Cook Better: What to Look for in a Cast Iron Skillet The sign of a good cast iron skillet is how it holds up with age. The Blacklock 96 was made to commemorate the very first Lodge foundry, which opened in 1896; it looks similar to the classic version but differs in a few critical, useful ways. The price of the skillets we tested ranged from about $20 to $275. The cast-iron skillet is the workhorse of many a dedicated home cook, and for good reason. All rights reserved. ; Wash the skillet: Wash the skillet with warm, soapy water and a sponge or stiff brush.Cast iron should not normally be washed with soap, but it’s fine here since the pan is about to be seasoned. It works like magic (and it can also tackle sheet pans and Dutch ovens as well). Robert Parker Wine Advocate’s Top 100 Wine Discoveries, Tools of the Trade: How to Get the Most Out of Your Roasting Pan, Tools of the Trade: How to Choose the Perfect Cutting Board, Tools of the Trade: The Ultimate Non-Stick Cookware Guide, The Duck Press Brings Old School Sauces to the Dining Room, Tools of the Trade: How To Choose a Cast Iron Skillet. I recently seasoned my cast iron skillets for the first time, and they have a noticeably brown patina on them. Theoretically, the curved interior would be great for flipping—if the pan weren't 5.1 pounds, which is too heavy to comfortably flip with in the first place. So don’t expect this or any pre-seasoned pan to be up to the task of cleanly turning out a hoecake straight out of the gate, or box. We found that the Amazon Basics' cast-iron pan ($15-$19) had some strong ergonomic features, including an easy-to-grip handle with a thumb imprint and a robust helper handle, but the pre-seasoning was virtually non-existent. Since cast-iron skillets are generally inexpensive, we were curious to see if the extra expense of some pans translated into better performance. We’ve tested 16 skillets since 2017 and think the … kitchen tools A cast-iron skillet is great for everything from searing a T-bone to roasting a chicken, and it will become naturally nonstick over time. After plating your meal, … (Note that in this review update of the best cast-iron pan, we chose only rough cooking surface options as our winners, forgoing the smoothed-surface options that try to emulate the design of vintage cast-iron pans. The look is smooth cast iron skillet which is beneficial if you have a glass cooktop. First, it's lighter weight, cast in what the website calls a "thin design" that weighs 4.6 pounds, compared to the classic's 5.2. Feature-wise, this skillet's long, thin handle stayed cooler longer than the handles of the other cast-iron pans we tested, and the two pour spouts are exemplary—they were the largest we saw, which allowed us to pour cooking oil out of the skillet with less risk of dripping. The best of the bunch was the Field Company's No. Cast-iron skillets are heavy, and the helper handle affects how easily you can maneuver one (even a small one!) Then, also with a bit of oil, we seared half a potato in each pan, cut side down, for four minutes. How many cast-iron pans have you seen at flea markets and garage sales? Despite what you may have heard, cast-iron skillets are easy to keep clean. Don’t let that scare you off—a cast iron skillet can last a lifetime (or longer!) When fried chicken recipes call for a "heavy skillet," this is what they're talking about. In the 10-inch category, our favorite was the Lodge Blacklock 96, which is lighter weight, easy to maneuver, and "triple seasoned," which made for a truly nonstick cooking surface. Compared to fancy, copper-core stainless steel pans, cast-iron cookware is relatively cheap. 8 Skillet ($125 at the time of writing) which, at 4.3 pounds, was the lightest of all the 10-inch skillets we tested and the only one we could comfortably hold with one hand. If you ever mess it up, don’t worry: The great thing about cast iron is that it’s easy to restore. We found that the Blacklock "triple seasoning" created a more effective nonstick layer than the average Lodge as well. The standard Lodge 10.25-inch cast-iron, which previously held the top spot, was usurped this year by a newer model: the Lodge Blacklock 96 skillet, also 10.25-inches. In some cases, we added more than one layer of seasoning to the skillet to assess how that would improve the coating (more on that below). They're true workhorses, and every kitchen should have one of these relatively inexpensive, super-heavy duty pans that boast a natural nonstick coating when properly seasoned. Does the design of the skillet boost its performance? And, if you're still on the fence about getting a cast-iron skillet, here are 5 reasons to commit and click add to cart. According to Victoria's website, the pan is pre-seasoned with 100% non-GMO flaxseed oil, and the seasoning only improved the more we worked with and added to it. If you have cast iron cookware, you know it requires a little TLC when it comes to cleaning up after cooking, but it’s equally important to season an old-fashioned cast iron skillet before using it. How non-stick is the pre-seasoned coating? Stay on the top of the best restaurants, offers, lifestyle, and events recommended in our guide cities. Cast-iron skillets take a little bit of time to warm up. The purpose of these first two tasks was to test the efficacy of any pre-seasoning. We then washed the pans, coated them lightly in vegetable oil, and baked them for an hour at 500°F (or 450°F, if they were only heat-safe to that temperature) to create one layer of seasoning (read more about how to season cast-iron skillets). Every pan has its own quirks, but cast iron, in particular, has a reputation among home cooks for being high-maintenance. "Modern cast iron is just as good as old cast iron. They're great for sautéing, frying, and baking. Large helper handle affects how easily you can cook virtually anything in a cast-iron pan, do... Want something more high-end and larger, this enamel cast iron pans actually get better age... The two styles of cooking surfaces below. ) actually not true be off the market of pans! Dollars for a lifetime—so finding the right cast-iron pan, and events recommended in guide. Do n't cook with it right away using the same process, nor do they the... No no that 's a literal game changer Chelsea Kyle, Prop Styling by Strangio. 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