HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >


Good quality cast iron frying pan

Somewhere along the way I've picked up the idea that a cast iron frying pan is the way to go. Can anyone recommend a good place to buy one that's not too expensive (if they are expensive, no idea really) How about Tap Phong on Spadina? Or would they not carry good quality ones?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Cast iron pans are not expensive. Look for the Lodge brand. Caynes has them in varing sizes. There is a wealth of information on cast iron seasoning and maintenence on the cookware board. Lodge is, I believe, the only remaining North American Manufacturer.

    1. I got mine from Kitchenstuff plus when it was on a special and it came pre-seasoned. Cayne should have a lot of options as well.
      However if you still feel like seasoning it. Just do a deep fry batch using the new cast iron pan and voila you have just seasoned it. I recall paying 30$ for a good 12" sized pan.

      1. Sasmart in Kensington Market has good cast iron - Lodge, I'm pretty sure - at what is probably a decent price. The other place you could try if you're uptown is Caynes. They have everything and their prices are usually competitive.

          1. Thanks to all of you for the information. The next question is, what advantage does cast iron have over a regular frying pan?

            3 Replies
            1. re: ziggystardust

              Depends on what you mean by a regular frying pan. Compared to my old regular stainless steel frying pan which cannot be placed over high heat without getting discoloured and potentially warped, my cast iron pan can go over direct high heat, including a gas burner. Same problem with my Teflon frying pan; high heat will damage the Teflon coating and apparently can release toxic fumes. Also I've been told that food cooked in a cast iron pan will pick up some iron which can be good or bad depending on your particular dietary needs. Two disadvantages for cast iron pans are the heavier weight and they can rust if left on a damp surface.

              1. re: ziggystardust

                Well depends what your intention for this pan is.
                Long life is a starting point (frying pan having a year or two in my case while my cast iron is still going strong after 8 years)
                I prefer to cook stuff requiring high heat such as steak or foie gras in it.
                Deep Frying is a no brainer
                My fajitas stay nice an warm due to residual heat
                Now would I pick it over a frying pan not really there are things that a frying pan is more suitable for like cooking eggs etc.

                1. My last cast iron was purchased at the Downsview Flea Market, I don’t even remember its brand name.

                  They key to a ‘good cast iron’ pan is the maintained of the pan. I also have two other pans, one about 12 years old and one about 25 years old. Also, there is one down side to using a cast iron, is that you cannot use an acid in the pan such as tomatoes or lemon; it will leach out the iron and then flavour your dish.

                  One good way to begin seasoning is to fry chicken in the pan for its first use. Wash in warm soapy water, dry well and rub in olive oil. If kept well it will last for many many years.

                  1. Last week canadian tire had kitchen aid ones for 19$ (10") and 29$ (12"). I picked one up awhile ago at that pirce and its great. Cast iron puts a nice crust on meats that non stick just cant. it can also go easily from stove top to oven broil (my non stick has a max of 400 degrees). Make sure you season after use (and it'll become non stick over time like a wok) and dont leave it soaking in water, as it'll start to corrode (says my wife)

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: g5spark

                      I have one that is pre WW11 and still as good as the day it was cast. Will stay that way because it isn't advisable to use them on a glass topped stove. So until I get a new stove, with burners, it will stay in a cupboard.

                      1. re: Herne

                        I have used a CI pan on a portable induction burner with good results, even for steak.

                        1. re: Herne

                          I use my Lodge cast iron pan on my glass-topped stove with no problems. I don't drag it and I make sure to place it gently to avoid scratching the stove top but so far, so good. Nothing else sears a steak like cast iron can.

                          1. re: ctl98

                            i use m CI skillet on glass top all the time. no scratching issues.

                            1. re: filtered

                              Actually I am concerned about dropping it a few inches and breaking the glass.

                              1. re: Herne

                                Under what circumstances would you drop a skillet? I wouldn't worry so much. I use mine on my glasstop. A little windex, a little no stick scrub pad, voila! Like new.

                                1. re: Googs

                                  Under the usual circumstances I've dropped things all my life--they slip.

                                  1. re: Herne

                                    Perhaps you should spend some time in the store checking the feel of the handle in your hands and the balance of the pan much like you would a knife before purchase. Just a (hopefully helpful) thought.

                      2. Love cast iron. Definitely use it for high heat sutff like: steak, pork chops, veal , searing, fish, scallops, deep frying, but also - breakfast food like sausages, pancakes, french toast.

                        Also use it for pot stickers, grilled cheese, stir fries. Grilled veggies like eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms.

                        1. Excellent choice for cooking---cast iron is the original non-stick pan. I own 2 Lodge fry pans and a Lodge grill pan, plus a Lodge charcol grill my wife bought for me more than 15 years ago.. I still want to purchase one of their Dutch Ovens.

                          I'm delighted with Lodge products. If you can't find a local retailer, you can purchase directly from Lodge or at least have fun making your list.

                          Lodge web site http://www.lodgemfg.com/


                          6 Replies
                          1. re: Gary627

                            Has anybody seen any of the Lodge Dutch Oven's in the GTA? Looking to purchase one. Thanks!

                            1. re: deabot

                              Check with the Corningware Corelle Revere Store. I bought mine there. Address: 160 Rimrock Road, North York
                              (416) 633-5636

                              1. re: deabot

                                Ashton Green carries a few version:


                                Mail order or pick up at their Scarborough warehouse.

                                1. re: deabot

                                  Pretty sure the Bass Pro outlet up in Vaughn carries a wide selection of the Lodge products including the Dutch Ovens. Been a while since I have been up there so you might want to double check. They are listed on their website (various sizes) but it may be the USA site:


                                  1. re: deabot

                                    Kitchen Stuff Plus has the glass top version. I'd be more inclined to go with the cast iron lid.

                                    1. re: Googs

                                      Thanks to all for their suggestions! I will have to follow up on the kitchen stuff plus and ashton green recs! Thought I could get by with a slow cooker but it isn't quite the same.

                                2. I bought a 12" pan at Loblaws Superstore for $10. Very basic but that's all you need. When I remember I season it after every clean-up and I'm not sure if it's the same case with the Lodge pre-seasoned.

                                  If I were to do it again, I would go with the same or the Lodge since it's made in North America. Cast iron is pretty much the same everywhere so when you pay $30-50 for KitchenAid it's just for their brand name (which seems to be on everything so that tells you something.)

                                  I currently have my eyes on a Lodge grill pan. The heat and grid pattern is perfect for steaks and chops.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: neighborguy

                                    The grill pan is perfect for starting steaks and chops, but not finishing. Even with rotating once a side and flipping once, you can't get the internal temp high enough without over charring the meat. You have to finish in the oven. Still totally worth having.

                                    1. re: Googs

                                      i got mine at bass pro mills...the "outdoor" branded ones are cheap...mine was about $15...i love it...probably my favourite piece of cookware...

                                  2. Best cast iron @ Academy 14,99 USA by Lodge !
                                    Enjoy it, will last a life time.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. Has anyone ever seen a Japanese cast iron grill pan in Toronto? They usually round with narrow and high ridges.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Mila

                                        I have some I've purchased in Japan. I get the feeling Amazon (.com) sometimes has Iwachi cast iron products, though mainly teapots. I also have some Staub and le Creuset that work as well as the imports, in case you find them at a discount.

                                        I suspect this is what you're looking for: http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/ki...

                                        You can order off Rakuten Global, and it's fairly pain-free. You can even sort through and see what you want in terms of branding.