Nothing beats that sizzle that comes from a cast iron skillet. And as the weather gets chillier, you may be inside and cooking more–especially once the holidays come around. So there's no better time to invest in a new cast iron skillet for your kitchen, or gift one to someone you love who needs a refresh.
Unfortunately, cast iron typically isn't cheap, but we've done some research on the most affordable (and still best quality) cast-iron skillets that come in a variety of widths and depths.
Here are six of the best cast-iron skillets that are all under $100. Then, make sure to check out The 9 Kitchen Gadgets That Changed the Way I Cook Forever.
Lodge Cast Iron Skillet with Red Silicone Hot Handle Holder, 12-inch
This Lodge cast iron skillet is 12 inches wide and 2.25 inches deep, perfect for searing a steak or baking a yummy cake. It comes pre-seasoned with 100% natural vegetable oil, and also comes with the silicone handle holder, which is essential to prevent burning your hands while you use your skillet. Plus, all Lodge cast iron is American-made in South Pittsburg, Tennessee.
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Cuisinel Cast Iron Skillet + Pan Scraper,15-inch
At 15 inches, this is the widest pre-seasoned cast iron skillet on the list. And you can do so much with it thanks to the double-handed handle design. Since it's so big (it's also 2.6 inches deep) and heavy (it weighs 14.52 pounds), you can feel confident that you have a good grip on it. You also get a silicone pan holder and a pan scraper, which protects your hands and makes clean up much easier.
Backcountry Iron Round Wasatch Smooth Cast Iron Skillet, 6-inch
On the flip side, if you are in need of a smaller cast iron skillet, this 6-inch one is a great pick. It comes pre-seasoned and is actually made of bronze. It is a smooth cast iron that allows for a more uniform cooking surface, and also prevents sticking. The skillet comes quadruple seasoned with vegetable and grape seed oil. This one is not as deep (1.25 inches), which makes it great for cooking smaller portions.
Modern Innovations Mini Cast Iron Skillet with Silicone Mitt, 3.5-inch
Bakers will be obsessed with these mini cast iron skillets that they can serve adorable cookies and brownies in. Prefer savory dishes? Use them for creamy dips and appetizers. Each skillet is pre-seasoned with vegetable oil, and also comes with a silicone mat so you can handle them burn-free.
Home-Complete Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet, 12-inch
If you're looking for a great deal, you need to buy this Home-Complete cast iron skillet. With over 3,000 Amazon reviews, it has a 4.6-star average. It comes pre-seasoned and holds 2-quarts—so you can make a big casserole or fry up some eggs in a jiffy. And at just under $20, you can't beat the price.
Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Deep Skillet with Iron Cover and Assist Handle
A deep cast iron skillet is a must for soups, stews, and other one-pot meals. This one holds a whopping 5-quarts, and doubles as a Dutch oven (the depth is 4.15 inches). Since it weighs 14.4 pounds, it also has a handle designed for confident use. The Amazon reviews don't lie–with over 20,000 reviews, it has an average 4.8-star rating.