What is the best cast iron pan

Cast iron pans put to the test : Enjoyment with a patina

is a technology journalist, passionate do-it-yourselfer and hobby cook. Among other things, he writes about mobile technology for Notebookjournal and Notebookcheck and regularly tests kitchen, household and garden equipment.

The taste of stewed or fried food from cast iron pans is great. They differ from their enamelled or stainless steel counterparts by their patina. The special thing about the patina layer is that it forms all by itself over time. Every time you fry, you renew the patina, which has a similar effect to a non-stick coating. However, this layer wants to be retained, so these pans must not be in the dishwasher. When washing by hand, you should use the detergent carefully.

Cast iron pans really last a long time, they are massive and heavy, and you hardly ever break them. It is not uncommon for well-cared-for pans to be passed on. The purchase and maintenance are therefore worthwhile.

Due to the cast iron body, the pans weigh a lot, so you can usually not operate them with one hand. That might be a disadvantage, but they have great heat storage. Due to their robustness, they can also be used on any heat source, regardless of whether it is an open fire or induction stove.

We have extensively tested a selection of interesting pans. Some products can recommend.

Easy to clean: Petromax fire pan fp30 with handle

The Petromax fire pan fp30 is not expensive, yet it is of high quality and offers many optical details. It is also suitable for every type of stove, grill and oven. In addition to the 30-centimeter version, there are also identical variants with a diameter of 20, 25, 35 and 40 centimeters. By the way, models with double handles instead of a stick handle are also available.

The tested pan weighs 3.6 kilograms and is a heavyweight among the 30 centimeter models. The support surface is 25 centimeters. The handle is the longest at 18 centimeters compared to other 30-centimeter frying pans. That's a good thing, because it makes it easier to pull the fire pan off the hot grill grate or the embers.

A novelty for this price range are the beautiful, visual details such as the kites on the underside or the Petromax lettering. The relatively smooth pan base is not ideal for pastries and fried eggs. If there is very little fat in the frying pan, it will pull back to the edge of the pan due to the concavity. Although this effect occurs only moderately with the fire pan, the fat is still missing for a fried egg. Here you have to help out with a constant distribution or more oil.

The fire pan is easy to clean: if there are incrustations, all you have to do is pour in water, then wait 15 minutes, pour out the water and then rinse out with hot water. Then the warm layer of fat can be wiped off together with the loosened particles.

The Petromax does not have to be baked as it has a thin patina. The pan gets better and better after repeated use. The thin, trilingual manual also contains further information on branding and maintenance.

Heated up quickly: Lodge frying pan

The 30-centimeter frying pan from the American pan forge Lodge is a heavy, accurately processed product. The two openings for pouring are practical, but due to the lack of a wooden handle you always have to use gloves or pot holders to use the frying pan.

The short handle gets quite hot quickly and is also too narrow, especially for the 30 cm pan, which weighs at least 3.65 kilos.