A Beginner’s Guide to Buying Your First Cast Iron Skillet

A Beginner’s Guide to Buying Your First Cast Iron Skillet
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If you read our recent write up on top cast iron recipes you probably hadn’t thought of yet, you’ll know that we think the cast iron skillet is one of the most versatile and worthwhile homewares items you can keep in your kitchen.

Yes, I know cast iron has a reputation for being difficult to care for but with the right guidance (we of course have advice for you here) any reservations you may have will melt away like the generous servings of butter your new pan is likely to soon meet.

But which cast iron skillet should you buy?

According to Michelin (as in star), there are a few things to consider when buying a cast iron pan. First, a large difference in choosing an antique cast iron pan compared to a modern one. Notably, the surface is rougher and need time and seasoning to build up on it to reduce the amount of sticking you’ll experience.

Lodge sells its pans pre-seasoned to help with this. Michelin also pointed to brands like Finex and Butter Pat if you’re after a smoother surface.

If you decide to go for an antique option, Michelin advises that you make sure the surface is even by balancing it on a tabletop or similar and check for excessive rust.

When looking for a modern cast iron pan, know that pricing can range quite considerably with these guys. So you’re going to want to make sure you’re landing a good deal for yourself.

Reviews are your best friend here, and don’t worry, you don’t have to drop hundreds of dollars on a pan for it to do the job.

Here’s a list of solid options we’ve found for you.

Cast iron skillets

Fresh Australian Kitchen Pre-Seasoned Large Cast Iron Skillet – $49.99 with Amazon

Lodge (as recommended by Michelin) 26cm Cast Iron Skillet – $58.90 with Amazon (currently 24% off) 

Xanten Cast Iron Frypan – Currently $71.99 with Catch.com.au ($108 off)

Chasseur 28cm Fry Pan – $104.30 with Catch.com.au (currently 30% off)

Le Creuset Signature Cast Iron Round Skillet 20cm – $230.00 at Myer

Le Creuset Signature Round Skillet 30cm – $400 at Myer

Seasoning your pan

Once you’ve chosen your cast iron skillet, your next step is seasoning it (unless you’ve chosen a pre-seasoned option). This will help with the smooth surface we touched on earlier. Michelin suggests you “apply a thin layer of neutral, high smoke point oil like vegetable, canola or soybean across the surface and bake at 400˚F (200 C) for one hour”. Avoid options like olive oil. After this initial coating, any additional cooking you do with oil will help maintain the smooth surface of your pan.

Do you have a cast iron pan you love? Let us know your favourite options in the comments below.


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