The 5 Best Cast Iron Skillets for Camping

Every camping cookware supply list should include the best cast iron skillet and the camping utensils to use it. Like camping griddles and camping cooking pots with their dutch oven lid lifters, cast iron pans are a favorite cooking surface among campers. From frying bacon and eggs to making a potato hash, perhaps to other pot or camping frying pan used for cooking is as versatile as a skillet.

Choosing and buying the best camping skillet for your upcoming camping trip will assure that you can give yourself, family and friends, the best meal a camping cook can deliver. Because of this, your camping mess kit should always include a cast iron camping frying pan. Keep reading for our cast iron skillet reviews and ratings below!

The 5 Top Camping Cast Iron Cooking Skillets

Included in our reviews are an easy to read and understand ONE to FIVE STAR RATING system. When reading and studying the reviews, be sure to note the skillet’s weight, if it’s pre-seasoned or not and how much volume it holds, all of which are important for using cast iron cookware. Presented below are the detailed reviews of the 5 best cast iron cooking skillets.

Best Choice
Our Score 10 Out of 10
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Premium Pick
Our Score 10 Out of 10
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Best Value
Our Score 6 Out of 10
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Editor’s Choice
Our Score 8 Out of 10
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Honorable Mention
Our Score 8 Out of 10
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* Ratings are determined using our specialized rating system.

Home-Complete Pre-Seasoned Skillet Pan 12 Inch

Our Score 10 out of 10
Home-Complete Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet-12 inch for Home, Camping Indoor and Outdoor Cooking, Frying, Searing and Baking, 12", Black
Home-Complete Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet-12 inch for Home, Camping Indoor and Outdoor Cooking, Frying, Searing and Baking, 12", Black amazon.com Check price

Cook your best food ever! Forget all those non-stick flimsy pans you have in your cabinets Use cast iron to cook with instead! It makes a world of difference in taste and your ability to cook food ...

This Home-Complete Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet Pan 12 Inch is a good standard size camping skillet. It weighs a hefty 7.4 pounds. It has a long handle on one side and a holding handle on the other. Two handles on each side is a good thing – especially for uneven camping surfaces and campfire situations. There are also pour notches on each side to keep the liquids being poured even. The cooking skillet is pre-seasoned and comes with a 10 year limited manufacturer’s warranty. A good all-around cooking skillet.

Pros
  • Comes pre-seasoned for ease of care
  • Large size optimal for feeding larger groups
  • Multiple handles so heavy dishes can be pulled easily from the fire
  • Two pour notches for pouring versatility
  • 7,4 pounds, making it unwieldy for backpacking or foot travel
Cons
  • 7,4 pounds, making it unwieldy for backpacking or foot travel

Pre-Seasoned Skillet, 10.25 inch – Utopia Kitchen

Our Score 10 out of 10
Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet - Utopia Kitchen (12.5 Inch)
Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet - Utopia Kitchen (12.5 Inch) amazon.com Check price

Cast iron cookware is less smoother than the Non-Stick cookware.
Iron deficiency is fairly common worldwide especially among women so cooking food in a cast iron skillet can increase iron content b...

The Utopia Kitchen Pre-Seasoned Skillet, 10.25 inch is a great compromise between a larger standard 12 inch and 8 inch pan. A great size to take on your next camping journey. It has two handles, one long and one short, as well as two spill notches. It weighs in at 4.8 pounds. A good all-around choice.

Pros
  • Comes pre-seasoned for ease of care
  • Lighter weight for ease of transport
  • Choices between 8-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch skillets
  • Some users have had issues with the seasoning being done poorly
Cons
  • Some users have had issues with the seasoning being done poorly

Lodge Skillet with Red Mini Silicone Hot Handle Holder, 8-inch

Our Score 6 out of 10
Lodge Cast Iron Skillet with Red Mini Silicone Hot Handle Holder, 8-inch
Lodge Cast Iron Skillet with Red Mini Silicone Hot Handle Holder, 8-inch amazon.com Check price

Cast iron provides superior heat retention and is unparalleled for even cooking
Cast Iron Skillet is seasoned with vegetable oil for a natural, easy-release finish that improves with use
Easy care:...

The Lodge Skillet with Red Mini Silicone Hot Handle Holder is one of the smaller skillets we reviewed. It weighs in at 3.4 pounds, which is lighter than most other iron pans due to its size. It comes with a red silicone handle. The handle is removable (with some effort) and if flame resistant to 400. The handle should be ok over a campfire (and quite useful) though we wouldn’t expose it to a direct flame. The skillet is pre-seasoned and ready to go out of the box. It is made by the Lodge company in the USA. We love the size, the silicone handle and the fact that it’s made in the USA.

Pros
  • Comes pre-seasoned for ease of care
  • Skillet comes with a heat-resistant silicone handle
  • The smaller profile makes it better suited for backpacking and lightweight travel
  • Skillet does not have secondary handle for ease of carrying
Cons
  • Skillet does not have secondary handle for ease of carrying

Fresh Australian Kitchen Pre-Seasoned Skillet 12.5 Inch

Our Score 8 out of 10
Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet 12.5 Inch by Fresh Australian Kitchen. Oven Safe Cookware, Perfect Camping, Indoors and Outdoor Pan.
Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet 12.5 Inch by Fresh Australian Kitchen. Oven Safe Cookware, Perfect Camping, Indoors and Outdoor Pan. amazon.com Check price

PREMIUM PROFESSIONAL QUALITY; The cast iron in the Fresh Australian Kitchen skillet has unbeatable heat retention, meaning the heat is dispersed evenly across the entire surface of its thick base t...

The Fresh Australian Kitchen Pre-Seasoned Skillet 12.5 Inch is unique to our selection of the 5 best cooking skillets. It is our heaviest and largest skillet at 12.5 inches and a hefty 7.7 pounds. The handle is also somewhat unique in that it is a bit shorter than most other 12 inch skillets, but it comes pre-seasoned out of the box. The manufacturer gives it a lifetime guarantee. A very good option for a camping skillet.

Pros
  • Comes pre-seasoned for ease of care
  • Has a thicker base for top-of-the-line heat distribution
  • Skillet has 2 handles and 2 pouring spouts for maximum ease of use
  • Weighs 7,7 pounds, making it unwieldy for backpacking and lightweight travel
  • Handle is shorter than on other comparable skillets
Cons
  • Weighs 7,7 pounds, making it unwieldy for backpacking and lightweight travel
  • Handle is shorter than on other comparable skillets

Lodge L8SK3 10-1/4-Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet

Our Score 8 out of 10
Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet With Assist Handle, 10.25", Black
Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet With Assist Handle, 10.25", Black amazon.com Check price

One Lodge Pre-Seasoned 10.25 Inch Cast Iron Skillet
Assist handle for better control
Unparalleled heat retention and even heating
Pre-seasoned with 100% natural vegetable oil
Use to sear, sauté, ba...

The Lodge 10.25 Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet is our second Lodge product in our top 5 best camping skillet list. This camping skillet weighs in at an even 5 pounds. It also has two handles, one long and one short with two spill notches. It comes out of the box ready to use as it is pre-seasoned. The Lodge 10.25 inch skillet is made in the USA by the Lodge company and is guaranteed by the manufacturer. We found this to be the best skillet size (not too small but not too large) for camping. A great overall camping skillet.

To research more cast iron products from Lodge, read our Lodge cast iron product reviews here.

Pros
  • Comes pre-seasoned for ease of care
  • Lighter weight makes this camping frying pan better for backpacking and lightweight travel
  • Many users complain the pan did not come sufficiently pre-seasoned
Cons
  • Many users complain the pan did not come sufficiently pre-seasoned

Important Features to Consider

Most pots and pans come in standard sizes, and skillets are no exception. The standard sizes for skillets are as follows:

  • 8 Inches
  • 10 Inches
  • 12 Inches

The measurement is from end of the pan to the other, not including the handle(s). There are smaller and larger skillet sizes ranging from 3 inches across to 18 inches across, but these selections are 90 percent of what is sold. In terms of depth, most are 2-3 inches deep. If you need a different size of pan, consider purchasing a cast iron baking pan, cast iron wok, or a cast iron grill pan to service your cooking needs. For boiling water or other liquids, consider a cast iron teapot.

How Do You Clean a Cast Iron Skillet?

Many people may not buy this style of pan because they think they might rust. And, in fact, if they are not properly cared for, they will rust. Here are the easy steps to clean a cast iron skillet:

  • Remove as much food from the pan as possible
  • Clean with a mild soap and water
  • If needed, scrub off baked on food with salt
  • Dry with towel
  • Do not use SOS pads or metal scrubbers
  • Do not place in a dishwasher

This style of cooking is unique in the fact that the non-stick surface on the skillet is actually baked-on grease and fat, whether you use a skillet or a cast iron melting pot. Using a metal scratch pad may scratch into this coating, either harming it or worse, remove the coating. Additionally, dishwashers may damage a skillet by high heat and by the use of harsh dishwasher detergents. Learn how to take care of your skillet using proper cast iron seasoning before use to prevent rust and other damage.

What Can You Cook in a Cast Iron Skillet?

A camping skillet at a campsite can be a real life-saver. How? By all of the things one cook with a cooking skillet:

  • Fried foods (eggs, bacon, chicken, etc.)
  • Sauteed foods (onions, garlic, meats, herbs, etc.)
  • Stews and soups
  • Pancakes, fritters, hashbrowns
  • Cornbread, cakes, biscuits

A true camper should not go camping without a skillet! And having one will open up the many uses not mentioned above.

To learn more about different cast iron skillets on the market, check out our Lodge cast iron reviews, Tramontina cast iron reviews, and Finex cast iron reviews to see what these great cast iron brands have to offer.

Conclusion

Though these camping skillets may look generally the same, they are not. They are different sizes, weights and have different manufacturers. When buying a camping cooking skillets to go with your cast iron cookbook, note the size you may need. A general rule is that one standard size egg, cracked into a skillet is about 4-5 inches across. Therefore, to cook 4 eggs at once, an 8 inch skillet is probably too small – but a 12 inch is perfect. So when reading the reviews, be sure and purchase the correct skill-set for your needs. Ultimately, we found the Home-Complete Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet Pan to be the best cast iron skillet because of its marriage of price and quality.

When we dream of camping, with the campfire burning and our loved ones around us, also think of a cast iron skillet sitting on the fire next to that hot pot of coffee. Now that’s camping at its best.

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