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A cast iron grill pan is going to be the workhorse of your kitchen for heavy-duty cooking jobs. If you need to sear a steak or caramelize vegetables, you turn to a cast iron grill pan. Because your cast iron pan is going to last you quite some time, you need to know which one will be right for you, and to that end, we’ve prepared this guide to help you select the best cast iron grill pan.
In our guide, we’ll not only cover the five best cast iron pans but also provide a buyer’s guide and FAQ so you can stay informed and savvy when shopping for your new pan.
|Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet with 2 Loop Handles||Cast Iron||19.5 x 17 x 2.62 inches||Check Price|
|Cuisinart CI30-23BG, 9.25″ Square Grill Pan, Enameled Provincial Blue||Cast Iron||15.94 x 10.19 x 3.42 inches||Check Price|
|Cuisinel 3-Piece Chief Set||Cast Iron||12 x 8 x 2 inches||Check Price|
|Lodge 10.25 Cast Iron Skillet||Cast Iron||16.1 x 10.6 x 2 inches||Check Price|
|Lodge Cast Iron Grill Pan||Cast Iron||17.25 x 10.5 x 2.63 inches||Check Price|
When out shopping for a cast iron skillet, you might be swayed by selecting name-brand over actual quality. The trade-off, of course, is the skillet might be inferior to similar ones on the market. If you’re after a skillet that has name-brand recognition and quality look no further than the Lodge company, America’s premier cast iron pan, pot, and skillet company.
Of course, name brand is nice and all, but you’re looking for actual specifics. Why this skillet over others? All Lodge pots, pans, and skillets are made of 100% cast iron. No aluminum, or stainless steel, or a mixture of different metals posing as cast iron. Each one is handmade in America from a family-owned and operated company which has been building cast iron utensils for the past 120 years.
- Heavy. Weighing in at nearly 14 pounds, this pan isn’t going to be tipping over anytime soon.
- Seventeen inch diameter and two inches deep, allowing you a versatile workspace for cooking.
- Able to be used in searing, frying, grilling, baking, roasting, and sautéing.
- Pr-seasoned from the factory.
- Easy to clean.
- Rubber grips.
The Lodge Cast Iron Skillet is the perfect skillet for just about anything and everything you could want to cook at home, at a camp, or at a barbecue. It’s rustic charm, and need we say great brand name, makes this a skillet that’ll last you for years to come. Just be sure to not use it in a microwave.
Cuisinart is company that’s become a household name when it comes to kitchen appliances and tools, and for good reason. They produce high quality tools with affordable price tags. They also aim for the lines to have a modern design, so if rustic iron pans just don’t fit with your kitchen plan, than a Cuisinart is likely right for you.
Cuisinart pans are made of actual cast iron, not imitation metals, and have a porcelain enameled interior and exterior. The designers at Cuisinart made sure the porcelain enamel wouldn’t affect your food in any way, or release chemicals while cooking, so rest assure that this cast iron griddle pan is safe for cooking. It’s also perfect for stove top and broilers, as well as grills.
- Lightweight, weighing in at only a pound.
- Fifteen inches in diameter, ten inches long, and three inches deep provides plenty of cooking versatility.
- Very simple to clean, and dishwasher safe.
- Comes in several colors to match your kitchen.
- Extra-long handle.
- Works on the stove top and on a grill.
- Not per-seasoned.
- While light, there is the fear of it flipping.
The Cuisinart may not be as versatile as the Lodge pan, but it makes up for that loss of versatility by being durable, modern, and affordable. If you don’t feel like investing in a large cast iron pan, or want one that looks more modern, consider the Cuisinart.
Despite the name, Cuisinel had no relations to Cuisinart. An American company that specializes in cast iron pots, pans, griddles, and other kitchen accessories, their three piece set includes three pans for the price of one! The three skillets you receive are of different sizes and you’ll find a six inch skillet, an eight inch skillet, and a ten inch skillet.
Due to their design, these three skillets can be used at home, at barbecues, camping, and wherever else you might need them. All three skillets are around two inches deep, and are suitable for broiling, braising, baking, frying, roasting, and sautéing. As a very nice bonus, each skillet also comes with a slip-on rubber grip for the handle which will save you from accidental burns.
- Relatively heavy.
- Three sizes in the same package allowing you to choose which skillet is right for the task.
- Easy to clean.
- Rubber grips for the handles.
- The ten inch skillet was still a little small for our liking.
- It would have been nice is the six and eight inch skillets included a handle like the ten inch skillet.
If you’re mindset is trying to get the best bang for your buck, then you can’t go wrong with Cuisinel. You get three lovely cast iron skillets that are quite versatile, and with three sizes to choose from you’ll always have the pan you need at hand.
We’ve already spoken in length about why we love the Lodge brand, so there is no need to repeat ourselves. Lodge provides excellent cast iron pans and skillets, and their 10.25 inch skillet is no exception. What makes this skillet a must-have is the inclusion of a rubber handle which can easily slip on-and-off if you wanting your skillet to look much more rustic.
- Fairly heavy at four pounds, so not likely to flip over.
- Ten inches in diameter and a depth of two inches, making the skillet versatile for all your cooking needs. .
- Can be used for frying, baking, roasting, grilling, and sauteing.
- Pre-seasoned from the factory.
- Easy to clean.
- Includes rubber handle.
In truth, we can’t think of any downsides of this skillet. It’s affordable, it’s reliable with a famous name behind it, and above all else it includes a rubber grip. The only reason why it wasn’t number one on our list is because it’s not as big as the other lodge pan. If you need a skillet for your cooking needs, you can’t go wrong at all with a Lodge. As before, never use in a microwave.
The last pan on our list, and it shouldn’t come as a shock that it’s another Lodge pan. We weren’t joking about their superior quality. So what makes this one different? Unlike the two skillets, this one is perfect for grilling. The others can work for grilling, but due to the ridges in the pan, meat and vegetables can be perfectly grilled and the excess juice dumped out once the cooking is finished.
- Six pounds, so no risk of flipping over.
- Ten inches in diameter and a depth of nearly two inches, making it perfect for grilling.
- Pre-seasoned from the factory.
- Easy to clean.
- Rubber grips.
If you’re looking for Lodge-only pans, pots, and skillets then make sure to add this pan to the list. It’s perfect for grilling and makes a fine addition to your kitchen as one of the best cast iron griddle pans! Like all Lodge products, never use in a microwave.
Now that we’ve gone over our top five recommendations, let’s review what you should look for when buying a cast iron pan. Firstly, what’s the difference between a cast iron pan and a cast iron skillet? In truth, there isn’t much difference. As you saw in our review, pans tended to have ridges on the bottom and were suitable for grilling or cooking food elevated from the surface, while skillets had the food in direct contact with the bottom.
Skillets are the more “jack-of-all-trades” when it comes to cast iron pans, so unless you exclusively want to get a cast iron pan to grill, a skillet will work most of the time. This being said, you’ll need to find a skillet or pan that’s the right size for your kitchen. It should go without saying, but buy a skillet that will handle enough food for yourself and guests. You might want a giant skillet or pan, but if you never use it then it’s a waste of money.
You likely saw how we used the word “seasoned” a lot in our review, so let’s go over what it means for a cast iron pan to be “seasoned”. No, we don’t mean the manufacture threw some bay leaves and thyme into the pan while making it. Instead, “seasoning” refers to the adding oil and then heating the pan up to create the iconic slick, water-proof surfaces cast irons are known for. We’ll go over how to season you pan in the next section.
Finally, there is the price. Some cast iron pots and pans sell for over fifty dollars, some reaching into the hundreds. Others are twenty dollars or less. Which one is the best one? Well, expensive doesn’t always mean “better”. Lodge makes plenty of high quality pans that are affordable. In fact, you should use Lodge pans as a bar-o-meter. If another pan offers the same features as a Lodge, but is more expensive, it’s not worth your time.
Q: How Do I Season My Pan?
A: As mentioned, a pre-seasoned pan s one the manufacture already coated with oil. If you need to season your pan, take pure flaxseed oil and apply it to a warmed pan, leaving a thin coat. Next, preheat your oven to five hundred degrees and place your oiled pan inside for an hour. Afterwards, let it dry and cool off and repeat a few more times.
Q: Are Cast Iron Pans Easy To Clean?
A: Despite their reputation, yes they are. Soap and warm water, along with a sponge, is normally enough to clean your pan.
Q: Can Cast Iron Grills Work On Electric Stoves?
A: It depends on the brand. Some can be, others won’t work with an electric stove. Read the fine print to see if your pan can work with an electric stove or not.
Q: Why Use A Cast Iron Pan?
A: While iron won’t get as hot as aluminum or stainless steel, it can hold up much better to heat and still retain its structure. So this makes cast iron pans and skillets perfect for cooking with high temperatures.
And there you have it, our guide to the best cast iron grill pans and skillets you can find on the market along with an informative guide on what to look for when shopping for a cast iron grill or skillet. Be it pans for grilling, pans for searing, or pans for baking you can’t go wrong with cast iron. While they might take longer to heat up, they retain heat better than other metals and aren’t likely to break.
In fact, you can still find antique cast iron pans from the 1900s that still work flawlessly today. This makes cast iron pieces perfect as heirloom pieces and as gifts, along with their functionality. We hope this guide will assist you in find that cast iron pan that’s right for you!