ADVERTISEMENT

5 Best Cast Iron Cookware to Elevate Your Meals in the UAE, for 2023

A cast iron skillet or skillet is guaranteed to last a lifetime. It prepares meals tirelessly and serves cooks for years, eventually becoming a valuable accessory. This heavy-duty cookware set outperforms our humble collection of aluminum pots and pans at home, not only because cast iron stays hot longer, but it’s also safer. If you’re looking forward to hosting friends or family, stock the kitchen with the kind of cookware the pros prefer.

Chef Silvena Rowe uses only the highest quality cast iron tools for her kitchen. The Dubai-based wellness chef and nutrigenomics expert tells Gulf News that our pots and pans are as important as the organic meals we cook in them. “Even the best ingredients can be ruined by chemicals lurking in our pots and utensils — nonstick cookware being one of the biggest offenders,” she said.

Once well seasoned with oil, cast iron cookware provides a fantastic non-stick surface unlike synthetic coated pans. “Go for cast iron, stainless steel and ceramic tools, along with everything else, make sure they are completely non-toxic and free of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which are linked to serious health risks. health,” Chef Rowe advised, pointing out the dangers of coating chemicals that can creep into our food.

Compared to other cookware, cast iron is definitely a more expensive and somewhat high maintenance option for the casual cook. Yet Chef Rowe considers it a lifetime investment: “It’s the best heat carrier, it doesn’t let out questionable substances and caramelizes food better than other common kitchen utensils. . But, the best thing about a cast iron skillet is that you can start on the stove and go in the oven”.

Cast iron is best known for searing, grilling and caramelizing juicy meat dishes. However, its cooking range easily extends to eggs, pasta in sauce, sautéed vegetables, pastries and much more.

Which cast iron cookware is right for you?

There are also pre-seasoned and enameled cast iron cookware.
Image credit: Unsplash/Anshu A

ADVERTISEMENT

An unseasoned cast iron pot will rust, as iron-carbon alloys react quickly to residual moisture. Breaking up raw cast iron requires “oiling every corner of the cookware with a brush and baking it in the oven at 180°C for 30 minutes to an hour”; the oil will then polymerize to form a hard, plastic-like coating. Chef Rowe suggests seasoning once a month and drying cookware thoroughly after each hand wash.

If that sounds like too much work, don’t worry. You can opt for pre-seasoned or enameled cast iron skillets instead. Chef Rowe’s ready-made personal favorites are made by Le Creuset and Lodge. For a more affordable price, she also recommends Staub and Cuisinart products. We’ve selected various cast iron cookware items below to help you narrow down your options.

Get an extra 10% off when you shop with a Citibank card and enter code CB10DEC at the register. Don’t forget to order with Prime for free, same-day or next-day delivery.

1. Best Overall: Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Skillet, 9-inch

Advantages

  • Doesn’t need to be seasoned regularly
  • Cook evenly over low heat once hot
  • Oven safe up to 260°C
  • Easy to clean, according to reviews

The inconvenients

  • It takes some trial and error to achieve a non-stick surface
  • Expensive
The Le Creuset Signature Skillet is ready-to-use cast iron cookware created for searing, sautéing and sautéing. Unlike raw cast iron, this porcelain enamel skillet requires no seasoning and food sticks less to the cooking surface over time. Whip up crispy mashed potatoes, roast vegetables, or bake pizzas and pies in this nine-inch cookware set. You can finish cooking in the oven, as it can withstand temperatures up to 260°C. Although the pan is dishwasher safe, the manufacturer recommends hand washing to preserve the protective cooking film, the patina. Reviewers say it retains and distributes heat exceptionally well, so you don’t have to turn the stove up and down to find the “perfect” temperature.

Prime: Buy with zero percent installments and pay Dh58.60 for 12 months with select banks.

2. Best Cast Iron Set: Lodge Pre-Seasoned 3-Quart Combo Cooker

Advantages

  • Value for money
  • Comes pre-seasoned
  • Includes large skillet and Dutch oven
  • Works great outdoors

The inconvenients

Larger than our Le Creuset pick in diameter, this Lodge cooker combo comes pre-seasoned, including a three-quart Dutch oven and 10.25-inch skillet. Get great savings at an affordable price with the set – suitable for indoors and outdoors over the campfire. The skillet doubles as a lid for the deep Dutch oven. Shoppers are leaving five-star reviews on their experience with the combo, having made bread, curry over charcoals, and steak. Consistent heat distribution is as stated, but they note that it needs to be re-seasoned with oil after washing, to prevent rusting.

3. Best Cast Iron Wok: Cuisinart Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Grilling Wok, 10-inch

Advantages

  • Comes pre-seasoned
  • A decent sized wok for a small meal
  • Designed for grill tops but also works on the stovetop
  • Deep enough for frying, according to reviews

The inconvenients

  • Requires reseasoning after cleaning
Whip up your best stir fry yet in this Seasoned Cast Iron Wok from Cuisinart. Its 10-inch cooking surface has a non-stick surface, so you can grill or cook right away. A cast iron wok is perfect for cooking foods in their sauces and gravies, as it can retain heat at lower temperatures. Reviewers mention making dal (legumes), biryani, spicy scrambled eggs and more in this wok, even on a gas stove. Some have tested the frying there and report with positive notes. Remember to always season after cleaning, which the manufacturer recommends with coarse salt and lukewarm water, instead of soap.

4. Best Cast Iron Grill Pan: STAUB Square Cast Iron Grill Pan, Black, 23cm

Advantages

  • Enamel surface makes cleaning easy
  • An essential versatile barbecue
  • Works on all hobs
  • Does not require seasoning

The inconvenients

A reliable grill pan to take on BBQ nights – the STAUB cast iron grill pan is enamelled, so it doesn’t require seasoning. While suitable on all tops, it serves best over charcoal and inside the oven, for cooking steaks, burgers, corn, fish and other barbecue essentials. There are grill grooves on the surface that collect excess fat from your food. Reviewers note how it’s also the right size, at 23cm, without being too big to maneuver around and make enough food for two people. And, when the food is served, the pan helps keep the barbecue hot.

Guarantee: The manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty for home use against defects in workmanship and materials.

5. Best Value Cast Iron Skillet: Lodge Cast Iron Skillet with Red Silicone Hot Grip Holder, 10.25-Inch

Advantages

  • Value for money
  • Comes pre-seasoned
  • Includes protective silicone grip cover
  • Versatile cooking surface, from broiling
  • Perfectly sized for a small family

The inconvenients

  • Requires seasoning after each wash

If you’re not ready to splurge on steeper marks, start your cast iron journey with a versatile pan from Lodge. It is pre-seasoned with vegetable oil, measures 10.25 inches in diameter and is suitable for any type of cooking in the kitchen. Whether you’re searing, sautéing, cooking, frying or grilling, this will be your favorite pan. Unlike the rest of our picks in the list, this Lodge skillet comes with a silicone handle holder to protect your hand from burns. Reviewers say the size makes food for up to four people and works well enough to replace their nonstick pans.

Our recommendations are independently chosen by the editors of Gulf News. If you choose to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission beginning at noon.