12 min. read

The Best Cast-Iron Skillet for 2023

Now grill that steak using a cast-iron skillet and turn every dish into a culinary wonder!

Special cookware is instrumental for efficient grilling. Poor cookware can spoil not only the taste but also the presentation of the dish. Steak and such foods are best cooked in a cast iron skillet. You need a high-quality cast iron skillet to prepare your finest meats perfectly. If you’re a grilled-food addict, a skillet is a must-have for you! Besides grilling steak and other foods, you can also use a cast iron skillet for sautéing, searing, baking, braising, pan-frying, roasting, broiling, and a plethora of other cooking techniques. It’s not easy to find the best cast-iron skillet, so we are here to pick the best one.

How We Picked

  • Weight

    Cast iron skillets have a thicker wall and hence weigh more than other utensils. It’s important to choose a skillet that allows easy maneuvering.

  • Handle Heat Control

    The handle plays a significant role in using a cast-iron skillet properly. Heat control can be managed well with a good handle; this helps to cook food properly and also keep it warm for a long time.

  • Stove Type

    You need to preheat your cast-iron skillet when cooking on an electric cooktop. If not handled properly, the skillet may damage your electric or induction stove. Therefore, stove type is an important factor to consider.

  • Cost-Effectiveness

    Cost is an important factor to consider when searching for the best cast-iron skillet. There should be a fine balance between the cost and quality of the skillet.

Our Top Picks

Best Pick

Lodge

The firmest Dutch oven we have ever reviewed!

The lodge Dutch Oven truly does the job – retaining heat and facilitating fast cooking – and promises to last a lifetime. This Dutch Oven is made from firm and durable cast iron to help you simmer food using a stove or bake your favorite in an oven. With high customer reviews and feedback, as well as high gifting ability ratings, this Dutch Oven is perfect for all-around cooking experiences. This is surely the best Dutch Oven!

Buy Now for $79.90

This 12-inch skillet comes with a red silicone handle holder for easy handling when hot.

Runner Up

Victoria

This cast iron skillet is compatible with gas, electric, and induction stoves.

The Victoria Cast Iron Skillet comes with a perfectly textured, pre-seasoned surface for an easier release that helps build a seasoning layer. The skillet has long handles that are very convenient. It features a thick edge that is comfortably deep for sauces and large food items. It also has drip-free spouts on each side.

Buy Now for $27.20

This 12-inch skillet has textured pre-seasoned skin, and the long handle makes it very convenient and safe to use.

Most cost-effectve

Utopia Kitchen

This skillet costs less but offers good quality and is convenient for indoor as well as outdoor use.

This Utopia Kitchen cast iron skillet is suitable for both the stovetop and oven. It's very simple to clean and inexpensive. A high-quality skillet, it offers great heat distribution. It’s for those who do not wish to invest too much in a skillet and look for a good balance between price and quality.

Buy Now for $24.99

This 12-inch skillet is slightly cheaper than others. It has good quality and is compatible with both a stovetop and an oven.

Everything We Recommend

Best Pick

Lodge

The firmest Dutch oven we have ever reviewed!

$79.90

Buy Now

Runner Up

Victoria

This cast iron skillet is compatible with gas, electric, and induction stoves.

$27.20

Buy Now

Most cost-effective

Utopia Kitchen

This skillet costs less but offers good quality and is convenient for indoor as well as outdoor use.

$24.99

Buy Now

Who This Is For

This cast iron skillet is most suited for people who love to cook steak, even though you can use it to bake sourdough or experiment with many other cooking techniques. A cast iron skillet is oven-compatible. Cooking steak is not only about grilling and basting the meat on the skillet, you also need to put it inside the oven for that delicious tenderness. If you maintain and take care of your cast iron skillet correctly, you can pass it on to the next generation as a vintage cooking treasure.
Is cooking with a cast iron skillet easier?
Some people find it difficult to handle a cast iron skillet because of its weight. A cast iron skillet is heavy because of its material, but it’s a good investment because it heats the food evenly. This means that your meats will taste better, and you can cook your vegetables faster without worrying about the heat intensity or constantly rotating the skillet in the oven. A skillet is also ideal for baking or frying because it holds and distributes the heat perfectly.

Why You Should Trust Us

A lot of research and analysis goes into giving you the best options. We consider opinions and reviews to get you the best deals available on cast iron skillets. There are mind-boggling options, but we offer you the best four and trust us, we do so judiciously. This list will surely help you a lot in choosing the best cast-iron skillet that suits your requirements.

How We Picked

We considered various significant factors while preparing our list. Some of these include weight, handles, stove type, price vs. quality, style, heating time, cooking time, and coating.
Weight
The ideal weight of a cast iron skillet should range from four to 12 pounds. A common 12-inch skillet weighs around seven to eight pounds, and the 15-inch extra-large skillet can weigh up to 12 pounds. We prefer to pick the 12-inch skillets because it’s the best size — not too heavy to handle and with a good capacity.
Handle heat control
It’s important to choose a cast iron skillet that not only distributes the heat evenly but also retains it for a longer time. Iron handles tend to heat up and can burn your hand if you’re not careful enough. To overcome this issue, a silicone handle holder is required because it is durable and can handle high heat. Silicon handles also provide a better grip on the handle compared to a bulky oven mitt.
Stove type
Although cast iron skillets can be used on a variety of stoves, a gas stove is the most preferred option. A good-quality cast iron skillet is versatile and works well over an open flame, in ovens, on a gas stove, and on an electric induction stove.
Price vs. quality
The price of a cast-iron skillet often reflects its quality. The cheaper skillets are usually rough and feel like sandpaper. A texture created by sand machine casting has no finishing process, while the more expensive ones are smooth and shiny. A smooth surface releases hardened and stuck food particles easier than a porous one.
Style/Design
The design of the cast-iron skillet lasts not only for decades but also for centuries. It’s considered a vintage skillet if it was made between the late 19th and mid-20th centuries. On each side of the skillet, there are spouts to make pouring liquid easier. Basically, the style and design of all skillets are pretty similar, especially in black, but enameled skillets usually come in different color choices, like red, blue, and grey.
Ease of cleaning
It is best to clean a cast-iron skillet by hand. You can also use a small amount of dishwashing soap and, if required, a scraper. It is advised to use warm water while using a non-abrasive scraper. For seasoning, you can coat the inside and outside of the skillet evenly with the vegetable oil after washing, then put it inside your oven at 300°F for three to four hours.
Ease of cooking
A cast-iron skillet is useful for frying, baking, and grilling. From outdoor camps to makeshift kitchens, this versatile utensil can be carried and used anywhere. The sizzling sound of food on a hot skillet will make you crave more delicious dishes!
Cooking time
Iron is a good heat conductor, but it takes time to heat up. You can adjust the cooking time and toss the food regularly for the best results. As iron retains heat and cools down slowly, it keeps food warm for a long time. So, once your skillet is heated properly, cooking becomes easy and fast!
Heating time
You can preheat your skillet for five to 10 minutes on low to medium heat until it’s evenly heated. Rotate the skillet on the burner every few minutes to distribute the heat evenly. A cast-iron skillet retains heat for a long time.
Easy to maintain
We recommend you oil your cast iron skillet after each use. Seasoned skillets appear dark and shiny with use and acquire a semi-gloss finish. Seasoning is necessary as it prevents rusting, but too much seasoning will make the skillet sticky and flaky.
Coating of pan material
Usually, a cast-iron skillet is coated with cooking oil. The skillet is heated until the oil just starts to smoke. Nowadays, most cast iron skillets available are pre-seasoned, so you don’t need to season them anymore.
Bare or enamel
An enameled cast iron skillet is more expensive, but it is safe and non-toxic. Most importantly, unlike the traditional one, it doesn’t leach any iron into your food. Enameled skillets are usually more durable and rust-proof. Moreover, it doesn’t require seasoning either.

Our Picks For You

Best Pick - Lodge

Best Pick

Lodge

The firmest Dutch oven we have ever reviewed!

The lodge Dutch Oven truly does the job – retaining heat and facilitating fast cooking – and promises to last a lifetime. This Dutch Oven is made from firm and durable cast iron to help you simmer food using a stove or bake your favorite in an oven. With high customer reviews and feedback, as well as high gifting ability ratings, this Dutch Oven is perfect for all-around cooking experiences. This is surely the best Dutch Oven!

Buy Now for $79.90

Who it is for

The Lodge Cast Iron Skillet is for anyone who cooks. This product provides a red silicone hot handle holder and is compatible with induction stoves. This is perfect for you if you want a high-quality, bare, pre-seasoned cast iron skillet.

Why it is great

This cast-iron skillet has an assisting handle for better control. It has unparalleled heat retention for even heating. It’s useful for searing, sautéing, baking, broiling, braising, frying, or grilling. This skillet is pre-seasoned with 100% natural vegetable oil, so you can use it right away. You can use this cast iron skillet with an oven, stove, induction grill, or over a campfire. It comes with a silicon handle holder for easy maneuvering and protecting hands from heat up to 500° F.

Potential flaws

This skillet has a rough, sandpaper-like surface finish. Also, at 7.5 pounds, it can be a bit heavy to handle. There are no color choices to pick from as it is available only in black.

Other features

People seem to like this Lodge product pretty well. With a rating of 4.7 stars out of 5, it is clear that customers are really satisfied with this. It’s durable, useful, and worth the money. The Lodge 12-inch Cast Iron Skillet weighs 8.5 pounds. It’s compatible with all stovetops.

Runner Up - Victoria

Runner Up

Victoria

This cast iron skillet is compatible with gas, electric, and induction stoves.

The Victoria Cast Iron Skillet comes with a perfectly textured, pre-seasoned surface for an easier release that helps build a seasoning layer. The skillet has long handles that are very convenient. It features a thick edge that is comfortably deep for sauces and large food items. It also has drip-free spouts on each side.

Buy Now for $27.20

Who it is for

This cast iron skillet is perfect for those who prioritize safety and prefer one with a longer handle. It has good quality and is pre-seasoned. The size is perfect for individuals and small families. Also, it is compatible with gas, electric, and induction stovetops.

Why it is great

This skillet has a long, curved handle, which ensures safety and leverage. It has a smoother surface for easier gliding. It’s durable, versatile, and smooth. At 6.5 pounds, it is comparatively less heavy than our Top Pick. Easy to use and rugged, this allows perfect heat distribution and retention.

Potential flaws

Though it’s pre-seasoned, you will have to season it again to prevent rust and have a smooth surface. Before starting to use it, you are required to clean it with salt or dishwashing soap. It is only available in black.

Other features

With a great customer rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, this skillet is a must-have. With its ergonomic handles and drip-free spouts, it is well-designed and carefully manufactured. This product has been widely trusted, so we won’t regret putting it in second place.

Most cost-effective - Utopia Kitchen

Most cost-effective

Utopia Kitchen

This skillet costs less but offers good quality and is convenient for indoor as well as outdoor use.

This Utopia Kitchen cast iron skillet is suitable for both the stovetop and oven. It's very simple to clean and inexpensive. A high-quality skillet, it offers great heat distribution. It’s for those who do not wish to invest too much in a skillet and look for a good balance between price and quality.

Buy Now for $24.99

Who it is for

This cast iron skillet is ideal for those looking for a high-quality skillet at a reasonable price. This skillet is not too expensive but is compatible with ovens and stovetops. This pre-seasoned skillet can be used indoors and outdoors.

Why it is great

The size of this skillet is perfect for individuals and families. It has great heat retention and keeps food warm for a long time. It comes pre-seasoned with oil and can be used for various other cooking functions such as grilling, sizzling, toasting, and the like.

Potential flaws

This skillet is not dishwasher-safe. You need to let it cool completely before washing it with hot, soapy water using a sponge. Regular dishwashing soap will do; nothing special is needed to clean it. It will require some care if you want it to last longer. It is available only in black.

Other features

With a great customer rating of 4.6 out of 5, it isn’t surprising that it is one of the best-selling skillets on Amazon. Simple, affordable, and great for daily use, this is a good pick if you want nothing fancy!

Almost made the cut - Staub

Almost made the cut

Staub

Enamel-coated and available in multiple colors, it is elegant but on the pricey side.

The Staub cast iron skillet has a smooth enamel bottom that works on all varieties of stovetops, including gas, electric, glass, ceramic, induction, and halogen. It comes with pouring spouts for easy fat removal. It requires no pre-seasoning and comes in various colors such as matte black, graphite grey, cherry, basil, dark blue, and grenadine.

Buy Now for $219.99

Who it is for

This skillet costs 10 times more than an average cast iron skillet. It’s most suited for professional chefs or home cooks who want only the best and are not restrained by budget. It’s for people who are looking only for a premium, high-quality skillet and are not bothered by the price.

Why it is great

This skillet has an enamel coating, which allows you to have a non-stick cast iron skillet that does not require any seasoning. This feature is useful if you want iron-free food. In a non-enameled cast iron skillet, the food is exposed to iron, which increases the food’s iron content by up to 20%.

Potential flaws

Its high price is its major flaw. Another one is that its enamel coating can come off in flakes, as some customers have already complained about.

Other features

Given its enormous price, it has not been purchased by too many people, but overall it has a good customer rating of 4.6 out of 5. It is available in multiple colors and looks polished and beautiful. If you value design and style and are not limited by a tight budget, you can go with this skillet without a second thought!

Care and maintenance

Usually, a cast-iron skillet is seasoned using cooking oil. Make sure your skillet has been washed and dried.

Rub and wipe the inside and outside of the skillet thoroughly with cooking oil.
After that, set the oven to 450°F, leave it there for 30 minutes, and repeat this heating process three to four times.

A cast-iron skillet can rust if not cleaned well. With a standard pan, you can use dishwashing soap and a non-abrasive nylon scrubber, while with cast iron, you should use salt to remove any stubborn stains or rust.
You can repeat rubbing the skillet with salt until the dirt is gone. Make sure you move your skillet frequently to distribute the heat evenly and avoid burns.
Don’t pour too much oil if the skillet is not deep enough because it can sputter and cause injuries and a mess.
You need to preheat the cast iron skillet because it takes time to heat up, but don’t worry, your cast iron skillet will hold the heat afterward.
The cast iron is heavier than normal pans, so we need to make sure that our stove can support the weight before you use it.