Cast Iron and Carbon Steel?
Different Types Of Cast Iron
6 Benefits Of Cooking In Cast Iron