The best cast iron pans 2021: Lodge, Victoria, Smithey and more

the best cast iron pans 2021: lodge, victoria, smithey and

There are fussy, volatile kitchen friends: for example, your favorite sponge, which has to be replaced at annoying regularity, or the delicate handle cutlery that you bought and broke in the same month. Then there are those few kitchen gadgets that need next to nothing from you and last long enough to become an heirloom. This is your cast iron pan. If you already have one, go ahead! It never needs to be replaced. After all, the best cast iron pan really is any one that you love and want to hold for decades – because with a little care and tenderness, it will last for so long. But if you’re in the market (or somehow still need to be convinced), read on; we have you

Why do I want a cast iron pan again?

This powerful, evenly heating, and satisfactorily heavy pan is a staple in the kitchen because of its versatility. A normal, lightweight stainless steel frying pan gets hot quickly, but it doesn’t have the heat retention capacity of cast iron. And while a nonstick pan is great for scrambled eggs and crispy fish, many aren’t oven safe and those that are shouldn’t be exposed to extremely high temperatures. But a cast iron pan is just as useful on the stove as it is in the oven, just as reliable for braising as it is for shallow frying. It’s great for Dutch babies, frittatas, or those flavourful chicken legs. Corn bread, of course. Roast a whole chicken in your cast iron and you will find that the combination of low sides and great heat distribution leaves you with perfectly tanned skin, jammy lemon wedges, and gorgeous already reduced drops. Finally, it’s all but unprecedented when it comes to searing pork chops or a New York striped steak great.

But what if I don’t know how to flavor it?

When you first receive your pan you’ll want to season it (some pans come pre-seasoned, but a different coat won’t hurt). To do this, simply rub a bone-dry pan lightly with a thin layer of neutral vegetable oil and place it upside down in a scorching oven – 500 ° F should be enough. Leave for an hour, remove, let cool, rub in a little more oil and store. You can season as often as you want to create a shiny, non-stick surface. If the pan looks dull or dry, it’s time to add some moisture to it.

Alright what’s the best cast iron pan?

First a note about size. 10 or 12 inches is ideal here; something larger and heavier, and you might find it difficult to lift it off the hob into the oven easily. You have many options within the 10 to 12 inch cast iron pans category: starting with pre-seasoned or unseasoned. It doesn’t matter which one you choose because we recommend seasoning your pan anyway.

Then you are spoiled for choice when it comes to brands. Classic traditional brands such as Victoria and Lodge have been making high quality, traditional cast iron cookware for over a century. But you can also opt for a new school pan like the one from Smithey Ironware or Field Company.

If you’ve skimmed this seasoning section with a feeling of fear in your stomach, opt for a pre-seasoned lodge pan, which will cost you less than twenty dollars. They’ll help a little with the seasoning (use it to lower a rib eye fresh out of the box!), And you may be less scared as a cast iron newbie.

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A similar but slightly larger pan is the 12-inch Victoria. This one is popular for its two pouring spouts, a long handle that stays cool, an auxiliary handle and its smooth cooking surface that heats incredibly evenly. It also comes pre-seasoned; The smooth coating is made from 100% GMO-free linseed oil.

Victoria cast iron pan

If you cook for one often (or just want a really high quality small cast iron pan), consider this highly polished pan from Smithey Ironware. Smithey, a small manufacturer based in Charleston, gives this pan such a glossy shine that the surface is almost non-stick coated.

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Another expensive but gorgeous side is the Field Company’s 13⅜-inch pan, also made in the USA. Yes, it’s bigger – but this one is lighter than most cast iron pans. So if you’re looking for a roomy pan, this is the one for the home cook who lacks the upper body strength of a climber.

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How do i wash it?

You can’t throw it in the dishwasher, but it really doesn’t take a lot of love. To clean it, simply wipe the surface with a damp cloth after cooking and then dry it thoroughly. Often that’s enough. But if there are crispy pieces, try pouring coarse salt into them and working with a tawashi scrubber that has soft bristles that will wipe away any dirt. Many will tell you to avoid soap at all costs so that you don’t ruin your careful seasoning, but a little soap is fine – just don’t leave it in hot water.

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Kamenoko Tawashi Washer

For really baked crumbs, try The Ringer, a handy chainmail scrubber that’s easy to clean between uses. After cleaning your frying pan, wipe it very dry – this is the key to avoiding rust stains. Then take a tiny bit of neutral cooking oil, spread it on a paper towel, and brush it lightly. Be sure to preserve the handle and base, as well as the cooking surface, as rust can appear everywhere. And you’re ready to go! It sounds complicated, but it really only takes a few minutes. (A well-seasoned pan takes practically no time, so season dutifully and you’ll be rewarded.)

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Amanda Litchford

Making delicious meals and researching products has inspired me as a stay at home mom to start this website in helping out others who don’t have the time or expertise in the kitchen.

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