Buying Guide: 11 Best Cast Iron Pans for 2021
Home chefs have been handing down their best cast iron pans for generations. But what makes them such a beloved family heirloom and kitchen essential?
The best cast iron pans offer benefits such as durability, long life, heat retention and flavor-saving qualities. Cast iron is also non-stick, chemical-free and dual-purpose.
Whether it’s a skillet, Dutch oven, cocotte or sauce pan, the best cast iron pans will sear steaks, roast poultry, simmer stews and even stir-fry vegetables. Looking for a new cast iron pan to add to your kitchen collection? Keep reading to check out our list of suggestions for the best cast iron pan for 2021.
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- BEST ENAMELED COCOTTE: Staub Cocotte Round 4 QT
- BEST EVERYDAY SKILLET: Staub Traditional 11" Skillet
- BEST COCOTTE: Staub Round Cocotte 5.5 QT
- MOST VERSATILE: Staub Perfect Pan 4.5 QT
- BEST FRYING PAN: Staub 15” Double Handle Fry Pan/Paella Pan
- BEST FOR SOUPS AND STEWS: Staub Tall Cocotte 5 QT
- BEST FOR LEAN COOKING: Finex 15” Cast Iron Lean Grill Pan
- BEST SAUCE PAN: Finex Cast Iron Sauce Pan 1 QT
- BEST FOR BACKYARD BBQ: Finex 10” Cast Iron Grill Pan
- MOST UNIQUE: Finex Cast Iron Skillet & Lid Set
- BEST DUTCH OVEN: Finex Cast Iron Dutch Oven 5 QT
- BONUS BEST CAST IRON PAN CARE KIT: Finex Cast Iron Care Kit
1. BEST ENAMELED COCOTTE: Staub Cocotte Round 4 QT
A bright white enamel coating that’s pretty enough to function as a serving dish makes the Staub Cocotte Round 4 QT one of the best cast iron pans for 2021. A traditional round shape provides even cooking and browning while self-basting spikes keep all the flavor of stews, soups and casseroles in the pot.
2. BEST EVERYDAY SKILLET: Staub Traditional 11” Skillet
Prepare omelets, frittatas, fajitas and more quickly and professionally in the matte black Staub Traditional 11” Skillet. The traditional frying pan style has high straight sides for less spatter and an enameled interior that’s easy to clean. It’s chip resistant and safe for the stovetop or oven.
- Price: $149.99
3. BEST COCOTTE: Staub Round Cocotte 5.5 QT
The sharp Staub Round Cocotte 5.5 QT in black offers all the benefits of the enameled 4 QT cocotte but in a larger size for bigger meals and more guests, making it a top choice for best cast iron pan of 2021. It’s perfect for stews, soups, roasts and casseroles.
4. MOST VERSATILE: Staub Perfect Pan 4.5 QT
Whether you’re braising, simmering, roasting or stir-frying, the Staub Perfect Pan 4.5 QT in white truffle does it all. A snug-fitting glass lid allows you to see what’s cooking while keeping moisture locked in. This is one of the best cast iron pans due to its stainless-steel rack that fits under the lid and allows moisture to drip back into the pan.
5. BEST FRYING PAN: Staub 15” Double Handle Fry Pan/Paella Pan
One of the best cast iron pans on the market, the Staub 15” Double Handle Fry Pan/Paella Pan has high sloped sides that prevent splattering. In addition to paella, it’s perfect for roasting chicken, sautéing asparagus or searing steaks. The grenadine color makes it pretty enough to sit on the table.
6. BEST FOR SOUPS AND STEWS: Staub Tall Cocotte 5 QT
Whether it’s hearty stews, spicy chilis or a giant batch of jambalaya, the Staub Tall Cocotte 5 QT is tall enough to prevent splattering while preparing for parties, large family dinners or weekly meal prep. It has a smooth enamel bottom and a textured black matte enamel interior that ensures proper browning and requires no seasoning.
7. BEST FOR LEAN COOKING: Finex 15” Cast Iron Lean Grill Pan
For grill top cooking without the charcoal and propane, the Finex 15” Cast Iron Lean Grill Pan is one of the best cast iron pans on the market. The domed interior surface is designed to drain fat and juices without smoking while grilling burgers, fish fillets or vegetables. It’s pre-seasoned and works on all cooktops for a truly versatile way to cook.
8. BEST SAUCE PAN: Finex Cast Iron Sauce Pan 1 QT
Prepare sauces, polenta, oatmeal and more in the all-purpose Finex Cast Iron Sauce Pan 1 QT. Durable, non-stick and rust-resistant, this best cast iron pan is pre-seasoned and has a quick-cooling stainless-steel coiled handle for an ergonomic grip.
9. BEST FOR BACKYARD BBQ: Finex 10” Cast Iron Grill Pan
The wide ribs of the Finex 10” Cast Iron Grill Pan bring out the flavors of meat, vegetables or seafood. It arrives pre-seasoned and ready to use indoors or out. It’s oven safe and works on all cooktops — even the grill. The skillet-style handle has a unique coil design for a secure grip.
10. MOST UNIQUE: Finex Cast Iron Skillet & Lid Set
If you’re just getting started with cast iron pans, the Finex Cast Iron Skillet & Lid Set is a great choice for simmering, steaming, poaching, braising or baking. It comes with a snug-fitting lid to lock in flavor and prevent spatter. The unique octagonal shape offers six pouring spouts and makes removing food with a spatula easier.
11. BEST DUTCH OVEN: Finex Cast Iron Dutch Oven 5 QT
The Finex Cast Iron Dutch Oven 5 QT has a thick base and sides to store and distribute heat evenly while baking, braising, slow-cooking or simmering. The octagonal shape has angled sides and eight spouts to pour easily, making it one of the best cast iron pans money can buy. It’s pre-seasoned and has a non-stick and rust-resistant finish that only improves with age.
BONUS BEST CAST IRON PAN CARE KIT: Finex Cast Iron Care Kit
Cast iron is durable, long-lasting and reportedly indestructible, but you do have to take care of it. This three-piece Finex Cast Iron Care Kit has a drip-free eye dropper with flaxseed oil for seasoning, an oak wood scraper that’s angled to reach corners and a chain link stainless-steel scrubber with silicone safety inserts to gently scrub and clean.
Choosing the best cast iron pan is easy when you know what to look for. Whether you’re a beginner in the kitchen or an advanced home chef, you can’t go wrong with any of the best cast iron pans on this list.
For more chef-recommended cookware and culinary inspiration, check out the Cozymeal Shop.
*Prices subject to change.