Best Cast Iron Pan For Steak

Two medium steaks in a cast iron pan
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If you’ve been bragging about your cooking skills and how steak is your favorite dish to serve, the last thing you want when you invite guests to dinner is to have your cookware let you down. This is why we have reviewed the best cast iron pan for steak.

It can be quite embarrassing if guests aren’t happy with your cooking, because as much as they try to hide it, you can tell when they’re unhappy. They might decide to never let you cook for them again.

But, there’s a great solution waiting in the wings. If you get yourself a cast iron pan for your steaks, you can cook your steaks to perfection each and every time.

We’ve been checking out some of the best cast iron pans on the market for cooking steak, and after much deliberation we hand-picked our top 5 favorites to show you. 

That’s coming up very shortly. And after that we’ve also got a buying guide for you that will walk you through some key things to think about before you buy. (You can use it as a quick checklist.)

We’re then going to top that off with a section where we answer some of your most frequently asked questions on the subject, so you might want to stick around.

Here goes!

The Best Cast Iron Pan For Steak, In Our Opinion:

Check out our top 5 picks, and then keep reading for more Q&A why we picked these

1. Greater Goods 10 Inch Cast Iron Skillet


This pan comes from an outstanding company, Greater Goods. They concentrate on producing top quality products, a proportion of sales goes towards the non-profit charities they support, and they offer excellent after-sales service.

But as for the pan itself, what stands out the most about it to us is that the pan is smooth milled for a better cooking experience. And such a feature can often be quite hard to find. What better way to ensure even heat distribution.

It’s 10 inches in size, which is usually big enough to allow you to cook two steaks at a time.

The pan comes pre-seasoned with 100% organic flaxseed oil, which is rich in fatty acid. This saves you from having to season it yourself. This also gives it an excellent non-stick coating, to which there is no added paint to harm the taste of your steaks.

We also love the deep pour spouts on either side of the pan. It means that while you’ve got your steaks kept warm, you can use the pan to make some excellent sauces to go with it.

There’s also an ergonomic handle for comfort while holding, and better yet it also features a handy spoon slot.

Cuisinal is so confident in their product that it comes backed by a lifetime warranty.

Sure it’s not cheap, but you’re paying for heirloom quality cast iron that can be passed onto the next generation.

If you wish you can also buy a matching cast iron lid for this pan, which is available at a reasonable price. You won’t need it for your steak, but you could use it for other dishes.

What we do recommend you buy for it though is a silicone cover for the handle.

Amazon occasionally has deals on this particular pan. Simply click “Check price” to see if there’s a deal on now.

Pros:

  • Proportion of cost goes to charity
  • Smooth milled for even heating
  • Pre-seasoned with organic oil
  • Pour spouts and spoon slot
  • Backed by a lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • As the pan is smooth milled, you won’t get sear marks on your steak

2. Lodge 10.25 Inch Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet


When we saw  how well this pan was selling we were astounded…

There have been well over 95,000 individual customer ratings on Amazon! And better yet more than 80 percent of customers rated it at a full 5 stars out of 5. Impressive hey?

At first we thought the sales were mainly down to the bargain price tag, but on looking at it more closely, we could see that this pan really has a lot going for it.

It comes from a good reputable American company, called Lodge based in Pittsburg, Tennessee, with over 120 years experience and craftsmanship that has been passed down through generations.

So, as you can imagine the cast iron pan is of excellent quality, and has lifetime durability.

It’s a nice size at 10.25 inches, able to accommodate two steaks at the same time. 

The pan comes pre-seasoned with 100% vegetable oil, and there’s no synthetic coatings or chemicals to worry about. It gives a natural easy-release finish that gets better with every use.

In addition to the main handle, there’s also an assist handle on the opposite side.

We also love that it comes with a silicone grip for the handle. It can protect your hands from heat up to a whopping 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pros:

  • Bargain affordable price point
  • Made in the good old USA
  • Excellent experienced brand
  • Pre-seasoned with vegetable oil
  • Features an assist handle
  • Comes with a silicone grip

Cons:

  • Some customers have said that the pan isn’t seasoned well enough, but the pan gets more seasoned with every use

3. Lodge 10.5 Inch Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Grill Pan




Again this pan comes from top brand Lodge.  A good reputable American company based in Pittsburg, Tennessee, with over 120 years experience and craftsmanship that has been passed down through generations.

This pan has been selling in it’s thousands, having earned more than 18,000 individual customer ratings on Amazon. Better yet, customer feedback has been very positive, with more than three quarters of customers rating it at a full 5 stars out of 5.

It’s available at a bargain affordable price. You won’t get many others this affordable.

But what we really love about it is that it’s corrugated, since this means that you get those gorgeous delicious sear marks on your steak that diners love. Moreover with the meat elevated the drippings sink to the bottom of the pan ready for use in sauces or gravies.

It’s a nice size too, at 10.5 inches, you’ll be able to fit two steaks on there at time.

Despite the affordable price, the pan is quite thick and heavy, which, as we discuss in the buying guide, is something to look out for.

It comes already seasoned, so that’s one less thing for you to worry about. This also gives it a natural, easy-release finish that will only get better over time.

In addition to the main handle, there’s also an assist handle on the opposite side, which is very convenient for moving the pan from place to place.

Pros:

  • Comes from a top brand
  • Bargain affordable price
  • Flying off the shelves
  • Comes pre-seasoned
  • Get sear marks on steaks

Cons:

  • No silicone cover for the handle

4. Utopia Kitchen 12.5 Inch Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet




Here’s another cast iron pan that’s been selling in it’s thousands – a huge bestseller with the online retailers. And it comes highly recommended by those who’ve tried it, with about 80% of those who bought through Amazon rating it at a full 5 stars out of 5.

It’s the largest cast iron pan to make our shortlist, and 12.5 inches in diameter. You could possibly fit 3 small steaks in there at a push. Great for feeding the family.

It’s factory seasoned, which means you can use it straight out of the box without having to worry about seasoning it first. This factory seasoning is equivalent to 10 to15 rounds of normal home seasoning. 

Not only does this help to add flavor to your steaks but it also helps ensure easy-release after cooking. And it also means you don’t need to add as much oil when you cook.

In addition to the main handle, there’s also an assist handle on the opposite side. And there are two handy pour spouts too, which is great for pouring a nice homemade sauce over your steak.

Amazon occasionally has deals on this particular pan. Simply click “Check price” to see if there’s a deal on now. But to be honest, it offers good value for money even if you don’t manage to catch a deal.

Pros:

  • Flying off the shelves
  • Excellent customer ratings
  • Large 12.5 inch diameter
  • It comes pre-seasoned
  • Pour spouts & assist handle

Cons:

  • Not dishwasher safe
  • No silicone grip for the handle

5. Cuisinel Pre-Seasoned 12 Inch Cast Iron Skillet




If you’re looking for a large cast iron pan with a silicone grip for the handle, then this would make an excellent choice. It’s a bestseller with online retailers and comes highly recommended.

It’s a very nice size at 12 inches, able to accommodate 2 steaks at the same time.

The cast iron is of excellent quality, with excellent heat retention and consistent heat distribution.

It comes already pre-seasoned which is one less thing to worry about, and which means you can use it as soon as the box arrives.

In addition to the main handle, there’s also an assist handle on the opposite side. And there are two handy pour spouts too, which is great for pouring a nice homemade gravy over your steak.

And speaking of making gravy, the pan is deeper than most other brands at 2.5 inches, which is so convenient.

In addition to the 30-day money back guarantee, there’s also a lifetime guarantee.

Amazon occasionally has excellent deals on this particular pan. Simply click “Check price” to see if there’s a deal on now. 

Pros:

  • Comes with silicone grip
  • Large 12.5 inch diameter
  • It comes pre-seasoned
  • Pour spouts & assist handle
  • Backed by lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • Premium product at a premium price
  • Not dishwasher safe

Buying Guide

As promised, here’s your buying guide!

Benefits of using a cast iron pan for steak

There are several benefits to using cast iron cookware for your steak. First off there’s a smaller drop in temperature when you add the steak to the hot pan, which gives better browning, and hence better flavor.

And the cast iron in the pan also helps to temper hotspots from the grill grates and give far more even heat distribution.

But there are plenty of other benefits besides. Cast iron pans are naturally non-stick, they’re easy to clean, they fortify your meats with yet more iron, they’re affordable, and they’re super durable and will really last.

What to look for in a cast iron pan for steak

You can use this section as a quick checklist to ensure you’ve thought of everything.

Size and Dimensions

The first and most obvious thing to consider is the size of the pan…

If you’re only cooking for yourself then you can usually make do with a 10 inch pan. But if you want to cook several steaks at once, then you may prefer a bigger cast iron pan, or perhaps multiple smaller pans.

Some would argue that cooking multiple steaks in one pan can affect your ability to create a good sear on the steak, which is why we prefer to use 10 to 12 inch pans.

Weight of the Pan

You also have to consider the weight of the pan. Cast iron pans are traditionally quite thick and heavy, which is how they gained their reputation for durability.

You can get lighter ones these days that are much easier to handle, but we would always recommend heavier ones over the lighter ones. Thicker pans can hold heat way better than their thinner counterparts.

The Pan’s Handles

Sometimes a cast iron pan will come with two handles rather than just one. 

Of course you don’t need two handles to cook your steak, but it might come in handy if you ever wanted to use it in the oven for other dishes.

Surface or Coating

Cast iron pans often come with a coating on the surface…

Non-Stick Coating

This might be a non-stick surface that’s so smooth it’s almost like glass. This makes it much easier to plate up when your steak is cooked because it’s definitely not going to stick to the surface.

Pre-Seasoned Coating

As the name suggests, a pre-seasoned coating is one that has been seasoned. Usually this means that vegetable oil has been applied to it. Not only does this prevent your pan from rusting while sitting on the store shelves, but it also adds flavor to your food and saves you from having to season the pan yourself.

No Coating

Of course, you don’t have to have one with a coating at all. This is because cast iron is naturally non-stick. And besides, you can always pre-season your pan yourself.

Brand

You might also want to consider the brand of the pan. Utopia for example is very prominent on the bestseller lists with the online retail giants. While Lodge also figures quite prominently and has also received excellent customer feedback.

Cost

Cast iron pans can really vary in price, often costing less than $20, and sometimes costing closer to $100. Thicker, heavier cast iron pans tend to cost more, and as we covered earlier, we believe that these thicker heavier pans are better overall. 

By all means please check the prices of the pans as you go along, and learn what your money buys you. That way you can make a good, well informed decision about how much your budget should be.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are cast iron pans good for steak?

Cast iron pans are great for steak! First off there’s a smaller drop in temperature when you add the steak to the hot pan, which gives better browning, and hence better flavor.

And the cast iron in the pan also helps to temper hotspots from the grill grates and give far more even heat distribution. 

What is the best pan to cook a steak in?

The answer to this question is pretty much still up for debate. Some people like to use a skillet, which has a nice smooth surface. On the other hand, there’s a lot of people who rave about grill pans with a corrugated surface that give their steaks those nice sear marks.

So with such much debate on the subject we included some of each type in our shortlist. If you want one with a smooth surface, then we can recommend our number 1, 2, 4, and 5 options.

But if you fancy getting those sear marks, we recommend our number 3 pick, the Lodge 10.5 Inch Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Grill Pan.

What is the best brand of cast iron skillet?

This is quite a tricky question to answer too. We have two favorite brands of cast iron skillets…

We love Greater Goods for several reasons. They concentrate on producing top quality products, a proportion of sales goes towards the non-profit charities they support, and they offer excellent after-sales service.

But we also love the brand Lodge.  They are a good, reputable American company based in Pittsburg, Tennessee, with over 120 years experience and craftsmanship that has been passed down through generations.

How do you keep a steak from sticking to a cast iron skillet?

If your pan isn’t pre-seasoned, then you will need to put oil in the pan before you add your steak. You also need to get good and hot. This will stop it sticking. And if you are worried about the mess you’ll make, then don’t worry, I’ve got you covered: How to clean cast Iron?