Cast iron skillets are really handy. You can use these skillets to fry steak, fish and veg. And in our opinion, cast iron sears steaks better than almost any other cookware.
However, what is the best sized cast iron skillet to buy? After all, most manufacturers make three sizes of skillet to choose from, so which should you choose? Well, today, we’re answering these cookware questions.
What Is the Best Size Cast Iron Skillet?
Cast iron skillets come in three main sizes: 20 cm, 25 cm and 30 cm.
Many chefs like the 25 cm skillet as it offers a bit more space to cook in than the smaller size but isn’t as unwieldy as the 30 cm one.
But is this the right skillet size for you? Well, here is a breakdown of each skillet and what they can be used for.
20 cm cast iron skillet – This skillet is great for fish fillets, smaller steaks and some veg. Many chefs do find the smaller size to be quite restricting for many cooking tasks. However, if you like to cook your steaks individually and never cook larger steaks, this could be a good option.
25 cm cast iron skillet – Most chefs prefer a 25 cm cast iron skillet because of the additional cooking space. You can cook a couple of fish fillets in these skillets or one larger steak. A 25 cm cast iron skillet is great for anyone cooking solo but can also be used for a meal for two at a push too.
30 cm cast iron skillet – The largest cast iron skillet is designed to cook for two or more people at once. So, if you like cooking fish, steak or veg all in one go, a 30 cm cast iron skillet could be the way to go.
Something to bear in mind with any cast iron skillet you buy is heat retention. The properties of cast iron mean that it holds heat extremely well, which is why it has been a favourite in the kitchen for hundreds of years.
The bigger the skillet, though, the longer it will take to heat up. Also, the more meat, fish or veg that you cook at once, the more heat that will be lost. This is because the heat is sucked from the cast iron into the meat.
For great steaks, you need that heat. If you add too much meat into the pan at once, the pan may not give the great sear and caramelization you are after.
What we’re saying is that bigger cast iron skillets don’t always mean better results. They are more convenient, but that convenience comes with some drawbacks.
Because of this, we recommend that a 25 cm cast iron skillet is the best size to buy. This is because you can cook a couple of pieces of fish in the pan if you like, but the pan also holds heat extremely well for a perfect steak.
So, a 25 cm skillet gives you a bit more space but retains heat nicely too. It is the Goldilocks skillet. It provides a spacious cooking surface, but it doesn’t take too long to heat up and doesn’t fit enough food for this heat to be wasted.
To find the best cast iron skillets in the UK for your needs, please explore our website further. We have loads of cast iron articles here, from seasoning cast iron to the best cast iron skillets available in the UK.
Scott is a writer and a passionate home chef. His passion for cooking began when he was 10 years old. Scott has been writing professionally for over five years now and loves to combine his passion for cooking with his day job.