What Are the 5 Best Oven-Safe Skillets?

Published on 03/25/2024 · 8 min readUpgrade your kitchen arsenal! Discover the 5 best oven-safe skillets, selected for their durability, heat resistance, and versatile cooking performance.
Grace Vogel, Kitchen Expert
By Kitchen Expert Grace Vogel

Photo by Liliya Kandrashevich

If you’re a fan of one-pan meals, you should definitely own an oven-safe skillet. Oven-safe pans and skillets allow you to easily transport your meal from the stovetop to the oven and then directly to your dinner table.

Oven-safe cookware is ideal for braising and making frittatas, cornbread, sourdough bread, casseroles, and stews. Once you have one of your own, you will start to realize how versatile a piece of kitchen equipment they are. This article can help you find the ideal oven-safe frying pan for all of your personal needs. If you still have questions, please reach out to one of our Curated Kitchen Experts for answers.

What Is an Oven-Safe Skillet?

Photo by larisa Stefanjuk

It is usually quite easy to determine what skillets are safe to be used in the oven. Oven-safe skillets are made entirely of metal, allowing them to withstand the high heat of the stove and oven. These skillets can be composed of copper, cast iron, stainless steel, or aluminum. Some even have an outer coating of ceramic or enamel.

However, if your skillet has a wooden or plastic handle, it is definitely not safe for oven use. The wood will likely burn in the oven and the plastic will melt. Some pans with silicone handles or nonstick cookware can be safe for use in an oven, but not all are. If you have a skillet with silicone features or a nonstick pan that you want to use in your oven, check the manufacturer's description to see if it’s truly oven safe.

What to Look for in an Oven-Safe Skillet

Material

The most significant factor to look for when buying an oven-safe skillet is the material. This might seem obvious, but different types of material make an immense difference in how food in the skillets cooks. Carbon steel and copper skillets have high heat retention, which means that they are ideally used for browning proteins. A cast iron pan, on the other hand, is slower to heat. They are even conductors of heat and will distribute heat evenly. They are the ideal material for oven-safe skillets because they are unlikely to overheat and burn your food when it reaches the high temperature of the oven.

Maintenance

Most cast iron skillets require some maintenance. Cast iron skillets are not dishwasher safe and require seasoning. Seasoning is the process of baking oil into the cast iron. Over time the seasoning will create a natural layer that protects against rust and helps food release more easily. The pans in this list are mainly made of cast iron and require this additional level of maintenance. However, these skillets have high levels of durability and are built to last a lifetime. I have added the specific maintenance requirements of each pan to the descriptions below.

Weight

Because oven-safe skillets are made entirely of metal, they tend to be heavy or medium weight. If you are ideally looking for a lightweight option, I encourage you to check out the Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Skillet listed below. This skillet is much thinner than the cast iron options. It also has a nonstick coating that allows for an easier clean-up.

1. Best Overall: Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Signature 10.25-Inch Skillet

I love using my Le Creuset enameled cast iron skillet to cook bread in the oven. I have used it many times to make cornbread and biscuits, all of which have come out beautifully. The 10.25-inch skillet allows for the ideal thickness of all breads cooked in it as well as a perfectly crispy crust.

The Le Creuset cast iron skillet has excellent heat retention and distribution, which makes it the ideal candidate for cooking casseroles, breads, and frittatas. The Le Creuset is also built to last and is dishwasher safe. This skillet is incredibly durable and resistant to cracking and chipping. It also comes with a lifetime warranty. In the five years that I have owned my Le Creuset cast iron skillet, I have not seen any signs of wear and tear.

The Le Creuset is even compatible with all cooktops, including induction, as well as oven safe up to 500°F. While the skillet does not come with a lid, it does have an ergonomically designed handle that makes it easy to grip and transport from stovetop to oven. My one issue with the Le Creuset skillet is its weight. The skillet weighs about 4.25 pounds and, when filled with food, can be hard to lift just by the handle.

2. Best Hidden Gem: Smithey Ironware No. 12 Cast Iron Skillet

Smithey Ironware may not be a household name in the same way that Le Creuset and Staub are, but it should be. Smithey Ironware skillets are made in the US and are designed to become a family heirloom that can be displayed in your kitchen for many years.

The Smithey Ironware No. 12 cast iron skillets that I have tested are heavy, sturdy, and beautifully designed. I particularly love their surprising depth, which made it easy for me to cook a whole chicken! After heavy use in the professional kitchen, the Smithey Ironware cast iron skillets showed no sign of deterioration. I highly recommend this skillet for making sauces, cooking vegetables, or even roasting a whole chicken.

The Smithey skillet does require regular maintenance. Make sure to keep it dry after being used, as it can easily rust and tarnish. Because it is composed of cast iron, it requires regular seasoning. However, with regular seasoning, the skillet is naturally nonstick.

3. Best Budget: Lodge Cast Iron Skillet

If you are excited to try out an oven-safe skillet but are not ready to make the financial investment that most of these skillets require, the Lodge cast iron skillet is the right choice for you. The first cast iron skillet I invested in when I finally had a kitchen of my own, was the Lodge cast iron skillet. Early on, I used this skillet to practice browning the skin on my chicken thighs, to explore making flatbreads, and to fry my eggs for breakfast.

Lodge kitchenware is made in the US from traditional cast iron material. This oven-safe skillet is slightly smaller than the other options, with only an 8-inch diameter. This pan is a genuine introduction to the world of oven-safe skillets. The Lodge cast iron skillet heats evenly and retains heat well.

The Lodge cast iron skillet is even pre-seasoned, so it is ideal for those who are not exactly sure how to season their cast iron. This skillet even has two handles and side lips meant for pouring to allow you to drain fat while you’re cooking. This skillet does require handwashing.

4. Best Nonstick: Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Nonstick 12-Inch Skillet

If you are looking for a large nonstick skillet that is also oven safe, check out the Cuisinart Chef’s Classic nonstick 12-inch skillet. This skillet has a wide diameter that allows you to cook healthier portion sizes in this skillet. It also has well-designed, tapered walls that allow you to pour out the contents of the skillet without dripping. The stainless steel handles are built to stay cool when used on the stovetop, which allows you to easily move it from the stove to the oven.

I enjoy using the Cuisinart Chef’s Classic nonstick skillet to make seasonal cobblers. The sticky syrup from the fruit never sticks! The one drawback of the Cuisinart nonstick skillet is that even though it is oven safe up to 500°F, it cannot be used in the broiler. The high, direct heat of the broiler is likely to melt the nonstick coating. I also recommend using wooden utensils to maintain its nonstick coating.

5. Best for Proteins: Staub Cast Iron 11-Inch Skillet

The Staub cast iron 11-inch skillet is one of my personal favorites. This is a skillet that I use daily in my own kitchen. I love this skillet because of how well it distributes heat, making it incredibly versatile. I use it to make breakfast potatoes and fried eggs in the morning, bake sourdough in it in the afternoon, and sear steak in it for dinner.

Staub cookware is constructed in France and is composed of enameled cast iron. This skillet’s matte interior retains high heat extremely well, which is ideal for cooking and browning proteins. It can also tolerate oven temperatures up to 500°F.

One of the best attributes of Staub cookware is how user friendly they are. Staub cast iron does not require regular seasoning and has pour spouts that allow you to drain out fat while you’re cooking. While the Staub cast iron skillet is technically dishwasher safe, I recommend handwashing it to avoid chipping the enamel in the dishwasher.

My Recommendation to You

Photo by Milan

Hopefully the top picks listed above have inspired you to start looking at the pans you have in your kitchen arsenal and think about where you have gaps in kitchenware. Oven-safe skillets can be an investment, but they are an essential piece of equipment in your kitchen. Whether you use them to make eggs, chicken, or one-pot dinners, oven-safe skillets can help make your cooking experience way more seamless. And who doesn’t love the idea of fewer dishes to wash?

If you are still unsure about your purchase, please reach out to one of the Curated Kitchen Experts for free, personalized advice. We’re happy to help give recommendations and advice, and we’d love to help guide you along your skillet-buying journey.

Curated experts can help

Have a question about the article you just read or want personal recommendations? Connect with a Curated expert and get free recommendations for whatever you’re looking for!

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