13 Absolute Best Enameled Cast Iron Skillets

cracking egg in skillet
cracking egg in skillet - Gmvozd/Getty Images

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There's no workhorse in the kitchen quite like a cast iron pan. An enameled cast iron pan, though, is just as worthy of recognition.

Enameled pans are covered with a ceramic coating designed to prevent food from making contact with the raw iron. Acidic foods can affect your cast iron pan and lead to rust or discoloration, so an enameled pan can provide a great alternative that will save its integrity for years to come. And since the core of the enameled cast iron is still made of conductive metal, you can expect that your enameled cast iron pan should have the same heating capacity and performance as the trusty cast iron skillet that's been passed down by generations. Plus, enameled pans are relatively low maintenance -- which is great if you're someone who forgets to season your cast iron pan as often as you should.

Cast iron skillets and enameled cast iron pans often share the same high price tag, so you'll want to select a brand that really suits your needs. As self-proclaimed frugal home cooks, we're always looking for the best value out of every item in our kitchen. That's why we made this list after we looked at some of the top enameled cast iron skillets available from retailers and assessed professional reviews on each's heat retention, durability, value, and features to determine which ones are worth buying.

All prices are as of the date of publication and may vary based on region.

Read more: 15 Best Knife Brands, Ranked

Best Overall: Staub Enameled Cast Iron Stackable Double-Handle Fry Pan

Staub fry pan
Staub fry pan - Staub

It may be surprising that the top pan we selected isn't even a conventional skillet. But with this double-handled fry pan, you won't miss the awkwardly long single handle on a conventional skillet. This Staub pan is available exclusively through Williams Sonoma and is compatible with Staub's other stackable cookware sets, which makes it easy to store this 3-pound pan in your cabinet. Another part of the design that really won us over was the high sides, which prevent splattering from frying bacon or chicken. Plus, this dishwasher-safe pan is rated for use up to 500 F. So, fry away.

Staub's 10-inch fry pan comes in three color options, which are beautiful additions to any kitchen. The design is thoughtful, the handles are generous, and the price is below the pan's major competitor, Le Creuset. We would unconditionally recommend this pan for home cooks or anyone who wants a durable, statement piece to have in their kitchen and use for almost any application.

Purchase the Staub Enameled Cast Iron Stackable Double-Handle Fry Pan on Williams Sonoma for $179.95 to $199.95.

Amazon Favorite: Hamilton Beach Enameled Cast Iron Fry Pan

Red Hamilton Beach skillet
Red Hamilton Beach skillet - Hamilton Beach

Hamilton Beach is a reputable name in sourcing affordable kitchenware for every home, and this enameled cast iron skillet should surely be on the list of some of the best. The brand offers three different skillet sizes in 8-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch diameters. Although the colors that you can select are small compared to a competitor like Le Creuset, the affordability of the Hamilton Beach pans can't be underscored. You're paying less than $50 for the largest skillet, which is upwards of $100 less than other brands. Plus, it's less heavy than other brands; the 12-inch skillet weighs just over 7 pounds.

Don't let the price of these pans fool you either; there's great functionality here. These pans feature two pour spouts and a handle that is comfortable to grab and easy to hold. Plus, the additional helper handle is just large enough to easily grab and transfer your food from the stovetop and into the oven. Customers who have purchased these pans on Amazon note that it has high durability, but must be hand-washed to preserve the enamel coating. Overall, though, this is a budget-friendly skillet worthy of your Amazon cart.

Purchase the Hamilton Beach 12-Inch Enameled Cast Iron Fry Pan on Amazon for $47.99.

Best Splurge: Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Iron Handle Skillet

Le Creuset enameled cast iron skillet
Le Creuset enameled cast iron skillet - Le Creuset

If there is a name that comes up again and again when it comes to cookware, it's Le Creuset. The company is known for its durability -- just as much as the matchy-matchiness of its products. Its line of enameled cast iron skillets comes in four different size options, including everything from a 6.33-inch skillet to an 11.75-inch version. There are upwards of a dozen colors to select from, so you should have no problem finding one that fits your kitchen and whatever delicious meals you plan to cook in it.

Le Creuset isn't just a pretty face; it also has some design features that make it a worthy product to spend your change on. One of the biggest draws is the superior heat retention of the pans and the fact that you can heat it to upwards of 500 F without compromising its structural integrity. The pan's double-pour spouts and circular shape also make it versatile for searing steak, making cornbread, and flipping an omelet. The only real drawback is that you have to justify spending over $100 for even the smallest pan in the collection. However, customers value the durability of the Le Creuset, and it's an investment you'll place in the pans if you decide to pass it down to future generations of home cooks.

Purchase the Le Creuset 11.75-Inch Enameled Cast Iron Signature Iron Handle Skillet on Amazon for $249.95.

Best For High Heat Cooking: Staub Cast Iron 11-Inch Traditional Skillet

Staub Grenadine pan on white background
Staub Grenadine pan on white background - Staub

We have never met someone who regretted buying a Staub, and honestly, we appreciate the functionality and finish of these enameled cast iron skillets more than the fan-favorite Le Creuset. Granted, it doesn't have the same color or size variety as other pans, but many redeeming qualities make this Staub skillet a must-have for any experienced home cook. For example, the pour spouts on this pan are deep and the handle is easy to pick up and maneuver from stovetop to oven.

The main draw of this pan is that it boasts a significantly higher heat threshold than other brands, at 572 F. Staub skillets are also dishwasher safe and can even be frozen without fear of cracking. However, with a pan as beautiful as this one, you'll likely want to leave it out on your stovetop and show all of your friends how beautiful it is.

Purchase the Staub Cast Iron 11-inch Traditional Skillet on Amazon for $199.95.

Best Budget Buy: KitchenAid Enameled Cast Iron Frying Pan

KitchenAid skillet in blue
KitchenAid skillet in blue - KitchenAid

We're ballin' on a budget, and we're glad that we have KitchenAid around to help us find a durable yet inexpensive enameled cast iron skillet to add to our collection. This 12-inch skillet comes in three color options, blue velvet, cast iron black, and pistachio, all with a durable coating to ensure that your pan will last for many years. These skillets retail for about $130, which is less than Le Creuset and Staub, yet the three share some of the same functionalities, like double pour spouts, a helper handle, and a long, easy-to-grip handle. Plus, the inside of this pan is black, so any sticks or dings won't be as apparent as if you went for a pale interior, like on the Hamilton Beach one, which is why you're getting the best bang for your buck.

However, several factors push this pan slightly behind the more expensive Le Creuset — mostly that it's not dishwasher safe. However, professional tests done on this pan show that it has similar heat retention and durability stats as the Le Creuset; the KitchenAid just has the benefit of a prettier price tag.

Purchase the KitchenAid Enameled Cast Iron Frying Pan on Amazon for $129.99.

Best For Novices: Crock Pot-12 Inch Enamel Cast Iron Skillet

Crock Pot Artisan Skillet
Crock Pot Artisan Skillet - Crock Pot

Let's be honest; not all of us can justify purchasing a $200 skillet only to use it once a year. For enameled cast iron novices looking for a sturdy pan without breaking the bank, this Crock Pot Artisan skillet is the way to go. The brand keeps it simple with two color options: teal and red (with options for a dark or light interior). The skillet is priced at just under $60, which makes it affordable for a range of budgets.

There are several elements to this pan that make it extremely novice-friendly. This pan has one of the most generous handles we've seen across all the brands we've reviewed. The shape of the handle, as well as the helper handle attachment, makes it easy for cooks to navigate in the kitchen. Plus, it's ideal for folks who are still getting used to the hefty weight of a cast iron skillet. The quality and value of this piece make it essential to have in your cabinet, even if you don't pull it out often.

Purchase the Crock Pot 12-Inch Enamel Cast Iron Skillet on Amazon for $59.31.

Best Multi-Function Pan: Our Place Cast Iron Always Pan

Our Place set with spatula
Our Place set with spatula - Our Place

Our Place has a stellar reputation in the cookware world, and its Always Pan is surely part of the reason why. The pan is 10.5 inches in diameter and includes several accessories, including a lid and silicon handles. Plus, you can also purchase other accessories, like a steamer basket and fry deck, to turn your skillet into a steamer or whatever else it might want to be that day. Another thoughtful design component for this pan is the beechwood spatula that easily and securely nests on the handle. So, you won't have to worry about plopping a dirty spatula down onto your clean countertop or buying a separate spoon rest.

You can boil, stew, sauté, steam, and more with this pan, which is more than can be done with other brands. Plus, the finish on this piece is spectacular and comes in six pastel color options. It's perfect for folks who don't have a lot of kitchen storage space -- and you may even forget that it lacks pour spouts.

Purchase the Cast Iron Always Pan on Our Place for $155.

Best Lightweight Pan: Vermicular Frying Pan

Vermicular frying pan on white
Vermicular frying pan on white - Vermicular

The Vermicular frying pan has gotten a lot of attention in recent years -- and for good reason. Its pans are designed with weight in mind and are ideal for folks who don't have the ability to pick up and maneuver a 5-pound (or more) skillet around in their kitchen. The Vermicular frying pan comes in several different size options, including 7.8-inch, 10.2-inch, and 11-inch versions. You can also buy a deeper 9.4-inch pan, which is designed for frying and braising.

The 11-inch skillet weighs a mere 2.6 pounds without its lid and comes in walnut or oak handle options. As you would expect from a wooden handle, you cannot put this skillet in the oven -- which extremely limits its utility. But if you don't regularly use your skillet in the oven anyway, this pan will make for the perfect fit in your kitchen. Reviews of Vermicular's products have indicated that its heat distribution is on par with some of the classic enameled cast iron brands, like Staub and Le Creuset -- just without the heft. We also appreciate the sophisticated look and feel of the handle, as well as the durability of the product over time.

Purchase the 11-inch Frying Pan on Vermicular for $200.

Best Heavyweight Pan: Made In Enameled Cast Iron Skillet

Made In pan in white
Made In pan in white - Made In Cookware

The Made In cookware enameled cast iron skillet was made in likeness to the brand's Dutch oven. This product has a depth that's really integral to getting a good fry and is the perfect hand-feel for anyone who can appreciate a quality-made and hefty skillet; this one comes close to 6 pounds without a lid involved. This French-made product can tolerate temperatures up to 580 F, which is noticeably higher than other brands. While it doesn't have the aesthetic appeal of the Staub, it is a force to be reckoned with for braising and high-heat applications.

We appreciate the simplicity of this pan's design, but we wish that the handle was more generous, that it had pour spouts, and that you could put it in your dishwasher. However, for the price, it is an overall solid option for your kitchen. Plus, you can't beat a lifetime warranty and the opportunity to make this an entire 5-piece or 9-piece set.

Purchase the Enameled Cast Iron Skillet on Made In Cookware for $149.

Best Skillet With A Lid: Tratmontina Covered Skillet Enameled Cast Iron Skillet

Red cast iron skillet with lid
Red cast iron skillet with lid - Tratmontia

For many enameled cast iron skillets, buying a lid will cost you extra -- a whole lot extra. But it doesn't have to, especially when you have skillets like the ones from Tratmonia. This product comes in two separate sizes, 10-inch and 12-inch, and in four color choices.

With the lid, this pan is rated for up to 450 F, which means that it will give you a solid range of recipes to cook in it. Granted, this pan's heft is not for the faint of heart, as it will weigh around 15 pounds as a whole set. But, with the reported durability of this pan, we can't complain. Folks who have purchased this pan also noted that it is relatively easy to clean, despite needing to be hand-washed, and makes for a cheaper statement piece than one of the more expensive brands.

One important area of confusion for us was in the pricing structure. The cheapest 12-inch color, red, will run you about $55, while the expensive sunrise will cost typically closer to $100 (unless you can find a sale). We can't explain why color would nearly double the price of this pan. Regardless, we would just go for the cheapest product, anyway.

Purchase the Tratmontina Covered Skillet Enameled Cast Iron Skillet on Amazon for $49.67 to $79.95.

Best Outdoor Skillet: Alpine Outdoor Collection Skillet

Le Creuset Alpine skillet
Le Creuset Alpine skillet - Le Creuset

This Alpline Outdoor Skillet looks nothing like the colorful Le Creuset essentials we've reviewed, but that doesn't make this product any less valuable. This skillet is designed specifically for outdoor cooking and is covered with tough-as-nails black enamel to ensure the food lifts from the pan without any sticking. Since it's crafted with outdoor cooking in mind, this pan is rated up to a whopping 842 F. It currently comes in one size, with a 10-inch cooking surface, and is turning heads, from professional product reviewers to die-hard Le Creuset fans.

One of the best things about this skillet is that it's not exclusive to outdoor use and is cheaper than the same-size Le Creuset skillet. But if you do choose to use it for your favorite camping recipes, you'll surely love that it has two wide handles that make carrying food easy. Besides the skillet, you can also purchase a grill basket or pizza pan for all of your outdoor cooking needs.

Purchase the Alpine Outdoor Collection Skillet on Le Creuset for $160.

Best Skillet-Grill-Pan Hybrid: Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Square Skillet Grill

Le Creuset grill pan skillet
Le Creuset grill pan skillet - Le Creuset

Le Creuset takes the cake yet again for its signature square skillet grill pan. The skillet has 10.25 inches of cooking space and features the same non-stick enameled coating as the brand's other products. The key distinction between this pan and others, though, are the ridges that will give you photo-worthy grill marks every time. If you can't justify buying a grill pan from Le Creuset, you can get the best of both worlds with this product, which maximizes its utility and value.

Like other Le Creuset products, we love the generous helper handle and primary handle, as well as the range of product colors that this pan comes in. It's compatible with a range of cooktops, which makes it easy for you to transfer your food from an induction cooktop to your oven. Le Creuset has made a name for itself in the cookware industry, and with this grill pan, it's easy to see why.

Purchase the Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature Square Skillet Grill on Amazon for $195.


Shepherd's pie in enameled skillet
Shepherd's pie in enameled skillet - Anna Shepulova/Shutterstock

There is so much to consider when selecting an enameled cast iron pan to add to your collection. As someone who values utility and durability in kitchen products, I know how important it is to have a workhorse of a pan that can justify a high price tag.

As a result, I selected products that had a high value in terms of their functionality, utility, and unique features. I also chose pans that have the durability, either expressed by professionals or by verified customers, that would allow you to pass the pans down to future generations of home cooks.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.