Last Updated on December 21, 2023 by David Michael

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Best Cast Iron Cookware

Cast iron cookware has long been a staple in kitchens, and for good reason. These heavy-duty kitchen tools have stood the test of time and continue to be a popular choice among chefs and home cooks alike. Here we explore the benefits of using cast iron cookware and why it is worth considering for your kitchen.

Our Top Picks for Best Cast Iron Cookware

For ease in comparison, we list a similar sized skillet for each brand.
Clicking on the brand name in this table will bring you to that section of this article.
Use the browse more button to see their full collections.

The cast iron cookware that we recommend are:

Lodge Cast IronView on Amazon
Victoria Cast IronView on Amazon
Camp Chef Cast IronView on Amazon
Lancaster Lightweight Cast IronView on Amazon
Finex Cast IronView on Amazon

Recommended Cast Iron Cookware

Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet

I’ve had my Lodge skillet for over 30 years, bought when you had to season them yourself. The pre seasoned cast iron means you can cook with it right away. Lodge was founded in 1896 and is still making heirloom quality cast iron in the US. Lodge is an amazing combination of high quality and value. My go to when I want to cook something in traditional cast iron – makes the perfect crust on burgers and steaks.

Lodge cast iron comes in a huge range of sizes and styles of cookware.

Lodge L8SK3 10-1/4-Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet

Victoria Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Skillet

Victoria is high quality cast iron from Medellín, Colombia. The choice of sizes and styles of cast iron is fantastic. If you need a cast iron grain or meat grinder you’ll find it from Victoria cast iron. The Victoria line now comes pre seasoned with a flax oil seasoning – one of the most durable available.

Victoria Cast-Iron Skillet, Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Frying Pan with Long Handle, Made in Colombia, 12 Inch

Camp Chef Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet

Primarily focused on outdoor cookware, Camp Chef nonetheless makes cast iron totally suitable for home use. Their skillets, griddles, and bakeware perform equally well in your kitchen as they do a camp site. They currently only sell dutch ovens for camp use – they have legs to hold them over a camp fire, and a ridged lid to hold burning coals. Not as large of a selection as Lodge, but a solid heirloom quality to all they make.

 Camp Chef 12" Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet

Lancaster Lightweight Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet

A newcomer in the cast iron cookware game, Lancaster makes great lightweight cast iron. The cookware is thinner than other cast iron. I thought this would be bad, but it makes the pan super responsive to heat changes. It doesn’t hold onto heat the way traditional cast iron does, but it can get to the same high temps to perfectly sear steaks and burgers. It is easier to handle being much lighter than others. The selection is limited at the moment, but hopefully will expand. They are hand finished with a smooth interior that I love.

Lightweight Cast Iron Skillet - 10.5” Pre-Seasoned Frying Pan - Lancaster Cast Iron - Made in USA

Finex Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet

Functional Art is a great description of Finex. Everything was designed from the ground up to create some of the best cast iron cookware available on the market. The spiraling stainless steel wrapped handle is remarkable at not heating up quickly, and the heavy bottoms heat evenly and retain heat for a long time. Hand finished with a smooth interior and pre-seasoned with flax seed oil, Finex is built to last. They have a great variety of cookware available and are sure to keep expanding their range. This is also my pick for collectible design enthusiasts.

FINEX 10" Cast Iron Skillet, Modern Heirloom, Handcrafted in The USA, Pre-Seasoned with Organic Flaxseed Oil

For tips on cleaning and maintenance, please check out our article Everything You Need to Know About Cast Iron Cookware

For more of our favorite cookware please check out our posts:
Best Induction Cookware: Our Favorites
Best Enameled Cast Iron Cookware

Best Stainless Steel Cookware
Best Stove Top Grill Pans
Best Hard Anodized Cookware Sets
Best Copper Cookware
Best Carbon Steel Cookware

Benefits of Cast Iron Cookware

Cast Iron Cookware’s Durability and Longevity

Cast iron cookware is known for its durability and longevity. Often made from a single piece of metal, cast iron is extremely sturdy and can withstand high heat and heavy use without warping or cracking. With proper care, cast iron cookware can last for generations, making it a worthwhile investment for your kitchen that can be passed down to future generations.

Heat Retention

One of the significant advantages of cast iron cookware is its excellent heat retention properties. Cast iron has the ability to retain heat evenly and for a long time, making it ideal for tasks that require even cooking and browning, such as searing, frying, and baking. The even heat distribution also means that you can cook with lower heat, saving energy in the process.

Versatility

Cast iron cookware is incredibly versatile and can be used for a wide range of cooking techniques. It can be used on stovetops, ovens, grills, induction cooktops, and even over an open fire, making it perfect for a variety of cooking methods. Cast iron pans are great for searing steaks, frying chicken, sautéing vegetables, baking cornbread, and much more, cast iron can handle it all. You can start a dish on the stovetop and finish it in the oven, making it a versatile tool in the kitchen. Cast iron skillets can also go from stovetop to table, making for a beautiful and rustic presentation. They can be used for both savory and sweet dishes, making them a versatile addition to any kitchen.

Natural Non Stick Properties

Over time, with proper seasoning, cast iron develops a natural non-stick surface that improves with each use. Seasoning involves applying a thin layer of oil to the surface of the cookware and heating it, which creates a smooth, non-stick coating that helps prevent food from sticking. This natural non-stick surface allows for easy food release, making cooking and cleaning up a breeze.

Cast Iron Cookware Adds Flavor

Cooking with cast iron cookware can enhance the flavor of your food. The seasoning on the surface of the cast iron imparts a subtle depth and richness to your dishes. Cast iron can also create a beautiful crust on meats and vegetables, adding a delicious caramelized flavor to your meals.

Disadvantages of Cast Iron Cookware

Cast iron cookware is heavier than other types of cookware. The extra weight is not an issue for most people, but those with physical limitations may find it difficult to handle efficiently. Cooking highly acidic foods can also take on a metallic flavor and weaken the seasoning. 

Easy to Maintain

Contrary to popular belief, cast iron cookware is relatively easy to clean and maintain. Cleanup is generally wiping with a cloth or sponge and rinsing with water. Scorched foods may require a soak or the use of a special chain mail scrubber. After drying an occasional light coating of a seasoning oil will keep cast iron cookware ready to cook.

In Conclusion

Cast iron cookware is an excellent addition to most any kitchen. Cast iron cookware has had a place in professional and home kitchens for ages, and for good reason. These heavy-duty kitchen tools have stood the test of time and continue to be a popular choice for their performance and longevity.

For care and maintenance of your cast iron cookware, check out our article: Everything You Need to Know About Cast Iron Cookware.

Be sure to check out our post Cookware – The Kitchen Cornerstone for quick access to all of our cookware posts.

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