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The Best Cast Iron Cookware

Last updated on August 31, 2023

We looked at the top 18 Cast Iron Cookware and dug through the reviews from 115 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best Cast Iron Cookware.

Best Cast Iron Cookware

Our Review Process

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Our Picks For The Top Cast Iron Cookware

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Top Pick

Legend Cast Iron Silicone Handled Cast Iron Cookware, 5-Quart

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Legend Cast Iron

Silicone Handled Cast Iron Cookware, 5-Quart

This cast iron cookware set comes pre-seasoned using 100% vegetable oil. It's extremely versatile and can be used on an electric stovetop, in a gas oven or over a campfire. The lid even doubles as a griddle, which can be used to cook everything from pancakes to grilled cheese.

Overall Take

Contemporary DesignIncluded with this cast iron cookware set are two handle grippers made from silicone.

 Runner Up

AmazonBasics Oven Safe Cast Iron Cookware, 7.3-Quart


Cast Iron Covered Dutch Oven

This cast iron cookware comes in four colors and three sizes, all at an affordable price. It's great for baking, roasting, braising and other uses in your kitchen.

Overall Take

Affordable ChoiceThis cast iron cookware is perfect for any kitchen, with three size options and multiple color choices.

" This pot can be used safely up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit with no issues and can be used on any heat surfaces for cooking like gas or electric stove and even an oven."
"Not dishwasher safe."
 We Also Like

Lodge Cast Iron Combo Cookware, 3.2 Qt


Cast Iron Combo Cookware, 3.2 Qt

This set offers great value as it gives you the option of using a shallow frying pan or a deeper skillet to suit the needs of your meal. The deeper 3-quart pot has the potential to make larger volumes of food, such as gravy, or it can hold homemade biscuits as they bake in the oven. The shallow pan will make frying and browning things a breeze.

Overall Take

Versatile ValueThis cast iron cookware won't break the bank and is super versatile.

" This Lodge cooking set is designed with thick and heavyset walls. Although adding to the overall weight, this feature has several advantages. The thick walls are excellent for retaining heat. What this means is that you’ll require less heat to..."
"The surface is rougher than pieces that have been machine-finished."
 Strong Contender

Utopia Kitchen Pre-Seasoned 3-Piece Cast Iron Cookware, 3-Piece

Utopia Kitchen

Pre-Seasoned 3-Piece Cast Iron Cookware, 3-Piece

You won't have to worry about food sticking to this cast iron cookware set, as it comes seasoned with a soy-based oil. There are also several benefits to using cast iron cookware over other types. Cast iron actually leaks iron into your foods, which is especially nice if your body is low on iron. It also distributes heat evenly across the pan.

Overall Take

Low-Maintenance ChoiceThis cast iron cookware set comes with 6-, 8- and 10-inch skillets to prepare everything from eggs for two to a casserole for a family of four.

Buying Guide

When you find yourself needing a new pot or pan to step up your cooking game, the best cookware options in your favorite store will offer quite a number of potential solutions. There are white ceramic pans or thin pans that heat up instantly and claim to dissipate your heat perfectly for your needs. But keep browsing this pan selection and you’ll end up staring at a section of heavy-duty black pots and pans that you swear you’ve seen at your grandparent’s house before. Cast iron cookware is one of the most loved and longest-standing nonstick cooking options that exist. There are numerous reasons why they are regarded so highly, so we will break down some of the key points for you and help guide you towards the best style for your needs.

“There’s a good reason that these pans have been around so long — they work beautifully,” says our resident culinary expert Julie Chernoff, member of Les Dames d’Escoffier, dining editor of Better magazine and food journalist. “They are heavy enough to heat evenly and retain heat, they’re reasonably priced, and they are virtually indestructible.”

The construction of cast iron cookware is very sturdy as it is made as one solid piece of the metal and generally has no other material bolted onto it. Pick one up, and you’ll notice it’s heavier than most other pans due to this thick iron makeup. The thickness of the iron captures the heat coming from the flame or stovetop and slowly passes it on o the other side where the food is. If you were to place a thick skillet on the stove, crank the heat up to high and place a couple of eggs into the pan, the pan would slowly heat up and start firming the egg whites — but without burning them, as would likely happen in a thinner pan. That’s because the cast iron makeup is much more efficient with using and retaining heat.

If a skillet is too shallow for the big pot of chili you might be making for an autumn tailgate, try using something with more depth. Look for one that comes with a lid that helps keep the heat and steam in while the food simmers so all the flavors get to know each other in the pot.

But what about scorching and having food get stuck to the pan? As mentioned above, cast iron really is a non-stick cooking surface — once it is seasoned.

“Look for pre-seasoned pans as a timesaver, because the seasoning process can take a while,” Chernoff says.

All Lodge brand cast iron cookware comes with a coating of 100% vegetable oil on them. This oil is referred to as “seasoning” for cast iron. The oil creates a barrier between your food and the iron and creates a non-stick atmosphere while you’re cooking. The seasoning is a crucial part of getting the best results out of your cast iron cookware.

Cast iron cookware will last for many generations and often gets passed down as a rite of passage to the new cooks in the family. The stories that surround this cookware throughout its lifetime are surely some of the biggest selling points on using cast iron, and it’s something you’ll have to experience for yourself to fully understand. But you still have a big decision to make when you see that there are multiple sizes and shapes of cast iron cookware.

One category is a skillet that is used mainly as a frying pan. It has a deep enough profile to hold a healthy portion of vegetables, rice, pasta or meats that you want to sautee while still being shallow enough to let you get the spatula in for a clean flip on your over-easy eggs. It boasts a multifunctional size and shape that becomes a daily workhorse in most kitchens.

If you’re working on large stews or even roasting whole chickens, a 7-quart Dutch oven holds the largest volume of anything. When filled up with delicious ingredients, it can be the perfect size for feeding large families or meal prepping on Sunday to make the week a little easier for those of us on the go.

As you’re shopping for cast iron cookware, definitely consider the handles.

“Cast iron is heavy, so the handles are especially important, especially in the larger skillets,” Chernoff explains. “One long handle will be unwieldy. Having the ‘helper handle’ opposite the long handle allows the weight to be evenly distributed when carried.”

Cast iron cookware is not dishwasher-safe, so if that is important to you, you’ll want to consider other options. Also, these pots and pans should not air dry, as they may rust. Do not use metal scouring pads on them; once they are cleaned, they should be dried and oiled immediately. Although you must be careful of these elements, cast iron is great for home cooks.

“These pans really are incredibly versatile, from pancakes to deep frying and everything in between, and can easily go from stovetop to oven, as they are safe at almost any temperature,” Chernoff points out. “And unlike non-stick cookware, you can use metal utensils on the surface, as they will not damage it.”

Simply take care of your cast iron cookware, and it’ll perform for you!

Our Expert Consultant

Julie Chernoff
Culinary Expert

Julie Chernoff is a long-time member of Les Dames d’Escoffier (past president of the Chicago Chapter, and current co-chair of the LDEI Legacy Awards Committee), the Association of Food Journalists (AFJ) and the International Association of Culinary Professionals.

Chernoff is the dining editor of Better, a lifestyle website and print magazine. Her journalism started in the test kitchens of Weight Watchers Magazine. She holds a BA in English from Yale University and is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy. She has spent the last few decades styling, photographing, teaching, developing recipes, editing, thinking and writing about food.

Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the cast iron cookware available to purchase.

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

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Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Food Shark Marfa, Cast Iron Dutch Oven Reviews, Popkh, Grill Ignite, New York Times Wirecutter.


User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including

Our experts reviewed the top 18 Cast Iron Cookware and also dug through the reviews from 115 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Cast Iron Cookware.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

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The Best Bang For Your Buck

Utopia Kitchen Pre-Seasoned 3-Piece Cast Iron Cookware, 3-Piece

Key Takeawy

You won't have to worry about food sticking to this cast iron cookware set, as it comes seasoned with a soy-based oil. There are also several benefits to using cast iron cookware over other types. Cast iron actually leaks iron into your foods, which is especially nice if your body is low on iron. It also distributes heat evenly across the pan.

What to Look For

  • Clean your cast iron cookware with warm water and a fairly rough sponge or brush. There’s no need to use soap when cleaning these pots and pans, and it’s recommended that you do not.
  • After you clean all the residue from your cast iron cookware, dry it off and drizzle a little bit of vegetable oil into it before storing it. For convenience, use a paper towel to wipe the vegetable oil all over the surface of the pot or pan to form a light and even coat.
  • You now have a properly cleaned and seasoned cast iron pan. Keep up with these two simple tasks each time you use the cookware and you’ll be able to use this non-stick cookware for life.
  • Cast iron cookware can be used on more than cooktops. Campfires around the country are a place where delicious meals can be made and eaten under the open sky. Cast iron cookware can be placed directly into an open fire, set on a cooking-rack above the heat and even hung from a tripod so it dangles over the flame. Either way, the heat of the direct flames is tempered down by the thickness of the iron. It allows the camp chef to make meals equally as good as they would in their home.
  • Ovens and cast iron also work beautifully together. Make a homemade pizza, and bake it in your cast iron skillet for a deep-dish style pan pizza. Fill your cast iron Dutch oven with a good recipe, where anything from pasta dishes to whole chickens can be oven roasted.
  • Lastly, you might find yourself in love with how beautiful this cast iron cookware can be. Share that beauty with your guests by hanging them up in your kitchen for all to see. This can add a rustic farmhouse feel while still being a functional part of your kitchen.

More to Explore

Cast iron dates back all the way to the 5th century BC, when it was used by the ancient Chinese to make pots for cooking. They were able to figure out that the iron-carbon alloy was quite easy to make when melting copper and using iron ore as a flux. Interestingly enough, we still see it used today just as it was originally used all those years ago!

Cookware isn’t all that cast iron is used for, though. You’ll also find cast iron plumbing in a lot of old houses and in canons built for war during the 15th century. However, cast iron is brittle though, so you won’t find much of it used for applications like sharp weaponry or in high tension environments. The impressive compressive strength and natural resistance to rusting allow it to be a very handy and easily produced material for cookware uses.

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