The best cast iron skillets have been around for centuries and not once have they failed in their ability to do the work right. They are known to be versatile and able to absorb any kind of pressure. They belong to the old, yet nothing compares to them when it comes to safety and durability. It is no mystery that even till date, popular names among the best cast-iron skillets and pans still remain famous and top of the list today as they have been hundred years ago.

We carried out this systematic exploration to review the best cast iron skillets out there and what we did was to lay our hands on good cast iron skillets that come highly recommended on the market. We used these in various types of cooking and in the end, we decided that the Lodge Cast Iron Skillet is the best cast-iron skillet in the market right now. Coming from a company that has been in the business of making cast iron utensils since 1896, this skillet has made a name for itself for its unbeatable performance. It is sort of a workhorse and remains one of the first choices for most chefs. With its two handles, it’s ergonomically designed to allow easy manipulation and handling.

Still, if you don’t want a skillet with a short basic handle, you can opt for the Tramontina Enameled Cast Iron Covered Skillet, 12-Inch with a moderate-sized handle, which has a more lengthy handle. We have also included other great cast iron skillets and our experiences with them which we highly recommend that you check out.

Why You Should Trust Us

We have focused on a lot of things in our effort to name the best products; to come up with the most reliable result, to desist from steering people to the wrong products, to deliver the best solution and more.

Concerning this very survey, we went all-out for weeks considering many options to establish our conclusion. We arrived at this proven careful research, first of all, by checking out the features of as many as 25 best selling and highly rated skillets in the market to have a clear understanding of all their haves and have nots.

We were guided by useful features like the skillets’ ability to retain and conduct heat, their capacity, ease of getting them all cleaned up, durability, price, their compatibility with heat and cooking sources and more.

We’ve continually spent time in the kitchen enough to know which skillet can serve a pro and novice cook most. We also didn’t overlook the role of pro chefs who actually have sufficient idea on top-quality kitchen cookwares and gadgets in drawing up our conclusions.

Best Cast Iron Skillets

Tramontina Enameled Cast Iron Covered Skillet, 12-Inch, Gradated Red

best cast-iron skillets

Tramontina is a relatively cheap skillet that provides a wide space for more food, comfortable handle and a whole lot more. It is an excellent alternative to Teflon skillets, enameled to ensure even distribution of heat and improved durability. The interior surface of the pan is, in fact, second to none with leveled out surface that makes cooking and cleaning blissful. The cookware does not rust, scratch or warp. It comes clean both to the environment and to the human body as there are no toxic chemicals (PFOA- and PTFE) added in its construction.

The self-basting condensation ridges found on its tight lid ensure vapour coming back to the food is even, which results in moist and spicey dishes. The lid also has a knob that is not just safe to enter the oven but also makes for a cool grip. Besides getting the desired result during cooking, the skillet also doesn’t burn or scorch food, thus, it won’t ruin the taste of your food.

Tramontina is versatile and can be used for different purposes including braising. You can easily transfer this pan from stove to oven to conclude your cooking without causing any harm to it as long as the temperature is within 450 degrees Fahrenheit or 204 degrees Celsius. Its exterior finish appears glassy and smooth thanks to its gradated porcelain enamel coating. The coating also bestows it with the ability to resist external impacts as well as cook evenly. The matte black porcelain enamel cooking surface also makes cleaning simple.

For us, the overall design of this skillet is as vibrant as its colour. Despite its better resistance to wear and tear, we advocate for hand-wash only.

Pros:

  • It doesn’t affect the taste of food or scorch it
  • It is durable
  • Impact resistance to warping or physical destruction
  • Good heat conductivity
  • Can withstand extreme temperature changes
  • Has a strong sense of functionality.
  • Suitable for all cooking surfaces.
  • It is cheap

Cons:

  • It’s heavy
  • Could be shallow to some
  • Not preseasoned because it is enameled.

Verdict:

With fulfilling performance and awesome enamel finish, we think this pan is a great choice for everyday use. This pan is durable and is not just resistant to scratch, but has the ability to withstand abrasion. We love that despite its great qualities, this cast-iron skillet comes not overly priced.

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Cuisinart CI22-24CR Chef’s Classic Enameled Cast Iron Skillet

best cast-iron skillets

This Cuisinart skillet is nothing too elaborate but there are many great features pieced together that make it a good option. First of all, it speaks of a Porcelain enameled interior that gives it a non-stick quality. Secondly, it is made with cast-iron which is tough. The Enamel coating makes it even more durable while the cast-iron also bestows it with unbeatable heat conduction and retention. In spite of the boost introduced in this build, the finishing doesn’t interfere with the flavor or taste of the food.

We can’t help but love its trendsetting design, as well as its vibrant colour that can go with any kitchen decor. You can easily put it in the dishwasher for quick cleaning, though we urge you to hand-wash instead for continuous effectiveness. For maximum comfort, the pan has a wide but moderately long handle for safe grip. Moreover, the pan can fit and cook expertly on any cook top be it oven, broiler, stove, electric or any other. What’s more is its shape which is quite round with pour spouts and large depth that make searing, braising or simmering and baking a piece of cake. Its sloped sides let you flip food as easy as a walk in the park.

On the plus, there is no cause for concern over harmful chemicals used in nonstick coatings as this pan is free from all those, hence, it is healthy. The things we found missing on this skillet are minor and one of such comes from comparing it with the Tramontina that has a lid which is missing in this design. Another slight shortcoming is that the skillet is heavy and can require a little more effort to grab due to its overall weight especially when filled to the brim.

Pros:

  • Offers you countless cooking options.
  • It is durable
  • Conducts heat in a superior way
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Food doesn’t get stuck to the pan, hence, it makes for quick release of food.
  • Gives you a good result
  • Scratch and rust-resistant
  • Possibly the cheapest on the list

Cons:

  • Comes in a lower volume than the Lodge skillet
  • Since the handle is made to be oven safe, it heats up easily even across its handle, so you may need gloves to handle it

Verdict:

If you want a skillet that cooks perfectly, then you may want to get this. This is because it is hard to beat this skillet when it comes to price. It is also effective and durable. And even as it gets heated easily and retains heat, it does not burn food. With this, browning, searing and more is a five-finger exercise.

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The Pioneer Woman Timeless Cast Iron Skillet

best cast-iron skillets

With a top-level performance, toughness, style, well-built cooking surface, and size at a surprising mid-range price, it is obvious that the Pioneer Woman Timeless Cast Iron Enamel Skillet can easily win hearts for several good reasons. The cookware is typical of its name as a timeless piece. The enamel coating which is excellent needs only a slight fat to keep food moist. Since it is a cast-iron cookware, it supplies an additional boost to heat conduction.

Again, The Pioneer skillet can hold up a reasonable quantity thanks to its roomy and deep interior. It has a thick base that spreads heat evenly for perfect cooking result all the time and sturdy handle for ease of grabbing. With the pan’s sides that slope up and out, this skillet is a winner. It easily impresses with its ability to tenderize the ingredients for perfect result all the time.

With reference to durability, it is specially configured to last, thus doesn’t scratch off or give off particles into your food. It comes in a variety of colours to choose from including red, turquoise, linen and plum and in case you are short on cabinet space but have plenty of wall space, you can easily store this skillet on the wall.

Pros:

  • Food cooked with this pan does not lose its natural juices and flavour.
  • The handle is comfortable to hold
  • Cleans extremely well
  • The skillet cooks food quickly and easily
  • Food does not stick to it
  • It is safe to put it in the oven

Cons:

  • It has no lid
  • Could be heavy

Verdict:

This pan is good for different tasks like browning, searing, braising and more. It is a big skillet and so could cater for the whole family. The cookware cooks evenly and ideally. It is the skillet for those looking for a durable and working skillet but don’t want to spend hundreds on it. That notwithstanding, leaving it in moisture for too long could ruin it. Cleaning and drying it after each meal is also a good practice to extending its lifespan.

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Mario Batali by Dansk Enameled Cast Iron Pan

best cast-iron skillets

The Mario Batali cast-iron skillet is a non-toxic cookware designed to satisfy any kind of chef. It is a skillet to choose if you are looking for something stylish and effective. Even though it is fanciful, Mario Batali can be used on all heat sources including induction, ceramic glass top stoves, ovens, electric, and gas. Its interior is enameled and does not need pre-seasoning. The surface also makes it smooth enough not to let food stick to it. Usually, skillets come in round shapes, but this one gives a modern, flat-faced look that helps set it apart from a good deal of the competition.

It employs the same trick on its size appearing deeper and wider than most skillets around. Boasting excellent craftsmanship, the pan does require seasoning.

Something else worth hinting at is its smooth base that ensures the temperature is controlled evenly which in essence cooks meals to perfection. The pan can withstand high-temperature and pressure and it does not rust or chip. The extra-long handle allows for easy grip while cooking while the skillet’s pouring nozzle makes transferring food content from the pan to anywhere else a doddle.

Pros:

  • Retains heat wonderfully
  • It is quick in getting food ready
  • Does not chip or rust
  • Healthy and kind to the environment
  • The cooking surface is big

Cons:

  • It is heavy

Verdict:

This skillet is the ultimate cookware to choose if what you are looking for is an affordable cast iron skillet with a big cooking surface that doesn’t burn food. We looked at the ease of getting the pan cleaned up after every meal and we found it super easy and though it is heavy, this is typical of all cast iron skillets.

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Westinghouse WFS1500 Series Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet

best cast-iron skillets

This Westinghouse Series Seasoned Cast Iron skillet offers you the chance and convenience to enjoy different meals that are properly cooked. The skillet is undoubtedly plain-looking inside and out, and no, there’s nothing unique or flashy about its looks. It isn’t as detailed as the Mario Batali skillet and may not get your neighbors jealous in that sense. But it is a really good hit for its superior performance that’s as strong as any good skillet we tested, including ones that cost more money.

Read Also: Best Non-Stick Frying Pans and Skillets

Just like the lodge skillet and others, it comes with factory seasoning and could be used immediately after purchase. This piece is well priced and resistant to wear. We like that it keeps food warm for a long time and heats uniformly. The cookware is a solid option and it helps that the handle makes for easy storage. Far from having a handle that is comfortable and easy to reach, this pan offers a pretty basic cooking surface that hardly scratches or wears down.

It offers a limited cooking time which most non-cast iron skillets don’t. Cleaning is a cinch with this cookware as food doesn’t stick to it. Its seasoning gets you started and it gets better with age. What’s more is that this pan doesn’t warp or bend and heat is evenly distributed during a cooking task. Westinghouse is safe for all cooking sources with a perfect bottom that conducts heat evenly. It comes in a great size and is deep enough to take more content than it appears.

Pros:

  • Very resistant to scratch
  • Great quality
  • Works excellently
  • Distributes heat evenly
  • Cooks fast and rightly
  • Does not scorch food

Cons:

  • It is heavy
  • Has no pouring spouts for easy transfer
  • The surface is a little bumpy compared to the Lodge Skillet.

Verdict:

This skillet is an ideal choice for meat-loving chefs. The plain-looking classic cookware is powerful when it comes to making proper breakfast but is best for types of food that you won’t have to pour out from the pan. Above all, it has absolutely no impact on the taste and flavour of food.

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The Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet Review

best cast-iron skillet

Lodge Manufacturing pioneered the cast iron pre-seasoning in 2002 long before other manufacturer’s of cast iron skillets followed suit. Ever since, the company has scored a huge success in the production of pre-seasoned cast iron skillets. This Lodge skillet is one of the many proofs of the company’s massive success so far. Although there are not enough qualities to ring about this skillet and it obviously does not have the most remarkable appearance, the skillet held its good name in our tests with consistency and the fact that there is no worrisome hot or burnt spots after the food is ready.

It isn’t the widest pan out there, but it managed to take more food than we had anticipated. In addition, the cookware features a quality interior cooking surface that performs almost perfectly like a nonstick one after seasoning. In as much as it comes seasoned and ready to be used right from the box, we still think an enamel interior coating would have saved chefs the stress of subsequent re-seasoning which is required to sustain the effectiveness of its surface.

That said, we love its versatility as well as its surface that’s near nonstick. For us, it is most suitable for stir-frying, searing, sauteing, baking and more. More importantly, the materials used in putting this together are all eco-friendly and healthy (PFOA and Cadmium Free). The pan is compatible with all cooktops inclusive of grills and campfire. Moreover, it is oven safe, so it can be used for recipes that begin on the stove and probably end in the oven. Lodge cast skillet also conducts heat evenly, retains warmth for a long time and can withstand scratch.

Pros:

  • Resistant to corrosion and burn
  • Easy to clean
  • It is affordable
  • Large enough
  • Has sturdy and ergonomic handles
  • It does not warp

Cons:

  • It may need re-seasoning over time
  • It is heavy
  • Not the widest skillet on the list

Verdict:

This skillet is an amazing choice if you want one that is simple but functional. Maintenance is easy while food release is quick. The skillet can last for a long time without any scratch and its heat conduction will gain any chef’s love.

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Emeril by All-Clad E96440 Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Square Grill Fry Pan

best cast-iron skillets

Emeril is both practical and unique with grill design for flawless performance. It is a versatile cookware that can do a lot of things. From our research, we found that the skillet can act as a mini grill and also as a pan for baking since it is oven safe to 600 degrees. In addition, the cast-iron used in its construction allows for consistent heat penetration through the whole dish. In terms of capacity, it impresses with its ability to make big batches of desserts since it can serve more than five portions at a go.

Due to its size, it allows for a good mix without interfering with the taste of food. The ridges appear rough like something that will collect a lot. Washing the skillet appears harder too and though food can easily slip out of the skillet simply by using a spatula to let out the sides and guiding it into a plate, you need some extra effort to thoroughly remove the crumbs from the ridges which may be awkward. However, there is no match to this skillet when it comes to durability and safety. With this skillet, there is no bumpy heating and there won’t be any formation of hotspots.

The skillet does not look as stylish as the average skillets out there and there is really nothing to get you desiring it when it comes to appearance. However, the look makes it unique and different from all the skillets named here. It also remedied its seemingly poor appearance with its matchless durability, functionality, and ease of use.

Pros:

  • It is of prime quality
  • Bakes perfectly
  • It is safe on all cooktops
  • Strong and durable
  • It needs less oil than regular skillets
  • The stripes create a perfect contrast to what other skillets usually look like
  • The base prevents burning

Cons:

  • The weight feels like a prisoner’s chain to some people
  • May need extra washing effort

Verdict:

If you are a sucker for baked desserts or main course, this skillet is for you. Nothing makes a great cookie breakfast than this. We love that it is ideal for various cooking methods including searing, sauteing, frying, browning and more. The square shape makes the meal look fantastic all the time. Maintenance is relative and requires washing immediately after each meal.

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SolidTeknics AUSfonte Tough Love Cast Iron Skillet

best cast-iron skillet

SolidTeknics Cast Iron Skillet as the name implies is a cookware that can survive rough handling, cooks evenly and releases food easily. The cast-iron skillet can conduct heat well and fits all cooking sources like stove, oven, open fire and more. Just like the many non-enamelled skillets named here, the SolidTeknics comes pre-seasoned to create a nonstick cooking surface which makes cooking a bliss.

We no doubt know that the worst nightmare of every chef is having a cookware that burns half of the food and leaves the other half raw. You would not need to worry about that with this piece as it does wonderfully well at spreading heat accordingly.

Recommended: Best Cookware Sets you Should be Using

Most cookwares come with a warning stating that higher temperature could be harmful to them. But with this cast-iron skillet, you will have no such concern. The obvious reason being that it can withstand any form of abuse.

The cooking pan has a high-intensity resistance to temperature and pressure. It is strong enough to take anything thrown at it so much so that it can even cook over an open fire. The handle is long and comfortable with gaps that restrict the amount of heat transfer to it. We like that its work area features sanded smooth surface for perfect nonstick qualities. It is built with a heavy metal (free Australian Iron), so there is no problem if you drop it.

Pros:

  • It does not hold on to debris
  • It’s oven safe, thus could be used to make oven pancakes and more
  • Discourages food from sticking
  • No chipping on the interior over time
  • Hardly scratches

Cons:

  • You need to use Mitts as the entire handle can get hot
  • Exposure to moisture can make it rust.
  • The price may be a bit outside the budget of some

Verdict:

This single piece metal skillet is one that shouldn’t be found wanting in the kitchens of meat and desserts lovers. The skillet becomes better the more you use it for searing, browning and more. It is sturdy and can last a lifetime without chipping.

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Heuck 33204 3-Piece Porcelain Enamel Cast Iron Skillet Set

best cast-iron skillets

Heuck Porcelain Enamel Cast Iron is a three-piece cast iron skillet with interior enamel coating. The skillet sets itself apart with its supply of classic and traditional cooking methods to modern kitchens. It also doubles up as an ovenware since it can work in the oven safely. The cookware is safe to a high heat of 500f  – an aspect that most nonstick pans have failed in.

Although the handles are more likely to get heated up, there is an opening around it that helps for more comfortable grip.

There is nothing like patchy heating or formation of hotspots because this skillet cooks uniformly like a pro. Different from most skillets that sometimes leach off harmful substances like lead into the food (usually poisonous even at very low levels), the only mineral that can drain into food from this Heuck skillet is iron.

And we all know that iron is an essential mineral, thus a small quantity of it isn’t harmful by all standards.

As for durability, this pan is as sturdy as it weighs. The enamel coating that makes it almost nonstick is not like Teflon’s that could get permanently bad.

The interior coating is basically very hard and resists scratch, thus durable. Plus, the set is glammed with vibrant colours that can suit any kitchen decor.

The frying pan set comes in different sizes including 6.5-inch, 8-inch and 10-inch skillets and they all adapt to different kinds of cooking temperatures.

More interestingly, the three cookwares come at a highly economical price selling nearly at the price of one.

Pros:

  • It is easy to clean
  • Highly scratch and wear resistant
  • It is colour stable
  • The porcelain enamel coating acts as a protective surface
  • It is durable
  • Uniform cooking easily transferable from oven to table.
  • It is safe to use metal utensils

Cos:

  • If exposed to water, it could rust.
  • Maybe be bulky for some

Verdict:

If you don’t want to splurge, you can swap in a less expensive skillet since you can get three at the price of one. It can seamlessly be used for different reasons at the same time. The skillet can take on any cooking source though it works best with medium or low heat. To get the best out of this skillet, you need not use this pan under a broiler, in a microwave oven, or over a campfire. Again, you are advised to always use nylon, wood, or plastic tools since iron tools as such metal can scuff up the enamel.

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Lodge Oversized Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet With Loop Handles

best cast-iron skillet

Designed for ease and versatility of use, Lodge is one of the oldest cookware manufacturing companies in America, dating as far back as 1896. More than a hundred years into the business, the company continues to advance in everything that goes it into its products.

Possibly the largest skillet to its name, this Lodge Oversized Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet is large enough to serve for large family and friends gatherings.

The sturdy skillet is factory-seasoned, so there’ll be no need to season before use. In addition, its cooking surface is reinforced for superior durability.

It is a feat that each of the skillets can easily transition from a frying pan or sautés pan into a baking dish or pie pan thanks to its ability to withstand oven heat. The pan is suitable for all cooking appliances. However, its curved side handles may not make an impression on most chefs who prefer longer handles for easy grip and flipping.

Pros:

  • Can easily be stored due to its short handles
  • Does not require seasoning
  • It is very wide and can serve a large family
  • Spreads heat uniformly
  • Cooks ideally
  • Resilient to pressure

Cons:

  • It is pricey
  • Short handles, holding may be tough for some
  • Being a cast iron pan, it is slightly heavier than regular skillets made with aluminum

Verdict:

If you are in search of a bigger skillet that is of good quality, you might want to consider this. It has a thick bottom that perfects temperature regulation. We couldn’t get enough of its cooking time which is reliably faster than we had thought.

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Bayou Classic 7438 20-Inch Cast-Iron Skillet Review

best cast-iron skillets

Bayou Classic Cast Iron Skillet is another cast-iron skillet that caught our interest during this research for having quite a number of few high-end features including comfortable handles with openings for storage, a slither surface which minimizes clean up time as well as discourages food sticking, flat base for equal heating and more. On the subject of durability, the skillet is known to be as tough as nail. It maintains its colour and functionality throughout its lifespan. We think it is the best if you need a roomy skillet for the whole house.

Bayou skillet just like other cast-iron skillets here, is suitable for cooking food that requires high heat (oven safe). It fundamentally offers almost perfect temperature control. The cookware is versatile and can serve different needs. We like the pan’s sleek but simple design that can fit all types of kitchen decoration. Very large yet not very deep, Bayou can serve more than five people at once just like The Lodge Oversized Skillet.

The cookware is pre-seasoned and comes ready to be used straight out of the box, so you literally need to do nothing before reaping its unending benefit. Over time, however, it may gradually require subsequent re-seasoning for sustainable nonstick properties.

Pros:

  • Bayou is very durable
  • Offers easy-to-clean surface
  • Easier to maintain than usual nonstick pans
  • Less likely to crack
  • Perfect for frying or sauteing meat
  • It does not warp or bend
  • Colour stable
  • Discourages lopsided heating

Cons:

  • Requires seasoning
  • It is of ample build

Verdict:

Start your day with the breakfast package you always wanted with this skillet. The cookware not only cooks well, it also earns high marks in functionality and durability. Its handles make for easy lift out of the oven or other cooktops while its surface cleans easily. Though you have to season occasionally

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King Kooker CIFP20S Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet

best cast-iron skillets

From daily cooking to special events, this skillet will be extremely useful to your baking and cooking needs. King Kooker Cast Iron Skillet is a well-built cookware that works tremendously at both campsites and in the kitchen. The pan is factory-seasoned with a cooking surface that provides great tasting food all the time. However, you may need occasional re-seasoning to keep enjoying its nonstick properties.

The skillet keeps food warm reliably well and offers this traditional look while doing that. But it lacks the usual skillet appearance, so you might want to look elsewhere on this list if all you care about is how a skillet looks. If it isn’t, this is a durable piece that controls heat excellently well. Once you wash, dry and re-season it, the skillet will be as good as new.

Regarding cleaning, it does not scorch food, but where this occurs, you can use a plastic scraper.

King Koor also has pour spouts by its sides which can be tilted to drain water or transfer food from the skillet to the dishes. It is important to know that this skillet is a very large skillet that can sear a colossal amount of meat or chicken for more than five people at once. This feature makes it most suitable for cooking during Thanksgiving, tailgating, family get together and more.

While it can take up the whole space on the oven, stove and other heat sources, storage is made simple by the introduction of a hole through which it could be hung on the wall. Although metals do run the risk of rust, the presence of rust and corrosion in iron really indicates possible moisture. What this means is that water is the main enemy of cast iron, so don’t leave your skillet in the sink or dishwasher. It is always a good practice to clean and dry immediately after each meal.

Pros:

  • Has a perfect sleek surface that releases food easily
  • It can adapt to cooking just about everything
  • Perfect for all meat types
  • It is built to last a lifetime
  • It is ready to use from the box
  • The well-sized handle provides a comfortable grip.
  • No decolourization
  • Suitable for cooking for a large group

Cons:

  • Could be too large for smaller families
  • It is naturally heavy

Verdict:

This pan just like the Bayou and the Lodge oversized season skillets, is for all those who love to cook in large quantities at once due to its tremendous size. We perceived the skillet as an ideal choice for outdoor and indoor family treats. The flat base makes for better heat conduction and retention. Only that you have to keep it away from moisture.

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Conclusion

You can easily make breakfast, desserts and more without much stress and mess with these skillets. They are top-of-the-line cookwares made to serve all types of chefs; requiring little effort for cleanup and usage. They are solid, distribute heat efficiently and reduce overall cooking time.

They can last a lifetime and even pass down to your children. While they can’t be said to be without any defect, their inadequacies are significantly minor. It is always important to keep in mind that soaking them in moisture could get them ruined. Therefore, we recommend instant cleaning after every meal.