The 5 Best Cast Iron Skillets for Camping

Every camping cookware supply list should include a good, strong and durable camping cast iron cooking skillet and the utensils to use it. From frying bacon and eggs to making a potato hash, perhaps to other pot or 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 skillet. We have reviewed and ranked what we consider to be the 5 best cast iron cooking skillets for camping below:

The 5 Top Camping Cast Iron Cooking Skillets

Presented below are the detailed reviews of the 5 best 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 and note the skillets weight, if it’s pre-seasoned or not and how much volume it holds.

Editor’s PicksBrandRating *
Best ChoiceHome-Complete Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet Pan 12 Inch♥♥♥♥♥
Premium PickPre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Skillet, 10.25 inch – Utopia Kitchen♥♥♥♥♥
Best ValueLodge Cast Iron Skillet with Red Mini Silicone Hot Handle Holder, 8-inch♥♥♥♡♡
Editor’s ChoiceFresh Australian Kitchen Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet 12.5 Inch♥♥♥♥♡
Honorable MentionLodge L8SK3 10-1/4-Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet♥♥♥♥♡

* Ratings are determined using our specialized rating system.

Best Choice: Home-Complete Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet Pan 12 Inch

★ Best Choice
5 Best Cast Iron Skillets for Camping 15 Best Cast Iron Skillets for Camping 2

Home-Complete Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet Pan 12 Inch

The Home-Complete Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet Pan 12 Inch is our best rated cast iron skillet because its durability and size come at a great price point for campers.

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. We give the Home-Complete Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet Pan 12 Inch a rating of FIVE STARS.

Item Key Features:

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

Cons

  • 7.4 pounds, making it unwieldy for backpacking or foot travel

Premium Pick: Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Skillet, 10.25 inch – Utopia Kitchen

♛ Premium Pick
5 Best Cast Iron Skillets for Camping 15 Best Cast Iron Skillets for Camping 2

Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Skillet, 10.25 inch – Utopia Kitchen

The Utopia Kitchen Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Skillet, 10.25 inch is a more expensive cast iron skillet that offers quality and versatility so campers know they have all the options they need to enjoy a camping trip.

The Utopia Kitchen Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Skillet, 10.25 inch is a great compromise between a larger standard 12 inch and 8 inch cast-iron skillet. 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. We rate the Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Skillet, 10.25 inch – Utopia Kitchen FIVE STARS!

Item Key Features:

Pros

  • Comes pre-seasoned for ease of care
  • Lighter weight for ease of transport
  • Choices between 8-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch skillets

Cons

  • Some users have had issues with the seasoning being done poorly

Best Value: Lodge Cast Iron Skillet with Red Mini Silicone Hot Handle Holder, 8-inch

$ Best Value
5 Best Cast Iron Skillets for Camping 55 Best Cast Iron Skillets for Camping 6

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

The Lodge Cast Iron Skillet with Red Mini Silicone Hot Handle Holder, 8-inch is a more affordable cast iron skillet perfect for beginner campers or backpackers who need smaller and more lightweight cooking options.

The Lodge Cast Iron 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 cast-iron skillets 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. We give the Lodge Cast Iron Skillet with Red Mini Silicone Hot Handle Holder, 8-inch a THREE STAR rating!

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

Cons

  • Skillet does not have secondary handle for ease of carrying

Editor’s Choice: Fresh Australian Kitchen Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet 12.5 Inch

♥ Top Pick
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Fresh Australian Kitchen Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet 12.5 Inch

The Fresh Australian Kitchen Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet 12.5 Inch is another top cast iron skillet for camping enthusiasts because of its high quality, ensuring the best-tasting food on your trip.

The Fresh Australian Kitchen Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron 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. It’s made from cast-iron and comes pre-seasoned out of the box. The manufacturer gives it a lifetime guarantee. A very good option for a camping skillet. We give the Fresh Australian Kitchen Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet 12.5 Inch a FOUR STAR rating.

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

Cons

  • Weighs 7.7 pounds, making it unwieldy for backpacking and lightweight travel
  • Handle is shorter than on other comparable skillets

Honorable Mention: Lodge L8SK3 10-1/4-Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet

♥ Top Pick
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Lodge L8SK3 10-1/4-Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet

The Lodge L8SK3 10-1/4-Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet wins the last slot in our best cast iron skillets list. As a lighter-weight skillet, this skillet offers another option for backpackers looking for the joys a cast iron skillet brings but with a more accessible size and weight.

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. The Lodge L8SK3 10-1/4-Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet gets a rating of FOUR STARS.

Pros

  • Comes pre-seasoned for ease of care
  • Lighter weight makes this pan better for backpacking and lightweight travel

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 cast iron skillets are no exception. The standard sizes for cast-iron 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 cast iron 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.

How Do You Clean a Cast-Iron Skillet?

Many people may not buy cast-iron skillets 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 cleaning a cast-iron camping cooking 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

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

What Can You Cook in a Cast Iron Skillet?

A camping cast-iron skillet at a campsite can be a real life-saver. How? By all of the things one cook with a cast-iron 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 cast-iron skillet! And having one will open up the many uses not mentioned above.

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, not 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.