Best Cast Iron Skillet Reviews: Complete Buying Guide for 2018

The Lodge L8SK3 is easily the Best Cast Iron Skillet this year. It manages to be reliable, affordable, and functional all at once, proving itself as a staple within the cookware market. You’re never going to find another pan that does everything this does for the price, perfect for an amateur or professional cook.

Best Cast Iron Skillet of 2018
Best Quality Cast Iron Skillet
Best Value Cast Iron Skillet
Lodge L8SK3 10-1/4-Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet
Le Creuset Signature Iron Handle Skillet, 11-3/4-Inch, Marseille
T-fal E83407 Pre-Seasoned Nonstick Durable Cast Iron Skillet / Fry pan Cookware,...
9,308 Reviews
224 Reviews
245 Reviews
from $4.95
$190.00
$19.83
Best Cast Iron Skillet of 2018
Lodge L8SK3 10-1/4-Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet
9,308 Reviews
from $4.95
Best Quality Cast Iron Skillet
Le Creuset Signature Iron Handle Skillet, 11-3/4-Inch, Marseille
224 Reviews
$190.00
Best Value Cast Iron Skillet
T-fal E83407 Pre-Seasoned Nonstick Durable Cast Iron Skillet / Fry pan Cookware,...
245 Reviews
$19.83

Best Cast Iron Skillet: Lodge L8SK3

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Lodge L8SK3 10-1/4-Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet
9,308 Reviews
Lodge L8SK3 10-1/4-Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet
  • 10.25-inch Skillet can saute, sear, fry, bake and stir...
  • Pre-Seasoned and ready-to-use
  • Superior heat retention and even cooking
  • Sturdy handle with hole for hanging when not in use,...
  • Made in the USA

Lodge has been around making cookware since 1896, they’re known for their work as manufacturers of cast iron skillets, camp ovens, baking dishes, and Dutch ovens. The company prides itself on being an all American brand that produces its product locally with its own foundry and without outsourcing.

The Lodge L8SK3 comes with a long, shapely handle that you can use to move your foods around the pan or even lift it up when you are done the cooking. The handle comes with a hole near the base of the handle to make it easy to hang it up on your pot rack or wall mounted kitchen hooks. The handle itself is very sturdy, which make it easy to lift the heavy weight of an otherwise unruly cast iron skillet.

You also get an additional helper handle on the opposite side of the skillet. These helper handles can be extended so you can lift the skillet with two hands. This is an extremely helpful feature that comes very much in handy when the pot is simply too hot or too heavy to be lifted on its own. When you are not using them, the handles simply fold downwards keeping them out of the way, ensuring easy use.

Specifications of the Lodge Skillet

  • Pan Type: Cast Iron Skillet
  • Weight: 2.36 Pounds
  • Pan Dimensions: 10.69 x 16.12 x 2 in
  • Size: 10.25 inches
  • Coating: Pre Seasoned Oil
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Colors: Black

Design: Cast Iron L8SK3

Unlike many other iron skillets, the Lodge L8SK3 doesn’t chip away when you’re cooking with it. There are not any nasty little black flecks contaminating your food. On the most upper seasoned layer of the skillet, there is a layer, ensuring that food never actually comes into contact with the raw metal below.

However, when cooking with certain acidic ingredients like tomatoes or lemons, it can cause the acids in the food to react with the metal. Resulting in your food tasting a bit off and can even prove harmful to your health. Re-Seasoning your pan after use builds a polymerized layer which prevents this issue.

The Lodge L8SK3 comes pre-seasoned with vegetable oil straight off the manufacturing line. What this means is that you won’t have to season the skillet every time you want to use it. This is a great feature for those looking to start using the skillet right away without spending any more time and effort than is absolutely necessary. Lodge’s Pre-seasoned cookware is also known to be highly resilient and long-lasting. The majority of iron cookware, when exposed to the elements, starts to oxidize and degrades.

Main Features of the Lodge L8SK3

The oxidation of iron can cause a significant amount of rust to build up. Not only is this a health risk to you and your family but it can leave the skillet practically useless. Lodge mitigates this by coating the upper layer of the skillet with seasoning oil, this prevents the iron from oxidizing in the air. This means that even after being kept unused for large periods of time, this cast iron skillet will remain rust free.

To further protect the skillet from corrosion, the Lodge L8SK3 is heat treated after its casting process. The skillet is placed in an industrial oven around 600°C for a few hours to temper the metal. Once the skillet reaches optimum temperature, all the impurities from the composition are removed. This only leaves behind iron with very few mineral traces. The iron molecules now stick to each other securely, resulting in a reduced rate of rusting. You don’t have to worry about maintaining your cast iron skillet.

That is because the Lodge L8SK3 is completely oven friendly and dishwasher safe. The pan is able to withstand a high amount of heat inside the oven for long periods of time, all without developing any bubbles, bulges, or cracks. Likewise, you can pop it in your dishwasher to wash and even sit through the dry cycle without causing any damage. The NSF certifies the Lodge L8SK3 as a safe to use a piece of cooking ware, in according to the health and safety regulations of consumer products in the USA.

Conclusion: The best Cast Iron Skillet?

The Lodge L8SK3 is heat retentive allowing the heat to travel evenly throughout its surfaces. Browning out steak and meats is easy in the skillet because it stays hot when it’s heated up. By evenly spreading the heated oil on the meat, the thermolability of the meat increases causing the sugars to reduce and ultimately caramelize. Cooked meat ends up less greasy as it takes much less grease to sear the meat.

The skillet is multi-functional for cooking a variety of different foods well. Regular pan-fried dishes like steak and fried chicken manage to cook evenly and perfectly sear the outside. You can use this skillet for a wide variety of desserts, such as pancakes, pies, gingerbread, cobblers and even some crostatas. This skillet also manages to puff up cakes and pastries very consistently without burning them. Since the Lodge L8SK3 retains heat very well, it is a great option for serving the food in, keeping food warm.

The skillet will induct all heat from the cooking and keeps it packed in for longer. It keeps the food hot and fresh due to residual heat, preventing it from cooling down. This a great feature if you are waiting for your family. They can experience hot fresh food straight out of the pan even several minutes after.

Best Quality Cast Iron Skillet: Le Creuset

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Le Creuset Signature Iron Handle Skillet, 11-3/4-Inch, Marseille
224 Reviews
Le Creuset Signature Iron Handle Skillet, 11-3/4-Inch, Marseille
  • Heavyweight fry pan requires very little oil, making it...
  • Optimized for steady, even heat, Le Creusets improved...
  • Black enamel interior requires no additional seasoning,...
  • New large loop helper handle facilitates lifting the...
  • Enameled cast-iron construction provides superior heat...

The Le Creuset Signature cast iron skillet is made by French cookware manufacturer, Le Creuset. This company has been making high-quality cooking utensils since June in 1925. Le Creuset manufactures everything from saucepans and soup bowls, to kettles, electric griddles and other items of cookware.

The company is most notably recognized for its colorful range of enamel coating cooking pan skillets. Le Creuset is widely admired as one of the oldest, most notable manufacturer of cast iron skillet pans.

Specifications: Le Creuset Signature Iron

  • Pan Type: Cast Iron SkilletWeight: 6.8 Pounds
  • Pan Dimensions: 13.5 x 18.8 x 1.9 inches
  • Size: 11 & ¾ inches
  • Coating: Pre Seasoned Enamel Coat
  • Warranty: Lifetime Replacement Warranty
  • Colors: 1x Black, 11x Porcelain Colors

Design of Perfection

The Le Creuset iron skillet comes with a beautiful porcelain coating on the outside. Not only is this coating visually striking but it also protects the pan from rusting. The Le Creuset cast iron skillet is available in a variety of vibrant color options. This list is quite extensive and could go on for a while. Ultimately, you can choose from Cherry, Flame, Marseille, Oyster, Marine, Palm, Soleil, Truffle and white. This makes it a great option for collectors that like to have a variety of visually diverse pans.

It makes it a great gifting option for anyone that appreciates their cooking utensils to be eye-catching. Inside the pan, there is a heavy duty black enamel interior that makes it a superior non-stick product. The enamel coating alleviates the need for a dedicated seasoned coating. This, in turn, solves many of the pitfalls of classic iron skillets. For example, unlike with traditional pans, you can cook in this skillet with acidic ingredients on the enamel coated pan without fear of spoiling taste or safety of your food.

You can use more vigorous cleaning techniques such as scrubbing, this typically damages traditional iron skillets. The pan can even withstand the abuse of countless spatula scrapes, knife cuts, and fork marks. Even burnt food remains do not put a dent in the pan’s resilient coating. No matter what you subject the pan too, it will always manage to retain its lustrous black enamel coating, worth the cost.

Main Features of an Expensive Skillet

There isn’t much in the way of the Le Creuset’s maintenance. The glass-like enamel coating separates the food from the pan, leaving the leftover pieces of food free from the pan’s surface. The majority of food residue can simply be cleaned off with soap and water. Excess grease can be wiped off by simply running a paper towel across the surface of the pan. This Skillet can safely be washed in a dishwasher.

Although the heavy weight of iron skillets is seen as an issue sometimes, the cast iron handle on this Le Creuset Signature pan makes it easy to lift the skillet. You can tilt and maneuver the pan however you want without it feeling unwieldy. What’s more, the Le Creuset cast iron skillet has rounded off the edges which reduce the amount of material used. This gives you an iron skillet pan which weighs less than any conventional pan. It’s even possible to lift the whole pan with one hand using minimal effort.

The Le Creuset iron skillet comes with a handle sleeve that further adds to the ease of lifting the pan. By sliding the silicone sleeve on to the cast iron handle, you can get a better grip on the handle. This sleeve also results in a softer contact point with your hand. Making it incredibly comfortable to hold the skillet. As a bonus, you get some recipe cards with the pan for six gourmet dishes. Although the pans $200 price tag may seem high at first glance, the added value of all the features, as well as the quality of the pan, really makes it an attractive option well worth the much larger original investment.

Cast Iron Functionality

You get a few design extras such as a side handle that enables you to lift the pan with ease. Included, you get two pouring spouts on either side of the iron skillet. They are slightly larger than the average cast iron skillets pouring spout which makes it great for pouring more viscous liquids like sauces. The inside of the pan is centrally proportioned, resulting in an even distribution of any food when stirring.

The Le Creuset iron skillet works well on induction cook-tops. This is usually a problem with traditional stainless-steel skillets that do not absorb heat properly enough to cook. This can lead to undercooked food with burnt sides. Thankfully, the Le Creuset skillet is able to retain its heat and spread it through a large surface area. The pan manages to lift heat off its surface slowly in an upwards direction. This is absolutely critical when you are trying to make desserts like cakes that need to the heat to slowly rise.

The Le Creuset skillet is oven safe for up to 600°F with no bulging or cracking. You can use this skillet on a bunch of various heat sources such as induction tops, gas ranges, ceramic top and even broilers. Le Creuset outperforms many traditional cast iron skillets in its heat distribution, heat retentive and heat preservation. You will notice better results whilst cooking by using this iron skillet over any other.

Conclusion: The Best Quality Iron Skillet?

Quality matters when you’re cooking. Not just quality of your ingredients and the appliances, but also the cookware used. We often tend to overlook the tools we use for cooking, focusing instead only the best prime beef cuts or the freshest produce we can find. However, the end result will only be good as our techniques and the equipment used towards creating a dish. This pan is the highest quality Skillet.

Cooking techniques will only be good as the tools we use them on, so it is important to have the right equipment. LeCreuset is a premium product at a premium price. It boasts an elegance that only a few other skillets manage to contain. The price of it may a little steep but you get your money’s wort back.

Best Value Cast Iron Skillet: E83407

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T-fal E83407 Pre-Seasoned Nonstick Durable Cast Iron Skillet / Fry pan Cookware,...
245 Reviews
T-fal E83407 Pre-Seasoned Nonstick Durable Cast Iron Skillet / Fry pan Cookware,...
  • Dress up grilled steak; fish and veggies with authentic...
  • Large; extra-long handle with Easy-to-grip side helper...
  • Comes pre-seasoned for first use and includes step by...
  • Heats evenly and consistently, as cast iron is the best...
  • Pouring spouts allow for controlled transfer of...

The T-Fal E83407 iron skillet is made by well renowned French cookware manufacturer, Tefal. Tefal is known in the industry as quite literally the first company to manufacture non-stick Teflon coated pans as early as 1956. In addition to making cast iron skillets, the company is known for making appliances.

Such as electric grills, French fry makers, and even clothing irons. The company introduced the T-Fal E83407 as part of its exclusive range of iron skillet pans. The T-Fal is used in the cooking industry by several professional chefs and restaurateurs such as Jaime Oliver and is a solid, stable pan in this list.

Specifications of the Skillet

  • Pan Type: Cast Iron Skillet
  • Weight: 9 Pounds
  • Pan Dimensions: 19.7 x 13 x 2.5 inches
  • Size: 12.5 inches
  • Coating: Pre Seasoned Polymerized Oil
  • Warranty: One Year Limited
  • Colors: BlackDesign

The E83407 is pre-seasoned with a polymerized vegetable oil that creates a slick layer on top of the skillet’s surface. This coating not only protects the skillet from wear and tear but also keeps it from rusting easily. The slim iron handle on the T-Fal E83407 is really sturdy and secure. This means that picking up the heavy iron skillet becomes very convenient. The handle has an opening on its end so that you can hang it on a rack. You even get a second carrying handle to pick the skillet up with two hands, giving you an easy answer to carrying heavier dishes like pot roasts or meat joints with ease.

Great Value, Great Pan

This skillet is safe from harmful industrial by-products and hazardous chemicals. Usually, poorly made electric skillets run the risk of containing chemical contaminants. Studies shown inhaling substances like Cadmium often leads to high-risk health hazards like kidney failure and a lung disease. Thankfully, this iron skillet is completely Cadmium and PFOA free. Allowing extensive usage without it going bad.

Functionality and Value over Thrills

You get access to an even cooking surface with the TFal E83407. The skillet is highly heat retentive and distributes the temperature evenly across the surface. This will give you great results for even cooking that are neither overdone or underdone. The pan comes with heat markers on the surface of the pan.

This lets you know just when you reach the right temperature for your food. Heat sensitive foods such as steaks or chicken fillets get cooked perfectly without charring it. Another great feature that the E83 has is its pouring sprouts. On opposite sides of the skillet, you can find two indented beaks that allow easy pouring of any liquids. You can pour excess oil out of the food or even pour sauce from the pan.

Conclusion: The Best Value Skillet?

This cast iron skillet proves that it doesn’t a lot of money to make a decent product. The pan combines safety, superior heat retention, and ergonomic design in a cheap package that will satisfy most needs.

Last update on 2018-04-20 at 12:20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About the author

Alyssia Walmsley

Alyssia is a Cornell University graduate of 2003 and a former lead technology development manager for Microsoft and Cisco Networking Systems. Between writing on her blog, Blubbr, she likes adventures and chocolate sprinkles.

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