10 Best Cast Iron Grill Pan Reviews – 2020 Buying Guide

Anyone who has tried their hand at cooking has probably heard the buzz surrounding cast iron grill pans. From searing a T-bone steak to making a soft omelet, cast iron skillets are known for being an essential tool that every chef worth their salt should have.

Cast iron skillets are made out of molten metals (usually iron, obviously) with single-piece metal handles so you can put them in the oven. The porous nature of cast iron makes cast-iron skillets excellent for flavorful cooking as the iron absorbs the flavoring and seasoning from each cooking session. Iron skillets also have a long lifespan and are extremely durable.

(Quick note: porous iron absorbs liquid dish detergent, so you should never wash your cast-iron skillet with soap, just warm water.)

Of course, there are a lot of cast iron grill pans out there, which can make your decision hard. That is where we come in. We have scoured the web and put together this comprehensive list of the best cast-iron skillets available now. Each of these iron grill pans have been picked for their quality, durability, and the overall cooking experience they bring.

Without any further ado, let’s get to the good stuff.

Best Cast Iron Skillets for the Budding At-Home Chef

1. Lodge Seasoned 12” Cast Iron Skillet

Lodge Seasoned 12” Cast Iron Skillet

Up first on our list is the Lodge Seasoned 12” Cast Iron Skillet. The Lodge is considered by many to be the classic iron skillet of the modern era and for good reason. This 12” skillet is made from solid cast iron and crafted with Lodges 120 years of experience making quality durable cookware. The design of the Lodge is ergonomic and includes and extra assist handle for transferring a hot pan from the oven to the stove.

Lodge seasons all of its iron cookware with a layer of soy-based vegetable oil so the pan arrives to you completely seasoned and ready to use. With no synthetic chemicals, the more you use the pan, the better it gets. The Lodge is versatile can be used for slow cooking barbecue and making eggs for breakfast. 

What We Liked:

  • Pre-seasoned with soy-based vegetable oil
  • Assist handle
  • Draining spout on both sides
  • Versatile: can be used on the stove, in the oven, or over a campfire
  • Manufactured in the USA

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Surface needs to be reseasoned to be truly non-stick
  • Bottom of the pan is somewhat rough; could be smoother

2. VonShef Cast Iron Skillet Set

VonShef Cast Iron Skillet Set

Up next is the VonShef. We included this product because it is not just one skillet, but 3 separate skillets of differing size. One problem with having only a single iron skillet is that it may be too large or too small to do everything you want it to do. The VonShef set gives you an affordable option that comes with 3 skillets for different cooking tasks.

The Vonshef set comes with a 6”, 8” and 10” skillet and there is also the option to buy individual pans. Each pan is pre-seasoned with natural oils that prevent rusting and keep the bottom of the pan in good condition and seasoned between each cooking session. Like most cast iron skillets, each skillet works equally well in the oven or stovetop and each skillet has serving spouts on either side to make transferring food items from pan to plate much easier.

So you can have a pie baking in one pan, some veggies in another, and a large cut of meat in the third one; the possibilities are endless. Like all cast iron pans, the VonShef set needs to be regularly re-seasoned in order to keep its signature flavor and cooking consistency. 

What We Liked:

  • 3 pans for the price of one
  • Each pan can be bought individually
  • Multiple sizes for different cooking tasks
  • Pan heats and cooks evenly

What We Didn’t Like:

  • May not handle liquids as well as solid food
  • Tough to clean
  • Some may find it needs to be seasoned more before use

3. Le Creuset Signature Iron Skillet

Le Creuset Signature Iron Skillet

Sitting at third is the Le Creuset Signature Iron Skillet. Like Lodge, Le Creuset has a storied history in making quality iron cookware and their ingenuity shows with their signature iron skillet. First off, the Le Creuset is entirely hand-crafted; no factory line manufacturing for these pans. Each pan is poured and broken from molds by hand and individually inspected to ensure quality. The downside of this high-quality construction is the relatively high price point.

Along with the basic solid iron frame, the Le Creuset has a special double coating of heat-treated enamel on the bottom that augments the cooking properties of the iron. Unlike other cast iron cookware, the enamel plating on the bottom does not require any extra seasoning to use. The large loop assist handle is a great touch (seriously, this thing is heavy), and is oversized so you can get a better grip while wearing over mitts.

The enamel coating on the bottom makes the Le Creuset one of the few cast iron skillets than can be put in the dishwasher without worry. The Le Creuster also comes in 9 vibrant colors from bright red to a demure truffle brown. No matter how your kitchen is set up, you can find a color that meshes with your other fixtures. 

What We Liked:

  • Porcelain coating on the bottom makes a superior cooking surface
  • Extra-large assist handle is easy to grasp with mitts on
  • Wide color selection
  • High-quality hand construction
  • Each pan is individually inspected for quality

What We Didn’t Like:

  • High price point
  • Some people dislike the enamel bottom compared to bare iron

4. The Pioneer Woman Timeless 12” Cast Iron Enamel Skillet

The Pioneer Woman Timeless 12” Cast Iron Enamel Skillet

Sitting at 4th is this wonderful extra-deep pre-seasoned pan from the Pioneer Woman. This pan is sturdy, attractive, and has an extra deep cooking surface so it is perfect for baking and casseroles in the oven. Despite the rustic construction and aesthetic, the Pioneer Woman has every modern convenience that you would want from a cast-iron skillet.

The interior has a hardy enamel coating that keeps the pan non-stick and makes clean up a breeze. Enamel has great heat retention so it makes sure the pan heats more evenly over the flame. Since it has an enamel coating, you can wash it with soap and water without worrying about ruining the seasoning.

The Pioneer Woman is definitely on the heavy side, the small nub-like assist handle could be much larger and more robust. However, the extra-deep pan is great for cooking in the oven and keeps oil and grease from sputtering out onto the stovetop or kitchen counter. It even works well on campfires so you can take it with you out in nature.

Overall, the Pioneer Woman is a great mid-range skillet that is versatile buy won’t burn a huge hole in your wallet. Add in the enamel coating and extra deep cooking surface, and you have a unique cast-iron pan worth its mettle (pun intended). 

What We Liked:

  • Extra deep pan great for baking, casseroles, and other layered oven dishes
  • Affordable
  • Great price/quality ratio
  • Enamel coating requires no extra seasoning
  • Dishwasher safe

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Assist handle is too small
  • Outer colored coating can chip from excessive heat. This does not affect cooking quality but is not aesthetic

5. Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Cast Iron Square Grill Pan

Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Cast Iron Square Grill Pan

Sitting at the halfway point is the Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Square Grill Pan. The first thing to notice is the unique shape. Instead of a circle, the Cuisinart is square-shaped and has a ridged bottom like one would find a traditional stovetop grill surface. The square pan has a 9 ½” diagonal and a double reinforced handle to make holding the wide pan easier.

Like many modern cast iron pans, the Cuisinart has an enamel coated base that reduces the need for seasoning and makes cleanup easier. Coupled with the cast iron frame, the pan heats extremely evenly and has good heat retention. The handle itself is made with a special material that resists heat so it does not get as hot as the rest of the pan went put into the oven.

A unique feature of the Cuisinart is the ridged bottom that emulates the surface of a stovetop grill. The ridged surface makes it easy to get the classic grill line on cuts of meat and prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan. The ridged bottom does make it a bit more difficult to cook some items such as eggs or soft cheese. It is machine washable so it's easy to clean off any residue left over from cooking.

Lastly, the Cuisinart comes in 3 colors; a vibrant red, docile blue, and solid classic black. Overall, it's a unique take on a classic design and opens up some more cooking options over a simple round cast-iron pan. 

What We Liked:

  • Unique square shape
  • Ridged bottom emulates the surface of a grill
  • Reinforced and heat resistant handle
  • Double-layer enamel finish on the cooking surface
  • Square shape makes it easy to organize food

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Wide and hard to hold with one hand
  • Ridged bottom makes cooking some items more difficult
  • Enamel can scratch and flake from metal utensils. Only use wood utensils

6. Finex 8” Cast Iron Skillet

Finex 8” Cast Iron Skillet

Coming in at 6th is this interesting octagon of a skillet. The Finex 8” cast iron skillet has a unique 8-sided design that gives extra space and makes it easier to serve out of any side of the pan. The Finex is a bit smaller than some of the other offerings covered on this list, but the small size is a benefit. A smaller pan heats up quicker, is easier to clean, and usually costs less than a similar larger pan.

The Finex works equally well on gas, electric or induction stovetops, but can also be used on an indoor or outdoor grill. The 3.57 lbs pan weight significantly less than traditional pans of the same size, making it much easier to use. The surface is pre seasoned with an organic blend of flaxseed oil.

Another unique feature of the Finex is the speed cool handle. Instead of a single piece of solid metal, the handle is made from coiled iron. The coiled iron disperses heat more effectively than the rest of the pan, which keeps it cool while the pan is hot. The 8-sided multi pour design is another feature that makes it super easy to use compared to large pans. Thes unique design features justify the admittedly higher price tag.

Overall, the Finex is a great addition to your kitchen, You will love the unique shape, special handle, and lightweight design. 

What We Liked:

  • Unique 8-sided “multi-pour” design
  • Coiled handle resists heat
  • More lightweight than skillets of same size
  • Handcrafted high-quality construction
  • Lifetime satisfaction guarantee

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Some people might find it too small
  • The octagon shape takes some time to get used to
  • Requires some extra seasoning to be truly “non-stick”

7. Lodge 10” Cast Iron Deep Skillet

Lodge 10” Cast Iron Deep Skillet

Another offering from Lodge cookware, this cast iron skillet distinguishes itself from the competition by its deep cooking surface. The 10.25” skillet measure 3” deep, over 2 times as deep as other cast iron skillets. The extra-deep design makes this pan excellent for large to medium cook jobs and baking in the oven.

Like all of Lodge’s iron cookware, the deep skillet is pre-seasoned with a blend of soy-based vegetable oils so it does not need to be seasoned before use. The pan heats evenly and a large looped assist handle on the side makes it easier to transfer it from stovetop to oven and vice versa. This deep skillet also includes an iron lid, making it exceptionally suited as a dutch oven. It can also be used like a traditional pan for cooking and searing meats.

The only downside is the weight. Since it is deep, the pan uses more material than normal so it is heavier. Even though it is deep, some users say that the diameter could be larger as it is too narrow for some cooking applications. The pan is however deep enough for deep frying, something shallow pans cannot handle well. 

What We Liked:

  • Extra deep pan great for baking and layered creations
  • Includes a lid
  • Deep pan prevents spattering
  • Available in a 12” model

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Heavy
  • Deep design makes it hard to serve directly from the pan
  • Lid gets hot easily

8. Calphalon 12” Cast Iron Skillet

Calphalon 12” Cast Iron Skillet

While the Calphalon 12” cast iron skillet may not be fancy, it is certainly reliable. This simple 12” cast iron skillet is large enough for most cooking applications and is made from a tough cast iron that is durable and has a long life. The design of the Calphalon is simple and has a pre-seasoned cooking surface, assist handle, and serving spouts on either side of the pan. It works well in the oven and on the stovetop, as well as outdoors on the campfire.

One unique feature of the Capahalon is its slightly rounded bottom. While the round bottom may not be as stable on a stovetop, it makes it much easier to clean the corners of the cooking surface. The pan is designed to work equally well on gas, electric, and induction cooktops and the metal heats evenly.

As we said, the Calphalon is nothing fancy, but it does what it does extremely well. Given its extremely affordable price, it makes a great entry-level cast-iron pan or as a backup if your main is out of commission. The solid design is reliable and suited for numerous cooking applications. 

What We Liked:

  • Simple, no-frills design
  • Slightly rounded bottom makes cleaning the pan easier
  • Lifetime warranty
  • A bit deeper than some pans, good for baking and layered creations
  • Robust and durable

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Heavy and hard to hold one-handed
  • Assist handle is a bit small
  • Rounded bottom makes it less stable on stovetops

9. Lodge Cast-Iron Round Griddle

Lodge Cast-Iron Round Griddle

One problem with many cast iron pans is that they are too deep to comfortably cook things that need to be flipped, like eggs and pancakes. Lodge answers this problem by presenting their low-walled cast-iron griddle. The low walled pan is great for cooking food that needs to be flipped. In that sense, it is the perfect griddle pan for breakfast, burgers, quesadillas, and more.

The Lodge griddle is made from a 100% cast iron mold that offers heavy-duty performance and durability. The griddle is pre-seasoned with an organic blend of vegetable oils that make it ready for cooking right out of the box. The lower walls translate into a wider cooking surface so it can fit more items than a normal pan of the same diameter. However, the lower walls do mean that it is easier for grease and oil to splatter out of the pan.

Another benefit of the lower walls is that the pan heats more evenly. A lot of times with cast iron pans, the bottom gets hot before the sides do which can make things cook unevenly. Since the walls are lower, each part of the pan is closer to the flame, which makes it heat more evenly.

We found that the Lodge cast-iron griddle is best-suited for grilling and pan-frying. While it can handle baking, higher walled pans may be better suited for use in the oven. Overall though, the Lodge cast-iron round griddle is a great addition to your kitchen and a solid affordable iron skillet to invest in. 

What We Liked:

  • Extremely affordable
  • Low wall design makes flipping food easier
  • Heats very evenly
  • Easy to serve from
  • Slightly larger surface area than other 10.5” diameter pans

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Low walls make it easier to spill
  • Not great for baking in the oven

10. Utopia Kitchen 12.5” Cast Iron Skillet

Utopia Kitchen 12.5” Cast Iron Skillet

Sitting in last of our round-up but certainly not least is this 12.5’ cast iron skillet from Utopia Kitchen. The Utopia is a bit larger than your average cast iron grill pan and has a great price point for a quality iron skillet. The Utopia is specifically designed to increase the iron content of food cooked in it. Considering that iron deficiency is a worldwide epidemic, this is a useful touch.

The pan itself is made from an extra-thick cast iron that helps it retain seasoning better than thinner pans. A large looped assist handle makes it easy to carry, although the main handle itself is rather small and hard to grab. We especially like how big the cooking surface is. You can easily fit 4 burgers, 6 eggs, or 2 10 oz. steak with some room to spare.

The Utopia is pre-seasoned so it does not need to be seasoned before the first use. It will take a few cooking sessions to open up its full quality though. This is a common feature of iron skillets, so it’s not exactly a con, but it's something you should be aware of.

What We Liked:

  • Extra-large cooking surface
  • Thicker than the average iron skillet
  • Extremely tough and durable
  • Gets better with each use

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Hard to hold with one hand
  • Thicker iron takes a bit longer to fully heat
  • Requires regularly re-seasoning

Conclusion:

So there you have it, the 10 best cast-iron grill pans available now. A good cast iron skillet will open up countless new cooking options for you and give you a way to capture that classic rustic seasoned taste that only an iron skillet can give.

As long as you take good care of it, a cast-iron skillet can last you a lifetime. They are easy to clean, store, and take care of. In fact, the only way to iron skillet will degrade is if you use it infrequently. A key characteristic of cast iron is it gets better the more you use it.

So don’t hesitate to buy a cast-iron skillet. Once you do, you’ll wonder how you managed before without. 

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