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Undoubtedly, making the switch to cast iron cookware from regular non-stick can be a challenge. What pieces do you need? Having cast iron is crucial if your electricity disappears. Normal pots and pans cannot be used over an open flame! For this reason, having the right pieces for outside and survival cooking is key to keeping your family fed.
We’ve broken down a list of the top five types of cast iron cookware that are the absolute must-haves.
Before we get into our list – We strongly recommend Lodge cast iron as the go-to for all your cast iron needs. They are one of the most affordable cast iron cookware manufacturers out there. Plus, they make all their products in the USA. Their pots, pans, and cookware are high quality and consequently were ranked one of the best by the New York Times in 2021. Lehman Bros. has a full range of Lodge cast iron available. You can find them here and we will link the individual items below.
Reversible Grill/ Griddle – Buy it here!
A reversible grill and griddle is two pieces in one, and because of this, it’s a great bargain buy. You can cook steaks, bacon, or anything else you would typically bbq with the grill side. This way, you’ll get those gorgeous sear lines. Or you can use the flatter surface of the griddle to make pancakes right over an open flame! The right-sized griddle should be large enough to fit over two burners on a stovetop – about 10 inches by 20 inches is the most common size.
Small Fry Pan or Skillet – Buy it now!
A small cast iron fry pan or skillet is another must-have. The small cooking surface is perfect for one-person dishes or appetizers. In our home, we love ours for frying eggs! You could even make a pancake or two in it or cornbread for a few people. The best options have two pour spouts on opposite sides from one another.
Large Fry Pan or Skillet – Buy it here!
A ten or twelve-inch cast-iron skillet or fry pan is perfect for family breakfast. You want to get a variety that has a helper handle. The helper handle is a vital addition for larger skillets and fry pans. Their larger size means they are much heavier, and the second handle helps make it easier to carry them without accident or injury.
The larger skillets come in two common options – one with sloped sides that are easy to use a spatula with, and one with a more sharply vertical side ideal for things like baking cornbread. Make sure to check out options with a hanging loop so that you always have options for storage, especially if you don’t use your cast iron often.
Dutch Oven – Get this one!
A campfire-ready cast iron dutch oven is one of the staple pieces of cast iron cookware that everyone should have in their kitchen. Stay away from enameled versions as most enameled cast iron isn’t suitable for use over a campfire and you want your cast iron to be multi-functional. Make sure whatever variety you’re looking at has a flat lid with a lipped ridge. This is a must-have feature that allows you to pile coals on the top of the dutch oven and give it that all-around heating in your campfire that you would get in your oven.
Cast Iron Wok – Buy it Now!
The cast iron wok was our last choice but we felt it was a must-have for scrambles and hashes in the morning and stir-fry at night. You don’t have to give up your favorite foods just because you’re cooking over a campfire or open flame.