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Timofey Panov
Timofey Panov

Buy Cast Iron Cookware

With our seasoned cast iron bakeware collection, it's easy to make homemade baked goods and casseroles that rival your favorite bakery and restaurants. Check out our bakeware items as well as colorful baking accessories!

buy cast iron cookware

Our favorite cast iron skillet is the Lodge 10.25-Inch Skillet. It's basic, durable, inexpensive and performs well. We also like the Lodge Blacklock 10.25-Inch Skillet, which is pricier, but lightweight and easy to move around.

We tested some cast iron skillets in that weren't available when we originally published this story (models from Stargazer, Cuisinel, Calphalon, Lancaster, and more) at our Lab, comparing them to our current favorite skillets from Lodge. We don't recommend any of these models over our top picks but have updated our findings at the bottom of this page.

What is seasoning? Some pans come pre-seasoned, but others need a bit of prep work. All you need to do is apply vegetable oil to the pot or pan, stick it in the oven on high heat (pay attention to the instructions on the cookware) and let it bake into the surface. Once done and cool, you can rub in some more oil to lock it all in and you are ready to cook.

Cleaning cast iron is also a bit different, but quite easy. After cooking and cooling, wipe down the surface with a damp rag and let the pan dry completely. If there is any residue, you can use course salt and a scrub brush with soft bristles and that should do the trick.

Is it hot in here or is it just Le Creuset cast iron cookware? Iron Chef Cat Cora named this as the sexiest brand, and for good reason. Their selection of Dutch ovens and cast iron post and pans come in stunning colors with sleek details and hardware. For a full set, check out the 10-piece set that comes in five colors, or shop a la carte on site.

Budget chefs, take note. The Iron Chef picked Utopia Kitchen cast iron pans as the best bang for your buck, and we luckily found a whole set of them on Amazon. Get three pre-seasoned cast iron pans for only $29, or one stunning skillet for $23, easily shopped and shipped by Amazon.

When in doubt, go with the tried and true. Smithey is known for cookware that lasts, and they will help yours do the same. Shop their cast iron selects here, or for those who have a pan in need of some TLC, head to the restoration section. There, you can send back a Smithey pan or even another brand and they will spruce it back up.

When camping, make sure to only pack the bare necessities, meaning an amazing multi-use cast iron pan from Barebones. Shop their selection of cast iron, including an all-in-one grill that collapses down, as well as their cast iron skillets that come in a box 6, 10 and 12-inch size.

There is a reason Lodge is so popular. The company has been making pans in Tennessee since the early 1900s and has maintained tradition while innovating over the years. In 2002 they were the first company to introduce pre-seasoned cast-iron pans, which is now an industry standard. When it came to cooking, our eggs did not stick, the cornbread came out clean and evenly cooked, and our steaks were seared to perfection. The pan comes with two pour spouts and a helper handle. At 2 inches deep, this skillet is great for frying as well as searing.

If you're looking for cast iron that last for the next generation, you can't go wrong with the Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast Iron Skillet. For a budget option, we recommend the Lodge Cast Iron Skillet, which performed well and is lightweight, making it incredibly user-friendly.

Senior staff writer Lesley Stockton, who wrote the original version of this guide, had been writing about cookware for Wirecutter since 2013, covering skillets (both tri-ply and nonstick), roasting pans, saucepans, and electric pressure cookers. Before that, she cooked in fine-dining kitchens for many years and was a food editor in the Martha Stewart test kitchens for six years.

To test the cast-iron pans, we started by heating a quarter cup of oil in each skillet until shimmering, then poured the hot fat into a jar to see if we could do this with minimal (or no) dribbling on the countertop. We also paid attention to the comfort and maneuverability of the handle when lifting and tilting each pan.

Since the popularity of cast iron has spiked in recent years, the demand for antique skillets made anywhere from the late 1800s to mid-20th century by now-defunct companies like Wagner and Griswold has skyrocketed. Now that more people are seeking out these pans, the prices have quadrupled in some cases. Meanwhile, a new generation of lighter, smoother, pricier cast-iron skillets from artisanal companies has emerged out of a desire to manufacture new pans that are similar to the older ones.

Antique and vintage cast-iron cookware were hand-poured into sand molds and hand-polished to a smooth finish. These labor-intensive pans were cast from thinner molds, which makes them lighter than many modern pans and easier to maneuver. The hand polishing also makes for a slicker cooking surface. The makers of the new artisanal pans replicate this process, while in contrast most inexpensive modern cast-iron pans are mass-produced on automated production lines. They retain the rough texture of the sand mold and weigh significantly more.

If it's getting to be that time where new cookware is required, consider going with something classic like cast iron. This type of cookware is not only high quality and durable, but it also makes a lovely addition to your kitchen. Williams Sonoma offers a vast array of cast iron cookware for those looking to upgrade their cooking essentials.

Made up of iron-carbon alloys, cast iron is chemical free and built to last. One of its biggest benefits is that it holds heat well and once hot, it will stay that way. In this regard, cast iron is more effective in even heat distribution than stainless steel. Cast iron is a great cookware choice for the kitchen, as it is also very durable and easy to clean. As it is dishwasher-safe, simply stack it in the dishwasher and you're done or read our tips on how to clean a cast iron skillet.

Once you've got your sleek cast iron cookware, don't forget other kitchen essentials that will help you make that memorable meal if it's just for two or a holiday family dinner. Check out Williams Sonoma's selection of cheese knives and boards to help kick off the meal. Once the bird is out of the oven, get carving with a specialty carving knife.

The secret to simple, healthy meals, the Le Creuset Skinny Grill is a cookware essential that keeps getting better and better. Recent upgrades include solid platform handles for a more secure grip and taller ridges that elevate food above ...

America's oldest family-owned cookware foundry, Lodge has been making cast iron pots and pans since 1896. The company's Chef Collection skillets are crafted according to a century-old tradition, with modern design upgrades that make these kitchen workhorses remarkably user-friendly. ...

America's oldest family-owned cast iron cookware foundry, Lodge has produced heirloom-quality pots and pans since 1896. Triple seasoned for natural nonstick ease and quick cleanup, this lightweight skillet heats evenly at a low setting, making it ideal for searing ...

America's oldest family-owned cookware foundry, Lodge has been forging cast-iron pots and pans since 1896. This heavyweight griddle provides exceptionally even heating, so foods sear, brown and cook beautifully. Preseasoned and ready to use, it's ideal for preparing breakfast ...

The best cast-iron skilletThe best budget cast-iron skilletConventional versus vintage-style cast ironHow we testedWhat we looked forOther cast-iron skillets we testedThe takeawayHow to season a cast-iron skilletHow to clean a cast-iron skillet

For a long time we were in the (very large) camp that favored inexpensive cast-iron pans like Lodge and Victoria over the upmarket vintage-style cast iron. These vintage-style pans can cost hundreds of dollars, sometimes 10 times more than those old school brands. Lodge and Victoria do make excellent cast-iron pans, and we still recommend them for anybody new to cast iron who wants something affordable. However, this cast-iron skillet from Lancaster Cast Iron, a small company producing beautiful cast-iron pans entirely out of southeastern Pennsylvania, proved to us that even something great has plenty room for improvement.

If you are accustomed to thick and heavy cast-iron pans, the Lancaster might take you by surprise. At 4 pounds it was the lightest cast-iron pan we tested (For reference: A standard Lodge this size weighs 5.2 pounds), and was easy to maneuver with one hand. The pan's thin cast walls and base make for, not only a lighter weight pan, but one that heats up faster and more consistently than a conventional cast-iron pan. Thicker cast iron can require up to 10 minutes of preheating on the stovetop before it gets hot enough, the Lancaster reached an ideal temperature a little more than a minute, faster than its competition. This also means that the pan cools down faster, which made us wonder if the pan would still be able to achieve crispy edges on things like corn bread or spoon cakes. It definitely did. The Lancaster has two ample pour spouts, but there's no helper handle on the front of the pan. The lack of a helper handle wasn't a huge deal since the No. 8 pan is so lightweight. (The same can't be said for Lancaster's 12-inch No. 10 pan, which is also without a helper handle, but weighs a heftier 6 pounds.)

Like many of the other new, vintage-style cast-iron brands (read more about what vintage-style means below) Lancaster pans have a glassy, smooth cooking surface. Because of this, there's a baseline level of nonstick that the pan has, which makes it more forgiving if you happen to accidentally strip the seasoning (which we did) or fail to use enough oil. As a result, fried eggs stuck to the Lancaster the least of any of the pans we tested. We did worry that the smooth surface would mean the sear would be less textured than that of a rougher pan, but seared chicken thighs came out perfectly burnished and crispy, and the tall side walls are ideal for shallow frying something like crab cakes or deep-frying fried chicken. 041b061a72


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