What Is An Oven Safe Skillet? What Is It Used For?

An oven-safe skillet is safe for stovetop and oven use, allowing for versatile cooking like searing meats on the stovetop and finishing dishes like roast beef in the oven.

what is an oven safe skillet

What is an oven safe skillet? And what is it used for? Those are the questions we’re going to answer in this article. 

When our grandmothers were cooking for their families, most cookware was suitable for all modes of cooking: stovetop, oven, and even outdoors over a fire.

In most cases, generations in the past were cooking with cast iron cookware, so they knew that it was safe to put these heavy-duty skillets in the oven.

Today, the options for cookware seem to be unlimited, and there’s something for everyone. However, not all cookware is oven safe. Let’s dive in and learn more. 

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What Is an Oven Safe Skillet?

An oven-proof skillet is precisely what you would imagine. It’s a skillet that’s safe for use not just on the stovetop but also in the oven. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to know if your skillet is oven-safe. 

With stovetop cooking, you’re working with direct heat, which is ideal for many purposes. For example, browning or searing meat is best done on the stovetop.

However, with excessive direct heat, the food’s outside cooks more quickly than the inside. This can lead to meats that are undercooked. 

For many recipes, you’re going to get the best results by finishing them in the oven. For example, the old-school way of cooking roast beef with vegetables is browning the roast in a heavy skillet, then moving it to a roasting pan.

In short, an oven-proof skillet allows you to cook meals in your oven without damage to the skillet.

The key is to read the labels, customer reviews, and manufacturer documentation to ensure that the skillet you buy is oven-proof. 

Types of Oven Safe Skillets

When you think of an oven-proof skillet, you probably envision a cast-iron skillet. However, there are other types of skillets that are safe for use in the oven. 

Cast-iron skillets

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

Cast-iron skillets are the original OG when it comes to oven-proof skillets. Many of us have cast-iron cookware that we’ve inherited from family members, and still more of us have built our own collections. 

If you don’t a cast-iron skillet, the time is right to buy one. The best reason of all is that these skillets will last you a lifetime, and they’ll survive far into the lifetimes of your own children and grandchildren. 

Pros

  • Safe to any temperature
  • Versatile for cooking outside
  • Usually broiler safe
  • Non-toxic
  • Extremely durable
  • More affordable than most other oven-safe skillets

Cons

  • Heavy to work with
  • Seasoning required
  • Prone to rust if they sit in water
  • A bit of a hassle to clean and deal with (but totally worth the time investment)

The good thing about cast-iron cookware is that it’s impossible to destroy.

We have seen stories about cast-iron skillets found buried in dirt and later restored. All you have to do is get it back down to the cast iron and re-season it. 

Clad stainless steel skillets

Anolon Triply Clad Stainless Steel Frying Pan / Fry Pan / Stainless Steel Skillet - 12.75 Inch, Silver

Another option for an oven-safe skillet is a clad stainless steel skillet. Make sure your stainless steel skillets are 100% stainless steel without silicone or plastic parts. 

Some brands are lower quality and aren’t safe in the oven at higher temperatures.

Stick with brands such as All-Clad, Heritage Steel, Made In Cookware, 360 Cookware, and Viking.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Generally safe for temperatures up to 500°F
  • Usually broiler safe
  • Non-toxic

Cons

  • More expensive than some other options
  • Cheaper skillets may not be safe at higher temperatures (check the labels carefully).
  • May warp at high heat
  • Glass lids only oven safe up to 350°F

Enameled cast iron skillets

Crock Pot Artisan 10 Inch Enameled Cast Iron Round Skillet, Scarlet Red

With enameled cast-iron skillets, you can do anything that you can do with a regular cast-iron skillet with one exception: They are only oven-safe for up to 500°F.

Pros

  • Gorgeous in the kitchen
  • Several colors to choose from
  • Doesn’t require seasoning
  • Broiler safe
  • Extremely durable
  • Non-stick enamel

Cons

  • Much pricier than traditional cast-iron skillets
  • Heavy for kitchen use
  • More maintenance than other skillets

Carbon steel skillets

Lodge Carbon Steel Skillet, Pre-Seasoned, 12-inch

Carbon steel skillets have some of the same drawbacks as cast iron, but these skillets are typically much lighter.

As with the stainless steel skillets, make sure your carbon steel skillets are 100% carbon steel with no plastic or silicone parts. 

Pros

  • Safe for up to 500°F
  • Perfect for high-heat searing
  • Not as heavy as cast iron
  • Broiler safe
  • Non-toxic
  • Durable
  • More affordable than some of the other options

Cons

  • Lighter than cast iron but heavier than other types of oven-proof skillets
  • Requires seasoning

Copper skillets

Copper Chef Non-Stick Fry Pan, 8 Inch

Without a doubt, copper skillets are beautiful in the kitchen, and some brands offer oven-safe copper skillets. 

Pros

  • Oven safe to 500°F (with stainless steel lining)
  • Non-toxic
  • Durable
  • Broiler safe

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Can melt at about 400°F with a tin liner
  • Can be heavy for some people
  • Easy to confuse fake copper cookware with genuine copper cookware (the fake stuff isn’t oven-safe)
  • Needs polishing to keep its gorgeous shine

What Is an Oven Safe Skillet Used For?

Have you ever seen a pan of cornbread cooking in a cast-iron skillet in the oven? If so, you have a good idea of what an oven-proof skillet is good for.

But the uses of an oven-proof skillet go far beyond a pan of buttery cornbread. 

  • Homemade biscuits (or store-bought canned or frozen biscuits)
  • Cinnamon rolls
  • Frittatas
  • Breakfast skillets
  • Seared steak
  • Baked pasta dishes
  • Casseroles
  • Re-heating leftovers 
  • Stew (with a lid)

Also, keep in mind that an oven-proof skillet is also great for stovetop cooking.

For that reason, anything you would normally cook in a skillet, you can certainly cook in your oven-proof skillet. 

How to Know if Your Skillet Is Oven Safe

If you’ve got a heavy-duty skillet, does that mean it’s oven-safe? Not necessarily.

Here are some tips for determining if your skillet is oven-safe or not. 

  • Cast iron is always oven-safe. 
  • Look at the bottom of the cookware. You may see the words “oven safe,” or you may see a marking that shows a symbol of a pot in an oven. 
  • Examine the handles and the lids. If any part of the handle or lid knobs has plastic or silicone, the skillet is not oven-safe. 
  • Don’t use pans made with PTFE. These chemicals can release toxic fumes that are lethal to birds and harmful to people. 
  • If a pan is sold for baking, you can rest assured that it’s oven-safe. 

FAQs about Oven Safe Skillets

What is an oven safe skillet? Below, we answer the most frequently asked questions.

What can I use if I don’t have an oven safe skillet?

If you don’t have an oven-safe skillet, you can use any of these pans.

  • Roasting pan
  • Baking pan
  • Some Dutch ovens (make sure they’re oven-safe)
  • Triple-ply stainless steel skillets
  • Pyrex casserole dishes
  • Nickel-plated skillets

Is a non stick skillet oven safe?

The best oven-safe non-stick skillet is a ceramic non-stick skillet. However, not all non-stick cookware is safe for use in the oven. Check the packaging material or the manufacturer’s website to make sure your non-stick skillet is oven-safe. 

Is a cast iron skillet oven safe?

Absolutely! Home chefs have been using cast iron for cooking in the oven for generations. 

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