A Guide to Choosing the Right Cast Iron Pan
When well taken care of, a good cast iron pan 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. Suitable for sweet and savoury dishes, vegetables, or meat, cast iron is the workhorse of the kitchen and one of the only materials that can go from the hob to a 500 °C oven. The way these pans heat is also special: They’re slow to get hot, but retain their heat for a long time and provide much more even temperatures than other types of cookware.
We created our own line of cast iron cookware, and because Ooni ovens get to blazing hot temperatures, every pan comes with a specially-designed handle. It’s detachable, which means the handle stays cool even when you cook at top temps, but locks into place when you need it, so it’s easy to use. We also thought about serving: Each pan comes with a sustainably-sourced beech wood serving board, making it both utilitarian and stylish. And though we designed our cookware line with Ooni ovens in mind, they also work well in a conventional oven, over a campfire, or on the grill.
Ready to get cooking? Here’s our guide to choosing the right pan for your needs:
If you’re new to the world of cast iron, a skillet pan is the best place to start. This circular pan is a kitchen staple and works well for both savoury and sweet dishes, including meat, seafood and vegetables. You can make both skillet pizzas and giant chocolate chip cookies and serve them straight from your oven to the table. Its shape and 4-centimetre (1 ½-inch) depth also make it great for dips and appetisers, like Sean Sherman’s Masa Flatbreads with Charred Tomato and Onion Salsa and desserts like Cheryl Day’s Rustic Pecan Galette.
Tip: When considering this all-around cast-iron MVP, keep in mind that while it can deliver deliciously cooked meats, it won’t bestow char marks like the grizzler or dual-sided grizzler plate.
If you routinely cook for just one or two people, this might be your perfect match. Its size - 247 by 143 by 26 millimeters (9.7 by 5.6 by 1 inch) – makes it ideal for cooking a large steak or fish like an herb-crusted cod, a skillet kebab, or toppings for a tasty BBQ Chicken, Corn, Onion, Bacon and Coriander Pizza. And with our handle design that’s removable and comfortable to use, it’s easy and safe to get sizzling food straight from your oven to the table.
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 those distinctive, mouthwatering sear marks. This pan is perfect for steak masters who want to make meat the star of the meal (or add it to a pizza), and even those who want a grilled caesar salad with oomph. Here at Ooni, we’re partial to Spatchcock Roast Chicken with Lemon, Garlic and Herb Butter and chargrilled Asparagus Wrapped in Prosciutto.
Our largest and most versatile pan, the dual-sided grizzler plate has both a smooth side and a ridged side. While the smooth side is great for frying eggs, cooking fajitas or making corn tortillas, that’s only half of the story. The ribs on the grizzler side of the pan allow for that deliciously distinctive char you need for a perfect flame-cooked steak. If you’re feeding a large family or love to entertain, this pan can accommodate larger proteins like turkey breasts, lobster tails, or whole one-pan meals like Sizzling Steak Fajitas or Harissa-spiced Lamb Neck.