It’s an ideal shape for searing, roasting, and sautéing. The classic Lodge costs a very reasonable $20 to $30 (buying the skillet on Amazon costs a little more, because it comes with a silicone handle grip), making it slightly less expensive than the Chef Collection skillet. The hand polishing also makes for a slicker cooking surface. Le Creuset is lighter than other competing brands . A new generation of high-end cast-iron skillets produced by small companies like Butter Pat or Stargazer come with a very smooth cooking surface and are typically a couple of pounds lighter. The Lodge’s stick handle is smaller than the one on the Chef Collection skillet and lacks an angle, but you can still get a good grip. We also paid attention to the comfort and maneuverability of the handle when lifting and tilting each pan. The lid has just enough lip to hold coals when baking and seals tight enough to keep debris out of the pot. It's oven-safe up to 500 F and suitable for all stovetops. Courtesy of Milo. Plus cast iron gets and stays hotter than other materials, which translates into the crispiest, golden crust you’ve ever cooked. In comparison, we found that the longer, bulkier handles on some pans made them more unwieldy. Not surprisingly, as cast iron is not an even conductor of heat, none of the skillets browned perfectly evenly, although two of the high-end pans did better than most. Tramontina Enameled Cast Iron Covered Skillet 12” 1.4.1 Caring for your Tramontina skillet 1.4.2 Specifications 1.4.3 Check Out The Latest Price & Reviews At Amazon 1.5 5. Chantal Enameled Heavy Duty Cast-Iron Skillet & Dutch Oven Set 7. This will cover most of your daily cooking needs.”. Cornbread also stuck badly to the bottom of the Blacklock unlike the other two pans. Over 2,800 Amazon customers have given the square pan a five-star rating, praising its heavy-duty design and heat distribution. One of the expensive skillets we tested had trouble releasing cornbread, and all of them seemed to have less seasoning than more traditional dark-black skillets. It seared steak, fried eggs, and released cornbread well in our tests. Of all the cast-iron skillets we tested, it came closest to exhibiting even heat distribution, and in testing it was a pleasure to use. Matthew Hartings, professor of chemistry at American University and author of Chemistry in Your Kitchen, told us, “Cast iron is heavy and dense, and that is the biggest thing it has going for it. “Received it today, wiped it down with a damp cloth, dropped in some butter, fried 4 eggs. 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. The Calphalon cast-iron skillet didn’t make it past the first round of testing for having the worst pour spouts. But overall it performed the same as the Chef Collection skillet in our tests, searing steak well and releasing eggs easily. The only real downside of using an enameled cast iron skillet is that the enamel can crack or chip if you drop the skillet. Food & Wine is part of the Meredith Corporation Allrecipes Food Group. A cast iron pan is an essential piece of equipment for any cook. Enameled cast iron is durable. We’ve read through this guide and stand by our current picks. What’s more, the enameled cast iron also provides superior heat retention compared to other nonstick skillets and is dishwasher-safe for simpler cleanup. This covered skillet is made from enameled cast iron that makes it sturdy and durable. So, you might find it difficult to buy one of your choices. For example, when I make my pork chops, I cook them 4 minutes either side in the pan, and then transfer the whole thing into the oven at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. 6. The easiest way to maintain your cast-iron pan is with regular use. The sides of the Lodge Chef Collection skillet are also about a quarter inch lower than the classic Lodge’s, which will decrease steaming when you’re browning burgers, helping you achieve a great sear. Best Overall: Lodge 12-Inch Cast Iron Skillet. Bruntmor Enameled Cast Iron Skillet With Lids, 12-Inch 8. It’s deep, which would work well for frying chicken. A good seasoning will work almost as well as a nonstick coating to consistently prevent foods like eggs and cornbread from sticking. To loosen stubborn cooked-on food, pour hot tap water in the skillet while it’s still hot and let it bubble for a minute or two, then transfer to the sink and hand wash. Make sure to dry your pan completely since lingering moisture can cause rust spots or damage your seasoning. To check for the nonstick-ness of the factory seasoning, we made cornbread and turned the pans upside down to see if the baked bread fell out with prying or sticking. The cast-iron brand that you can find just about anywhere, Lodge has been around for 120 years for a reason. Easy to maneuver: Most cast-iron pans are quite heavy—the classic Lodge 12-inch skillet weighs about 8½ pounds—so it’s important that they come with a comfortable handle and a large helper handle on the opposite edge of the pan. Because cast-iron skillets are heavy, their handles are usually short, so the pan is easier to pick up. Some styles have a second, U-shaped helper handle that allows the cook to lift the skillet with two hands. Search (past 7 days): Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron 3.5-Qt. Material Cast iron Heat Source All cooking surfaces, including induction Care Warranty Its slightly sloped sides are good for whisking pan sauces and make the capacity a little more forgiving, so you can squeeze in an extra strip of bacon. First of all, it's gorgeous to look at. Today, it still produces American-made cast iron skillets in nearly every size you can imagine, from extra small for personal cookie skillets to large 15-inch pans for crowd-pleasing casseroles. It cleans up super easily, and after a few uses, it has proven to be just about as non-stick as any of my non-stick pans, but cooks better, more evenly, browns nicely, and cleanup is a breeze. “I was reading a review about this pan, and couldn't believe the price,” a user wrote. The price tag? Since it’s only about 6 ounces lighter than the Chef’s Collection pan we recommend, we don’t think it’s worth paying significantly more. Thankfully, cast iron cookware is durable enough to handle the open flames of a campfire, making it an indispensable tool while camping. Sugg. 12-Inch Cast-Iron Skillets, Cook’s Illustrated, January 2019, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, How to Buy, Season, and Maintain Cast-Iron Cookware, June 8, 2010, Nancy Fuller, host of Farmhouse Rules, phone interview, December 6, 2016, Jeremiah Langhorne, chef and owner of The Dabney, phone interview, December 8, 2016, Mary Theisen, founder of The Pan Handler, phone interview, December 6, 2016, Matthew Hartings, author of Chemistry in Your Kitchen, phone interview, December 22, 2016, Brad Schwarting, president of Griswold and Cast Iron Cookware Association, phone interview, December 7, 2016. The Chef Collection skillet is shallower than the classic Lodge and holds about 2 cups less. Today, many new cast-iron skillets are pre-seasoned at the factory. Product Dimensions 14 x 7 x 12 in. Here are the eight best cast iron skillets, according to customer reviews: Keep reading to learn more about what to look for when selecting a cast iron skillet, and shop the high-performance pans customers love the most. While we like the slightly longer handle on the Blacklock and its deeper sides for frying chicken, ultimately we don’t think these benefits outweigh its drawbacks. 10 Cast Iron Skillet, Lodge 10.5-Inch Square Cast Iron Grill Pan. “Had the absolute pleasure of cooking in these gorgeous pieces of artwork this past week at a clients home and I can’t say enough positive things about your product!” one shopper wrote. Courtesy of Smithey Ironware Co. Credit: We’ve been testing sous vide gear for over four years now, and here's what we think you need to get started. Sauteuse Round Oven & Reviews - Cookware - Kitchen - Macy's - 9.99 Dealighted analyzed 332 new deal forum threads today and identified 149 that people really like. This pan is the ONLY currently made pan I would say is in the league with the hard to find vintage pans of 60-80 years past. Based in Charleston, South Carolina, Smithey Ironware began with founder Issac Morton’s passion for restoring rusty old cookware to its former 19th-century glory. Best Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven Reviews:The market is full of Dutch ovens, each with its own strengths. Michael Sullivan has been a staff writer on the kitchen team at Wirecutter since 2016. There are two main kinds of cast-iron skillets: regular and enameled. The small stick handle is placed at a slight angle and is smoother at the spot where it meets the pan, making it more ergonomic than the short, straight handle on the original Lodge. They praise both the cookware’s quality as well as Milo’s lifetime guarantee. “I LOVE to cook. Contrary to popular belief, you can wash your pan with mild dish soap and hot water. A Lodge skillet gave us a more consistent sear and released cornbread better than the antiques. If you’re curious as to how heirloom skillets compare with new ones, we talk about vintage pans (as well as the high-end skillets that aim to reproduce them) below, and why you might want one. After over 70 hours of research and testing since 2014, we still think the All-Clad Stainless 12″ Covered Fry Pan is the best skillet for most cooks. But not all cast iron is created equal—you’ll want something that won’t only last, but improve with time. Antique and vintage cast-iron cookware were hand-poured into sand molds and hand-polished to a smooth finish. Cooks turn to these durable pans for pan-frying, searing, baking, and making eggs. And they will build up more seasoning over time. Not only does the unit look great but is cost-effective. For our original review, we bought two Wagner #10 skillets—which are slightly smaller than the 12-inch modern skillets we tested—from eBay and tested them against our modern pans after seasoning them with Sheryl Canter’s technique. The lack of a warranty doesn’t concern us because Lodge cast-iron skillets are very durable, and Lodge has a good reputation for customer service. Using it with the large helper handle, you’ll maintain solid control of this heavy pan, even when you’re taking it hot out of the oven or pouring grease into a jar. I will be happy to have one less kitchen appliance taking up valuable storage space.”. One of the antique pans arrived much slicker than the other, and it released fried eggs a little easier. “This pan has the very smooth interior finish similar to the old, collector pans made by Griswold. The lid has condensation ridges that uniformly collect and direct vapor onto food, producing moist and savory dishes. We also noticed that the expensive pans developed blotchy stains after searing steaks—it didn’t necessarily affect the performance, but this indicated that it will take more work to build up a dark, even seasoning on them. It has a rolled lip instead of pour spouts, and we had no problem pouring off bacon grease without getting it all over the counter. by Michael Zhao, Lesley Stockton, and Michael Sullivan. When used and cared for properly, cast iron can be an effective alternative to nonstick cookware, due to the seasoning (a slick coating of polymerized fat) that develops with use. Personally I prefer my steaks grilled over charcoal, but that violates my rental agreement because someone thinks it's a fire hazard. After years of developing his expertise, he decided to create a new line of cast iron cookware that combined those classic techniques with modern technology. “I did my due diligence and read up on how to use and care for an iron pan, and to be honest, it is no worse than taking care of any other pan. The Camp Chef 12" Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet released foods cleanly in our tests, but it is particularly rough-textured, heated extremely unevenly, and has a slightly smaller interior surface than the others we tested. However, we didn’t find that it was more nonstick than any of the skillets we tested, and it emerged with dark, blotchy stains from searing steak. While the spiraled polished stainless steel handle is designed to stay cool, it didn’t in our tests. After braising, stewing or roasting, the interior of my enameled cast iron pans and Dutch ovens wipe clean with a sponge. Founded in 1896 by Joseph Lodge in Tennessee, the company has gained a dedicated following over the decades because of its quality but affordable cast iron cookware. Plus, the skillets are practically indestructible (especially if you know how to clean and handle them). The Utopia Kitchen skillet is an obvious Lodge knockoff, except that the seasoning on the Utopia is ineffective against sticking, and the pour spouts dribbled a lot of oil on our countertops. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 11-3/4-Inch Skillet with Iron Handle, Caribbean at Amazon.com. Slightly nudged them loose with a spatula after they set up and zero sticking after that. Product Name Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven Product Brand Lodge Price $70 Weight 16 lbs. I was worried about the texture but it doesn't do anything to disappoint. Like the Butter Pat, this pan is shallow and showed blotchy stains after searing a steak. Whether you are looking for a budget-friendly buy or are to invest in the next family heirloom, these best-selling pans all have near-perfect ratings and enthusiastic reviews describing why they’re so great—so you can trust they belong in your kitchen. And if you’re cooking something like pancakes, you might have to move them around to get even browning. The Best Cast Iron Skillets (2020 Reviews) Colleen M. Story Updated: September 27, 2020 Kitchen & Dining Think of a cast-iron skillet and you may imagine wild-west cowboys around the fire cooking beans. The Victoria 12-inch cast-iron skillet was our previous runner-up, and in tests for this update performed on a par with the Lodge skillets. I use it for all sorts of jobs, from searing steak, cooking pork chops or frying dover sole. If you want to deep-fry and don’t mind doing a little heavy lifting, we think the Lodge Pre-Seasoned 12-inch Cast Iron Skillet is an excellent choice. 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