A Guide to Choosing the Right Cast Iron Pan
A good cast iron pan, well taken care of, will last years. They’re resistant to even the highest temperatures, become more seasoned and non-stick with use, and need less scrubbing than other pots and pans. Good for sweet and savory dishes, vegetables or meat, cast iron is the workhorse of the kitchen and one of the only materials that can go from the stovetop to a 950°F (500°C) oven. The way these pans heat is also special. They’re slow to get hot, but they retain their heat for a long time. While it might take a little longer for the pan to get up to temperature, it provides a much more even heat–no hot spots detected!
We created our own line of cast iron cookware that are safe for use in our ovens. Because Ooni ovens get to blazing hot temperatures, every cast iron pan in our line comes with a specially designed handle. It’s detachable, which means that the handle stays cool even when you cook at top temps, but it locks into place, which means it’s easy to use. We also thought about serving, so each pan comes with a sustainably-sourced wooden board where the pan can cool while being stylish enough for serving. Even though we designed our cookware line with our ovens in mind, they work well in your conventional oven, over a campfire, or on your grill.
Ready to get cooking? Here’s our guide to choosing the right pan for what you need:
If you’re new to cast iron, a skillet is the place to start. This circular pan is a kitchen staple and works well for both savory and sweet dishes. If you imagine you’ll be making both skillet pizzas and giant chocolate chip cookies, then this is your go-to. Its circular shape and 1.5-inch depth also make it great for dips and appetizers, like a camembert fondue or a baked artichoke dip. One thing to keep in mind when considering this all-around cast iron MVP is that while it can deliver deliciously cooked meats, it won’t bestow char marks like the grizzler or dual-sided grizzler plate will.
This smooth pan is great for cooking meat, fish, or veggies. Its size–9.7 x 5.6 x 1.5in (247 x 143 x 26mm)–makes it perfect for cooking a single large steak, a few salmon fillets or a sheaf of asparagus. If you routinely cook for just one or two people, this is your pan. Use it for honey garlic salmon or roast peppers with salsa verde.
While the grizzler is the same size and shape as the sizzler, it’s got one important distinguishing feature: raised ribs that will give your food sear marks that are both appetizing and delicious. If you fancy yourself a steak master or simply love the extra crunch of a good Maillard reaction on whatever you’re cooking, you’ll want a grizzler. We use it to chargrill asparagus with Parma ham or roast bell peppers, red onion and tomatoes with feta.
Our largest and most versatile pan, the dual-sided grizzler plate has a smooth side and a ridged side. While the smooth side is great for frying eggs, cooking fajitas or making corn tortillas, it’s only one half of the story. The ribs of the grizzler side of the pan allow for that deliciously distinctive char. If you’re often feeding a large family or you love to entertain, this pan can accomodate larger proteins like turkey breasts, lobster tails or whole meals cooked at once like fajitas or harissa spiced lamb and veggies.