staub cast iron skillet
Credit: Courtesy of Williams Sonoma

The 7 Best Cast-Iron Skillets For Cooking Eggs, Making One-Pot Dinners, Baking Cornbread, and So Much More

Shop these signature styles of our go-to pan that you'll use to make everything from steak to dessert.
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A cast-iron skillet is one of the most essential pieces of cookware for any home cook and chef alike. "Cast iron can do it all—and do it all well," says Tiffany La Forge, a professional chef, Parsnips and Pastries blogger, and author of The Modern Cast-Iron Cookbook (from $12.41, amazon.com). Not only are they available in a wide range of prices to fit a desired budget, but they are also versatile simply based on how you can cook with the skillet. "What other piece of cookware can go from the campfire to the stovetop to the oven to the center of the table (and look that good while doing it)?" adds La Forge.

Cast iron skillets can handle a variety of different foods, as they maintain and absorb heat well and can withstand temperatures up to 600°F. "Honestly, I make anything and everything in my cast-iron skillets! My favorite things are anything fried, steak, stove-to-oven dishes like Shepherd's pie, desserts like cobblers, and breads," La Forge says. "Deep-frying in your cast iron skillet helps build and maintain the seasoning, and I love cooking bread and quick breads in cast iron and getting that lovely quintessential crust."

There are several types of cast-iron skillets you can shop now based on qualities that are most helpful for your specific cooking and baking needs, such as size and depth. Ahead, find our favorites to buy on the market. As La Forge explains, "They are a great investment piece that will last a lifetime."

Shop the Best Cast-Iron Skillets on the Market:

lodge l8sk3 pre-seasoned skillet
Credit: Courtesy of Lodge

Best Classic: Lodge L8SK3 Pre-Seasoned Skillet

$19.90, amazon.com

"If you're new to cast-iron cooking, I suggest purchasing an affordable pre-seasoned option to get you accustomed to cooking with and maintaining cast iron," La Forge says. "I love and recommend Lodge, which is widely available and made in the United States." This Lodge is 10.25 inches and pre-seasoned with 100 percent natural vegetable oil. This skillet can be used in the oven, on stovetops, on grills, or over campfires and is even compatible with induction cooking surfaces.  

staub enameled cast iron deep skillet
Credit: Courtesy of Williams Sonoma

Best Deep Skillet: Staub Enameled Cast Iron Traditional Deep Skillet

$179.95, williams-sonoma.com

One of La Forge's favorite qualities in a cast-iron skillet is depth since she often uses hers for baking or taking from the stovetop to the oven. Consider a traditional deep cast iron skillet like this straight-sided Staub option, which is 11 inches in diameter and two inches deep. The high, straight sides mean less splattering when making meals

martha stewart collection cast iron fry pan
Credit: Courtesy of Macy's

Martha's Pick: Martha Stewart Collection Enameled Cast Iron Fry Pan

$59.99, macys.com

Martha's 12-inch skillet features a classic cast iron build that heats evenly with a colorful enameled exterior. The piece also features a long handle and two spouts to move from the stove to the table for easy serving and pouring. 

le creuset signature cast iron deep saute pan with lid
Credit: Courtesy of Williams Sonoma

Best Skillet with Lid: Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast Iron Deep Sauté Pan

$350, williams-sonoma.com

If you're looking for an enameled cast-iron skillet, consider this deep sauté pan with an enameled interior and exterior. It's a 4 1/4-quart capacity pan that's well suited for high-heat searing and sautéing. It is also great for slower styles of cooking; the matching lid helps retain heat and lock in moisture when braising or simmering sauce. 

finex seasoned cast iron skillet
Credit: Courtesy of Williams Sonoma

Best Large: FINEX Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet

$370, williams-sonoma.com

This 14-inch cast-iron skillet comes with two handles, making it easy to transport, and it's large enough to feed a crowd. These are qualities that La Forge loves in a cast iron skillet, she notes that any skillet over 12 inches is suited to making hearty one-pot meals for a group and likes models with double handles that allow her to seamlessly move the cookware from the stove to the oven. 

lodge seasoned cast iron skillet
Credit: Courtesy of Williams Sonoma

Best Small: Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet

$14.95, williams-sonoma.com

La Forge recommends a small, six-inch cast-iron skillet for single serving meals, side dishes, or a quick bite, like eggs. She also uses hers for making up skillet brownies. Note that this Lodge smaller cast-iron skillet doesn't have a loop helper handle, like larger varieties. 

smithey no.12 cast iron skillet
Credit: Courtesy of Smithey

Best Heirloom: Smithey No. 12 Cast Iron Skillet

$200, smithey.com

"If you're ready to take cast-iron cooking to the next level, I recommend investing in a premium brand like Smithey, which is crafted in Charleston and hand-inspected to focus on heirloom-quality pieces worth passing down," La Forge says. You can customize the cookware with a personal engraving and it always come with its signature polished interior, which is non-stick and pre-seasoned.