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The Best Oven Safe Skillets: How to Make Sure Your Skillet Is Safe for the Oven

By trk

Last Updated: April 24, 2023

best skillet for oven, oven safe cookware, oven safe skillets

Oven-safe skillets are a great advantage in the kitchen. They can save you time and make your life easier by having to only wash one pan instead of two (or more).

Oven-safe skillets aren't hard to find, but you do have to make sure your skillet is safe and durable enough to stand up to oven heat. We look at all the heating, durability, and safety issues involved in finding the best oven-safe skillets. 

Our Favorite Oven Safe Skillets at a Glance

Here is a list of basic oven safe cookware materials. The oven safe temp can vary--and barring plastic or silicone handles and glass lids--you should be safe to 500F. 

NOTE: Most skillets do not come with a lid. If they do, the lid may have a different oven-safe temp than the pan itself. If your skillet has a lid and you don't know its temperature limits, be careful using it in the oven, especially if it contains glass and/or silicone or plastic parts.

Pan Type/Example

Pros

Cons

Clad Stainless Steel

All-Clad D3 tri-ply skillet w/lid

see it on Amazon

see it an Williams-Sonoma

see our All-Clad review

All-Clad D3 skillet with lid

-Lightweight

-Typically oven safe to 500F 

-Typically broiler safe

-Safe and non-toxic

-Durable

-12" about $130.

-Cheaper brands may have lower oven safe temps

-Cheaper brands can warp under high heat

-Glass lids typically oven safe to 350F

-Good brands can be expensive.

Lodge cast iron skillet

-Safe to any temp

-Great for high heat searing

-Typically broiler safe

-Safe and non-toxic

-Durable

-Affordable: 10" about $20.

-Heavy

-Usually no lid included

-Must be seasoned or can rust.

Enameled Cast Iron

Le Creuset skillet

see them on Amazon

see them at Williams-Sonoma

Le Creuset skillet

-Oven safe to at least 500F

-No seasoning required

-Typically broiler safe

-Safe and non-toxic

-Durable

-Enamel is semi-nonstick

-11" about $240.

-Top brands are expensive

-Heavy.

Carbon Steel

Matfer-Bourgeat skillet

see them on Amazon

see our carbon steel pan review

Matfer Bourgeat Carbon Steel Pan

-Most brands oven safe to at least 500F

-Great for high heat searing

-Lighter than cast iron

-Typically broiler safe

-Safe and non-toxic

-Durable

-Affordable: 10" about $55.

-Can be heavy

-Must be seasoned or can rust.

Copper

Mauviel M'Heritage 250 skillet

see it on Amazon

see our Mauviel copper review

Mauviel M'Heritage 250C skillet

-Oven safe to at least 500F w/stainless lining

-Durable

-Safe and non-toxic

-Typically broiler safe

-10" about $350.

-Expensive

-Tin-lined will melt at about 400F

-Thick copper cookware can be heavy

-Do not confuse fake copper with real copper (it's not oven safe).

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Do I Really Need an Oven Safe Skillet?

Whether or not you need an oven-safe skillet depends on how you cook. 

Do you like to sear steaks on the stove top and finish by roasting them in the oven? Or brown chicken thighs, roasts, and pork chops and finish them in the oven (perhaps with a delicious sauce)? 

Do you make frittatas, which you set on the stove top, then bake to perfection?

Do you like to do oven braises of tough cuts like chuck? If so, they can benefit greatly from a stove top sear before braising in a covered pan. 

Or maybe you love cornbread, which gets a delicious crust from baking in a cast iron skillet.

There are times to use a roasting pan: whole chickens, rib roasts, and pork loins, for example. But there are many occasions when an oven-safe skillet comes in really handy.

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Oven Safe Materials

Unless you're a nonstick person, chances are you already own at least one oven-safe skillet. The truth is, most skillets are oven safe to some degree, although that temperature changes by material and pan construction.

Here are all the cookware materials that are oven safe--but be sure to read the next section, as well, which covers other important considerations. Not all "oven safe" materials are actually oven safe, or at least not oven safe to a high temperature. 

Clad Stainless Steel

Demeyere Proline skillet

Our favorite oven-safe skillet material is clad stainless steel. Steel pans are durable, safe, and most have even heat distribution. Best of all, good quality steel skillets are oven safe up to 500F, as long as they are 100% steel (e.g., no plastic or silicone parts). This includes All-Clad, Demeyere, Tramontina Tri-Ply Clad, Heritage Steel (safe to 800F!), 360 Cookware, Made In, Misen, Sardel, Viking, and more. 

Some lower quality clad stainless steel pans are oven safe to lower temperatures. We're not sure why, since most stainless is at least 18/8 grade, but some brands aren't as oven safe as others. If you don't have one of the brands listed above, or aren't sure, you should probably limit the oven temp to no more than 400F.

Cast Iron

Lodge skillet

Cast iron is another great choice for the oven, as long as it is 100% cast iron with no plastic or silicone parts.

Most cast iron is oven safe to temps that home ovens can't achieve, so there are few worries about using your cast iron at high heat. 

Even if you don't have instructions for your cast iron, you can be confident that it will be oven safe to at least 500F. 

Cast iron does have a few drawbacks, though. First, it's heavy, so when it's full of food, it can be a handful to get in and out of an oven.

Second, high heat and liquids can be hard on the seasoning, so if you're using your cast iron in the oven frequently, or with liquids (like cornbread batter), you may find that it needs to be re-seasoned more often than if you're using it primarily for stove-top searing.

Carbon Steel

Matfer Bourgeat Carbon Steel Pan

Like cast iron, carbon steel is also oven safe to very high temperatures, so you should have no worries using it in the oven if it is 100% carbon steel (no plastic or silicone parts). According to this article, most carbon steel pans are oven safe to 600F, and some are safe as high as 1200F.

The only exception to this that we're aware of is Viking carbon steel, which has an oven safe temp of just 450F, probably because of the stainless steel handles.

Carbon steel isn't as heavy as cast iron, but it's still heavy, so be aware of that. Traditional French carbon steel pans are also fairly shallow, so they're not a great choice for liquids (in the oven or otherwise). 

And the same seasoning issues that apply to cast iron also apply to carbon steel. 

But for oven roasting proteins and veggies, carbon steel is an excellent choice.

Enameled Cast Iron

Le Creuset Dutch oven in oven

Enamel on cast iron (or carbon steel, which is becoming more popular) is typically made from ground up glass that's melted and sprayed onto cookware. It is extremely durable and heat resistant, making enameled cast iron (or carbon steel) an excellent choice for oven use.

Most enameled cast iron/carbon steel is oven safe to at least 500F. Sometimes the pans have lid pulls that may not be quite as heat resistant, but the cookware itself should be fine to 500F as long as it has no plastic or silicone parts. 

This article is about skillets, but our recommendation for enameled cast iron is a Dutch oven. Cast iron Dutch ovens are more versatile than skillets and are the ideal pot for oven braising. You can use them for everything from searing proteins to baking artisan bread--and no seasoning needed. 

An enameled cast iron skillet is also a nice piece, but if you want a pan for braising (which requires a tight-fitting lid), the Dutch oven is the way to go, especially if you already own a clad stainless skillet.

Aluminum and Anodized Aluminum

Vollrath Wear Ever Aluminum Skillet

Aluminum is oven safe as long as it doesn't have plastic or silicone parts or a nonstick coating on the cooking surface (more on this below). 

In fact, some of the highest quality bakeware is aluminum, so even if you haven't thought to put an aluminum skillet in the oven, you probably already own some aluminum pans designed for oven use. 

Anodized aluminum is an even better choice because it's tougher and also non-reactive, so there are no worries about your food taking on a metallic taste from the pan. 

The biggest problem with most aluminum cookware is that it has a nonstick coating, and many brands also have plastic handles, both of which make them a no-go for oven use. 

However, there are some brands on the market that don't have a nonstick coating or plastic parts, making them very safe for oven use. Lloyd's is a brand that makes anodized aluminum cookware with no PTFE coatings or plastic parts and are excellent for oven use--safe up to 700F. 

Copper

Mauviel M'Heritage 150C 5 Pc Set

See how long the handle is?

Most real copper (not the fake copper-colored nonstick) is oven safe to at least 450F and some is safe up to 600F.

If the copper pan has tin lining, do not use about 400F, as tin begins to melt around 450F.

If the copper pan has stainless steel lining, then it is probably oven safe to at least 500F.

Copper is kind of the ultimate all-purpose cookware, but it's expensive and heavy and needs polishing a few times a year to keep its lustrous shine, so it's not as popular among home cooks as clad stainless and cast iron. But if you want copper cookware, it's an excellent choice for both stove top and oven use.

Probably the biggest drawback of copper skillets is that the traditional French design has a very long handle, so a skillet may not in a smaller oven. 

Glass and Stoneware

OXO GoodGrips Baking Dish

Nearly all glass and stoneware is oven safe, as long as it is 100% real glass or stoneware and not "granite" or "stone" nonstick coating (more on this below).

We aren't big fans of glass and stoneware for the stove top for a few reasons: it heats extremely slowly and unevenly, it's fragile, and it's heavy. People who buy it are generally trying to avoid toxins in their cookware, but you can do that with good quality clad stainless, cast iron, and all the other choices we've listed here, and still get good heating properties and durability that you won't get from glass and stoneware.

However, bakeware is a different story, and glass and stone bakeware is an excellent choice. The insulating properties help batters bake evenly without getting too much browning on the edges before the inside is done. And you can use them for proteins, veggies, and other foods with similar great results. 

The only problem is that most glass and stone bakeware is not safe on the stove top: it can crack if placed on direct heat.

So while some people do use glass and stone skillets, we don't recommend them. But for oven pans--cakes, lasagna, roast chickens, etc.--glass and stone bakeware is a great choice.

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Important Considerations

Here are some other helpful considerations if you're trying to decide if your skillet is oven-safe, or if you want to use it in the oven.

Instructions

Most cookware comes with operating instructions, and these will list the oven safe temperature for the cookware and the lids (if different).

If you didn't keep the paperwork for your cookware handy (and who does?), then here's what to think about before putting it in your oven. 

Look Up the Cookware Brand

If you know the make and model of your cookware, you can just look for it on the Internet. Most makers list oven safe temps for their cookware, or you can often find it on the Amazon listing, too.

Just be sure you're looking up the exact line of cookware you own, because many makers have several lines, and they can have different oven-safe temps. 

Look for Markings

Some cookware is marked for it's safe use. There are icons for oven, microwave oven, freezer, dishwasher, and more. Here's one symbol for "oven-safe:"

Oven Safe Icon

Unfortunately, there is no universal standard so icons can vary greatly, though an "oven-safe" will usually look something like this one (not always accompanied by words).

But just as unfortunately, we weren't able to find icons on any of the cookware we looked at. This doesn't mean yours won't have it, but it may not. 

If your pan doesn't have an oven safe logo and you're not sure if it's oven safe, look at the following features to help you decide.

Handles (No Plastic!)

If your pan has non-metal handles or lids, then you should think twice about using it in the oven and especially under the broiler.

It may still be oven safe, but it's hard to say. Many plastics and resins may withstand oven temps, but oven heat can take a toll on them, causing them to break down sooner than they otherwise would. So even if you have a skillet with plastic or silicone handles that's labelled "oven-safe," we recommend not using it in an oven.

And never under a broiler.

If your pan is all one material--metal body, metal cooking surface, metal handle and lid--then it's probably oven safe. If you don't know what the oven safe temp is, though, you should avoid temps above 350F.

Short Handles (Or Removable Handles)

Some skillets are made with two short handles specifically to make them easier to use in an oven, like this Lodge short-handled skillet:

Lodge Short-handled skillet

A long-handled skillet can be awkward to fit into an oven, while a skillet with two short handles is ideal for oven use. If you like to sear on the stove top and finish meals in the oven, a short-handled skillet may be just what you need.

Short-handled skillets aren't as popular as long-handled skillets, but you can find them. They are often called rondeaus, and will come with lids more often than long-handled skillets. 

You can also find pans with removable handles, designed specifically for oven use. Some cooks love this design, but we aren't crazy about it because removable handles loosen over time, becoming wobbly and possibly unsafe. Most eventually need replacing. Also, many brands with this feature are of mediocre quality.

Helper Handle

Skillet with helper handle callout

Another helpful feature for oven use is a helper handle--the short handle opposite the long handle that helps you maneuver large or heavy skillets. 

Most cast iron skillets have helper handles, while typically clad stainless only 12-inches or larger have them. 

Nearly all sauté pans have helper handles, so they can be a great option for an oven-safe pan:

Misen sauté pan

You can grab both sides of a hot skillet as long as you have oven mitts, but a helper handle makes it a much safer task.  

Lids

All-Clad D3 lid

Most stainless steel and cast iron lids are oven-safe to the same temperature as the pan itself, if they are 100% steel or cast iron. 

If a lid contains glass, you should err on the side of caution and not heat it above 350F.

If a lid contains plastic or silicone, it's probably still oven safe, but you may want to limit the temp to 400F or so.
This isn't always the case, though. Some Le Creuset lid pulls are made of resin ("phenolic") and are oven safe to 500F. 

But if you're not sure about the lid pulls, limit oven temps to 400F.

Weight 

Weight doesn't affect oven usage, but it can be a consideration for some people.

If you have strength or ergonomic issues, you should not buy a too-heavy skillet for oven use. This means you should avoid cast iron and probably carbon steel, too. Clad stainless is probably your safest bet for an oven-safe skillet, and even then, you may not want to go larger than 10-inches. 

Aluminum is the lightest metal you can use, but it's not the best choice because it can be reactive with acidic foods. Some people also believe that it is unsafe and a factor in Alzheimer's, but that has been largely proved false. And since most aluminum cookware has a nonstick coating, you shouldn't put in an oven--at least not one hotter than about 350F (yes, no matter what the manufacturer says). 

Size

Size goes along with weight: if you have strength or ergonomic issues, be very careful about the pans you hoist in and out of your oven. Even if they're fairly light when empty, it's a different story when they're full of food, especially liquids (which can be tricky to handle safely).

As you get older, lifting pans in and out of the oven becomes a more and more potentially dangerous chore. Don't try to do more than you can handle. 

Another size consideration is handles. Some handles are so long, they make it difficult or impossible to fit a skillet into the oven. This is especially true for traditional French copper cookware, which tends to have really long handles.

Mauviel skillet

French copper cookware has long handles that can make it hard to fit in an oven.

If In Doubt, Don't

If you're not sure whether a pan is oven safe, or whether you'll be able to lift it when it's full of food, then just don't.

Don't guess. Choose a pan you know is oven-safe, or don't use the oven at all. 

And choose one you know you can handle, even when full, or get help moving it.

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Other Oven-Safe Pan Options

Though this article is about skillets, there are a few other options that work just as well as skillets, and in some cases, better. Here are our favorites.

Sauté Pan

Heritage Steel 4qt sauté pan w:lid

A sauté pan is just a skillet with straight (rather than sloped or curved) sides, so it's an excellent stand-in for a skillet. 

In fact, since sauté pans almost always have a helper handle, they can be an even better choice than a skillet because you can grasp them on both sides easily.

They also almost always come with lids, making them a good option for covered dishes in the oven and on the stove top.

Deep Sauté Pan

All-Clad deep saute pan

The deep sauté pan is one of our all-time favorite pieces of cookware for its versatility. You can use is as a large sauce pan or a small stock pot, a skillet, and for braising, searing, roasting, stir-frying, and more. It's one of the most versatile pans you can have in your collection. 

We see this pan most often in clad stainless steel, which is probably the most versatile material to get it in. One of our favorites is the All-Clad D3 Deep Sauté Pan--highly recommended for both stove top and oven use.

Dutch Oven

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Why You Should Never Put a Nonstick Pan in the Oven (Even If It's "Oven-Safe")

Many nonstick pans are rated oven safe up to 500F today. But even so, you shouldn't use any nonstick pans in the oven.

Here's why:

  • High heat breaks down nonstick coatings faster than anything else, shortening the life of the pan (true for both PTFE and ceramic nonstick).
  • High heat--above 490F--can release toxic fumes from PTFE pans, making them unsafe to use (and lethal to birds).
  • If the pan has plastic or silicone parts, high heat will take its toll on these, even if the pan is rated safe for oven use.
  • If the pan has a glass lid, it may not be oven safe above 350F.

And never, ever, ever put a PTFE nonstick pan under a broiler. This is almost certain to release toxic fumes.

Yes, we know many makers rate their nonstick cookware oven safe today. But if you want your nonstick cookware to last, and you want to be absolutely sure you're using it safely, do not put it in an oven or under a broiler.

What about ceramic nonstick? While it is safe to very high temps (about 700F) and won't release any toxic fumes, high heat is just as hard on ceramic nonstick as it is on PTFE. That is, high heat destroys the nonstick properties. 

So if you want your nonstick cookware to last, don't use it on high heat, and don't put it in the oven.

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Final Thoughts on Oven Safe Skillets

Oven Safe Skillet

Finding oven-safe skillets--and other pans--isn't hard, but you do have to be careful to follow a few simple rules. 

If you have the instructions for your cookware handy, then it's easy: just do what the manufacturer recommends. (Remember, lids may be oven-safe to a different temp, or not at all.)

If you don't have the instructions and there are no symbols on the cookware, just use common sense: if the cookware is all one metal--e.g., clad stainless steel, cast iron, or carbon steel--it's oven safe to at least 400F, and probably hotter. 

If the cookware contains plastic, resin, or silicone parts (such as on the handle), you should keep oven temps no higher than 350-400F. These parts may be safe at higher temps, but if you're not sure, err on the side of caution.

And avoid putting any nonstick cookware in the oven. Yes, most of it is safe to at least 400F, but high heat ruins the nonstick coating, and PTFE coatings can break down around 400F and begin to give off toxic fumes. So for nonstick cookware, the safest option is to just avoid the oven altogether.

Thanks for reading!

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About the Author

The Rational Kitchen (TRK) is a collaborative effort, but the founder, editor, and writer of most of our articles is Melanie Johnson, an avid cook, kitchenware expert, and technical communications specialist for more than 20 years. Her love of cooking and the frustrating lack of good information about kitchen products led her to create The Rational Kitchen. TRK's mission is to help people make the best decisions they can when buying kitchen gear. 

When not working on product reviews, Melanie enjoys reading, playing with her dog Ruby, vintage video games, and spending time outdoors and with her family.

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