If you are looking to have the best cast iron cookware for your kitchen, we have consolidated a brand new list for 2021 where you can find your favorite one as per your requirement.
Cast iron cookware was always an essential piece of equipment of our kitchens throughout the world, even though it is cumbersome and requires regular care and maintenance. But with all its pros n cons, we always loved it.
Related: How to clean cast-iron frying pan?
Caring tips for cast-iron cookware!
Cast iron pots and pans require special care and attention. If you take care of them, they can last for a lifetime.
- You should never wash your cast iron cookware with dish soap if the cast iron pan is not properly seasoned.
- It’s a good idea to lightly oil the inside of your cast iron pot or pan after each use, let it cool completely before washing, and dry it thoroughly before storing.
- Wash it thoroughly and then dry it after every use.
- Wipe off any residue that is left and then lightly oil and store.
- Don’t store with the lid on.
- Avoid using utensils that will scratch and damage your cast iron cooking surface.
- Use oven mitts when removing from the oven as it will be very hot!
- If food is stuck on your cast iron pan and you’re having trouble removing it, fill it halfway with water and bring to a boil; the food will come off easily.
- You should also re-season your pot or pan usually.
- Do not leave water standing in the pan as it will rust and damage your pan!
- To keep and maintain the nonstickness of the pan, apply cooking oil after every wash.
What to consider before buying the best cast iron cookware?
For cast iron cookware to possess lifelong operation and heat retention, it requires a heavy weight behind it. Light weight product likely wont offer you the exact same quality and endurance.
Ensure to find cast iron cookware using another grip or helper handle with the extended main one — particularly if you are buying a bigger skillet” That helper handle only makes it much easier, particularly when you are doing some thing such as shallow frying and you need a great deal of equilibrium and balance.
Capacity & Temperature Limit
Most of the good quality cast iron cookware are able to withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees F in the oven and are broiler safe but in many cases so make sure you check the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the cookware. When in case of cast iron cookware, it is really unjust to go for cookware that withstands temperatures less than 400 F.
Lids & Covers
Lids and covers in the cast iron cookware play a vital role in your cooking.The heaviness of the lids and inner spikes and edges which enables the lid to sit tightly on the pot, helps in creating pressure inside the pot that adds to your cooking.
These days most of the top selling cast iron cookware brands pre-season the pots at foundry level. It means that the cast iron pots and pans are ready to be used right out of the box.
It is advisable to season it again every time you use it, so that the pan doesn’t get rusty while not in use and it also helps in serving you for a longer period of time.
The cost of cast iron pots vary a lot. It may cost you much less than any other modern cookware where you will get a lot of pans and pots and it can also cost you a lot more for just one piece.
It is completely upon your requirement but cheap doesn’t always mean low quality.
Coated or Non-coated
Cast iron cookware that are non-coated are what we normally get or see in the market and that are available in abundance. They react to heat fast but also required specail treatment called Seasoning to make it nonstick.
Coated or enamled cast iron cookware are nonstick out of the box and ready to be used. As they are nonstick, they require special care and maintenance to keep their coating effective.
Our Top 11 Picks for Best Cast Iron Cookware in 2021!
- Best Overall – Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron 5 Piece Set
- Best Runner-up – Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Iron Handle Skillet
- Best for Camping – Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet
- Best for Home Use – Cuisinart CI22-24BG Chef’s Classic Cast Iron Round Fry Pan
- Best Cast-iron Grill Pan – Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Grill Pan
- Best Indian Cooking – Utopia Kitchen Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet
- Best Deep Skillet Cast Iron Cookware – Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Deep Skillet With Iron Cover
- Best for Outdoor Use – NutriChef Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet 3 Pieces
- Best for Baking Bread – Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven
- Best Cast Iron Grilling Wok – Cuisinart CCW-800, Pre-seasoned Cast Iron Grilling Wok
- Best for Gas Stove – FINEX 10″ Cast Iron Skillet
1. Best Overall Cast Iron Cookware - Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron 5 Piece Set
- 5 Piece set
- Heat retention and even heating
- Induction compatible
- Short handles get hot
Lodge cast iron 5pc cookware set has all the necessary pieces available that are compulsory for any modern kitchen. This cast iron cookware features, 10.5 Inch Griddle, 8 Inch Skillet, 10.25 Inch Skillet, 5 Quart (10.25 Inch) Dutch Oven, and a Cast Iron Cover with self-basting tips that fits the 10.25 Inch Skillet and 5 Quart Dutch Oven.
All the pieces are pre-seasoned so you don’t have to worry about seasoning it before your first use. The pieces come with easy-grip handles and the cast iron is of such a standard that it is excellent with heat retention and distribution for excellent food prep with no hot spots.
2. Best Runner-up Cast Iron Cookware - Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Iron Handle Skillet
- Excellently Pre-seasoned
- Optimized even heat
- Loop helper handle
- Enameled cast-iron construction
- Don’t use metal utensils
- 8inch cooking surface
Le Creuset cast iron skillets is a runner-up on our list of best cast iron cookware in 2021. This beautifully built and designed skillet features a helper handle that comes very handy with a cast iron skillet because it gets very heavy when there is food inside and the helper handle helps you in moving the pan easily.
The skillet also features two pour spouts on both sides for easy drip-free pouring. Being the industry standard Le Creuset cast iron features excellent heat retention and even heat distribution.
3. Best Cast Iron Cookware for Camping - Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet
- Assist handle
- 10.25 inch cooking surface
- Easy to wash
Lodge provides one of the finest cast iron cookware which is globally recognized and this cast iron skillet is no exception.
The skillet comes pre-seasoned so you don’t need to season it before you first use it. This skillet can be used on any heat source, but if you are willing to use it on induction or glass cooktops, you must be very careful because the iron can scratch the glass surface. (Do not use it in Microwave).
You will find pouring spouts on the sides for easy drip-free pouring.
4. Best Cast Iron Cookware for Home Use - Cuisinart CI22-24BG Chef's Classic Cast Iron Round Fry Pan
- Wide cast iron handles
- Oven safe knob for a durable grip
- Easy clean up
Cuisinart has improved the cast iron reputation in its Chef’s classic enameled cast iron cookware. As one of the main properties is to retain heat and distribute it evenly, that’s why cast iron is loved all over the world for cooking.
The strong and durable construction and availability in different rich enameled blue color give a compliment to your kitchen.
Cuisinart chef’s classic cast iron cookware is induction ready, but we will advise you to be extra careful while using cast iron on induction because it can damage the surface. The cookware comes with a lifetime warranty.
5. Best Cast Iron Cookware Grill Pan - Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Grill Pan
- Foundry seasoned
- Oven safe
- 10.5 Inches cooking space
- Heavier than normal
- Hard to clean
Lodge is the world leader in producing high-quality cast iron cookware and here we have selected their grill pan which is a must for every kitchen so you can make your favorite recipes to perfection.
The grill pan comes pre-seasoned, so no prior seasoning is required. These cast iron grill pans can be used on any heat source from in-door to outdoors, from your sophisticated stovetops to the natural wood fires while you are camping. This is the reason cast iron cookware is loved all over the world.
Even heat distribution and grill ribs make your cooking easy and the release of food is smooth.
6. Best Cast Iron Cookware for Indian Cooking - Utopia Kitchen Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet
- Factory Seasoning
- Oven safe
- Short handle
With Utopia pre-seasoned cast iron skillet, you get a wide diameter cooking space where you can cook your food in a reasonably large quantity.
The skillet comes pre-seasoned and you are ready to make your first recipe as soon as you get your skillet for the first time.
The skillet also features a helper handle that helps you move this cast iron skillet from one place to another without any trouble.
This cast-iron skillet can be used on multiple heat sources e.g. gas, electric, induction, and ceramic-glass top stoves, and ovens.
If you want to use your cast iron cookware for a longer time without rusting, it is advisable to hand wash it after cooking and dry it immediately and rub it with a light coat of vegetable oil before storing.
7. Best Deep Skillet Cast Iron Cookware - Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Deep Skillet With Iron Cover
- 5 Quart Deep Skillet
- Cast iron cover
- Induction compatible
- Very heavy
Lodge cast iron deep skillet is an exception because they have added an inch depth to a regular 12-inch skillet which makes it very versatile cookware to have in your kitchen.
With the inclusion of an iron cover, you can use it as a Dutch oven as well. Because the weight of this deep skillet is around 5.5lbs, they have added an extra helper handle which makes it easy to take the skillet from the stove top to the table or elsewhere.
Lodge cast iron deep skillet is versatile cookware and can be used to sear, saute, bake, broil, braise, fry, or grill.
8. Best Cast Iron Cookware for Outdoor Use - NutriChef Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet 3 Pieces
- 6, 8, & 10 -inch cast iron skillets
- Easy to clean
NutriChef is a well-known manufacturer of kitchen appliances and cookware. Here we have selected their three-piece cast-iron skillet set that we think you should have in your kitchen if you have a family and now and then you need to cook something in different quantities.
The skillets come pre-seasoned so they are ready to be used as you unpack them for the first time. (Just hand wash them with warm water before the first use).
The heat retention and heat distribution are great, and you will not feel any hot spots during your cooking, that’s why cast iron cookware are famous all over the world.
NutriChef cast iron skillet set is stain resistant and because of pre-seasoning, the cleaning is easy and fast.
9. Best Cast Iron Cookware for Baking Bread - Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven
- 5 Quart Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven
- Lid converts to a 10.25 Inch Skillet
- Loop handles
Yet again Lodge has come up with a unique cast iron cookware that is called cast iron Double Dutch Oven. The domed shape lid is also made of cast iron and can also be used as a 10.25-inch skillet with two handles.
With the lid on, you get a 5qt space inside the Dutch oven where you can place a roast easily. With handles on both sides, the carriage and handling are easy.
The cast iron double Dutch oven provides even heat distribution and excellent heat retention so you can make your favorite recipes without compromising on anything. The double Dutch oven is safe to use in the oven, on the stove or grill, and over a campfire.
10. Best Cast Iron Cookware Grilling Wok - Cuisinart CCW-800, Pre-seasoned Cast Iron Grilling Wok
- 10 inch cooking space
- Durable & easy cleaning
Instead of using your best carbon steel wok, the cast iron wok can also help you in grilling up some stir-fry, steamers & mussels, shrimp scampi and so much more.
The Cuisinart cast-iron grilling wok is pre-seasoned, so you don’t need to do the seasoning all by yourself.
With the 10 inches of cooking space, you can make your meals in a large batch for your family in one go.
The cooking surface retains heat very well and if seasoning is good, you will enjoy cooking in it.
To keep the seasoning and nonstick to perfection, it is advisable to season it with vegetable oil every time you are done cooking in it.
11. Best Cast Iron Cookware for Gas Stove - FINEX 10" Cast Iron Skillet
- Handles stay cool longer
- Free of chemical coatings
- Even heating and heat retention
- Takes time to clean
This 10inch ultra-fine polished cast iron skillet from FINEX is one of the best cookware for gas stove. The unique ring style hefty handle is made of 300 series stainless steel which stays cool during the cooking process and it certainly feels good in hand too.
This extra fine cast-iron skillet is 6.3lbs in weight and is made out of a metallurgical mix of molten iron which makes it extra sturdy and long-lasting.
The inner cooking surface is hand-ground, polished, and then seasoned which makes it a complete handcrafted piece of cookware that stands the test of time.
The ring handle has an extra ring at the end which makes it easy to hang for easy storage.
What are the Pros n Cons of Cast-Iron Cookware?
You may be thinking of having cast-iron cookware because of its benefits and lifetime usability but not sure whether you should have one or should avoid, here we will point out some major pros n cons of cast iron cookware for you so you can decide for yourself.
- A well-seasoned cast iron cookware is easier to clean
- Cast iron pans are durable and last for ages
- Cast iron retains heat for longer periods
- Cast iron cookware can be used for the rest of our lives
- Cast iron pans can be quite affordable as compared to other cookware
- Cooking in un-seasoned cast iron can naturally add iron into meals
- Cast iron cookware can be put to any cooking task
- Long-lasting. Mean there are some really old pieces still in use today
- Cast iron pans and pots can deliver non-stick, without the use of any chemicals, if seasoned properly
- Cast iron cookware is cheaper than enameled cast iron and high-quality stainless steel cookware
- The handle of cast iron cookware gets really hot while cooking
- Cast iron pans are poor conductors of heat
- Cast iron cookware is generally very heavy as compared to other cookware
- Bare cast iron is not the best for boiling water and cooking acidic foods
- Cast iron cookware require more care and maintenance
- Bare cast iron may need re-seasoning again and again
- Cast iron takes longer to heat up
How to season your cast-iron cookware?
Cast iron is a very versatile piece of equipment in our kitchens that require regular maintenance or it will rust pretty fast. The best way to prevent it from rusting is to season it regularly. Below in this short 4min. video you will know exactly how you can season your favorite cast iron skillet, or any other cast iron cookware you have, the easiest way.