Best Cast Iron Cookware of 2019 Complete Reviews with Comparisons

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Cast iron cookware has been around ever since people started cooking their food. It has a history thousands of years long, so there must be something special about preparing food in the best cast iron cookware.

This type of cookware is made by pouring melted metal into a mold. Every pot and pan is made from a single cast, and you can use them for boiling, cooking, grilling, and so on because they are literally impossible to destroy or damage. Here are some of the top picks you can buy today.

Comparison Table

Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron 5 Piece Bundle. 10.5" Griddle, 8" Skillet, 10.25" Skillet, 10.25" Dutch Oven, and 10.25" Lid

Stansport Cast Iron 6 Piece Cookware Set

Outdoor Gourmet 5 Piece Cast Iron Cookware Set

Simple Chef Cast Iron Skillet 3-Piece Set - Best Heavy-Duty Professional Restaurant Chef Quality Pre-Seasoned Pan Cookware Set - 10", 8", 6" Pans - Great For Frying, Saute, Cooking, Pizza & More,Black

Bruntmor Pre-Seasoned 7 Piece Heavy Duty Cast Iron Dutch Oven Camping Cooking Set with Vintage Carrying Storage Box

Best Cast Iron Cookware Reviews

Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron 5-Piece Bundle

Lodge is known for its cast iron products. This 5-piece pre-seasoned cast iron cookware set is all you need to prepare tasty food in the kitchen or while camping in the woods. It’s one of the best cast iron cookware sets you can get, so let’s see what it offers in more detail.

Product Highlights

The company has been making cast iron cookware for over 120 years. The Seasoned Cast Iron 5 Piece Bundle has everything you need to become a pro chef. The purchase includes a 10.25-inch Skillet, 10.5-inch griddle, 10.25-inch 5-quart Dutch oven with a cast iron cover that also fits the slightly wider skillet, and an 8-inch skillet. All of the products in this set are designed for versatility and performance. They are perfect for every kitchen.

This set is ideal for making breakfasts as you can use the griddle to get a lot done quickly. You can cook quesadillas, roasted vegetables, grilled sandwiches, and large breakfasts in no time at all. All of the pieces feel sturdy and very durable, which is why many people like using the set while on camping or fishing trips. The set was made in Tennessee, and the seasoning process that involved a special vegetable oil won the Good Housekeeping’s Good Buy Award in 2003.

Things I Like About Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron 5-Piece Bundle

Right out of the box, you can tell that this is a set of cookware that will probably survive long enough for your grandchildren to use. Just remember to take proper care to prevent rust.

The skillets and the Dutch oven provide you with a wide variety of cooking options so that you can experiment with new recipes. Every piece in the set has been pre-seasoned to prevent rust and excessive sticking so you can use it right away. Professional chefs have been known to use this 5-piece set, which has also made its way into many homes where people like to enjoy cooking and tasty recipes.

Things I Don't Like About Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron 5-Piece Bundle

Like all cast iron cookware, the handle heats up quickly to the point where you can’t touch it with your bare hands. The seasoning is excellent for cooking and maintenance, but it creates problems when washing the set. You can’t use strong chemicals, and you must avoid using abrasive sponges and excessive scrubbing. Also, make sure to keep the set in a dry place because it can rust if exposed to a lot of moisture.

Pros

Cons

Stansport Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron 5-Piece Set

The beauty of cooking foods in cast iron cookware is the natural non-stick and heat retention properties. Stansport’s five-piece set is all you need to prepare tasty cakes, cookies, pancakes, fried eggs, stews, and so on. You will have a lot of fun trying them out in the kitchen.

Product Highlights

It’s the perfect set for people that like to spend hours in front of the stove every day because it’s easy to use and even easier to clean. You get 5 pieces with this set: 10-inch fry pan, 3-quart chicken fryer with lid, 10-inch Dutch oven, Dutch oven Lid lifter, and cast iron hot handle holder.

The chicken fryer is ideal for Southern cooking. These Stansport cast iron products are pre-seasoned, but you should season them again before every use for best results. The set works well for cooking, baking, and frying any type of food. All pieces can be used for preparing food on campfires.

Things I Like About Stansport Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron 5-Piece Set

The Stansport Cast Iron Set is easy to use and the food doesn’t stick to the surface. Maintenance is also easy because everything comes right off the surface without having to put in a lot of elbow grease. The 3-quart pot is ideal for frying meat, especially when used over an open fire. The lid fits the frying pan and the Dutch oven as well, and you can use it as a griddle when turned upside down.

Things I Don't Like About Stansport Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron 5-Piece Set

Cleaning the frying pan and other pans is easy at home, but things get a little harder on the outside. If you use it to prepare food on an open fire, you are looking at some serious scrubbing and cleaning when you’re done. The other issue we had with the Stansport set is that the short handles tend to heat up quickly. You have been warned to never grab the handles without protection. (The good news is that if you don’t remember, you only have to try it once and you’ll remember for life.)

Pros

Cons

Outdoor Gourmet 5 Piece Cast Iron Cookware Set

The 5-piece cast iron set by Outdoor Gourmet is great value for what you’re getting. It includes two skillets, a Dutch boiler, a frying pan, and a solid iron lid.

Product Highlights

The two skillets are 8 and 10 inches in diameter, and you can use them for cooking meat, eggs, veggies, bread, and much more. The set is perfect for outdoor use because you can set it over a live fire. The food won’t stick to the sides, no matter how hot it gets. You can make some tasty barbeques on the griddle that’s easy to set up no matter where you are.

The frying pans are well-designed, and they are perfect for frying chicken. Many people bought the Gourmet 5-piece set for their camping needs because all the pieces are easy to clean. And you can cook your favorite dishes on the go.

Things I Like About Outdoor Gourmet 5 Piece Cast Iron Cookware Set

The Outdoor Gourmet 5-piece cast iron set offers excellent value for the money. The 4 quart cast-iron skillet provides 10.5 inches of cooking are, so you can prepare food for up to 4 people at the same time. The Dutch oven is perfect for making stews, and you can use the 20-inch long griddle to grill your meat in no time.

Things I Don't Like About Outdoor Gourmet 5 Piece Cast Iron Cookware Set

Even though all of the pieces in this set come with a pre-seasoning, they are still a bit rough, so you will need to add oil or animal lard to prevent food from sticking to the sides and bottom. The Dutch oven causes the most issues because of its small feet that can break off after a few uses. Apart from these minor issues, the Gourmet 5-piece set is durable, and it’s equally perfect for the stove/stovetop and camping and fishing trips.

Pros

Cons

Simple Chef Cast Iron Skillet 3-Piece Set

If you are looking for an affordable cast iron set with impressive heat retention that you can use for outdoor and indoor cooking, the 3-piece set by Simple Chef would be perfect. It includes three skillets (10, 8, and 6 inches) that can be used on stovetops, ovens/boilers, and camping fires.

Product Highlights

The skillets are all pre-seasoned, so you don’t need to oil them before use. Since they are not too bulky, they are perfect for hiking and camping trips as you can easily fit them in your bag or hang them from the back.

The pans are professional-grade, and since food doesn’t stick to the bottom, you can use them to experiment with all kinds of recipes and surprise your family members at dinner. The heat retention is also impressive, and the long handles won’t get as hot as some of the competitor’s products.

Things I Like About Simple Chef Cast Iron Skillet 3-Piece Set

There is no doubt that this is one high-quality set. The three sizes of pans will provide you with a wide range of cooking options. You can use them to cook eggs, steaks, spaghetti, hash browns, and even small pizzas. There’s little that these skillets can’t do, so you’ll have fun trying them out.

The factory pre-seasoning is one of the best we’ve seen so far. The heat retention and conductivity are also impressive, so you know that your food will be evenly cooked. When you consider the affordable price, there’s no reason why every kitchen shouldn’t have a set like this one.

Things I Don't Like About Simple Chef Cast Iron Skillet 3-Piece Set

Cast iron pans are heavier than other types, but these are among the heavier products. We loved how the skillets cook, but they’ll need some heaving. A combination of 8, 10 and 12-inch skillets would be much better as the small 6-inch skillet is not all that useful.

Pros

Cons

Bruntmor Pre-Seasoned 7-Piece Cast Iron Set

If you are looking for all the cast iron cookware you will ever need, the Bruntmor 7-piece set should be perfect for you. All pieces in this set are pre-seasoned and made from heavy-duty cast iron that can handle any cooking.

Product Highlights

You will get a 12″ cast iron skillet, a 4.5-quart Dutch oven pot, a 2.5qt saucepot, a 20 x 9 inches reversible griddle, an 8.6″ trivet, and a handy Dutch oven lid lifter. Everything will arrive neatly packed into an impressive-looking wood box.

The set is designed to be used over an open fire or ash, but it also works well for standard stovetops and ovens. You will be able to cook stews, bacon, biscuits, roast meat, eggs, pizzas, and pretty much anything else you can think of. Every piece is pre-seasoned, so the food won’t stick to the bottom while cooking.

Things I Like About Bruntmor Pre-Seasoned 7-Piece Cast Iron Set

This Bruntmor 7-piece set offers a wide range of cooking options, so everyone can find something they like. It comes with a handy wooden transport box with sturdy handles, so you can even take it camping or fishing. It’s designed primarily for outdoor use, but it can do wonders in the kitchen too.

The pre-seasoning is fantastic, so you won’t have to prepare the pots before using them. Maintenance is also a breeze. It will take you only a few minutes to clean everything with a sponge.

Things I Don't Like About Bruntmor Pre-Seasoned 7-Piece Cast Iron Set

The food can still stick to the bottom if the fire is too hot. That’s why it’s best if you add some pre-seasoning yourself before you start cooking. The outside of the Dutch oven and the skillets is hard to clean, and the griddle is a little rougher than the other pieces.

Pros

Cons

Buyer's Guide

The market is full of all kinds of cast iron cookware, but not all are the same. You need to understand what features to look for before you make a purchase that you might come to regret. Here are the key considerations when buying a cast iron cooking set.

Types of Cast Iron

There are two primary types of cast iron cookware. Bare cast iron dishes are less expensive and they are made in a traditional way. These products are known to be very long-lasting, but you need to season them before the first use. Some products arrive pre-seasoned from the factory, which would allow you to use them straight from the box. Bare cast iron cookware is also ideal for people with iron deficiencies as the iron will leach into the food as you cook.

The other type is enameled cast iron which has a protective coating on the cooking surface that prevents the iron from rusting and food from sticking to the bottom. The enameled cooking surface means that you will not have to season the cooking surface before each use, but it’s also much more expensive than traditional bare cast iron cookware.

Weight

Cast Iron cookware comes in all kinds of shapes and sizes. The weight makes a big difference for cast iron products because they are the heaviest of all types of cookware. That’s important because it provides better heat retention and an authentic cooking style. This is why high-end cast iron cookware pieces will be much heavier than the cheap one.

If you’re looking for lighter cookware, you should go with carbon or steel frying pans, pots, and griddles.

Handles and Knobs

The quality of the pan is one thing, but the size and length of the handles and knobs can completely ruin your cooking experience. If the handles or knobs are too short, they will heat up quickly and also make it harder to maneuver the cookware. Look for products with longer handles or with handles on both sides. Regardless of the handle, you likely won’t be able to touch a cast iron pan with your bare hand. Always use a mitten or pot holder.

Price

Cast Iron products are often cheaper than stainless steel cookware of equal size and weight because of the production process. You can find enameled cast iron dishes, which are much easier to maintain, but they also cost much more than standard cast iron products. Bare cast iron products still provide an authentic taste and a wide range of cooking options.

Brand

The market is filled with brands that claim the best cast iron this and that. Brands like Le Creuset, T-fal, and Lodge are probably held in the highest regard overall. They are all high-quality and designed for indoor and outdoor use, but the best brand in bare cast iron cookware has to be Lodge. It’s American, rather than the French Le Creuset and T-fal, and it has over 120 years of experience in making cast iron cookware.

La Creuset is most well-known for enameled cast iron cookware, but that also affects the price of the products. It’s best that you see what each brand offers before you make your choice.

F.A.Q.

1. How to Season Cast Iron

Even though most of today’s cast iron products come pre-seasoned, it will wear off with time, especially if you use the cookware a lot. When that happens, you will need to season the pots, pans, and skillets all over again. The process is simple and this is what you have to do:

  1. Scrub the skillet with hot soapy water.
  2. Dry it with a piece of cloth.
  3. Spread a thin layer of vegetable oil or butter over the inside of the skillet.
  4. Place it upside down in your oven and bake for an hour at 375° F.

2. How to Clean Cast Iron

Cleaning properly seasoned cast iron cookware is almost effortless. All you need is a stiff brush or a sponge and some warm water. Don’t use commercial dish detergents and don’t stick your cast iron dishes in the dishwasher.

3. How to Use a Cast Iron Skillet

Using a cast iron skillet is not much different than using any other skillet, but there are some things you should keep in mind. You should oil your skilled before use, even if it’s pre-seasoned. You can use it over any heat source, including an open fire and in an oven, as long as the temperature doesn’t exceed 400° F. Pre-heat the skillet before each use to prevent the food from sticking to the bottom.

Remember to clean and dry the skillet when you’re done cooking, and keep it in a dry place to prevent rust from forming. Rust isn’t hazardous per se, but too much of it can ruin the taste of your food.

4. How to Care for Cast Iron

Caring for your cast iron cookware isn’t all that hard. You only have to remember to dry every piece out before storing in a dry place. However, you will probably experience some rust in the future, so if that happens, you can get any rust remover to fix it. Clean your cookware with a sponge or a brush under running hot water. Make sure you apply some vegetable oil before cooking and never marinate your food in cast iron because you will be left with a metallic taste in your mouth.

5. How to Store Cast Iron

When you are done cleaning your cast iron cookware, you can’t just let it out to dry. Get a dry piece of cloth and wipe every drop of water off because your cookware could rust otherwise. Cast iron products have to be stored in a dry area. Avoid placing them close to water sources or in a damp basement or they will probably rust in a few days.

Final Verdict

After taking all of the features into consideration, we must go with the Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron 5-Piece Bundle. Lodge is the leading name in when it comes to cast iron cookware. This 5-piece set provides an evenly heated cooking surface, a wide range of cooking options, and fantastic pre-seasoning, better than anything else available on the market.

Such quality comes at a price, so if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative that offers excellent value for the money, then you should go with the Outdoor Gourmet 5-Piece Set. You will get 5 pieces of high-quality iron cast cookware at a fraction of the Lodge.

Get the best cast iron cookware today and embark on a new chapter of cooking.

 

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