Every Kitchen Needs a Cast Iron Skillet—Here Are 11 of the Best

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Cast Iron Skillet
Photo: Courtesy of Williams Sonoma

A cast iron skillet is a kitchen essential for any home chef. It's an incredibly versatile piece of durable cookware that you can use to sauté vegetables, sear meat, or even bake deep dish pizza for years to come. That's because a high-quality cast iron pan heats evenly and offers a nonstick surface that cleans easily and won't wear quickly, making it a great companion for just about any recipe.

If you're in the market for a new cast iron skillet, you have plenty of options to choose from. You can splurge on a popular cookware brand like Le Creuset, which is well known for its beautiful pots and pans. You can go with a top-rated option from Lodge that has thousands of fans on Amazon (and an affordable price to boot). You can stick to your Southern roots and shop from South Carolina-based ironware brand Smithey. Or you can experiment with a product from a buzzy new brand like Field Company, which only jumped onto the cast iron cookware scene a few years ago.

No matter your budget, kitchen size, or cooking aspirations, there's a cast iron skillet that's just right for you. To make the search for the perfect pan a little bit easier, we've gathered 10 of the best cast iron skillets available online now, based on thousands of reviews from passionate home cooks just like you.

These are the 11 best cast iron skillets:

Best Amazon Reviews: Lodge Cast Iron Skillet

Cast Iron Skillet
Courtesy of Amazon

There are so many reasons to call Lodge's cast iron skillet one of the best. First of all, the pan is a favorite of one of Southern Living's own editors. As if that weren't enough to convince you of its merits, it's also the best-selling skillet on Amazon, and it boasts over 78,000 five-star customer ratings and nearly 20,000 five-star reviews. The pre-seasoned skillet is safe for sautéing, baking, and frying on all cooking surfaces, from the stovetop to the oven to the campfire, and it's available in multiple sizes on Amazon.

Buy It: Starting at $9.92; amazon.com

Best Splurge: Le Creuset Signature Skillet

Cast Iron Skillet
Courtesy of Le Creuset

One of Le Creuset's best-selling items, the signature skillet is made of enameled cast iron. It offers a versatile cooking surface that you don't even need to season before use. Plus, it's incredibly lightweight and easy to clean. Moreover, the pan comes in 16 of the French brand's beautiful colors for a piece of cookware that looks as good as it works. While reviewers haven't been very vocal on Le Creuset's website, there are hundreds of positive reviews to read through on Amazon.

Buy It: Starting at $120; lecreuset.com

Best Craftsmanship: Smithey No. 12 Cast Iron Skillet

Cast Iron Skillet
Courtesy of Smithey

A Southern brand, Smithey Ironware is based out of Charleston, South Carolina and makes beautiful vintage-inspired cookware. This cast iron skillet is just one of its popular items, boasting over 200 five-star reviews. It has a deep base that's ideal for searing meat and vegetables, an ergonomic handle for comfort, and a polished finish. All you have to do is season the skillet to start cooking with a naturally nonstick pan.

Buy It: $200; smithey.com

Most Durable: Staub Skillet

Cast Iron Skillet
Courtesy of Sur La Table

Staub is a household name for a reason, and its durable cast iron skillet certainly lives up to its reputation. Made in France, the pan heats evenly and features an enamel finish that won't discolor or scratch with time. There's no need to season it before use, and you can even clean it in the dishwasher if you're pressed for time (though the brand recommends hand washing). Sur La Table shoppers overwhelmingly give the skillet five stars, and many note that it's versatile and easy to care for.

Buy It: Starting at $169.95 (orig. $243); surlatable.com

Best Newcomer: Field Cast Iron Skillet #8

Cast Iron Skillet
Courtesy of Field Comp

For the uninitiated, Field Company is a direct-to-consumer cookware brand that specializes in cast iron skillets. While it's only been around since 2017, it's already made a name for itself thanks to its thoughtfully designed products inspired by the vintage cast iron pans the founders inherited from their family. The pans are available in a variety of sizes, and the #8 is recommended for daily use. It comes pre-seasoned with grapeseed oil and has the capacity to cook two New York strip steaks, four fried eggs, or 8.25 cups of liquid. The pan also has nearly 2,000 five-star reviews from happy customers who say it's "virtually nonstick" and call it "the best pan ever."

Buy It: $125; fieldcompany.com

Best Value: Utopia Kitchen Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet

Cast Iron Skillet
Courtesy of Amazon

This basic pre-seasoned cast iron skillet from Utopia Kitchen has more than 5,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. It's ready to use right out of the box and is ideal for searing, braising, frying, and baking. You can use it in the oven and on gas, electric, and ceramic stove tops. To get the most out of the affordable pan, wash it by hand with hot soapy water and a sponge, and season it with vegetable fat or oil regularly. As one reviewer summed it up: "[It] cooks nice and evenly, and it is easy to clean. Great value for the price."

Buy It: $22.95 (orig. $29.99); amazon.com

Best for Pouring: Finex Fry Pan

Cast Iron Skillet
Courtesy of Williams Sonoma

If you can't stand splattered sauces and dripped juices, you need this cast iron skillet from Finex. It has a unique octagonal design that allows for efficient pouring from eight points of the pan. It also comes pre-seasoned with flaxseed oil to prevent rust and keep food from sticking on the surface. Plus, its stainless steel spring handle offers a comfortable grip and features a "speed cool" feature for safety.

Buy It: $159.95; williams-sonoma.com

Best Style: Staub Vintage Skillet

Cast Iron Skillet
Courtesy of Sur La Table

This Staub pan features an enameled cast iron base, a beechwood handle, and a stainless steel hole for hanging. It's meant to emulate the French brand's early styles, resulting in a vintage look that's begging to be kept out on display. Like all of Staub's cast iron cookware, this skillet heats up evenly and will maintain just the right temperature while you cook. No seasoning required; it will be ready to use as soon as it arrives at your door.

Buy It: $170 (orig. $243); surlatable.com

Best Ergonomic Design: Victoria Cast Iron Skillet

Cast Iron Skillet
Courtesy of Amazon

Designed with comfort in mind, this cast iron skillet from Victoria has a curved handle that's longer and wider than many other options. It also has two contoured pour spouts to prevent dripping and comes pre-seasoned with flaxseed oil. The cookware brand has been around since the 1930s, but Amazon shoppers still love its products today. One of the 1,300 customers who left the pan a five-star review said it "works like a charm."

Buy It: Starting at $20; amazon.com

Best Quality: Stargazer Cast Iron Skillet

12-Inch Cast Iron Skillet
Courtesy of Stargazer

This large cast iron skillet from Stargazer is ideal for cooking meals for the whole family or a big group. It has a naturally nonstick interior and a handle that stays cool to the touch for safety. At 6.5 pounds, it's substantial, but it's still easy to use. Expect it to retain heat well and cook food evenly over any heat source. It even has a flared rim to prevent leaky pours and comes with a lifetime warranty for peace of mind. "I own several cast iron skillets, including my great-grandmother's that is more than 100 years old. This is worth every penny," one reviewer wrote. "The quality is superb and makes my Lodge skillets ashamed to be in the same kitchen."

Buy It: $145; stargazecastiron.com

Best Budget: Rachael Ray Cast Iron Skillet

12-Inch Cast Iron Skillet
Courtesy of Amazon

Rachael Ray's cast iron skillet is functional and stylish. It comes in an eye-catching shade of shimmering red that's pretty enough to leave out on display, and the interior cast iron doesn't mess around. It's enameled, which makes cleaning easy and doesn't require pre-seasoning, and it offers solid heat distribution to properly sear meat and vegetables alike. Finally, it's oven-safe at temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. The cast iron pan cooks evenly, is easy to clean, and looks beautiful, according to Amazon shoppers, so at $45, it's a great budget option.

Buy It: $44.99; amazon.com

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