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What size cast iron skillet should I buy?

What size cast iron skillet should I buy? - Proline Range Hoods

Cast iron skillets are one of the most versatile pans in the kitchen. You can cook anything from side dishes to entrees to desserts with your cast iron skillet.

One of the most common questions homeowners have is: What size cast iron skillet should I buy?

The size of your skillet depends on how many people you cook for. If you cook for yourself, an 8-inch cast iron skillet is perfect. If you live with one other person, a 10-inch skillet is best. If you live with up to four people, a 12-inch skillet works well. For larger gatherings or parties, a 15-inch skillet is the way to go.

Eight-inch skillets are not as versatile as 10 or 12-inch skillets, which can cook most foods.

Skillets under eight inches are not as versatile as larger ones. You might be able to cook a couple of eggs, a skillet cookie, a side dish, or a serving of roasted vegetables. But pizzas, steaks, pancakes, and other foods won’t fit. If you only cook breakfast or the occasional dessert for yourself, a smaller skillet might be a great choice.

Keep in mind that large skillets won’t cook as evenly as smaller skillets. The middle will be hotter than the edges. This is typically only a problem with 15” or larger skillets. You’ll want to put your food closer to the middle to heat it faster or toward the edges for slower cooking.

Do I need an 8-inch skillet?

8" Cast Iron Skillet Details

Eight-inch skillets are best if you cook for yourself. You can cook one serving of pretty much anything, or even enjoy a small 8” personal pizza. Compared to 10 and 12-inch skillets, 8-inch ones are lighter. This makes them great for tossing food like roasted vegetables, potatoes, stir fry, and the like.

But if you want to have a friend over, you’ll most likely have to cook food in batches. This isn’t bad but it takes more time. If you expect to have guests often, go with a larger skillet.

Since you’ll only be cooking about one serving at a time, you won’t have any leftovers. That means with an eight-inch skillet, you’ll be cooking more often. If you have the time, then an eight-inch skillet may be right for you. But if you struggle to find time for cooking, consider a 10 or 12-inch skillet that allows you to cook more than one serving.

Here are some foods you can cook in your eight-inch skillet:

  • 2 fried eggs
  • 3 scrambled eggs
  • 8” personal pizza
  • Side dishes like roasted vegetables, potatoes, and more
  • 1 serving of stir fry
  • 1 skillet cookie
  • 1 pancake
  • 2-3 pieces of bacon

Check out this eight-inch skillet from Amazon for your kitchen.

Do I need a 10-inch skillet?

10" Cast Iron Skillet Details

10-inch skillets are the right size for two people. It can fit either a large steak, a few chicken breasts, a deep-dish pizza, two servings of stir fry, or much more. You can also use this skillet for baking pies or bread.

10-inch skillets are a little heavier than eight-inch ones but you can still toss your food with a little bit of practice.

Cast iron pizza - what size cast iron skillet should I buy?

Here are some foods with serving size estimates you can cook in your 10-inch skillet:

  • 3 fried eggs
  • 4 scrambled eggs
  • 10” personal pizza
  • 2 servings of side dishes like roasted vegetables, potatoes, and more
  • 2 servings of stir fry
  • 1 large skillet cookie
  • 2 pancakes
  • 3-4 pieces of bacon
  • Cornbread
  • Two large or three small chicken breasts
  • 1 eight-ounce steak
  • 1 to 2 biscuits depending on size
  • 1 eight-ounce fish filet or two small fish filets
  • 1 10-12 oz. can of pasta sauce

Check out this 10-inch cast iron skillet for your kitchen.

Do I need a 12-inch skillet?

12" Cast Iron Skillet Details

A 12-inch skillet is the best size for families of four. It is the most versatile option for your kitchen.

When you first get your skillet, test it out and see if it heats your dish evenly. 12” and larger skillets will be hotter in the middle and cooler on the sides. 12” is around the size where you might experience some unevenness.

Cast iron doesn’t conduct heat well so it’s best to preheat your skillet before cooking. To help cook food more evenly, make sure you use your largest burner when cooking with the 12” skillet. The edges will heat up much faster.

Unlike an eight or ten-inch skillet, you can’t easily toss food in this pan. It’s best for whole steaks, chicken, or other dishes that you don’t need to toss and turn.

A 12-inch skillet cooks four servings of most foods. You won’t have to cook food in several batches like you would with a smaller skillet. If you always want leftovers, you might consider this for two people as well.

Here are some different foods with their serving size estimates that you can cook in a 12-inch skillet.

  • 4 fried eggs
  • 5-6 scrambled eggs
  • 12” pizza
  • 3-4 servings of side dishes like roasted vegetables, potatoes, and more
  • 1 large skillet cookie
  • 3-4 pancakes
  • 5-6 pieces of bacon
  • Cornbread
  • Three large chicken breasts
  • 2 eight-ounce steaks or 3 smaller steaks
  • 2 to 4 biscuits depending on size
  • 2 eight-ounce fish filets
  • 1 14-16 oz. can of pasta sauce
  • 4 servings of casserole
  • Deep dish pizza (serves 3-4 people)

Take a look at this 12-inch skillet from Amazon for your kitchen.

Do I need a 15-inch skillet?

15" Cast Iron Skillet Details

To cook even more food, you can try a 14-inch or 15-inch skillet. But these are heavy and not practical for most people. They can cook 5-6 servings which is much more than most people need.

They’re also too large for most residential stovetops. This means your food will cook quite unevenly. As a result, your food might stick or burn. You can combat this by preheating your skillet for a few minutes before cooking.

If you cook for a crowd every so often, this could be a good option for you. But you might also consider buying two 10 or 12-inch skillets. They’re easier to maneuver and store than a 15-inch skillet.

15" skillet with casserole

Here are different foods along with their serving sizes that you can cook in a 15” cast iron pan.

  • 6-7 fried eggs
  • 8-10 scrambled eggs
  • 15” family pizza
  • 5-7 servings of side dishes like roasted vegetables, potatoes, and more
  • 5-6 pancakes
  • 8-10 pieces of bacon
  • Cornbread (5+ servings)
  • Three large chicken breasts
  • Skillet cake
  • 3 eight-ounce steaks or 4+ smaller steaks
  • 3 to 5 biscuits depending on size
  • 2-3 eight-ounce fish filets
  • 2-3 14-16 oz. can of pasta sauce
  • 5-7 servings of casserole
  • Deep dish pizza (serves 5-6 people)

Here is a great 15-inch skillet from Amazon.

What size skillet is best for one person?

An 8-inch skillet is the best size for one person. You can cook one serving of most foods like stir fry, roasted vegetables, a skillet cookie, and more. If you want leftovers often, invest in a 10-inch skillet.

What size skillet is best for a family of four?

The best skillet for a family of four is a 12 to 15-inch skillet. Make sure you cook with your largest burner to help the food cook evenly. It can also help to preheat the skillet. With a 12 to 15-inch skillet, you can cook 4 servings of most foods without having to cook in batches.

What size skillet is best for social gatherings?

For gatherings of around six or more, invest in a 15” skillet. You’ll need enough room to store it. Also, it is difficult to move compared to smaller skillets. You can also use two 10 or 12-inch skillets. It’ll take up a second burner but might be easier to cook with depending on your personal preference.

Is a 10 inch cast iron skillet too small?

A 10-inch cast iron skillet is perfect for 1-2 people. They’re great for one eight-ounce steak, full sides for one to two people, desserts, cornbread, and more. If you want to cook casserole, steaks, or chicken for four, invest in a 12-inch skillet.

Is a 12-inch skillet too big?

A 12-inch skillet cooks four servings of most foods, so it’s great for a family of four. If you cook for yourself or for one other person, you’ll probably want a 10-inch skillet. If you go with a 12-inch skillet, though, you’ll have leftovers all the time.

Is a 15-inch cast iron skillet too big?

Yes, a 15-inch cast iron skillet is too big for most people. They’re not practical since they are difficult to cook with and store. For the occasional social event with 6+ people, a 15-inch skillet can work well. These skillets are too heavy to toss and turn food so they are not a good option for stir fry.

What size cast iron skillet is best for steaks?

A 10-inch or 12-inch skillet is best for cooking steaks. A 10-inch skillet will fit one eight-ounce steak while a 12-inch skillet can comfortably fit two. If you want to successfully sear your steak, cook one at a time and keep it toward the middle. The middle of the pan is the hottest.

Why is a cast iron skillet good for steaks?

Cast iron skillets are one of the best pans at retaining heat, so they are great for searing steaks. Also, after you season your cast iron pan, you don’t need to use as much oil to cook a delicious steak.

Contrary to popular belief, cast iron does not heat your food evenly. It’s not a great heat conductor so you should preheat your skillet for 10 minutes before cooking.

Do steaks taste better in cast iron?

Steaks do not taste better in cast iron compared to stainless steel, carbon steel, or other materials. Since a cast iron skillet is great at retaining heat, you can sear and reverse sear steaks with ease.

Can I put a cast iron pan on the grill?

Yes, you can put a cast iron pan on the grill. A skillet keeps the juices from dripping under the grill grates. It also cooks the food more evenly and without grill marks.

Why is my cast iron pan smoking so much?

Cast iron pans smoke for two reasons: either it is too hot with no oil or it was heated past the oil’s smoke point. If your pan is smoking, just turn down the burner. Cast iron keeps heat well so it may take a few minutes for the pan to stop smoking.

Oils with a high smoke point like canola oil, peanut oil, or avocado oil are best when cooking with cast iron. They have a smoke point of 400+º.

What is the largest size cast iron skillet?

One of the largest cast iron skillets is 17”. This is only practical for hosting gatherings with eight to 10 people or more. With a 17” skillet, you likely won’t need to cook food in batches.

How to Measure Cast Iron Skillet Size

Some cast iron skillets have a number on the handle indicating the size. Sometimes this number describes the diameter as measured on the bottom of the pan and sometimes it’s the measurement on the top. Take a look at the manufacturer’s information to determine how your skillet is measured.

So, have you decided what size cast iron skillet you want to buy? Just remember:

  • 8” - serves one person
  • 10” serves 1-2 people
  • 12” - serves 3-4 people
  • 14-15” - serves 5+ people

Good luck finding a cast iron skillet that works for you!

What size cast iron skillet should I buy?

The size of your skillet depends on how many people you cook for. If you cook for yourself, an 8-inch cast iron skillet is perfect. If you live with one other person, a 10-inch skillet is best. If you live with up to four people, a 12-inch skillet works well. For larger gatherings or parties, a 15-inch skillet is the way to go.

Do I need an 8-inch skillet?

Eight-inch skillets are best if you cook for yourself. You can cook one serving of pretty much anything, or even enjoy a small 8” personal pizza. Compared to 10 and 12-inch skillets, 8-inch ones are lighter. This makes them great for tossing food like roasted vegetables, potatoes, stir fry, and the like.

Do I need a 10-inch skillet?

10-inch skillets are the right size for two people. It can fit either a large steak, a few chicken breasts, a deep-dish pizza, two servings of stir fry, or much more. You can also use this skillet for baking pies or bread.

Do I need a 12-inch skillet?

A 12-inch skillet is the best size for families of four. It is the most versatile option for your kitchen.

Do I need a 15-inch skillet?

To cook even more food, you can try a 14-inch or 15-inch skillet. But these are heavy and not practical for most people. They can cook 5-6 servings which is much more than most people need.

What size skillet is best for one person?

An 8-inch skillet is the best size for one person. You can cook one serving of most foods like stir fry, roasted vegetables, a skillet cookie, and more. If you want leftovers often, invest in a 10-inch skillet.

What size skillet is best for a family of four?

The best skillet for a family of four is a 12 to 15-inch skillet. Make sure you cook with your largest burner to help the food cook evenly. It can also help to preheat the skillet. With a 12 to 15-inch skillet, you can cook 4 servings of most foods without having to cook in batches.

What size skillet is best for social gatherings?

For gatherings of around six or more, invest in a 15” skillet. You’ll need enough room to store it. Also, it is difficult to move compared to smaller skillets. You can also use two 10 or 12-inch skillets. It’ll take up a second burner but might be easier to cook with depending on your personal preference.

Is a 10 inch cast iron skillet too small?

A 10-inch cast iron skillet is perfect for 1-2 people. They’re great for one eight-ounce steak, full sides for one to two people, desserts, cornbread, and more. If you want to cook casserole, steaks, or chicken for four, invest in a 12-inch skillet.

Is a 12-inch skillet too big?

A 12-inch skillet cooks four servings of most foods, so it’s great for a family of four. If you cook for yourself or for one other person, you’ll probably want a 10-inch skillet. If you go with a 12-inch skillet, though, you’ll have leftovers all the time.

Is a 15-inch cast iron skillet too big?

Yes, a 15-inch cast iron skillet is too big for most people. They’re not practical since they are difficult to cook with and store. For the occasional social event with 6+ people, a 15-inch skillet can work well. These skillets are too heavy to toss and turn food so they are not a good option for stir fry.

What size cast iron skillet is best for steaks?

A 10-inch or 12-inch skillet is best for cooking steaks. A 10-inch skillet will fit one eight-ounce steak while a 12-inch skillet can comfortably fit two. If you want to successfully sear your steak, cook one at a time and keep it toward the middle. The middle of the pan is the hottest.

Do steaks taste better in cast iron?

Steaks do not taste better in cast iron compared to stainless steel, carbon steel, or other materials. Since a cast iron skillet is great at retaining heat, you can sear and reverse sear steaks with ease.

Can I put a cast iron pan on the grill?

Yes, you can put a cast iron pan on the grill. A skillet keeps the juices from dripping under the grill grates. It also cooks the food more evenly and without grill marks.

Why is my cast iron pan smoking so much?

Cast iron pans smoke for two reasons: either it is too hot with no oil or it was heated past the oil’s smoke point. If your pan is smoking, just turn down the burner. Cast iron keeps heat well so it may take a few minutes for the pan to stop smoking.

Oils with a high smoke point like canola oil, peanut oil, or avocado oil are best when cooking with cast iron. They have a smoke point of 400+º.

What is the largest size cast iron skillet?

One of the largest cast iron skillets is 17”. This is only practical for hosting gatherings with eight to 10 people or more. With a 17” skillet, you likely won’t need to cook food in batches.
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