Cast iron cookware has been used for thousands of years, and its versatility is unmatched by other cookware materials. It is extremely durable and lasts virtually forever. Another reason it is extremely popular is because cast iron is able to withstand and maintain extremely high cooking temperatures, which makes it a popular choice for frying and searing foods. Cast iron cookware maintains excellent heat retention, which makes it a great option for long-cooking stews and braised dishes. Before the invention of the stove, most food was cooked over an open fire, and cooking vessels were almost exclusively cast iron since the metal could withstand longs periods of intense heat without cracking or deteriorating. Another great thing about cast iron cookware is that it can develop a natural “non-stick” surface, making it popular for cooking egg dishes.
Our Cast Iron Cookware Top Picks
Lodge is the leading producer of cast iron cookware. Lodge is not only the top-rated cast iron cookware across the board, but it’s also highly affordable, and now days there is the the option to buy cast iron pre-seasoned. Below are a few of the best cast iron cooking vessels Lodge offers.
Lodge L5HS3 5-Piece Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Cookware Set – This set is the perfectly basic intro set of cast iron cookware. It comes with four cooking vessels and a lid that will fit the skillet and dutch oven. It includes a 10.5-inch round griddle, 8-inch skillet, 10.25-inch skillet, 5-Qt. Dutch oven and the 10.25-inch iron cover. The whole set comes per-seasoned, which will really cut back on the maintenance needed compared to the older cast iron cookware. Check Price on Amazon.
Lodge Cast-Iron Skillet – 12 inch – Multi-functional cookware that can be used for so many types of cooking, including slow-cooking recipes, frying up catfish, roasting chicken, or baking an apple crisp. Generous 12-inch pan that features two handles for heavy lifting as well as two subtle side lips for pouring and venting. Cast iron can be used anywhere: a campfire, a stovetop, or an oven, and can slow-cook foods without scorching. Whether used in a kitchen or camp, theses virtually indestructible cookware should last for decades. Check Price on Amazon.
Lodge Pro-Logic P14W3 Cast Iron Wok – Over-sized vessel that is the perfect size for cooking large amounts of stir-fry. It provides superior heat retention throughout, ensuring your food is evenly cooked. It is designed with two loop handles which offer a safe, secure grip. The unique flat bottom allows you to use an electric or gas range without a ring to hold the wok steady. Even comes pre-seasoned like all Lodge brand cast iron cookware. Check Price on Amazon.
Lodge L9OG3 Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Round Griddle – Great for big breakfasts, tortillas, quesadillas, roasted vegetables and grilled sandwiches. Can be used on a campfire, a stove top, or an oven, and can slow-cook foods without scorching. It retains heat well so you can sear meat at higher temperatures. Check Price on Amazon.
The Pros of Cast Iron Cookware
- Extremely Durable. Cast iron can be left in the fire, baked in the oven, left on an open flame to stew, and used as a fryer. It lasts for forever, and it’s not uncommon to see cast iron cookware that has been passed down through a family for generations.
- Inexpensive – Iron is an affordable metal, and the process of casting it doesn’t cost all that much, so the price on cast iron is extremely affordable, probably also because other materials are just more desired for popularity reasons.
- Heat Retention – Cast iron cookware is great for cooking slow cooking recipes. It can even be used for cooking on grills or over a campfire
- Nonstick Surface – Although the cast iron is not explicitly ‘non-stick,’ with a little tender lover and care, it can be seasoned with oil to make the surface essentially ‘non-stick.’ Seasoning requires polishing oil into it and letting it absorb the oil repeatedly.
The Cons of Cast Iron Cookware
- Slow to Cook/Patience – As cast iron takes longer to heat up and much longer to cool down than other types of cookware, you wont find high-end professional chefs using it to cook their delicate entrees.
- Rust – Iron is prone to rust, especially if it is washed with water regularly, so the more you clean it, the more maintenance it will require because seasoning with oil is needed to prevent the rust. If you want hassle free cookware consider buying stainless steel cookware.
- Heavy – Cast Iron has some weight to it, and it can be extremely heavy for an older-aged person or young women with children. Its not easy to take in and out of the cabinets if you plan on cooking a lot.