Cast iron skillets have been used for centuries to cook everyday food. Their cooking benefits include providing a more evenly cooked product, but caring for them can be difficult. It is important to know what a cast iron skillet looks like so you know when to use them.

Things You'll Need

Look at the color. New cast iron skillets are gunmetal gray, but each time they are used, they become darker and darker, eventually appearing black. Also, the inside of the skillet will have a grainy appearance, since it is not coated with Teflon like other skillets.

Pick up the skillet. Cast iron cookware are extremely heavy and durable. Depending on the size of the cast iron skillet, they can weight from 3 to 10 lbs.

Examine the appearance of the cast iron skillet. Nowadays, many skillets look high-tech, modern or light and shiny. Cast iron skillets are heavy so that they can distribute heat evenly to cook food. This makes them look very old-fashioned, like they should be in an episode of House On the Prairie.

Look for any flaky materials on the skillet. When cast iron isn’t bonded correctly, the alloy, silicon and iron all start to flake because they aren’t cohesive. These large metal flakes are a sign that a skillet is cast iron. The same problem with cracks is prevalent in cast iron.


  • Cast iron skillets are easy to mold, so be careful not to get them wet too often.

References and Resources

Cast Iron Characteristics and Types