No other pan comes close to the Lodge cast-iron. If you’re trying to up your cooking game and are looking for a sure-fire way to do it, Lodge is your choice. It’s tempting to invest in the fancy brands, but I always recommend buying something a little on the lower end when you’re starting out — you know, to make sure you like the feel of it before you really commit.
Some cast iron aficionados advocate going with a vintage pan versus a modern pan that has been through heat tests and the like. But I say go for the Lodge — it’s manufactured in the United States, it’s been tested for lead, and the Lodge version also tends to be slightly lighter to handle than vintage pans.
There’s no doubt that a cast-iron pan is versatile and useful, but it also requires a little bit of understanding to avoid making some common cast iron mistakes. The beauty of this classic kitchen implement is that after two to three seasonings, you should be dealing with a non-stick surface.
Speaking of seasoning, Lodge has been making heavy-duty cast-iron skillets since 1896. The Lodge website explains their process this way:
“Cast-iron cookware is produced in a sand-cast process. Quality cast iron requires sand molds made under high pressure so that their shapes can be precisely controlled. In addition to careful attention to the metal used in cast iron, it is also important to control the components of the sand, which include clay and water.”
“Patterns are pressed into the sand and the molten iron is poured into the resulting cavity. As the iron cools to its solid state and becomes a cooking utensil, the sand mold is broken apart. The sand is cleaned off the utensil. It is then smoothed and packed for shipment.”
Lodge is by far the most viable option for both the amateur and the professional — the pan is well suited for cooking a huge array of dishes, from roasted chicken to frittatas.
Wondering what to make in your new cast iron? Click here for 24 great cast-iron skillet recipes.