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{Product Review & Giveaway} Cuisinart CastLite Cookware

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When we got married 11 years ago, we received a cookware set that was coated in Teflon. I was all kinds of excited because I assumed that was required in order to not have food stick to the pan. After a few years, I noticed more and more flakes of black in our food. I thought, “Pretty sure I didn’t put pepper in this meal, but whatever”. It didn’t occur to me at first that we were actually eating Teflon. Ew!! I finally caved and bought a new stainless cookware set and was determined to use it right so that I could still make food without it sticking. Honestly, this was hard. I wasn’t born knowing how to cook, so I still had a learning curve with every new thing I tried. Stainless cookware was no exception.

After 7 years of cooking on stainless and still not 100% loving it, I knew I needed to make yet another change. I got a Lodge cast iron skillet and loved it. A lot. But it still wasn’t just right. I wound up keeping the Lodge pan in our camper and use it exclusively for camping now.

But I was back to square one on some new cookware. Then I heard about the new CastLite Cookware line from Cuisinart. I was intrigued to say the least. I’ve always loved Cuisinart, they seem to be some of the best, longest lasting products I’ve used, so it only made sense to me that their cookware would be of equal quality. After reading more about it, I decided I definitely wanted to give it a shot and I’m so glad I did!

So what makes the Cuisinart CastLite cookware so special?

This new lightweight, non-stick cast-iron cookware weighs up to half the amount of the company’s traditional cast iron, while offering the same exceptional performance. CastLite™ features a classic cast-iron construction for even heating and superior heat retention, and utilizes Dupont® Platinum Non-Stick Coating. This dishwasher-safe, induction-ready cookware also comes equipped with riveted, cool grip stainless steel handles and an attractive porcelain enamel exterior. The CastLite™ collection includes fry pans, a square grill pan, a Dutch oven, and a chef’s pan. The line is available in red with a black nonstick interior, and blue with a blue nonstick interior.

I have had the privilege to use this cookware in my own home for the past couple months and have truly put it to the test. Specifically, I have used the 12″ Fry Pan w/ Helper Handle and the 11″ Square Grill Pan w/ Help Handle, and here’s what I think about them.

Lightweight Division of Cast Iron Pans

As I mentioned earlier, I already had a Lodge cast iron skillet. It’s the 10″ and I thought that was heavy. After hopping on the scale to check, I found out it weighs in at nearly 6 lbs. No wonder I always felt like I was getting a workout when I carried it. After a quick search on the world wide web, I found that the 12″ Lodge skillet weighs 8 lbs! No thanks.

However, the Cuisinart CastLite 12″ Fry Pan weighs in at a mere 4 lbs. Half the weight of the equivalently sized Lodge pan. I don’t know about you, but that’s reason enough for me to want to make the switch. But just in case, I’ve got a few other reasons.

I am notorious (at least in my small circle) for burning my self. Always. I keep a small container of healing salve in my purse because it’s inevitable that I will need it at some point in my week. Whether I’m cooking, ironing, camping, or just sitting on the couch, I’ll probably get burned. I honestly can’t tell you how many times I went to grab the handle of my Lodge skillet without a hot pad and burned the snot out of my fingers (and sometimes the whole palm of my hand).

That’s why I super love the cool grip handles on the CastLite pans. I have yet to burn myself on them and that’s saying a lot! They really truly do stay cool. I will admit that the Helper Handles do get a little warm, so I do use a hot pad as a precaution there.

Oh, and about the Helper Handles, they really are great. Just that extra little assistance on the opposite side of the pan makes sure I’m carrying the pan evenly with two hands, making sure I don’t accidentally tip the edge and spill all my hard work on the floor. Not that I’ve ever done that before. I’m really starting to sound like a clutz…

You know how dogs and babies are easily distracted by shiny objects? Yeah, I am too. Especially when they’re shiny and red. I was instantly drawn to the beautiful glossy enamel coating the outside of the CastLite pans. They were calling to me. Even though there is an equally beautiful blue color, the red just drew me right in.

But the enamel exterior is not just about style, it’s also functional (in my messy kitchen anyway). I’ve recently purchased a new dishwasher. She is 8-years-old and likes to read Harry Potter books. She’s not as fast as the dishwasher that came installed in our kitchen, but she’s cute and likes to earn money by washing dishes. But because she’s not as speedy as her mom {clears throat}, sometimes the dishes sit a little longer than they should. With typical cast iron pans, this would lead to a rusty spot in the sink or on the counter (thank goodness for Magic Erasers!), but I have yet to come across this issue with the CastLite pans because of the porcelain enamel coating.

I’ve pretty much cooked on all types of cookware in my 11 years as a wife. I was never so great at mastering non-stick-ability in the stainless steel pans, and didn’t like the cheapie Teflon that flaked off in my food. I had hit or miss luck on my Lodge pan, because seasoning the pan and making sure I always oiled it was not my strong point, so it wasn’t (still isn’t) fantastic as a non-stick pan.

The CastLite pans have a Dupont® Platinum non-stick coating on them that is durable and extremely efficient. I can dry cook in my pans (meaning no oils/fats to keep sticking at bay) or add a little oil. Either way, I don’t get sticky foods now. This is especially important now that we’ve discovered the amazing thing that is fried plantain slices. They come out perfect every time.

I try to keep all metal utensils away from my non-stainless pans (using only silicone or bamboo), but sometimes the spoon I need just happens to be metal. I use a bit more caution in this case, but the coating doesn’t chip or scrape off. It’s good stuff and I’m glad it’s there to give me that extra non-sticky boost. It makes me feel like a more proficient cook, even if my skills haven’t changed.

In addition to the 12″ Fry Pan, I also use the 11″ Square Grill Pan. I love this so much, especially on the days I can’t get out on the gas grill. I’ve used it to make burgers, grilled chicken thighs, kabobs, and grilled pineapple slices. I love that it makes the perfect little grill marks on the food, but more than that, the wells in between the raised ridges collect the grease and fat drippings so I can easily drain them out of the pan.

Since the CastLite pans are oven safe, I can pop the pan in the oven under the broiler to get a quick crispy top to my meal. I love that I don’t have to switch my food to a broiler pan. I also move from stovetop to oven when I’m making steaks inside. A quick sear on the outside, then into the hot hot oven it goes to finish baking to perfect. All in one pan!

I might have already mentioned my recent dish washing issues and messy kitchen. However, the thing about these pans is that they’re crazy easy to wash. While they are dishwasher safe, mine hasn’t seen the inside of the dishwasher yet. There are 2 reasons for this:

  1. I use it too often, so I simply can’t wait long enough for it to get into the dishwasher and then finish cleaning before I need it again.
  2. It’s really so easy to clean, I can’t justify using the dishwasher space on this when I can easily clean it by hand.

Depending on what I’ve cooked in it previously, it often just needs a quick wipe down with a paper towel to remove the extra oil. If I do need to clean some sauce or something heavier out of it, I just run a soapy sponge over it a couple times (inside and out) and rinse it real quick. It’s maybe a 30 second job. The non-stick coating makes it insanely easy to clean.

When I first got the pans, I read on the packaging that you shouldn’t use as high a heat with these pans. I promptly ignored that instruction and turned it up to my usual high heat the first time I used it. Guess what? The packaging knows what it’s talking about (shocker, I know). Because of the way the pans are constructed and the material used, it heats up more efficiently and a bit hotter than a typical fry pan.

I especially love this because my chances of burning food are lowered when I cook at a lower heat. I mentioned I’m good at burning myself, and that sometimes translates into burned food as well. I claim to be a multi-tasker but it sometimes backfires (pun totally intended).

Also, so long as I have the pan on an appropriately-sized burner (not the tiny back burner for the 12″ Fry Pan, you know what I mean?) my food heats evenly. There are no hot or cool spots with these pans, just even all-around heat. I don’t even think I need to mention how important that is in the cooking world, but it totally is. Who wants a half-burned pancake? Um, not me.

The CastLite collection contains a variety of pan sizes (an 8″ Fry Pan all the way up to a 5.25 qt Dutch Oven), though my personal favorite is the 12″ Fry Pan, which is just right for me and my family. It is hardly ever in the cabinet because I’m always using it, multiple times a day. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever put it in the cabinet, it’s always in use.

I make our whole family’s serving of eggs (1 dozen!) every morning in one fell swoop (or 2 fell swoops if some want fried eggs instead of scrambled), then I whip up some skillet sweet potatoes after the gym (just in time for lunch), and then use it again to make dinner. So I’m using it nearly 3 times a day, every day. It is officially my go-to pan.

I recently needed to cook a double batch of a new recipe I’m working on and Since I only have one CastLite skillet, I used it and my old stainless steal skillet (which has a slightly larger capacity). Because the stainless skillet is a little larger, I put it on the largest burner and put the 12″ CastLite skillet on the medium burner. I evenly divided all the food so each skillet had the exact same amount and set the burners to the same heat.

I was shocked at the difference in the cook time of both skillets. Halfway through, I had to increase the heat of the stainless skillet in hopes of getting the food to cook faster and keep up with the CastLite cook time. No dice. Every time I added a new ingredient, it was like the stainless skillet had to start over and heat back up.

Meanwhile, the food in the CastLite, although it was a little more crowded due to the slightly smaller capacity, finished cooking about 30% faster. It was crazy. I was actually expecting the opposite since it was more crowded and it was on a smaller burner. Pretty sure I’ll be replacing all my stainless cookware with CastLite as soon as I can.

Want to win your own set of Cuisinart CastLite cookware?


Of course you do! And since Cuisinart is generously giving both the 12″ Fry Pan w/ Helper Handle and the 11″ Square Grill Pan w/ Help Handle (in red, of course) to one of Our Paleo Life‘s readers, now is your chance to enter to win them.

Please share:

Jack McLaughlin

Sunday 9th of April 2023

I just purchased a Cuisanart 12" castlite skillet with helper handle. Do I need to season the skillet before use?

Kendra Benson

Monday 10th of April 2023

It shouldn't need to be seasoned before the first use.

rent el paso

Friday 14th of August 2015

Very great post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I've really loved browsing your blog posts. After all I'll be subscribing on your feed and I'm hoping you write once more soon!

Jennie Sawyers

Sunday 17th of August 2014

Hey!Why can't I enter the giveaway if I don't have Twitter? I would love to enter, but have no desire to have Twitter! LOL

Kendra Benson

Monday 18th of August 2014

Sorry Jennie. It's the only way in to this giveaway.

Nadine Pullen

Wednesday 13th of August 2014

I'm not sure how to finish the entry here to know if I've been successful.

Kendra Benson

Wednesday 13th of August 2014

Hi Nadine. If you try to use the same entry option but it is no longer available, then it's been entered successfully. It will be light gray with a "DONE" checkmark next to it. Otherwise, it wasn't successfully entered and you can try again, just be sure to click the green confirmation button at the bottom-right of each entry option.