It seems like the cast iron craze has taken the internet by storm these past few years. With folks bickering about the best way to season, care for, and utilize these sturdy cooking essentials, it can be difficult to cut through all the noise.
Well, don’t worry! Here at Survival World, we like to keep things simple. That’s why we’ve taken the time to put together some top picks for our favorite cast iron cookware sets to help streamline your search for a high-quality cast iron purchase.
Keep reading to learn about these great cast iron sets!
Our Top Picks
Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron 5 Piece Bundle
Utopia Kitchen 3 Piece Cast Iron Set
Best Luxury Option
Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Cookware Set
When it comes to finding the center point between quality, affordability, and durability, Lodge has long been a staple brand in the cast iron market. Lodge products have always reached an exceptionally high standard without exceptionally high prices.
It’s difficult to wrap our heads around the value of this bundle. It includes an 8″ skillet, 10.25″ skillet, 10.25″ lid, 10.25″ Dutch oven, and a 10.5” griddle. With the proper care, this cast iron set may very well be the last you purchase.
Proper care won’t be too difficult with these foolproof products, either. The whole set is pre-seasoned and ready for cooking when it arrives at your doorstep. Lodge’s formula of natural seasoning oils is consistent and durable, meaning that this set of kitchen essentials will stay non-stick for years to come.
(Just don’t get too comfortable and throw them in the dishwasher!)
If you’re looking for a cast iron set fit for even the finickiest of chefs without breaking the bank, Lodge may be your buy.
- High quality for a great price
- Inclusive and versatile bundle
- Handles are not raised as high as we would like for protection from heat
- More practical looking than stylish
Budget Friendly Quality
Don’t be fooled by the exceptionally low price. Utopia Kitchen produces some high-quality cookware. If you don’t mind putting a little bit more effort into caring for your cast iron set, Utopia products stand up to the test of time.
Though the set is pre-seasoned, we find that many users will likely need to re-season fair consistently after even a gentle wash. That being said, after a few rounds of re-seasoning, your cookware will be prepared for heavier use without as much elbow grease.
The bare bones of the product themselves provide a consistent, even heat that will not disappoint. Considering Utopia’s prices remain the lowest in the market for their level of quality, we think this set is a great buy and definitely worth the TLC.
Besides, maintaining your cast iron is half of the fun!
- Incredible price point for the quality
- Durable with proper care
- Less convenient than luxury brands
- More prone to rust than many cast iron brands
Best Luxury Option
Le Creuset’s French moniker is definitely fitting because this brand truly is the Crème de la crème of cast iron cookware. Le Creuset’s iconic enameled cast iron produces an even cook while providing the closest experience to a non-stick pan that cast iron is capable of.
Stunning and sleek, pulling these out in the kitchen will definitely turn some dinner guests’ heads. With 9 different colors to choose from, you can even match your set to the style of your kitchen!
Remarkably, the ever-iconic Le Creuset enamel is designed to hold up under heavy use, preventing chips, cracks, and discoloration.
While hand washing is recommended for most cast iron products, this set is dishwasher friendly. Believe us, you won’t see that often when it comes to cast iron cookware! (You will still need to re-season after a deep cleaning, though!)
If cost isn’t a concern, this stunning set will definitely be the gem of your kitchen collection.
- Stunning design
- Most even cooking cast iron can provide
- Enamel will help prevent sticking
- Definitely on the pricey side
- Not ideal for camping or outdoor cooking
Great for Beginner
Looking to get into cast iron cooking without overcomplicating things? Cuisinel has you covered with quite literally everything you could ever need in your cast iron kitchen.
With this set, you get three different-sized skillets with glass lids, a Dutch oven, grill pan, griddle, pizza pan, pan rack, and handle covers! Frankly, we haven’t seen a more all-inclusive cast iron cookware set anywhere on the market.
Cuisinel produces a no-frills, sturdy, reliable product for a very reasonable price. If you’re interested in cast iron cooking but haven’t given it a try yet, we think this set is an excellent entry point for beginners.
If you’re looking to experience a wide variety of ways to cook with cast iron before upgrading specific pieces of of your kitchenware, this set is for you.
- Every piece of cast iron kitchenware you could need
- Sturdy, reliable, and versatile
- Will definitely need a re-season prior to first use
- Handle covers great out of the box, but not very durable
Ideal for Camping
Sturdy and resilient, Stansport’s cast iron cook set is built for the rough and tumble world of outdoor cooking.
Great for camping, this set can take some punishment. Whether it’s over an open flame, buried in smoldering coals, or on a butane stove, Stansport gets the job done with a nice and even cook. Moreover, the product is especially easy to clean in comparison to its competitors, which is great for on-the-go outdoor cooking.
With exceptional durability at such a low cost, you won’t mind pushing Stansport’s cast iron to its very limits.
- Great for camping
- Can handle open flames and tough conditions
- Extremely affordable
- Easy to clean
- Not ideal for the kitchen
- Low-quality pre-season
Cast Iron Buyer’s Guide
To season or not to season, that is the question. While many companies may offer pre-seasoned products, having to season your cast iron is inevitable as you continue to utilize your cookware.
So, don’t fret too much over buying pre-seasoned products. Seasoning is a relatively easy process that just requires a bit of time and attention. We’ve included some tips below to help you with your first-time seasoning.
Prior to your purchase, it’s important to consider what you plan on using your cast iron for. Some folks may be more interested in the durability that cast iron has to offer. Others may be more interested in the ways in which cast iron can affect the process and flavors of their cooking.
There really is no wrong answer for why you are looking to invest in cast iron products. It’s simply important that you carefully investigate what each product has to offer.
It ultimately comes down to your personal preference. As long as you invest in a quality product, you won’t be disappointed.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I clean my cast iron set?
The best way to clean your cast iron is by hand. Dishwashers can strip the seasoning from the pan leading to rust or other long-term damage.
Contrary to popular belief, you can use soap when washing cast iron. However, it’s best to use a small amount.
We recommend a pan scraper or a stiff brush to remove stubborn food. If you want to do an extra thorough clean, you can simmer a small amount of water on your pan for around three minutes.
After you’ve dried your pan, it’s time to give it a good re-seasoning.
How do I season my cast iron?
After you have washed your cast iron, spread a thin layer of vegetable oil or shortening on the surface of your product.
Heat your oven to 375 Fahrenheit and leave upside down for approximately an hour, then let cool. It’s that easy!
How is cast iron different from Teflon or stainless steel?
Teflon and stainless steel are quick conductors of heat. This means that once placed over a heat source, the surface area of your pan will quickly rise in temperature, allowing you to immediately get to cooking.
While Teflon and steel effectively conduct heat, they are terrible at retaining it. This means whatever you are cooking will quickly sear on the outside but not effectively cook through.
Cast iron is actually quite bad at conducting heat. But, believe it or not, that’s exactly what gives these products their edge. Cast iron takes longer to heat up but retains heat far longer than Teflon or stainless steel.
This means you’re able to distribute heat more evenly through to whatever is on your cast iron pan, helping whatever you’re making cook more thoroughly.
Building a Relationship With Your Cast Iron
Cast iron is a bit different from your everyday pots and pans. More than most kitchen utensils, cast iron requires some extra TLC. The care you put into your cast iron cookware does not go unrewarded, however.
Your cast iron will mature a little bit with each meal you prepare, making each dish a little bit better than the last. This means that as you move on from recipe to recipe, your cast iron changes a little bit with your cooking.
Over time, you won’t be able to help but feel a bit nostalgic about your cast iron pieces. As you build a relationship with your cookware, that extra time spent seasoning your cast iron will feel less like a chore and more like an investment in some good quality cooking.
Looking for an on-the-go camping stove to go along with your new cast iron products? Check out our article on The Best Wood Camping Stove.