If You’re Serious About Cast Iron, You Actually Need Two Skillets

updated Nov 13, 2020
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Lodge

Fact: Most home cooks do not have 15,000 pieces of cast iron cookware. Nope. Most have one (or none). Really, though, the sweet spot is two. That’s right — two. Kitchn editors had a meeting recently just to talk about cast iron skillets (it’s the important things), and a few things became very clear: Many of us do use a little bit of soap from time to time, a couple of editors love this scrubbing brush, and most of us have two cast iron skillets. More specifically, a 10-inch pan (which is really 10.25 inches, if you want to be technical about it) and a 12-inch pan. No, it’s not hoarding — it’s practical. Here’s what you need, and why!

1. Lodge 10.25-Inch Cast Iron Skillet

You can find cast iron skillets in all sizes, from the super adorable (3.5 inches) to impressively large (15 inches). While the little guy sure is cute — and great for, say, a single sunny-side-up egg — we really recommend the 10.25-incher as your smallest option. “It’s easy to handle and move from stovetop to oven,” says Food Editor Meghan Splawn, one of our biggest Cast Iron Advocates. “It’s also ideal for baking biscuits, breads, skillet cookies, and more. And for toasting nuts and seeds.”

2. Lodge 12-Inch Cast Iron Skillet

And then there’s the 12-incher. You wouldn’t think that the difference of less than two inches would matter, but it really does. “Families will really benefit from adding a 12-inch cast iron skillet to their kitchen,” promises Meghan. “This hefty pan cooks casseroles for a crowd and it handily cooks Sunday morning pancakes so that your family doesn’t have to eat in shifts.” Also, the 12-inch offers a larger surface area, which means your meat or veggies will get a better sear. It can comfortably handle dinner for four or, again, a hearty casserole.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

How to Store Cast Iron Skillets

If you’re wondering how you can possibly store one more piece of cookware in your kitchen, don’t worry. These two sizes will easily nest together, which means you don’t need more storage space! Just be sure to slip some paper towels between the two. The towels will help to absorb any moisture (preventing rust!) and protect against scratches (which can ding your hard-earned seasoning).

How many cast iron skillets do you have?