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A cast iron skillet is possibly the most versatile piece of cookware you can possibly own. They are great with low heat and high heat and can go seamlessly from the stove top right into a hot oven.
My cast iron skillet and dutch oven are game changers for our camping trips since they can be used over an open fire! But with so many options out there, who makes the best cast iron skillet?
What is Cast Iron?
Cast iron is the result of molten pig iron, steel, limestone and carbon. A cast iron skillet is is made when this combination of molten materials is poured into a mold including the handle. The one piece design allows the entire cast iron cookware to be placed over a blazing open fire or into a hot oven.
A Quick Glance At The Best Cast Iron Skillets On The Market
Are There Different Types of Cast Iron Skillets?
Traditional pots and pans are made of various materials. Stainless steel, copper, aluminum – along with a wide range of finishes.
You only have two choices to make in selecting the best iron skillet – Enameled vs. Uncoated. Cast iron keeps it primitive, simple and uncomplicated.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
Enameled cast iron skillets have a glaze consisting of a fusion of particles resulting in a non-porous finish. This protects the core material of your skillet and makes cleaning easier. Enameled cast iron skillets are not suitable for camping as they cannot be placed into an open fire.
The enameled option is usually more expensive. However the enameling process does allow the skillet to be make in vibrant colors. This is a modern switch from the norm of the traditional black cast iron skillet.
The cast iron skillet that you commonly see is uncoated. This skillet is non-enameled and will take a little more effort to clean. The great thing about the traditional uncoated cast iron skillet is that it can be used in an open fire.
Preseasoned vs Unseasoned Non-coated Cast Iron Skillets
Nearly all non-enameled cast iron skillets on the market today are pre-seasoned. Seasoning or curing is the process of coating your pan with oil and placing it in the oven for finishing.
This gives your cast iron a non-stick coating. With pre-seasoned cast iron skillets this process is already done for you by the manufacturer.
You will have a difficult time locating an unseasoned cast iron skillet nowadays. Consumer demand leaned more towards the pre-seasoned cast iron options,
This caused manufacturers who make the best cast iron skillet to shift away from unseasoned. If you’re lucky, you can find a gem of an old unseasoned cast iron skillet at a yard sale or antique shop.
Benefits of Using Cast Iron Cookware
There aren’t many types of cookware having the types of benefits to be found in their cast iron counterparts. A few of which are listed below:
- Health Benefits – Small amounts of iron are transferred into your body by the food you cook in cast iron cookware. In a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, researchers reported that the iron content of scrambled eggs cooked in cast iron increased from 1.49 mg to 4.76 mg. (Be aware that if you are prone to iron toxicity, you should avoid using cast iron.)
- Durability – Cast iron cookware is virtually impossible to break. As the cast iron skillet is one molded piece, there are no handles to come off. Many lucky people have cast iron pans that have been passed down for a couple of generations.
- Multi-purpose – If you could only own one single piece of cookware, you would have just about all you need with a cast iron skillet. You could literally cook an entire steak dinner just in one pan! Check out this steak and potatoes meal below!
Our Review Of The Best Cast Iron Skillet
So who makes the best cast iron skillet? To ensure you make the best selection, we have compiled detailed research of some of the best choices. Check them out below.
When you think of cast iron cookware, the Lodge company is the first name that comes to your mind. This massive 17″ Lodge Cast Iron Skillet is large enough to take on any task – from baking a dozen biscuits to searing and grilling a couple of huge ribeyes. You can even load this bad boy up with at least 8 large chicken thighs!
The two shorter ergonomic handles allow easier handling. These handles are especially useful as there is no long handle getting in your way if you are using multiple stove burners at once.
The Lodge Cast Iron Skillet is a quality product Made in the USA. If you’re looking for a tough, durable pan that will last you for generations then this is the one.
- Made in the USA
- Features 2 ergonomic handles for heavy lifting
- Retains heat for searing
The Le Creuset company has been in existence since 1925. You don’t stay around for nearly a century by making lackluster products.
This Le Creuset Enameled 11.75″ Cast Iron Skillet is truly remarkable. It’s enamel interior resists dulling, staining and wear and tear. The beautiful exterior comes in an array of colors adding fun and sophistication to your kitchen.
Even though this skillet requires no additional seasoning, this does not make it completely non-stick. It takes time and plenty of use for it to build up a patina to truly become non-stick.
- Superior heat retention
- Dishwasher safe
- Two handles for easy moving
The GreaterGoods Cast Iron 10″ Skillet is pre-seasoned with organic, cold pressed flaxseed oil. If you’re still searching for a company who makes the best cast iron skillet and is socially conscious, look no further than GreaterGoods.
You can feel good about this purchase as the GreaterGoods company donates a portion of all revenue to their charity partners such as Love146. And yes, this skillet passes the non-stick fried egg test!
It takes lots of additional seasoning for some cast iron skillets to achieve a smooth interior surface. Not this skillet though. It is milled smooth by the manufacturer, saving you years to get this pan just right.
- Premium interior surface
- Pre-seasoned with organic flaxseed oil
- Comfortable, balanced handle
The Tramontina 12″ Enameled Cast Iron Covered Skillet is great is you are looking for a less-expensive alternative to the Le Creuset brand. The porcelain enamel exterior finish will make you want to keep this skillet on your stove just to observe its beauty.
Pouring lips on each side of the pan allow you to easily pour off sauces. With a lifetime warranty, you can be assured that the Tramontina company will make things right if a problem under normal use occurs.
Even better, this model includes a cover. This allows you to produce moist and savory slow cooked and baked dishes.
- Self-basting condensation ridges on lid
- Lifetime warranty
- Helper handle & 2 pouring lips
The Backcountry Cast Iron Skillet is 12 inches and comes with a cloth handle mitt to protect your hand from heat.
Like all cast iron cookware it offers superior heat retention. Even though this pan is pre-seasoned, the interior finish is a little rough so this skillet will require a little time more time to season properly.
All in all, this is a great skillet for the money. It would make a perfect camping or outdoors pan since it is durable and has quality craftsmanship.
- Comes with protective handle mitt
- Pre-seasoned with blend of finest food grade oils
- 12 inch cooking surface
Our Final Thoughts On Who Makes The Best Cast Iron Skillet
We are glad to have helped you learn more about purchasing the best cast iron skillet on the market. Also, we hope that you found a skillet you like among those reviewed!