What Size Cast Iron Skillet Should You Buy?

A guide to help you select the best size cast iron skillet for your cooking needs, based on the type of meals you typically prepare.

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Cast Iron Skillet Sizes

A cast iron skillet is a versatile and durable piece of kitchen equipment that can last for years with proper care. When choosing a cast iron skillet, size is an important consideration. The most common sizes are 10-inch, 12-inch, and 14-inch, but skillets are also available in 8-inch and 16-inch sizes.


An 8-inch skillet is a good size for one or two people. It can hold enough food for a small meal, and it’s not so large that it’s hard to maneuver or clean. You can use an 8-inch skillet for all the same things you’d use a larger skillet for, including frying, sautéing, and baking.


This size will be your workhorse in the kitchen, and it can handle everything from cooking a big batch of bacon to frying chicken. A 10-inch skillet is big enough to cook for a small crowd, but it’s not so big that it’s unwieldy to maneuver.


A 12-inch skillet is big enough to fit a whole chicken, multiple steaks, or a couple of dozen chicken wings. It’s also the size most often used for cooking for large groups. If you do a lot of entertaining, this is the skillet size you’ll want to have on hand.


When it comes to cookware, one size does not fit all. The size of your skillet should be based on what you plan to use it for. A smaller skillet is great for cooking for one or two people, while a larger skillet is better for cooking for a crowd.

8-inch: perfect for one or two people, side dishes, or small meals

An 8-inch skillet is a good choice if you often cook for one or two people, want to fry an egg or two at a time, or frequently find yourself cooking side dishes more than entrees. Smaller skillets are also good for cooking in tight quarters, like when you’re camping.

The 8-inch size will also come in handy when you want to whip up a quick dish like pancakes but don’t want to deal with a larger skillet and more cleanup later.

10-inch: great for cooking for three to four people, or larger meals

A 10-inch skillet is a great size for cooking for three to four people, or larger meals. It’s big enough to cook a protein and two sides, or a big batch of vegetables. If you frequently cook for large groups, or want the versatility to do so, a 10-inch skillet is a good option.

12-inch: perfect for cooking for five or more people, or large meals


The 12-inch skillet is the largest size commonly available and is Perfect For cooking for five or more people, or large meals. It can be a bit unwieldy to maneuver, however, so if you don’t entertain often or cook large meals regularly, you might want to consider a smaller size.


When it comes to cast iron skillets, size definitely matters. But how do you know what size to buy? It all depends on what you’re going to use it for. In this article, we’ll go over some of the things you should consider before you buy a cast iron skillet.

If you frequently cook for large groups, consider getting multiple skillets in different sizes

Although cast iron skillets typically come in only a few sizes, multiple skillets will come in handy if you find yourself frequently cooking for large groups. In general, the sizes of cast iron skillets are as follows:

-Small: 6-8 inches in diameter, 1-2 inches deep
-Medium: 8-10 inches in diameter, 2-3 inches deep
-Large: 10-12 inches in diameter, 3-4 inches deep

Of course, you can also find extra large skillets that are 14 inches or more in diameter. These are great for cooking multiple servings at once or for making big batch recipes.

If you only cook for yourself or a small family, an 8 or 10-inch skillet should suffice

If you entertain often or cook for larger groups, opt for a 12-inch skillet. size isn’t the only determination you should make when selecting a skillet. Another thing to consider is depth. Skillets are available in shallow, standard, and deep well designs.

Standard skillets have low sides that slope outwards, making them ideal for pan-frying and sautéing meats and vegetables. The sloped sides also make it easy to turn and flip foods. Shallow skillets have even lower sides and are ideal for cooking foods that need a crisp, golden brown crust, such as French fries, chicken breasts, and fish fillets. Deep-well skillets have higher sides that are straight up and down, making them better suited for braising meats and simmering stews and sauces.

If you want the versatility to cook both small and large meals, get a 10 or 12-inch skillet

If you’re looking for a versatile cast iron skillet that can handle both small and large meals, a 10 or 12-inch skillet is your best bet. While 8-inch skillets are great for cooking for one or two people, they can be too small for some recipes. And while 14-inch skillets can come in handy for large gatherings, they can be difficult to store and maneuver.