The 4 Best Cast Iron Skillets of 2024

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A cast iron skillet is a must-have in the kitchen. These heavy-duty pans can be used for a wide variety of recipes, from searing Filet Mignon to baking a Berry Cobbler for dessert. When cared for properly, the best cast iron skillets will last pretty much forever—you may even be able to hand your cast iron pots and pans down to your children one day.

Chicken breasts cooked in a skillet with green olives, lemon and fresh herbs.
Credit: Skinnytaste

I’ve used many different cast iron pans over the years, so to help you find the right choice for your kitchen, I’ve put together this list of the best cast iron skillets you can buy today. I’ve included options for every budget, and I’m willing to bet these cast iron pans will likely become one of the most-used pieces of cookware in your kitchen. 

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Our Top Picks

  1. What’s in My Kitchen: Le Creuset Signature Fry Pan – $199.95 at Amazon
  2. My Favorite Splurge: Staub Enameled Cast Iron Fry Pan – $199.95 at Target
  3. My Favorite Budget Cast Iron Skillet: Lodge Cast Iron Skillet – $29.90 at Amazon
  4. Best Large Cast Iron Skillet: Lodge Blacklock Cast Iron Skillet – $79.95 at Amazon

Reviews of The Best Cast Iron Skillets

1. What’s in My Kitchen: Le Creuset Signature Fry Pan

Best cast iron skillets: Le Creuset
Credit: Williams Sonoma

It’s hard to beat the Le Creuset Signature Fry Pan in terms of durability, performance, and ease of care. These colorful cast iron skillets come in several sizes, and they have a nonstick enameled finish that makes them much easier to care for than regular cast iron. The finish resists staining, chipping, and cracking, and it doesn’t need seasoning. In fact, you can even put the pan in the dishwasher for easy cleaning—a big no-no with traditional cast iron.

In addition to its durable finish, this skillet has two handles that make it easy to move around while cooking, as well as pour spouts on either side of the pan to drain off liquid. The skillet can be used on any type of cooktop, and it’s also oven-safe up to 500 degrees, so you can use it to make recipes like my Smoked Turkey Sausage Breakfast Skillet. 

The Specs:

  • Size: 10-¼ inches
  • Weight: 5.8 pounds
  • Finish: Enameled

The Pros:

  • Nonstick enamel finish
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Dual pour spouts
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Wide range of colors

The Cons:

What Others are Saying: The Le Creuset Signature Fry Pan has a 4.6-star rating from more than 5,000 Amazon reviewers, and it’s listed as the best enameled cast iron skillets by Forbes, Food & Wine, and Serious Eats. 

Buy the Le Creuset Signature Fry Pan: 

2. My Favorite Splurge: Staub Enameled Cast Iron Fry Pan

Staub enameled cast iron skillet
Credit: Williams Sonoma

Staub is another great choice if you’re looking for heritage-quality enameled cast iron that will last you a lifetime. I love this skillet so much that I actually own it in two sizes: 10-inch and 12-inch. and they have a colorful exterior and durable enamel interior that doesn’t require any seasoning. The cooking surface inside this skillet is slightly textured, which creates better browning on meat, and you can put the pan right in the dishwasher for easy cleaning. The skillet is also oven and broiler-safe up to 500 degrees, and it has large pour spouts to help minimize dripping.

The Specs:

  • Size: 10 inches
  • Weight: 5.18 pounds
  • Finish: Enameled

The Pros:

  • Durable enamel finish
  • Dual pour spouts
  • Better browning
  • Wide range of colors
  • Dishwasher safe

The Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Not recommended for glass stovetops

What Others are Saying: The Staub Enameled Cast Iron Fry Pan was named the best enameled cast iron skillet by The Kitchn.

Buy the Staub Enameled Cast 10-Inch Iron Fry Pan: 

Buy the Staub Enameled Cast 12-Inch Iron Fry Pan:

2. My Favorite Budget Cast Iron Skillet: Lodge Cast Iron Skillet

Leftover Turkey Enchiladas Skillet
Credit: Skinnytaste

If you don’t want to spend a lot on a cast iron pan, the Lodge Cast Iron Skillet is a bestselling option that’s reasonably priced. Its 12-inch diameter is big enough to cook for the whole family at once, and while it is made from plain cast iron, the pan arrives pre-seasoned with a layer of vegetable oil to help you build up a nice nonstick finish. 

In addition to cooking on the stove, this inexpensive cast iron skillet can be used in the oven, on the grill, or even over a campfire. It comes with a silicone handle cover to protect your hands, and it also has a front handle for a better grip when moving it on and off the burner. 

The Specs:

  • Size: 12 inches
  • Weight: 7.5 pounds
  • Finish: Pre-seasoned

The Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Versatile
  • Pre-seasoned
  • Includes handle cover

The Cons:

  • Small handle
  • Heavy

What Others are Saying: The Lodge Cast Iron Skillet is a bestseller on Amazon, with a 4.8-star rating from over 18,000 reviewers. It’s also listed as one of the best cast iron skillets by Wirecutter and best over all by Food & Wine. 

Buy the Lodge Cast Iron Skillet: 

3. Best Large Cast Iron Skillet: Lodge Blacklock Cast Iron Skillet

Lodge Blackstock skillet
Credit: Williams Sonoma

One of the downsides of cast iron is that it’s much heavier than other materials. If you’re looking for a large cast iron pan that doesn’t weigh too much, the Lodge Blacklock is a good choice. It has a spacious 12-inch cooking area with high walls, making it easy to cook big batches of your favorite meals, but it still weighs less than 6 pounds. That’s pretty light considering its size! The cast iron is triple-seasoned, giving it a nice nonstick finish, and it has spouts on each side for pouring off excess liquid.

The Specs:

  • Size: 12 inches
  • Weight: 5.59 pounds
  • Finish: Triple-seasoned

The Pros:

  • Spacious interior 
  • High walls
  • Dual pour spouts
  • Lightweight for its size
  • Triple seasoned 

The Cons:

  • Pricey for the brand

What Others are Saying: The Lodge Blacklock Cast Iron Skillet was named the best cast iron skillet by The Spruce Eats and the best lightweight cast iron skillet by Serious Eats. 

Buy the Lodge Blacklock Cast Iron Skillet: 

Other Cast Iron Skillets to Consider

Victoria Cast Iron Skillet

The Victoria Cast Iron Skillet is another worthy option if you’re shopping on a budget. This pan comes in a wide range of sizes, from as small as 5 inches all the way up to 13 inches, and the plain cast iron is pre-seasoned with flaxseed oil. The bigger pan sizes have long, curved handles for a better grip, but the cooking surface does need a bit of seasoning before it’s truly nonstick. The Victoria Cast Iron Skillet is available at Amazon for $19.99.

Field Company No.8 Cast Iron Skillet

If you’re looking for a lightweight cast iron pan, the Field Company No.8 Cast Iron Skillet weighs just 4.5 pounds. The 10-inch pan is made from a lighter, smoother cast iron that’s pre-seasoned with three layers of grapeseed oil, offering a nonstick finish right out of the box. It has a nicely balanced handle but lacks pour spouts, and it is quite expensive for a non-enameled cast iron skillet. The Field Company No.8 Cast Iron Skillet is available at Field Company for $165.

Calphalon Cast Iron Skillet

The Calphalon Cast Iron Skillet is a heavy-duty option, and its 12-inch cooking surface has curved walls that make it well-suited for recipes like stir-fries. It’s also reasonably priced and backed by a lifetime warranty. However, the surface of this pan is quite rough, so it will need quite a bit of seasoning before it develops a nonstick finish. The Calphalon Cast Iron Skillet is available at Amazon for $39.99.

FINEX Cast Iron Skillet

The FINEX Cast Iron Skillet has a unique octagon-shaped design, and each of its corners serves as a pour spout. It comes in sizes ranging from 8 to 14 inches, and it’s also available with or without a lid. The skillet is made from heavy-duty cast iron that’s polished for a smoother cooking surface, and it has a stainless steel handle that stays cooler to the touch. However, these pans are quite expensive for their size and a bit bulky to move around. The FINEX Cast Iron Skillet is available at Amazon for $199.95.

Why You Can Trust Me

I’m Gina, the author and recipe developer behind Skinnytaste, which features healthy, family-friendly meals made with real food. Throughout my career, I’ve used all kinds of cookware, from nonstick pans to grill pans and everything in between, and a good cast iron skillet is still one of my all-time favorite pieces of cookware. 

Best cast iron skillets
Credit: Skinnytaste

I’ve personally tested several brands of cast iron, and I used my own experiences while putting together this list. For anything that I haven’t tested personally, I looked at reviews from other cooking professionals, as well as user ratings on websites like Amazon. 

Everything to Know Before Buying a Cast Iron Skillet

The best cast iron skillets
Credit: Williams Sonoma

What to Consider Before Buying a Cast Iron Skillet

As you compare different cast iron skillets, these are several of the factors you’ll want to consider to find the right option for your kitchen:

Finish: The biggest choice when selecting a cast iron skillet is whether you want bare cast iron or an enameled finish. Bare cast iron is more affordable, but it requires more meticulous care and generally needs its “seasoning” built up before it’s truly nonstick. Enameled skillets don’t require seasoning and are much easier to care for, but they’re much more expensive initially.

Size: Cast iron skillets come in a range of sizes. There are tiny 4-inch skillets that are perfect for cooking a single egg, all the way up to 14-inch pans that are big enough for large families. In general, 10- and 12-inch skillets tend to be the most popular, as they’re large enough to hold several servings and aren’t too bulky to move around. 

Features: Some skillets have useful features like pour spouts, handle covers, and even lids. Depending on how you plan to use your skillet, these features may come in handy while you’re cooking. 

How Do You Clean a Cast Iron Skillet? 

If you have a plain cast iron pan, you’ll need to clean it carefully to avoid ruining its seasoning. But it isn’t too tricky! You’ll want to wash the inside of the pan by hand, using a small amount of soap and a gentle brush or sponge. Dry the pan right away after washing, as cast iron can rust if it’s left wet. Finally, you’ll want to rub a light layer of vegetable oil over the surface before putting the pan back into storage. 

For enameled cast iron, the process is much easier. Because the finish is more durable, you can soak the pan to loosen baked-on food, and it’s fine to scrub it with dish soap. Some enameled pans can even be put in the dishwasher for hands-off cleaning.   

How Do You Season a Cast Iron Skillet?

The “seasoning” on a cast iron pan is just layers of baked-on vegetable oil, which carbonize to form a black patina and create a nonstick cooking surface. Most cast iron pans come pre-seasoned, but you may need to season them further to get a smooth, nonstick interior. Seasoning will build up in your pan as you cook with it, but you can also season a cast iron skillet by coating it with a layer of vegetable oil and then baking the pan in the oven at 450 to 500 degrees F for an hour. 

How Do You Remove Rust from a Cast Iron Skillet? 

If your cast iron pan is exposed to moisture, it can become rusty, but don’t worry—it’s easy enough to fix. You’ll want to scrub the rusty spots with steel wool, then wash it with warm, soapy water. Dry the pan thoroughly, then you’ll want to season it in the oven (following the steps above) to start building its protective finish back up. 

How Do You Cook a Steak in a Cast Iron Skillet?

I love cooking steak in my cast iron skillet—my Perfect Filet Mignon recipe makes for a special at-home date night. For best results, let your steak come to room temperature, season them to your taste, and spray the pan lightly with olive oil. Let your cast iron skillet heat up on the burner, then sear each side of the steaks for around 2 ½ minutes. I like to finish them off in the oven for 4 or 5 more minutes, then let the meat rest for a few more minutes before serving.

The Best Cast Iron Skillet Recipes

These quick seared Blackened Sea Scallops are coated in a homemade blend of blackened seasoning, then cooked in a cast iron skillet served with a creamy horseradish sauce.
Credit: Skinnytaste

Cast iron skillets are a versatile tool to have in your kitchen. Many people use them to cook steaks, chicken breasts, and other types of protein, but you can really use them in any recipe that calls for a frying pan. I’ve used my cast iron skillets to make stir fry, bake pizza, and even create tasty desserts for my family. Here are a few of my favorite recipes to make in a cast iron skillet: 

Prices were accurate at time of publication.