Yeti Has a Cast-Iron Skillet. Is it Worth $400? 

The collab between Yeti and Butter Pat Industries is noteworthy, but should you bite?

Published Sept. 8, 2023.


When we learned that two noteworthy brands whose products we’ve recommended had collaborated on a new cast-iron skillet, we perked up.

Yeti, maker of famously pricey but effective coolers, including our ATK Recommended top-rated model, and Butter Pat Industries, an artisan producer whose 12-inch “Joan” cast-iron skillet we tested and recommended, came together to produce a 12-inch Yeti-branded cast-iron skillet

It’s a very nice looking skillet. And it costs $400. 

We had to wonder: What could this $400 skillet do that you couldn’t do with our winning cast-iron skillet from Lodge, currently selling for $29.95? Does it flip the steak for you? Sing you a campfire song? Wash itself? 


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What’s more, we had a funny feeling that the $400 pan looked familiar. We asked Butter Pat and indeed, it is the identical pan we tested (the 12-inch “Joan”), but with Yeti’s name on the small helper tab opposite the handle where “Butter Pat” usually appears. 

When we tested it, the pan cost $295, and we winced at the price. Even among other artisan pans, this was the most expensive pan in our lineup. Now it’s selling for $345 due to rising costs of labor and materials, according to Butter Pat’s founder Dennis Powell. We wondered why does the Yeti pan cost even more? 

It turns out that with included accessories like a pan scraper, cotton storage bag, and chain mail scrubber, plus free shipping, you actually pay a couple dollars less than buying the pan and those items (if you wanted them) from Butter Pat. The biggest difference is that its logo now has fewer letters. If you get a warm fuzzy feeling from having “Yeti” on your pan, then go for it. 

And here’s the thing: We thoroughly tested the Butter Pat Joan along with a full lineup of other brands of cast-iron skillets at a wide range of prices, putting them through their paces. How? Read on...

What could this $400 skillet do that you couldn’t do with our Best Buy from Lodge, currently selling for $29.95?

How We Tested Cast-Iron Skillets

  • Scramble four eggs with 1½ teaspoons of butter in new pans 
  • Pan-sear flank steak, preheating each pan to 500 degrees in the oven according to the recipe
  • Shallow-fry potato wedges on the stovetop
  • Skillet-roast thick cod fillets, starting on the stove and finishing in the oven
  • Bake cornbread and flip the pan to remove the cornbread and evaluate browning and sticking
  • Repeat the scrambled egg test to compare the seasoning at the conclusion of testing

Butter Pat’s Joan skillet came in sixth out of 11 pans we tested. Here’s what I wrote in the review:

“While this wide, low artisan pan was a joy to cook in and released food perfectly, its low sides limited its versatility. You need at least 2-inch sides to contain oil when frying foods such as chicken, hush puppies, and doughnuts. It’s also the most expensive pan we tested. The manufacturer claims to achieve its extremely smooth surface not by power sanding but by a proprietary casting process that allows for a smooth surface, thin walls (which shaves off weight), and a thick base that holds heat and encourages browning. The pan arrives lightly preseasoned, with a gorgeous golden-brown color that darkens with use.”


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The bottom line?

Yeti’s $400 cast-iron skillet is a lovely pan. If you get one as a gift, say “thank you” as warmly as you can, and absolutely keep it. 

But we can’t in good conscience recommend shelling out that much money for one cast-iron skillet. 

In the end, cast iron is not really about finesse of manufacturing. Its biggest trait is that it’s a thick piece of metal that effectively retains and radiates heat for excellent browning, searing, baking and frying. We love the artisan-made Smithey Ironware pan at about $200, but you don’t even need that. 

You’ll still make perfect food in our ATK Recommended Lodge Manufacturing skillet and only pay about $30. Save the big bucks to buy other covetable kitchen gear.

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