Chicken in Cast Iron Pan

The 15 Best Cast-Iron Pans Under $50 from The 15 Best Cast-Iron Pans Under $50 Slideshow

The 15 Best Cast-Iron Pans Under $50 Slideshow

Chicken in Cast Iron Pan

A cast-iron pan is one of the only cooking instruments that actually adds nutritional benefit to a dish. When you cook, these pans release small amounts of iron into the food which can be really helpful in combating iron deficiencies, especially if you cook with a lot of high acidity.

They have been the tool of choice for chefs for decades, due to their durability and excellent heat retention­ — not to mention that nice sear you get when grilling a rib-eye. Cast iron, also known as “casting metal” has been found to date all the way back to China in the fourth century B.C, although before it was used as a cooking material its primary use was to make weapons. We saw the introduction of the cast-iron pan as we know it today, in the late nineteenth century, but prior to that the “spider pot” was its predecessor — “the spider” being that ancient cast-iron, cauldron-like pot, designed with three legs and a handle for use in a hearth or fireplace, often used for slow-cooking stews. Interestingly enough, besides adding a handle and eliminating the legs, not much about the original idea behind the pot has changed.

The process for making cast-iron cookware is essentially melting blocks of iron and steel together in a factory. Then, in order to raise the carbon levels, chemicals are added to the mix and the molten metal is poured into a clay mold. When the pan is cool, the mold is broken and the cookware is released. The pan is then smoothed and sometimes seasoned before it’s ready to be sold.

If you buy a pan that is already pre-seasoned — like the Lodge Pan — it’s unnecessary to then treat the pan again upon initial use, although I recommend going through the seasoning process regardless of which pan you buy. Seasoning a pan is basically coating the pan with fats and baking it for an hour in the oven in order to create a non-stick surface. Think of it as a bonding activity. You’ll have a better understanding of your pan, and it will most likely last longer.

The 15 Best Cast-Iron Pans Under $50

The 15 Best Cast-Iron Pans Under $50

A cast-iron pan is one of the only cooking instruments that actually adds nutritional benefit to a dish. When you cook, these pans release small amounts of iron into the food which can be really helpful in combating iron deficiencies, especially if you cook with a lot of high acidity.

When you do decide to take your cooking to the next level, we have scoured the internet and ranked the 15 best cast iron pans under $50 so you don't have to.

#15 My

My pan

text-decoration:none;text-underline:none">This is an easy-to-clean, classic cast iron — nothing too fancy, and a great start to a collection at $15.99 for a 10-inch pan if you’re looking to play around a little before investing in something bigger and more expensive. It’s lightweight and has a smooth surface.
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#14 Kuprum

Kuprum Pan

This skillet gets a late mention at $29.90 for an 11-inch pan, although it shouldn’t be disregarded completely. It has an enamel coating, which is good for its non-stick properties and which some might argue is healthier, but personally I prefer the more classic surface.
Try some of these nachos recipes in your cast iron!

#13 Bergoff

Bergoff Pan

In terms of aesthetics and quality, this 10-inch skillet is a great pan — but I wouldn’t purchase this guy at $36.99 as a first-time cast-iron user. This is more of a treat when it comes to kitchen equipment, and you can probably find something a little more basic if you’re looking to experiment.
Casserole dishes you can make in your cast iron!

#12 King Cooker

King Cooker Pan

This is a great pan for $35.55 — if you have a little experience and are looking to cook for large groups of people at a campfire or something like that, this could be the pan for you. Even for a 15-inch pan it’s a little pricey, but it does come pre-seasoned and is ready to go.
Try some of these simple dinners that you can make all in one pan!

#11 Homerware

Homerware Pan

This pan is your best bet if you’re looking for something that’s not off the charts expensive and not necessarily much to write home about either. At $23.99 for a 12-inch skillet, it’s functional — it works, and will get the job done. The surface is also pre-seasoned pretty well, so you won’t have to treat it more than once.
Get that crunchy fried chicken with your cast iron and some of these delicious recipe inspirations!

#10 Bayou

Bayou Pan

This is definitely a beginner’s pan, and at $26.29 for a 10-inch skillet, it needs quite a lot of attention in terms of seasoning once you first buy it. It’s a heavy pan and has a relatively rough surface compared to others, but if you’re willing to put in the initial work, it will work well for the amateur chef.
French toast gets a really nice color in a cast iron – try some of these recipes!

#9 Utopia Kitchen Pan

Utopia Kitchen Pan

With superior heat retention and even heat distribution, this pan is a great option for the seasoned chef. At $27.99, the weight of it can be a little intimidating for a beginner, but it’s generally a fantastic classic cast iron. This 12.5-inch skillet is a big pan, and that extra half inch on the surface will allow for a wider range of cooking.
You don’t need a pie tin to make delicious pies — use your cast-iron pan.

#8 Sunnydaze

Three-Piece Cast Iron Set

I included this three-piece set for $35.95 into the list because it’s great value to be able to get more than one pan for this kind of price. If you’re looking to do a diverse range of cooking and are a little more experienced with a cast iron, this is a fantastic deal. Make sure you know how to season these well — they will need a couple of rounds to get them where you want them.
You can even make brownies in a cast iron pan!

#7 Fresh Australian Kitchen

Fresh Austrailian Kitchen Pan

This is a fantastic pan that has been designed with the utmost care and attention. Although the downside is that it’s on the pricier side — at $26.99 — it’s well worth it. It might be a little sticky on first use — but overall, a beautifully designed 12-inch pan with solid results.
Learn more about seasoning your cast iron pan!

 

#6 Universal Housewares

Universal Housewares Pan

If you’re not totally sold on the whole cast-iron cooking movement but still want to give the thing a go — this 8-inch pan at $14.99 is a great option for you. If you’re just looking to fry an egg here and there and sear a decent steak, I’d definitely recommend this pan for the non-frequent user. It’s easy to clean and not too heavy, and it will give you professional results with not too much fuss.
Learn how to clean your cast-iron pan with no fuss!
 

#5 Victoria

Victoria Pan

Victoria cookware has been around since 1939, and you can rely on this company to deliver the kind of quality you’d expect from such a long-lived company. At $19.99 for this 12-inch skillet, the advantage of this pan is its slightly longer and more curved handle, not to mention a drip-free pour spout which comes in very handy.
Make these delicious recipes using just one pan!

#4 Ewei’s Homeware

Ewwi's Homeware Pan

Ewei’s Homeware’s 12-inch cast-iron skillet is right up there with the best, but it’s worth noting that although it’s supposedly pre-seasoned, you may want to put some time into seasoning it yourself. For the price of $17.85 though, you can’t beat it.
Try some of these recipes in your new cast iron.

#3 Calphalon Pan

Calphalon Pan

With an oversized handle and guaranteed even heat distribution, this is one of my top picks of the lot. For a 12-inch skillet at $22.49 it’s a good deal, has a lifetime guarantee, and is pre-seasoned well enough to cook eggs on your first go around. This pan will not let you down.
You can even make pizza in your cast iron!

#2 T-fal

T-fal Pan

At $24.92 as a 12-inch skilletthis pan is wonderfully light and comes with an assistance handle, which is very useful. It also comes with seasoning instructions, although it’s worth noting that is has a slightly convex shape — frustrating when cooking with sauces.
Cast iron pans are great for making eggs — try some of these recipes.

#1 Lodge

Lodge Pan

If this is your virgin voyage into cast iron cooking, at $17.39 for a 12-inch skillet, this pan is an excellent investment. The coating is a little more textured than the average pan at the high-end range, but in general this pan does a solid job. The pan is pre-seasoned, has no synthetic chemicals and has lifetime durability.
To learn 5 Things You Are Doing Wrong With Your Cast-Iron Pan, click here.

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The 15 Best Cast-Iron Pans Under $50