I have a special place for cast iron skillets in my kitchen and my heart. These hardy pans are versatile and cook food evenly. Cast iron skillets are durable, great heat retainers, and a favorite among both amateur and seasoned chefs. The best part, a well-cared-for cast iron skillet can become a family heirloom to pass down through generations.

Even if you are not lucky enough to have inherited beautiful cookware from your parents or grandparents, you can try contemporary models that will one day become your pass-downs to future generations: Not all inheritance has to be money or a big house.

To help you get started on your maiden journey, I have rounded up the best five cast iron skillets for 2024 that every chef will love. These pans are hardy, and durable and come in handy in baking, searing, sautéing, grilling, and whatever you throw at it. So find the one that suits your needs on this list and start your culinary adventure.

Also Read: How to Season Cast Iron Skillet in 5 Easy Steps

Lodge Chef Collection 12-Inch Cast Iron Skillet: Overall Best

Lodge Cast Iron, with over a century of creating enduring cookware, is one of the best makers in the market. Its Chef Collection 12-inch Cast Iron Skillet is designed to ensure decades of cooking without having to replace pans every couple of years. Weighing 5.3 lbs, this pan has an ergonomic handle for easy maneuvering, two pour spouts to prevent spills, and spatula-friendly sidewalls to take out food without much hassle.

The Chef Collection skillet has superior heat retention and is best for searing, making a galette, roasting chicken thighs, roasting vegetables, or baking. But the best part is that this pan can be used in the oven, on the grill, on the stove, over a fire, or on an induction cooktop, making it an overall best skillet.

What I like:

  • Versatility on different cooktops
  • Superior heat retention cooks almost everything
  • User-friendly design

What I don’t like:

  • Couldn’t find anything that I disliked about this pan

Buy: Amazon $40 | Lodge $50

Image: Amazon

Victoria 10-Inch Cast Iron Skillet: Best Lightweight

Emerging as a strong contender to the five-star Lodge pan, Colombia-based Victoria Cookware’s Victoria 10-inch cast iron skillet is a lightweight, “gold standard” pan. Weighing only 4.8 lbs, this skillet has wider and deeper pour spouts to ensure no drips. It is perfect to cook eggs, sear steaks, and make bread. The maker says that even though the pan has a smooth surface, “it has enough texture to make your seasoning stick faster to create nice, tough layers of your own seasoning.”

It also has a bigger handle to provide better ergonomics. It has great heat retention and distribution to evenly cook food and keep it hot for over 15 minutes even after taking it off the cooktop. The Victoria skillet is suitable for induction, ceramic, grill, broiler, and oven. Being lightweight it can be carried to cook over a campfire.

What I like:

  • Lighter weight than its counterparts
  • Wider pour spouts
  • Longer handle for user-friendly design

What I don’t like:

  • Although pre-seasoned, needs work

Buy: Amazon $23

Image: Victoria Cookware

Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Skillet: Best Maintenance

Le Creuset is another famed name in the cast iron cookware industry. Offering cast iron pans and pots in attractive colors, it is best known for low-maintenance skillets. The Le Creuset Signature Skillet is a versatile pan for searing, sautéing, stir-frying, and more. A favorite among home chefs and professionals, this enameled skillet has a black satin enamel interior surface, which doesn’t require the traditional seasoning and maintenance timing of a typical cast iron skillet.

The skillet is made for higher surface temperature cooking. The enamel develops a natural patina after continuous usage, making it practically nonstick and easy to clean. It also resists dulling, staining, chipping, or cracking in the durable enamel. The skillet requires no seasoning, is dishwasher safe, and lasts for generations. This pan is compatible with all cooktops and can be used in an oven up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

What I like:

  • No seasoning required
  • Easy to clean and dishwasher safe

What I don’t like:        

  • Can’t be used on campfire

Buy: Amazon $200 | Le Creuset $220

Image: Le Creuset

Also Read: How to Clean and Care for Cast Iron Cookware

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet: Best Budget-Friendly

While Le Creuset cast iron cookware may feel overrated and over-budget, you can never go wrong with the Lodge collection. The Lodge classic cast iron skillet is the best lower-price pan and can be yours for just $20. The 10.25-inch pan outperforms its heavily-priced counterparts. It is perfect for pan-frying and roasting vegetables and meats. You can cook perfect eggs with this classic skillet.

Thanks to flawless heat retention, the food gets cooked evenly from edge to edge. It retains heat for quite some time even after being removed from the cooktop. The Lodge classic skillet can be used in an oven, on a gas stove, induction, or open fire. It weighs the same as the Chef Collection skillet at 5.3 lbs, making it great for even outdoor usage.

What I like:

  • Lowest price point
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Easy to clean, deglaze, and season

What I don’t like:        

  • Some hot spots
  • Meat tends to stick to the pan

Buy: Amazon $20 | Lodge $20

Image: Lodge

Smithey No. 14 Cast Iron Skillet: Best Spendy

If you are looking to make a family heirloom, why not invest in something extravagant that exudes traditional charm? Designed to be your modern heirloom, the Smithey No. 14 cast iron skillet is one of the best skillets on the market. The only reason you may not have yet heard or thought of it is its high price point. I may add that the extremely well-made pan, with a larger surface area to serve family dinners, and the versatility of the skillet justify the price tag.

With a top diameter of 14 inches and a cooking surface of 11.5 inches, this skillet is the perfect addition to a kitchen that serves a big family. The traditional handle and the helper handle have holes for hanging. It can perform on an oven, grill, induction, stovetop, and campfire. It will need seasoning from time to time to retain its youth and beauty, but it is easy to clean and lasts generations.

What I like:

  • Extra-large cooking space
  • Perfect for serving big families
  • Engravable

What I don’t like:        

  • Sits on the expensive side
  • Weighs 12 lbs

Buy: Smithey $240

Image: Smithey

It could appear foolish to a nonbeliever to spend so much time and money on pans, caring for and preserving them down the decades. But investing in a good skillet is like putting money in the bank. Rather than spending over and over on cheap pans susceptible to wear-and-tear; a good cast iron skillet will last generations and will become a cherished member of your kitchen.

You can take your pick, according to your preference, from the assortment of best cast iron skillets for 2024 above. My favorite is the Chef Collection Skillet by Lodge, let me know yours in the comments below.

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Listening to her grandmother weaving nighttime tales to penning down her own thoughts, Priya developed a penchant for stories and their origin early in her childhood. After her master's in literature, she started writing copiously on diverse topics including architecture, interior design trends, and home improvement while learning the ropes of copyediting. For the past couple of years, she has been crafting DIYs for Homecrux. Reading novels, painting, and baking are her favorites on her long list of hobbies. She also loves to eat, travel, meet new people, learn about different cultures, and listen to stories.

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