Cast iron skillet sizes can have a huge impact on your cooking. The surface not only affects the amount of heat distribution for dishes, but it affects the quantity, too. Hence, you need to find the right size. After all, you wouldn’t want to go for the one that doesn’t fit your requirements!
So, what size cast iron skillet should you buy? You can opt for 3.5-inch to 6.5-inch cast iron skillets for cooking small meals for one person. Meanwhile, 8-inch to 10-inch skillets are ideal for cooking large meals for one to two persons. And, for huge families, 12-inch to 14-inch skillets are the best option.
In this guide, we will discuss the most popular and unpopular sizes of cast iron skillets. We aim to help you decide which cast iron cookware size to buy.
What Are The Different Sizes Of Cast Iron Skillets?
Before we talk about the various sizes, let’s understand how the brands measure the cast iron skillets.
Keep in mind that the sizes are actually the diameter (in inches) of the skillet. However, the brands measure the diameter across the bottom of the skillet and not the open top.
So, you’ll find some mini cast iron skillets ranging from 3.5-inch to 6.5-inch, medium-sized skillets ranging from 8-inch to 10-inch, and large-sized skillets ranging from 12-inch to 15-inch.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the best cast iron pan sizes.
A 3.5-inch cast iron frying pan may seem extremely small, and it truly is. In fact, it’s so small that you can fit it in your palm entirely.
Typically, a 3.5-inch skillet weighs just around 0.5 pounds. Hence, it’s lightweight and compact enough if you wish to bring it with you on your next trip.
The best use of a 3.5-inch cast iron skillet is to fry a single egg. Here, the skillet’s size is ideal as the heat is spread evenly. This leads to a perfectly fried egg!
Moreover, it’s also helpful if you love to bake and want to prepare some deep-dish cookies or brownies.
Some other uses for a 3.5-inch skillet include:
- Preparing cheese or chocolate fondue for one
- Cooking a deep-dish pizza
- Roasting garlic
- Searing small steaks
Suitable For: A 3.5-inch cast iron fry pan is suitable for a single person. It’s also quite ideal for traveling purposes.
Price Range: It costs between $5 to $10, which is quite reasonable.
If you feel like a 3.5-inch cast iron skillet is too tiny, then you can consider a 5-inch one. This one’s slightly bigger and is highly versatile.
A 5-inch skillet usually weighs around 1 pound. Hence, it’s not too heavy to use or flip your food either!
Unlike a 3.5-inch skillet, you can use a 5-inch skillet to prepare two perfect fried eggs. Or, you can also cook one fried egg with sides such as ham or cheese. Hence, a 5-inch skillet is useful for the perfect breakfast.
A skillet of this size is also perfect for cooking a quick snack like grilled cheese or quesadillas.
Some other uses for a 5-inch skillet include:
- Cooking pancakes
- Preparing french toasts
- Grilling small-sized hotdogs and hamburgers
- Baking small deep-dish cookie
Suitable For: A 5-inch cast iron frying pan is suitable for those wanting to cook quick snacks, breakfast, and bakery items for one.
Price Range: It usually costs around $15 to $30.
One of the most popular sizes for small cast iron skillets is 6.5-inch. A 6.5-inch skillet is readily available and is ideal for cooking a variety of food items.
The best part is that it’s neither too light nor too heavy as it typically weighs around 2 pounds.
You can use a 6.5-inch frying pan for multiple purposes. For instance, it’s suitable for cooking two scrambled eggs. It’s also excellent for cooking one large pancake.
Apart from breakfast, you can also cook food items such as:
- Grilled cheese
So, it is extremely useful for cooking various food items.
Suitable For: A 6.5-inch cast iron skillet is suitable for almost everyone due to its versatility. However, it isn’t for you if you’re looking for a lightweight skillet.
Price Range: As 6.5-inch cast iron skillets are pretty well-used, they’re available in many pricing options from $10 to $20.
A lot of people have started using an 8-inch cast iron skillet as a secondary and smaller alternative to the famous 10-inch skillets. It’s a medium-sized skillet useful for various purposes.
An 8-inch cast iron pan usually weighs around 3 to 4 pounds.
An 8-inch cast iron skillet is definitely an all-rounder.
It can help with cooking anything from two large-sized fried or scrambled eggs to pancakes! In fact, this size is perfect for cooking omelets and crepes too.
Other things that you can cook in an 8-inch cast iron fry pan include:
- Chicken breast
- Toasting spices or nuts
Suitable For: Typically, an 8-inch cast iron pan is suitable for you if you’re looking for a smaller version of a 10-inch skillet.
Price Range: The 8-inch cast iron skillets are usually more expensive and cost between $20 to $30.
One of the most popular nonstick skillet sizes today is 10-inch. After all, it’s good enough for your breakfast, lunch, and dinner requirements.
The 10-inch skillets are usually quite heavy as they weigh around 5 to 6 pounds. However, some may be lighter or heavier than others as many manufacturers offer 10-inch cast iron skillets.
As mentioned above, you can use a 10-inch cast iron skillet to cook all your meals. And, the best part is that there’s enough space to cook meals for two people. However, there’s not too much space to cause food wastage.
With a 10-inch cast iron skillet, you can perform tasks like:
- Cooking 8 to 10 large fried/scrambled eggs
- Preparing sauces for pasta, pizza, etc.
- Searing one normal-sized salmon fish
- Cooking a huge pack of frozen veggies
- Baking cakes, brownies, etc.
Suitable For: A 10-inch cast iron cookware is perfect if you’re looking for one that can accommodate meals for two.
Price Range: The 10.5-inch cast iron skillets are expensive and can cost between $30 to $60, depending on the brand.
A 12-inch cast iron skillet is perfect for cooking larger quantities of food. They have enough space for cooking everything—from appetizers, the main dish, and even desserts, as well!
These cast iron skillets weigh anywhere between 7 to 9 pounds, and hence, they’re not lightweight.
A 12-inch cast iron skillet works excellently for frying up to four eggs, searing large quantities of meat, fish, or any other item. Moreover, it’s also pretty good for:
- Preparing a large deep-dish pizza
- Sauteing a good amount of vegetables
- Preparing any type of sauces
- Using as a grill pan
Overall, a 12-inch cast iron skillet is the best size cast iron skillet for regular use.
Suitable For: A 12-inch skillet is ideal for preparing a large quantity of food for two to three people.
Price Range: The price range varies greatly here as you can find 12-inch cast iron skillets for as low as $15 or as high as $60.
If you want a skillet that’s a bit larger than 12-inch and smaller than 15-inch, then a 14-inch cast iron skillet is the one for you. It’s perfect for big families or for those who need additional space while cooking or searing.
Typically, a 14-inch cast iron skillet weighs between 10 to 12 pounds. However, it’s quite durable and can endure high flame.
The best thing about a 14-inch cast iron skillet is how spacious it is. Hence, you can accommodate a lot of vegetables in one single layer for sauteing. This uniformity ensures equal heating. Also, you won’t have to keep tossing the veggies repeatedly.
Some other uses of 14-inch cast iron skillet include:
- Searing several pieces of meat
- Preparing stir-fry vegetables
- Cooking four to five fried eggs in one go
- Preparing a huge-size pizza
- Cooking huge quantities of pasta
Suitable For: Overall, a 14-inch cast iron skillet is best for big families of four to five. Note that you may require some additional kitchen space to store a 14-inch skillet too.
Price Range: The price range varies between $20 to $50 depending on the brand and quality.
For huge families, a 15-inch cast iron skillet is a savior! It’s the largest cast iron size available in the market.
However, the 15-inch cast iron skillets are pretty hard to handle as they weigh anywhere between 10.5 pounds to 12.5 pounds.
A 15-inch cast iron skillet can hold up to 15 to 20 small eggs in a go! Due to its sturdiness, you can also use it for cooking several steaks at a time in a fire pit!
Additionally, it’s also useful for:
- Preparing gravy or sauces in bulk
- Huge deep-dish pizza
- Large steaks
- Baking items like cornbread
Suitable For: The 15-inch cast iron skillets are best for a family of eight. You can also buy it if you often have huge gatherings at your place. However, these skillets are harder to hold, clean, and maintain. You also need to make sure you use a properly seasoned pan here.
Price Range: These skillets are the most expensive, owing to their size, and cost between $20 to $60.
Cast Iron Skillet Sizes: Comparison Table
The comparison table below demonstrates the various cast iron sizes.
|Mini-Sized Skillets||3.5-inch||0.5 pounds||1 person||$5-$10|
|5-inch||1 pound||1 person||$15-$30|
|6.5-inch||2 pounds||1 person||$10-$20|
|Medium-Sized Skillets||8-inch||3-4 pounds||1-2 persons||$20-$30|
|10-inch||5-6 pounds||2 persons||$30-$60|
|Large-Sized Skillets||12-inch||7-9 pounds||3 persons||$15-$60|
|14-inch||10-12 pounds||4 to 5 persons||$20-$50|
|15-inch||10.5-12.5 pounds||7 to 8 persons||$20-$60|
Things To Consider To Find The Right Size Skillet For You
Now that you know which sizes of cast iron cookware are available, let’s take a look at the things you need to consider to find the best cast iron skillet size for you:
The first thing that you need to consider is your cooking requirements. For instance, ask yourself what you are planning to cook in your cast iron skillet. Then, think of how much you will need to cook for every meal.
For example, if you want a skillet for cooking one small fried egg, then a 3.5-inch is suitable for you. However, if you want to cook everything from fried eggs to omelets to chicken breasts, you can go for an 8-inch one.
Overall, the 10-inch and 12-inch cast iron skillets are the most versatile sizes.
Number of People
Another important aspect to consider is the number of people in your family. If you live alone, a 6.5-inch or 8-inch skillet is good enough for cooking almost everything.
But, if you need to cook for more than one person, try going for 10-inch or 12-inch ones. For large families, the best option is to opt for 14-inch or 15-inch skillets.
Apart from the above-mentioned skillet sizes, you can also find some uncommon ones. So, if you don’t wish to pay for a 15-inch skillet but still want a huge one, then you can also consider a 13-inch or 14-inch skillet.
So, try to have a fixed budget in mind before buying a skillet that meets all your requirements.
With the wide variety of traditional cast iron skillet options available everywhere, it’s imperative to know which one is right for you. Remember, mini-sized skillets are best for people who live alone, medium-sized skillets work best when cooking for 2-3 people, and large-sized skillets are made with big families in mind.
So, we hope this guide helped you understand what size you should choose instead of simply going for the popular ones. Make sure to consider your cooking requirements, the number of people you usually cook for, and your budget before deciding which size to buy!