Best cast iron skillet & griddle Reviews –  for every home (Including Yours!)

Our buyers guide to finding the best cast iron skillet and griddles

After spending some time researching we have come up with a short list of the best cast iron skillets and griddles on the market in 2017

If you are not too sure what to get or even how you take to cast iron.

If you are looking for cookware that offers value for money, long lasting and robust use?

Then you are in the right place, we have done all of the hard work to help you make the best choice

While they may look simple and straightforward, there are actually a lot of factors that you will need to take into account before you buy one.

A good iron skillet will make a wonderful addition to any kitchen. They are the toughest cookware that you will use and with the right care will most likely outlast you.

For this reason, it is very important that you make sure that you get the right cast iron cookware to suit your cooking style and kitchen.

As with most cookware, not all cast iron is made equal… Read on to find out more

Best cast iron skillet brand & Top pick: Lodge 10.25-inch Cast Iron Skillet

You can saute, sear, fry, bake and stir fry with the lodge. It is an all-purpose pan that comes pre-seasoned so you can use this immediately. It is made in the USA

Our Rating Lodge 10.25-inch Cast Iron Skillet

What exactly is a cast iron skillet? And why do you need one?

Cast Iron skillets are one of the most robust and handy items you can have in the kitchen. Cast Iron comes in many shapes and even comes with different colored enameled coatings. The Skillet is something that can be used in everyday cooking. They come in a number of sizes but all have the

The Skillet is something that can be used in everyday cooking. They come in a number of sizes but all have the trademark slanted sides that make it a skillet.

Some people also know these as frying pans

Whatever you want to call it, they are one of the most versatile pieces of cookware that you can have in the Kitchen and will cook anything from stir fries to omelettes.

  • Cast iron Lasts and lasts.
  • For the price you pay for cast iron skillets, they really deliver great performance and value for money.
  • If used and maintained properly it is nonstick and you can cook pretty much cook anything on them.
  • They are brilliant for cooking things like steaks where a high temperature is needed for searing the surface.
  • The thick cast iron ensures that there is an even and long lasting transfer of heat
  • For the time that they last they are awesome value for money – even for the most expensive ones
  • They Just look cool.

The advantages of cooking with cast iron

  • The main reason people love cast iron is because it is chemical free. Some just can’t get with modern day non-stick even if they make life easier, it’s not worth getting sick.
  • Iron dishes are nearly indestructible and weigh a ton so they can take more trauma. There is no need to limit the type of utensils you use because cast iron won’t peel like non-stick. Even the best non-stick skillet will chip after a while.
  • Cast iron holds heat correctly so there is no need to worry about food being overcooked in certain spots.
  • They can stand high heat, unlike other cookware.

What can you cook with cast iron?

  • You can use cast iron pans for everything, they are great for frying and you can even make pizza in them.
  • Contrary to some of the dribble that you read online about cast iron, you can wash them with soap, it’s not going to remove the seasoning.
  • They totally oven proof and they will not lose their nonstick coating if you heat them too much.
  • There are people that just use cast iron because they love it so much
  • Whatever you want to cook, you can pretty much do it with cast iron
  • You can pretty much use any utensil in to cook with
  • You can even take them camping and use them on a fire.
  • They will reasonably out last anything else you have in the kitchen including you!

What can you cook with cast iron?

What can’t you cook with cast iron?

There are some foods that are very acidic and this can have an effect on the seasoning. This will not damage the cast iron just remove the seasoning if anything.

You can not leave them with water on them or in a damp place as this will invite rust. Again this is not the end of the pan, just will need to be cleaned and re-seasoned.

The disadvantages of cooking with cast iron

  • Cast iron is heavy, very heavy
  • They can be heavy for people that have weak wrists
  • They might be ideal for glass or ceramic topped stoves as they may crack the glass is dropped. This is the same with most pots and pans but more so with cast iron.
  • Cast iron is very brittle.
  • Cast iron does not buckle, it cracks or shatters on occasion. To be fair if you are putting very hot pans of any sort into cold water you are asking for trouble
  • You are required to do some maintenance when using cast iron. They will need to be stored properly and cleaned, dried and oiled after every use.
  • Cast iron is unforgiving on fools, hot handles need to be treated with respect, pick up one with the incorrect protection will leave you with blisters and possibly food on the floor

While none of these are a big deal it is something that will you will need to be taken into account when you are using them.

Features to look for when choosing good cast iron pan

Here are some of the features that you should be looking for when you are looking to buy your cast iron skillet or Griddle:

  • The size of the pan – Make sure the one that you want is the right size, too big can be too heavy and too small, well you can’t cook in it. The Skillet should have enough surface area so that you don’t crowd the food. If you are cooking steaks in it then you don’t want them to be squashed.Steaks that are squashed together can be subject to steaming and won’t brown properly.
  • A good thick bottom – This will help ensure a good spread and release of heat.
  • Comfortable well-designed handles – They are heavy so a good handle will go a long way. Don’t forget they also very hot so you want something that you can easily hold with oven gloves.
  • The length of handles – Because of the weight of the pan, the length of the handle will make a difference. Longer handles make it easier to use. If there is a helper handle then this can make a big difference too.
  • Enameled or bare cast iron – both of these options are good ones, you just need to make sure that you buy to suit your cooking style. Enamel coated cast iron will require less maintenance but is not as robust as bare cast iron.

Skillet vs Griddle : what is the difference?

A skillet is usually round and has sides that come out at an angle. The sides are also usually a lot thinner than the diameter of the cookware. Skillets are also known as pans or frying pans.

Griddles are usually square in shape and flat. Some have a small lip to keep juices and oils etc on. They are often much larger than skillets and may have a flat base or a ridge base.

Many people prefer the ridged base as this is great for cooking and searing meat as it does not sit in the water that comes off rather on the ridges which then give it that grilled look

Myths surrounding cast iron

There are a number of myths about using cast iron that need to be dispelled as they not true and not serve anyone when making an informed decision when buying cast iron cookware:

  • #1 You can’t use soap to wash cast iron – Please ignore this, you can and you should when the pan is dirty. You don’t have to wash it every time but if it is dirty then do so.
  • #2 You can soak a skillet in water – This one is actually more damaging than soap. Water makes the iron oxidizes and forms rust if you have food that is burned on there try using salt to loosen it up.
  • #3 Seasoning a pan is a lot of hard work – There are times when you will have to follow a process to do this but for the most part it is just a case of heating the pan on the stove so that it is very hot and all of the water has evaporated off and then rubbing the whole pan down with oil on something like a paper towel.
  • #4 Cooking with cast iron will give you your daily amount of iron – This is not true, it will give you some but do not rely on this, if you need iron get it some other way through diet or supplements.
  • #5 Cast iron is ruined if it rusts – This is not true at all, it just needs a little bit if cleaning with a wire brush or something and to be re-seasoned and you are good to go.Cast iron is tough and durable, it will most likely outlast anything else you have. It has a few weakness such as being brittle but it other than that you can pretty much expect it to weather metal utensils and the occasion scrub with steel wool or bout of rust. In short, they are something that you want in your kitchen, you will get amazing value from them.

What cast iron skillet brands should you be looking at?

Lodge cast iron skillets are one of the more popular one on the market at the moment, they make a range of them (we have a number of them reviewed in this article.) they are American made and are good quality.

Le Creuset is also good but this is quite an expensive option and many of their products have an enamel coating, we have only looked at traditional ones here as there are just too many to include these too.

Other cookware brands also dabble with cast iron but cast iron is not their main focus, they may still produce good cookware so look around, there is Calphalon, Simple Che and Utopian Kitchen to name a few.

Cooking with cast iron

Cooking with a cast iron skillet is not the same as when you’re using non-stick cookware and it may take some getting used to. Here are a few things you should be aware of before making your first meal in cast iron, they could make or break your experience:

  • You can preheat a cast iron skillet, you can’t do this with traditional nonstick cookware.
  • If you love meat and especially steak then cast iron is your friend. Cast iron is perfect for searing or browning meat.
  • Cast iron will not get hot as fast as other cookware so be patient. Once it acquires heat it will hold it and most likely heat very evenly.
  • To test the heat of your skillet try sprinkling water on its surface. Your skillet will be ready when your water droplets bead up and roll around in the pan. If the water droplets disappear, your dish is too hot.
  • Try to purchase a skillet that is pre-seasoned, if you don’t food may stick to your cookware it will become more susceptible to rust.
  • Use vegetable oil or shortening when cooking.
  • Some things may appear darker than normal after cooking, this is only because the iron leaches out, don’t worry you need iron to survive!
  • Never use cast iron to boil water it could cause the cookware to rust.
  • You can use cast iron to bake if needed.

What stoves can I use cast iron on?

Cast iron can be used on most stoves tops and can even be used in the oven. It can even be used on induction stovetops as it is magnetic.

Having said this there are a few things that you  should consider:

If you have a gas cooktop then you are going to love cast iron if you are not already using it.

Normal electric cooktops are also great and should pose no problems

Here is the thing, Cast iron is heavy, very heavy If you drop it then what it lands on has a good chance of breaking. Toes can heal but if you are cooking with a glass top stove  (electric or induction) then you need to be using these with care.

Cast iron Agrees with everything – but not everything agrees with cast iron.

If you do have a glass top stove then you should consider this before you buy. I am not saying don’t ( many people use it and have no problems) just saying look at the way you cook and how you handle pans on the stove, that will help you make your mind up.

Why buy cast iron cookware?

Now that you have seen some of the products that we think are worthy of some thought lets look at reasons why you should be considering cast iron.

Cast iron cookware has been an American staple for well over 100 years for good reason. They are when, cared for, the longest lasting of all the cookware that you can find on the market. There is a good chance a well built cast iron skillet will be used by you and then your offspring. I have seen this with my own eyes.

It is a good and cheaper alternative to stainless steel cookware. There is a little more maintenance than stainless steel but the cooking experience and results are not to be sniffed at.

Another thing that happens with cast iron that is cared for correctly is that the nonstick surface gets better over time, something that you won’t see with normal nonstick cookware. While this nonstick coating is not a pure nonstick coating it is a very robust alternative

Cast Iron is tried and tested – It has been around for a while so we have a good idea of the long-term effects of using cast iron cookware. If you want to find out more we have a guide on healthy cookware here.

While you can cook just about anything in them cast iron skillets are best for cooking foods at high temperatures such as searing or broiling and can be used on top of the stove or in the oven.

A well-balanced kitchen should have different cookware for different types of cooking. If you are looking to cook omelettes then this would not be the best tool. If you know what you want to cook then you can choose the right tool to cook it with.

Lodge L8SK3 Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Skillet, 10.25-inch review


This is the number #1 Best Seller skillet
Our Rating: 

Lodge L8SK3 Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Skillet, 10.25-inch review
This is a great little 10.25-inch skillet made by Lodge. Again this has a pleasing design and is practical as well coming with two handles for easy handling. Be sure to check out the other sizes that come with this model. There is one there for everyone and with over 9000 happy reviews at the time of writing this.

What we like

  • This comes pre-seasoned so is ready for use.
  • Comes with two handles for easy handling. This will be needed for the bigger pans.
  • Has a range from 6.25 to 17 inches.
  • Made in USA.
  • Looks cool 🙂

What we don’t like

  • You might have to redo the seasoning as sometimes they don’t have the greatest seasoning when bought

Is it worth the money?

What can I say, well priced and lasts maybe longer than you – bargain! A cooking pan and a family heirloom all in one.

Check price

Lodge Cast-Iron Skillet L10SK3ASHH41B, 12-Inch review

Lodge Cast-Iron Skillet L10SK3ASHH41B, 12-Inch review


Our Rating: 

What we like

  • This comes pre-seasoned so is ready for use.
  • Comes with two handles for easy handling. This will be needed for the bigger pans.
  • Has a range from8 to 13 inches.
  • Made in USA.
  • Comes with a heat proof silicone handle ( please test this to make sure i don’t want you burning yourself).
  • Can be used on induction cooktops

What we don’t like

  • There is nothing really not to like about this, maybe as with most pre-seasoned cast iron the initial seasoning is not great.

Is it worth the money?

This pan really offers great value for money and will be long lasting – what more can you ask for?

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Best Cast iron Grill Pan

Best Grill Pan

Lodge L8SGP3 Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Square Grill Pan, 10.5-inch review


Our Rating: 
This is the #1 Best Seller Grill Pan

Lodge L8SGP3 Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Square Grill Pan, 10.5-inch reviewThere is a lot to like about this grill. These are the perfect pan for cooking steaks or anything where you don’t want too much fat or liquids building up as the grill drains it all away. When you cook the steak, chicken or veg you get those cool grill marks on it. You can use this anywhere.

What we like

  • Comes pre-seasoned and ready for you.
  • Perfect for steaks and frying meat.
  • Drains away fat while you are cooking for a healthy option.
  • Can use this on the stove, campfires and even oven safe.
  • Made in the USA.
  • Comes with a helper handle.
  • Will look seriously cool in your kitchen 🙂
  • Robust.

What we don’t like

  • There is very little not to like about this.

Is it worth the money?

More than worth it in our opinion. We have also looked at some of the accessories that you might consider getting that we think are useful.
Check out our accessories section to see what we think are useful additions.
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best cast iron griddles

What is a cast iron griddle used for?

Cast iron griddles are a great addition to any kitchen and if you cook some of the things below then is something that you should be considering when it comes to buying new cookware.

The have a large flat surface with a small lip( to keep in oils and fats etc) They often will cover two of the hot plates on your cooktop and really work well on a gas stove.

They often are reversible and have one side that is smooth and one side that is ridged for grilling.

The smooth side of the griddle

This is great for cooking things like pancakes, fried eggs, bacon, fried unions and the likes. You are able to effectively cook a whole meal in on go and cater for more people than if you were cooking eggs in a pan for example. Anything that can be fried in a pan or skillet can be cooked on a griddle.

The ridged grill side of the griddle

This is the side that you want for cooking things like burgers and even grilled veggies, anything that you want to cook slightly off the surface. because the oil has a chance to drain away you can chalk it up to healthier eating if you are looking for reasons to by one.

Griddles are great for frying and grilling, the are not great for cooking something that has a lot of liquid in it.

In short, they make a brilliant and useful addition your kitchen if you have the right cooktop.

Recommended:  Best cast iron griddle review

Lodge Cast-Iron Reversible Grill/Griddle, 20-Inch x 10.44-Inch review


Our Rating: 
Lodge Cast-Iron Reversible GrillGriddle, 20-Inch x 10.44-Inch reviewThis is our most recommended cast iron griddle. It is one of the most popular in terms of the number of good reviews we have seen
It is reversible coming with a smooth side as well as a grill side and will fit easily over two burners or even a campfire.

What we like

  • Brilliantly versatile, can be used at home or while camping
  • Comes pre-seasoned so ready to use.
  • Measures in at 19.25 inches long and 8.5 inches wide.
  • Smooth side comes with a slight slope and a grease gutter so that the fat and oils can drain off.
  • Made in America. 🙂
  • Can make a whole meal all at the same time on this.

What we don’t like

  • There is really nothing that we don’t like about this. A point to note that it may not be compatible with some induction cooktops

Is it worth the money?

It is such a practical item to have in the house and we think that this is very much worth the money.

Check prices

Caring for your cast iron

Cast iron cookware is robust and long lasting, but you need to make sure that you care for it. It is vulnerable to a number of things. The biggest of these is rust. Cast iron will rust when exposed to water for prolonged periods. Unlike other types of cookware, the surface of your cast iron skillet is rough and so the seasoning serves to smooth this out and prevent water from getting in there. This of course also makes the pan non-stick
You will use two methods to help your cookware last:
1) seasoning cast iron – this makes a thin coat of oil on the surface that makes the pan non-stick and helps prevent water making contact with the surface of the metal and rusting.
2) once used you want to make sure the that your skillet or griddle is dry, we do this by using a towel and heating up the cookware for a few mins to dry it.

There are two sections below that deal with this in more detail.

Cast iron skillet cleaning: How do you clean a cast iron skillet?

Cleaning cast iron is easy but needs to be done properly. As with other types of cookware, each type has its own process to clean it.

The materials that you need

  • (Dirty) cast iron skillet
  • sponge or stiff brush
  • Dry cloth or paper towels
  • Vegetable oil or shortening
  • Kosher salt ( this is optional but is good for clearing on burnt food)

Cleaning your cast iron skillet

  • You should clean your skillet straight after you have used it. Leave it to cool down enough so that you can touch it with your bare hands. Cast iron very strong but is brittle and so rapid changes in temperature can lead to the pan cracking.
    You should never leave it to soak in water and never put it in the dishwasher.
  • There is much discussion about this next point but actually, you can use warm soapy water to clean your pan. leaving it in water will do more damage to the seasoning. Remember, worse case scenario we are talking damage to the seasoning, not the actual pan. You can even remove rust from an old pan and fully restore it.
  • You can remove the stubborn food by using the kosher salt as a scouring agent, it is better than using a steel wool as that can remove the seasoning.
  • The trick to cast iron not rusting is simple – water. Remove the water and there will be no rust. Dry it with a towel or put it back on the stove and heat it for a few mins until all of the water boils off. the surface of cast iron is not smooth and this traps water in there so heating it is the best way to make sure it is super dry.
  • Once this is done then simply pour in little vegetable oil into the pan and rub it all over the with a paper towel inside and out and then store away.

Cast iron skillet cleaning: How to clean rusted cast iron?

Castiron-skillets a little rusted

Though cast iron is excellent for making delicious meals for your family, it can be very sensitive. As you may already know, when iron is exposed to moisture it could rust; this holds true with cast iron cookware. If your skillet starts to rust, don’t cook with it as the rust will spoil the taste of your food. Unlike most cookware iron can be salvaged as long as the rust only occurs on the surface. Those with pots and pans that are covered in rust should throw them in the dumpster, they aren’t even thrift store worthy. Do you want to save a little money? Here is a do-it-yourself project that will help refurbish your rusted skillet.

Gather your materials, you’ll need:

  • Steel wool
  • A scrubbing brush/sponge
  • Dish soap
  • Paper towels
  • Vegetable oil
  • Aluminum foil


  • First, you’ll want to remove all of the rust from your dish. Those who have a tremendous amount, have the option to take it to a professional to get it sandblasted to skip this step altogether. If you want to scrub the rust yourself, take a piece of steel wool and scrub like your life depends on it! If your piece is salvageable, you’ll begin to see cast iron reappear. The most efficient way to remove the rust is to manipulate the steel wool in circular motions as you would if you were waxing a car.
  • Next, wash your skillet. You must make sure all of the rust is gone before continuing. Use warm water and a mild dish soap like Dawn. If there are a few spots of rust leftover, you are welcome to use a bristle brush for reinforcement. Mesh sponges are also excellent tools for removing rust from your pan.
  • Immediately after you’ve finished washing your dish, grab some paper towels and dry it thoroughly. You want to be sure you absorb all of the water so that you don’t create new rust. Only use clean towels to do this, you don’t want to contaminate your piece!
  • Now grab your vegetable oil and coat the entire pan, this includes the handle and bottom surface. You don’t want to use too much oil because it could create a sticky film that is almost impossible to remove!
  • Open the oven and place a few pieces of foil on the bottom so you catch any dripping oil. Then, heat your stove to 350 degrees.
  • Place your skillet upside down on your top rack and let it marinade for about an hour.
  • Once the time has elapsed let your cast iron cool, and then it will be ready to perform!

Cast iron skillet seasoning

While this article is for dutch ovens the process is exactly the same. Many cast iron skillet brands now come pre-seasoned and are good to go from the start. These will often need to be re-seasoned once you have used it a few times. In fact, you should consider doing this from time to time to make sure you get the most out of your pan. Doing this will also help make sure that your pan does not rust.

Here is the article for you to read:
How to season cast iron

Best cast iron skillet recipes

Here are some decent cast iron skillet recipes to help you break in the new cookware. There is so much that you can do with cast iron:

Fancy a one pot chicken wonder? this chicken and sausage meal will hit the spot and can be easily made with a skillet
http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2016/11/one-pan-chicken-sausage-brussels-sprouts-recipe.html
Here is another one for a pan roasted chicken with vegetables using a skillet
http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2014/10/pan-roasted-chicken-vegetables-dijon-jus-recipe.html
Here is a list of cast iron skillet recipes from a fantastic site called epicurious.com.
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes-menus/best-cast-iron-skillet-recipe-cornbread-chicken-potatoes-gallery/list
One more to get you going Kimchi Potato Hash:
http://www.bonappetit.com/story/kimchi-potato-hash