Cast iron cookware is renowned for its incredible heat retention and redistribution properties. It heats up quickly, and it stays hot. While most people prefer to use their cast iron cookware for browning meats and cooking eggs, you can cook just about anything in these pans and do so with precision.
There are many brands that offer cast iron cookware, but the three brands listed below offer the best quality cast iron cookware you can buy.
Le Creuset Cast Iron Cookware
Part of the reason why people shy away from cast iron cookware is because it can be difficult to maintain. Le Creuset addresses this concern with their enameled cast iron cookware. The brand makes this list simply because their cookware pairs exceptional performance with easy maintenance.
Le Creuset’s cast iron cookware features an exterior enamel that resists cracking and chipping. The interior of the pan features a black enamel surface that can withstand high cooking temperatures and eliminates the need to season the pan.
With traditional cast iron cookware, cleaning can be difficult and seasoning can be inconvenient. Le Creuset’s cookware is actually dishwasher safe and does not require seasoning. Now, maintaining your cast iron cookware can be just as simple and easy as stainless steel and other non-stick cookware.
Le Creuset’s cast iron cookware is also compatible with any cooktop surface – even induction and outdoor grills. The phenolic knobs on the cookware can withstand temperatures of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. With such versatility, Le Creuset’s cookware can handle any cooking task you throw at it. Plus, the pans come with extra convenient features like large handles that are easy to grip even with oven mitts.
While performance and durability are certainly two of the most important things to consider when purchasing cookware, design and appearance is also important. Le Creuset doesn’t disappoint in this category either. The brand offers a number of different colors to match your kitchen’s décor, including: red, blue, yellow, orange, purple, turquoise and green.
No matter whether you choose the brand’s best-selling 5-piece signature set or an individual piece, the quality, performance and beauty of this line of cast iron cookware is sure to please even the most discerning of cooks.
Staub Cast Iron Cookware
Staub offers a line of high quality cast iron cookware made in France. Much like Le Creuset, Staub’s cast iron is constructed with an enamel finish for improved stability and maintenance. What makes Staub different from the previous brand is the design of the cookware.
As you know, cast iron is the best cooking material for heat retention and redistribution. Staub takes advantage of this by creating a self-basting design. The lids on the pans feature spikes that allow condensation to return back to the food.
The tight-fitting lid also traps moisture inside of the pan. As a result, your food stays moist, tender and flavorful. In fact, tests show that 10% more moisture is retained in the Staub cocotte after 55 minutes of cooking when compared to competitor cocotte. This unique self-basting design is part of what makes Staub such an excellent choice for cast iron cookware.
In addition to the self-basting design, this cookware also features an enamel finish that resists scratching and thermal shocks. It also eliminates the need to season the pan before the first use. This is why Staub cast iron cookware is so easy to use, maintain and clean.
Another reason why Staub is favored by consumers is the fact that they offer a wide range of different cookware, including cocotte. When most people hear the name Staub, they think of the mini cocotte, and this is easily the brand’s most popular piece of cookware.
However, Staub also offers larger round and oval cocotte as well as bouillabaisse pots, coq au vin and traditional cookware such as frying pans, sauté pans and roasting pans. Each pan is available in a variety of colors to match your kitchen’s décor.
Lodge Cast Iron Cookware
Lodge is a trusted brand in affordable cast iron cookware. The brand offers both seasoned and enameled cast iron to suit all of your cooking needs. Lodge cookware performs exceptionally well and is available at a price that even the everyday novice cook can afford.
Lodge offers a wide range of cookware pieces from everyday pieces to specialty cookware. They even offer a line of camping cookware designed for use on open fire. It should come as no surprise then that Lodge cast iron cookware is trusted by the Boy Scouts of America and campers everywhere.
The brand’s seasoned cast iron cookware comes pre-seasoned, however, it is not enameled. This is an ideal collection for campers and those who want to take full advantage of all that cast iron has to offer.
The seasoned cast iron cookware is also easy to care for, but the enameled set makes care and maintenance much easier. The enameled line does not require seasoning and can be washed in the dishwasher.
Part of the reason why cooks love Lodge cast iron is because they offer so many different types of cookware. In the camping collection, the brand offers Dutch ovens with a flanged lid that not only holds coals, but also inverts and can be used as a griddle.
The legs on the pan also allow for the pan to sit perfectly atop hot coals. Every size is available from one-quart to a whopping 10-quart Dutch oven. No matter whether you’re camping on your own or looking to feed an entire troop, Lodge has the right pan for the job.