The Best Cast Iron Cookware

“We compared the top cast iron cookware brands to come up with the best of the best…”

“It all started when over lunch a mutual friend asked us if it was actually worth paying ‘all that money’ for Le Creuset enamel cast iron cookware…”

He knew of our interest in cookware and how thoroughly we research and write about it for this website and that ultimately we would give him an unbiased view.

Now it just so happens that we both really love Le Creuset and we know it is exceptional quality so of course we said yes to his question.

When our friend left early for another appointment, we continued to discuss the subject of cast iron… yes, I know it’s sad that we discuss cookware over lunch but it’s what we do…. so, as we were discussing the good and bad of Le Creuset and cast iron cookware in general, it suddenly occurred to us that we hadn’t really sat down to thoroughly research many of the other different brands of cast iron cookware.

Is Le Creuset really all it’s cracked up to be?

We really love Le Creuset cast iron cookware but is it only because it is one of the most expensive and we have been suckered in by all the hype OR does it really live up to its reputation? And are there other brands like Lodge for instance that do just as good a job for a fraction of the price?

At that point, we knew what we had to do so we rushed back to our office to get started on the research to check out what some of the other brands of cast iron cookware had to offer.

What did we find?

Well we were kind of surprised actually…but it wasn’t by the fact that these brands were so different but the fact that they were so similar. In terms of features, we were expecting Le Creuset, being the high end brand to really outshine the rest of them but that didn’t necessarily prove to be the case.

Having said that however…what we did find was that although cast iron cookware is very similar in features the one basic difference that sets them apart from each other is the quality in the finish. This is backed up by those who have purchased other brands.

Le Creuset’s care and attention to their products really shows through and won them the best overall brand at least for the enamel cast iron cookware category.

Lodge on the other hand, with their many years of expertise with bare cast iron definitely won in that category.

So how did we come to our conclusion?

For starters, we didn’t choose every single brand of cast iron on the market otherwise our research would have taken us forever. What we did instead was concentrate on the top bestselling brands.

Products are included on bestseller lists for good reason – usually it is because they have all the attributes of a quality product OR they are exceptionally cheap OR a combination of both. Either way, we knew that these were the ones we needed to look at.

We also broke our research up into bare cast iron and enameled cast iron cookware to ensure that we came up with a complete report.

We then compared each of the brands for individual features. This really highlighted the major differences between the brands.

However, our main determining factor in the final results came down to consumer reviews and feedback from people who actually use the products. You really can’t beat this method for giving you an accurate overall view of a product.

So here are the results…

The Best Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Le Creuset – Best Overall
Lodge – Best Value for Money
Staub – Also recommended

The Best Enamel Cast Iron Skillet

Le Creuset – Best Overall
Lodge – Best Value for Money

The Best Enamel Cast Iron Cookware Set

Le Creuset – Best Overall

The Best Bare Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Lodge – Best Overall & Best Value for Money

The Best Bare Cast Iron Skillet

Lodge – Best Overall & Best Value for Money