Best Cast Iron Cookware Reviews

Cast iron cookware is a must for any keen chef. The right cast iron cookware set will be a wonderfully versatile addition to your kitchen cabinet, helping you to cook up a feast for your family and friends.

It is well worth investing in cast iron cookware as it will more than pay for itself over the years.

But how can you be sure that you’re looking at the best cast iron cookware reviews? We’ve searched to find the best cast iron cookware for you to buy, so you can rest assured that you’re purchasing a quality product.

Black Cast iron skillet with garlic rosemary and a carving fork

We’ve even included a helpful buyer’s guide to show you what to look for in your cast iron cookware and to show you all the factors you should take into consideration before buying.

There are even a few frequently asked questions to cover any burning queries you may have!

Short on time? Check out our top pick below!

OUR TOP PICK

Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet with Assist Handle Holder, 12', Red Silicone

This pre-seasoned 12 inch cast iron skillet with assist hand holder from Lodge is the perfect cast iron cookware to add to your kitchen, and will quickly become your go-to cooking essential.

This particular cast iron cookware comes pre-seasoned with 100% natural vegetable oil so as to give your skillet an easy-release finish that will only improve with use.

This versatile cast iron skillet can be used to grill, fry, bake, sear, sauté, braise, or boil - ideal for helping you to create culinary masterpieces!

Not only will this cast iron skillet help to broaden your cooking repertoire, but you can use it on a variety of cooking surfaces.

This skillet can be used under the grill, on the oven, on induction stovetops, and can even be used over a campfire!

This particular cast iron skillet comes with a handy silicone handle holder for ease of use while cooking.

There’s no need to worry about getting burned with this helpful addition as it can protect your hands from heat of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

The silicone handle holder is also dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.

The Lodge cast iron skillet has unparalleled heat retention, as well as even heating to help you cook your food to perfection.

This cast iron skillet is designed to be brutally tough so that it can be used for decades of cooking.

Just the thing to pass down through the generations as your own beloved family heirloom!

Pros:

  • Versatile; can be used on a variety of cooking surfaces.
  • Can be used to sauté, sear, braise, bake, fry, grill, or boil your food.
  • Even heating and unparalleled heat retention for effective cooking.
  • Pre-seasoned with 100% natural vegetable oil for improved cooking.
  • Comes with a handy silicone handle holder for ease of use.

Cons:

  • Other customers would recommend additional seasoning for an even better cooking experience.

EDITORS CHOICE

AmazonBasics Enameled Cast Iron Covered Dutch Oven, 4.3-Quart, Blue

The versatile AmazonBasics cast iron Dutch oven is the must-have cooking essential that you need in your kitchen.

This particular cast iron cookware comes with a lid so that you can use it to cook a variety of meals.

This particular Dutch oven has a 4.3 quart capacity, making it perfect for whipping up a casserole to feed several people at once!

You can use this large capacity Dutch oven for roasting, baking, braising, and many more functions that you need for your cooking.

The AmazonBasics Dutch oven is manufactured using heavy-duty cast iron for optimal cooking performance and even heating.

An absolute must if you want to ensure your food is cooked properly!

The Dutch oven is also coated with enamel for easy cleaning, and the enamel finish won’t react to your food.

This Dutch oven is safe to be used in ovens up to a heat of 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Perfect if you want to use it to create a variety of meals!

The AmazonBasics Dutch oven comes with two loop side handles so as to make it easy to transport from the stovetop to the table, or even to your fridge.

This will be an absolute lifesaver for reducing the number of dishes you’ll have to clean up once cooking is finished.

Pros:

  • Large 4.3 quart capacity Dutch oven.
  • Safe for use in the oven up to a heat of 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Comes with two loop side handles for easy carrying.
  • Includes a handy lid for you to cover your dishes while cooking.
  • Manufactured with heavy-duty cast iron for even heating.

Cons:

  • This particular cast iron Dutch oven should only be hand washed.

BEST VALUE

Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Combo Cooker, 2-Piece Set, 10.25', Black

The Lodge pre-seasoned cast iron 2-piece set is a must-have cooking essential for any budding chefs.

This set of two pans will give you even more cooking capacity than you would get if you opted for just one pan!

This particular pan set from Lodge comes foundry seasoned so that they’re ready to use the moment you buy them.

Perfect if you don’t want to spend ages seasoning the cast iron yourself to get that remarkable flavor!

Both of these pans are oven safe, so you can rest assured that you’re buying cast iron cookware that is versatile.

In fact, you can use either or both of these pans on a variety of cooking surfaces - including grills and campfires.

These multipurpose pans are perfect for using in a variety of recipes.

You can use them to bake, fry, sear, sauté, and even stir fry to your heart’s content!

Ideal if you plan on using them to expand your cooking horizons.

The fantastic thing about this pan set is that it can double up as a Dutch oven.

Simply use the shallow skillet as the lid, or even as its own separate pan to cook your food!

The cast iron is manufactured so as to heat evenly when cooking.

Pros:

  • Can be used as one Dutch oven, or as two separate cast iron skillets.
  • Comes ready seasoned so that you can use them immediately.
  • Safe for use on multiple cooking surfaces.
  • Can be used for a variety of different cooking methods, such as stir frying and baking.
  • Manufactured in the USA by an American company.

Cons:

  • Some customers found the pan surface to be a little rough for certain foods.

RUNNER UP

Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet 2-Piece Set (10-Inch and 12-Inch) Oven Safe Cookware - 2 Heat-Resistant Holders - Indoor and Outdoor Use - Grill, Stovetop, Induction Safe

This pre-seasoned cast iron skillet 2-piece set from Cuisinel is the perfect cast iron cookware to start off your kitchen collection.

Including a 10 and 12 inch pan for you to use with your cooking, both pans come pre-seasoned so as to give you tastier food.

These particular pans come with a smooth finish so as to allow for even, effective heat distribution when cooking.

So you’ll know that your food will be cooked to perfection!

It even comes with two handy silicone hot handle holders to give you more peace of mind.

Cuisinel’s cast iron pan set can be used for a variety of recipes, allowing you to grill, braise, boil, fry, bake, sauté, and many more methods to your heart’s content!

That makes it the perfect pan set to add to your kitchen utensils if you’d like to use them for several different recipes.

This pan set has been manufactured to a high standard using specially seasoned cast iron which will last you for many years to come.

Just the thing if you’re after something reliable that you can get your money’s worth from!

This cast iron cookware is designed to be easy to clean and maintain.

There’s no need to whack it in the dishwasher or use harsh soaps which will remove the carefully cultivated seasoning - simply wash by hand with warm water and restore it with natural oils.

Pros:

  • 2-piece cast iron pan set.
  • Can be used for a variety of cooking methods, including sautéing and frying.
  • Precision heat distribution for perfect cooking every time.
  • Easy to clean and maintain with natural oils.
  • Comes pre-seasoned for tastier food.

Cons:

  • Some customers found the handles to be on the short side compared to other cast iron cookware that we discovered.

RUNNER UP

Utopia Kitchen Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet Set 3-Piece - 6 Inch, 8 Inch and 10 Inch

The Utopia Kitchen 3-piece pre-seasoned cast iron skillet set is the perfect cast iron cookware for you to invest in.

The pan set includes 3 separate pans in different sizes to give you more choice when cooking.

The set includes a 6 inch pan, an 8 inch pan, and a 10 inch pan.

These pans come ready seasoned with a natural soy-based oil so as to give you even better tasting food.

The factory based pre-seasoning is the equivalent of roughly around 10 to 15 normal home seasons.

These pans are designed to give you an evenly heated surface.

Ideal for ensuring that your food is cooked to perfection every time you use your beloved cast iron cookware!

All of these pans are easy to clean and maintain.

Simply hand wash with your regular dishwashing liquid, and occasionally re-season with a thick layer of vegetable oil to maintain the non-stick surface.

These particular pans have been designed so as to give you more peace of mind with cooking.

As they are cast iron cookware, you can rest assured that they won’t have any nasty chemicals that can be found on regular non-stick pans.

Pros:

  • Cast iron cookware set of 3 pans; 6 inches, 8 inches, and 10 inches.
  • Comes pre-seasoned with a strong factory season so that you can use the pans straight out of the box.
  • Easy to clean and maintain with dishwashing soap and vegetable oil.
  • No nasty chemicals that you could find with regular non-stick pans.
  • Designed to give you effective, even heating while cooking.

Cons:

  • Some customers thought these pans were a little thinner than other cast iron cookware alternatives available on the market.

Buyer’s Guide

Cast iron cookware is a wonderfully versatile addition to any kitchen. Though with so many different types of cast iron cookware available on the market, it can be difficult deciding on which one to purchase.

Are you after a pan set? A Dutch oven? A single skillet?

Once you know the exact type of cast iron cookware that you’re after, you’ll be on the right track to choosing the ideal product for you.

There are several factors that you will need to consider before you click buy, and we’ve collated them all below to help you make the right choice.

Versatile

Look for a pan or pan set that promises to be versatile with the cooking surfaces you can use it on.

The majority of cast iron pans are safe to use in the oven, on the stovetop - including induction stovetops - and even the campfire if you want to take it with you while camping.

This versatility will make your cast iron cookware your immediate go-to cooking receptacle.

There’s little point in spending top dollar on cast iron cookware that you won’t be able to use on your different cooking surfaces. 

By investing in a set of versatile cast iron cookware, you’ll be ensuring that you won’t need to buy several other different pots and pans to suit each different cooking surface. Now that’s definitely one way to get value for your money!

Pre-seasoned

To get the great flavored food you crave, you’ll need to regularly season your cast iron cookware with natural vegetable oils.

This is to ensure that they retain their black non-stick surface and to help you constantly deliver tasty food.

The good news is that the vast majority of cast iron cookware will already come pre-seasoned.

That will be a lifesaver if you want to start cooking straight away, as you won’t have to fuss around with applying the oil several times first.

Take a look at what kind of pre-seasoning each product is able to offer you. Depending on how the cast iron has been seasoned, you may need to season it once you’ve unpacked it to make sure it will be ready to use.

Other companies offer a strong factory seasoning that is the equivalent of 10 to 15 home seasonings, meaning their cast iron cookware can be used straight out of the box.

You will still have to maintain your cast iron cookware with regular seasoning throughout its life, however, buying pre-seasoned cast iron will make your job so much easier in the long run.

Multipurpose

Quality cast iron cookware will be designed with being multipurpose in mind. That will mean that you can use it for a variety of cooking functions - think frying, sautéing, boiling, baking, and many other things.

If you look for cast iron cookware that is multipurpose, it will mean that you can use it to cook a variety of recipes.

You won’t be restricted to only cooking certain things, and you can stay confident in the knowledge that your beloved cast iron cookware will be able to help you broaden your cooking horizons!

Durable

Take a look at how durable your chosen cast iron cookware is. How thick are the cast iron pans?

Quality cast iron cookware will be durable enough to last you for many generations of cooking, so it is well worth shelling out a little bit more for a set that promises to be durable.

The more durable the cast iron cookware, the more use you will get out of it, and the more return on your investment you’ll see.

Even heating

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing the right cast iron cookware for your kitchen is how well it can heat your chosen food.

There’s nothing worse than having sausages or steak burnt in the middle but raw at the edges! Look for cast iron cookware that promises to give you even heating every time you use them.

A good thing to look for is cast iron cookware that has a smooth, even surface. That will be a good bet that the metal will offer even heat distribution once it’s heated up, and will be able to give you perfectly cooked food every time.

Handles

Have a look at the types of handles your chosen cast iron cookware has. The longer and sturdier the handles, the easier your cast iron cookware will be to hold and move from the stovetop to your table. 

Several Dutch oven style pots will come with two side handles, which make for easier carrying.

Other pans such as skillets will have varying handle lengths - just ensure that the handle is one that you can easily pick up with your oven mitt.

Worried about your cast iron cookware being too hot to handle? Several companies offer the addition of silicone handle holders for you to use once your food has finished cooking.

These will be ideal for giving you peace of mind and help you to avoid any nasty burns from the hot metal!

Ovenproof

Depending on the recipes you want to make with your new cast iron cookware, you’ll want to ensure that it is safe for use in the oven.

Take a look at the maximum temperature that your cast iron cookware is safe to use it for. 

The vast majority will be between 400 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit, but it’s important to know which temperatures are safe for your cast iron cookware. The higher the temperature stated on the product information, the better!

Budget

Cast iron cookware is naturally quite expensive - depending on your chosen product - because of how it is manufactured and the fact that it is so durable.

The type of cast iron cookware that you can afford will be entirely dependent on your individual budget.

For those who are looking at the cheaper end of the scale, you may not be able to get a whole set of pans - however, there are great single cast iron skillets or Dutch ovens available.

Similarly, you shouldn’t just opt for the most expensive cast iron cookware you can find. Try to see what other customers have to say about a product. Just because it’s the more expensive option doesn’t necessarily mean it’s any good.

You should try and buy the best cast iron cookware that you can afford, as it will more than pay you back over the years with all the use you’ll get out of it.

Frequently asked questions

Is cast iron cookware good?

The short answer is yes! Cast iron is a wonderfully durable cookware that will last you for many, many years to come if it’s looked after properly.

You won’t have to worry about replacing them every few years, as it will take them a long time to wear out if you’re seasoning them regularly.

Which is better cast iron or enameled cast iron?

That will entirely depend on what you plan to cook in your cast iron cookware. You can cook pretty much anything in cast iron pans, but if you’re thinking of cooking more acidic foods such as tomato sauce, enameled cast iron will be better.

Enameled cast iron won’t need to be seasoned and is fine to be washed with soap. Regular cast iron is perfect for fajitas or searing your favorite cut of steak.

Why is cast iron expensive?

That is entirely down to the cost of the materials in order to make the cast iron cookware, as well as the effort that has to go into manufacturing them.

However, their shelf life is much higher than other non-stick pans, so they are well worth the investment in the long run.

Last update on 2020-11-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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