The one thing that probably discourages more people from purchasing and using cast iron is maintenance. Like carbon steel woks, cast iron cooking pieces require "seasoning." To many this is a mysterious or overly time-consuming process. Even if you treasure fond memories of eggs and pancakes cooked in grandmother's ancient, blackened skillet, you might have no idea how to turn your new pan into such a treasure. Fortunately Lodge has come out with the new Logic line, which has been evenly coated on all surfaces with an electrostatic spray of vegetable oil. Next the cookware is put into an extremely high temperature industrial oven which bakes the coating into the surface. Not only will you be spared the time and effort of seasoning, but also the new piece you buy will look and perform better than if you had seasoned it at home. Just like that heirloom pan you will find that even pineapple upside down cake doesn't stick to this surface. The gently sloped interior of this pan facilitates spatula use and the curved handle keeps the chef comfy.
Cast-iron surface conducts heat better than any other material
Sloping sides makes pan ideal for making omelets or saut®¶ing vegetables
Preseasoned to prevent food from sticking (though coating with oil or spray is recommended)
Surface grows more stick-resistant with use
Hand wash with soap and water
Cast Iron is better in every way and Lodge is a good buy Lodge is my favorite cast iron label because it is well made and inexpensive. Now it even comes pre-seasoned, although it still requires some additional seasoning before it reaches top nonstick form. This can be done by baking it with oil or meat grease or just by using it to cook a few times. The more cast iron is used properly, the more nonstick it becomes. If one learns to change cooking habits, following usage and cleaning instructions, better results will be achieved in short order.
Unaware of the teflon industry unethically hiding their toxicity reports from the public and the government for more than 20 years (not to mention the toxins they dumped into the environment), I raised my children on teflon nonstick pans. None of my food ever turned out with the flavorful browned finish that cast iron provides, but I was lazy and I bought into the idea of the new conveniences. Now that I know teflon is actually dangerous to not only our individual health but to the planet, I've replaced all of my teflon with cast iron, bought cast iron for my young adult children, and I'm trying to help them learn to cook on it so they too will learn that it is not only better for their health, but it also produces superior texture and flavor.
I started by going back and remembering how my grandmother used hers. It is all she used until she died at 91-years-old. Her cookware is still entirely useable and has been divided up among relatives.
Grandmother cooked everything on cast iron, and she knew how to use pieces in multiple ways so that she required fewer of them. For example, she used her large fry pan to cook homemade pancakes by turning it upside down on the burner and using the bottom as a griddle! Because she kept an empty coffee can of recycled meat grease next to her stove (lard) and used it as her cooking oil, she never needed to re-season. Her pans were completely nonstick from all of the use. While most of us will not recycle meat grease and cook with it, we can do the same with the olive and vegetable oils we use.
A contemporary concern often expressed is that it must be unhealthy to clean pans without dishwashing detergent. I remind my children that their great-grandparents lived to just under and just over 90-years-old (neither died from a cancer) and never once washed their cookware with detergent. They used only hot water. Our entire family grew up eating Grandmother's cooking and none of us were sickened by it. Remembering that reminds me that much of our concern with hyper-cleanliness has been marketed to us so we will buy innumerable products we do not really need; products that actually have hurt overall health by inhibiting our opportunities to strengthen our immune systems, and now we have actually introduced too many antibacterial products into our environment as well. Grandmother did dry her pans by placing them over a hot burner and that will kill bacteria, but it is not necessary to dry cast iron that way. Because drying pans over a hot burner uses more energy, I towel dry mine and I've never been made sick by doing so.
Reasons to switch:
1. Food has better flavor and texture
2. No toxins in the air or in the food to worry about.
3. No dishwashing detergent used so it is better for the planet and for the wallet.
4. For good results, cooking with lower heat is required, which means less energy use and that also is better for the environment and the wallet.
5. Less expensive to purchase than nonstick considered "high quality" and much more durable so rarely does any of it need replacing. The same pans can be used by multiple generations. One more reason cast iron is better for the environment and our pocket book.
6. Small amounts of healthy iron added to our diets without a mineral supplement in pill form.
7. Weight of pieces forces at least a little weight lifting every day which is better for our muscles, therefore our overall health, including contributing to staving off osteoporosis.
8. Because it is easier to wash right after use and needs to be dried right away, pans do not pile up cluttering the kitchen and hanging over our heads as a chore we are avoiding.
9. To stop rewarding the teflon industry for lying to us with withheld toxicity reports as they sold us products that were actually slowiy poisoning our children.
10. To stop rewarding the teflon industry for dumping toxins into our waterways and releasing toxic gases into the air during the manufacturing process.
11. To hold cookware manufacturers, distributors, and retailers responsible and accountable for what they choose to market and sell to us.
Reasons to purchase Lodge brand:
1. Well made
2. Readily available
4. For those who do not want to go to the store, it can be purchased from Amazon with free shipping....more info
Best cast iron piece I have ever bought! I have many cast iron pieces and this by far is my favorite. Lighter weight, easy to handle and cleans up well. ...more info
The best skillet of all time! Perfect right out of the box! Despite reading other people's recommendations to re-season the pan, I skipped that step (too lazy) and it worked PERFECTLY nonetheless. I sauteed some veggies in olive oil for its first use, and then went straight into omelets made with Pam - NO STICKING!!!
It's so easy to clean up - just a stiff brush and hot water, it only takes a second. (I got a $2 grout brush from Target that works perfectly - regular kitchen brushes are too soft.)
I love this pan so much I already bought another in a different size. I'm even getting rid of my super-expensive stainless steel Calphalon pans and using Lodge Logic from now on.
Back to the Iron I wanted to get away from Teflon-- who knows what that does to us over a long time?-- and I decided to go back to iron like my mom and grandmom had used. I wanted something with sloped sides to help get my stuff out of the pan easier.
The first thing I did when I got it was to take it to my shop and use my orbital sander on the inside flat cooking surface. I smoothed it out and then re-seasoned it in the oven by adding cooking grease and placing it upside down at about 400 degrees.
Since then, I usually just wipe it out with a paper towel when I'm done with it. It works great and I don't have to worry about Teflon or what kind of spatula I need to turn over my pancakes or eggs. Good buy....more info
Heavy duty skillet Four stars, not five, as the skillet isn't even close to non-stick straight out of the box. I first attempted pancakes in it. Mistake! They stuck like glue despite adding oil first. However, it heats evenly and holds heat well and did a great job with the beans for my rice & beans dish. My daughter has used it to fry tofu and other things. Hopefully as I use it more and it becomes more seasoned, it will still be great for those pancakes and even the occasional fried egg. I like the double handles, as it's heavy and would be awkward with just one. Oh, works perfect on my ceramic cooktop, too! ...more info
If you've never cooked with cast iron.. ...you may find my experience helpful:
My mother had a cast iron skillet and loved it, but all I knew was that cooking in cast iron is healthier because nonstick pans can give off toxins, and the iron in cast iron migrates (in small amounts) into food, making food more nutritious. I also knew cast iron required seasoning, which sounded like a hassle - but this listing said the skillet was pre-seasoned, so I tried it. The first thing I cooked was fried eggs, which was a mistake. Even though I used vegetable oil as instructed, it took me 15 minutes to scrape the egg out using a stiff brush, a Teflon-safe pad, my fingernails, and hot water. The second thing I cooked was pancakes (which is what my mother used her skillet for). They cleaned up beautifully with just a stiff brush and hot water. The third thing I cooked was eggs again; it only took 5 minutes to clean the pan this time, again using a stiff brush, Teflon-safe pad, fingernails and hot water. (Note: never use soap on cast iron!) Given my experience, I'd say that the pre-seasoning Lodge Logic uses REDUCES the time it takes to season, but you should be prepared to still go through a bit of struggle until the pan becomes fully seasoned. THE GOOD NEWS, though, is that it's worth it. Not only is cast iron healthier to cook in, it makes the best-tasting eggs I've ever had in my life, especially if you use natural or organic freerange eggs. (Happy chickens really do make better eggs than stressed, miserable chickens.) THE BOTTOM LINE: follow the care and washing instructions carefully, cook something relatively non-stick the first 3-5 times you use your new cast-iron piece, and you'll discover, as I have, how much better food can taste. ...more info
Great Pan! I bought this pan a while ago,and must say,it's great! the Diameter is perfect for pancakes,and they wont stick! Eggs,bacon,everything fries great in this pan,already seasoned is awsome also.Plus you don't have the chemicals,like in those no stick pans.These cast iron pans will last a lifetime! ...more info
Why cast iron instead of some fancy non-stick? Is Lindy a Neanderthal? Nope, it's cuz Lindy stir-frys. Lindy has used cheap non-sticks skillets, expensive non-stick skillets and was considering the ones that cost a bomb in Williams-Sonoma (Lindy like shiny...oooh..., aaah...) when the kindly and knowledgeable saleswoman informed her that there was not a non-stick skillet on the market that could tolerate daily stir-fry even with the temperature correctly set to medium heat (err....yeah....) for much more than a year. This tallied exactly and precisely with Lindy's experience with non-stick coatings, no matter the price.
Sigh. Lindy is not made of money. Sigh.
So at the nearest Wally World, Lindy found this skillet in the clearance section without the instructions for seasoning. Half price. Score!
A quick internet search netted much advice for seasoning the pan.
From the Lodge website:
"Re-Seasoning your Lodge Cast Iron
While maintaining the seasoning (as in Step 5 above) should keep your Cast Iron in good condition, at some point you may need to repeat the seasoning process. If food sticks to the surface, or you notice a dull, gray color, repeat the seasoning process:
Wash the cookware with hot, soapy water and a stiff brush. (It is okay to use soap this time because you are preparing to re-season the cookware).
Rinse and dry completely.
Apply a thin, even coating of MELTED solid vegetable shortening (or cooking oil of your choice) to the cookware (inside and out).
Place aluminum foil on the bottom rack of the oven to catch any dripping.
Set oven temperature to 350 - 400 degrees F.
Place cookware upside down on the top rack of the oven.
Bake the cookware for at least one hour. After the hour, turn the oven off and let the cookware cool in the oven.
Store the cookware uncovered, in a dry place when cooled."
Other internet sites are big fans of bacon grease. Simply put, you will need some kind of solid fat that can take very high heat in order to season the pan. Lindy knows that Crisco will take very high heat and is easier to obtain than bacon grease. Lindy doesn't eat bacon because of her high cholesterol.
Not that Lindy EVER burns food in her spiffy frypan but should this happen to you, scrap/soak/remove as much as possible, then place the pan on the burner set to max heat. The heat will burn off the crud and the pan will not rust. You can add salt to the pan and use it as an abrasive to help scrub off the food bits as they carbonize. Re-seasoning at this point is useful but not utterly necessary. Lindy would like to give credit where credit is due and report that Lindy's Mommy taught her this trick.
If you don't re-season, you'll just need more oil than usual until the seasoning builds up again. Once this happens, eggs don't stick. Steaks sear on the outside and are juicy on the inside. Lindy can break her diet and make fried rice. Use one of those plastic bottles with a tiny tip to drip oil in as needed and your food won't be too much fattier than using regular non-stick.
But Lindy is very scared for her toes if she ever drops the pan. Never use one hand to move it.
Best pan I've ever owned Most of my pans are All-Clads that I picked up at really good prices (for instance, a $105 MC2 2-quart pot I found at Dillard's inexplicably mismarked for $23.75), and even though they're really nice, this cheap Lodge is the pan I use by far the most often. I've had it for 3 years now, and I can't imagine a day in the kitchen without it. I prefer it to my 12" Lodge skillet not only because it is a more manageable size, but also because of the longer, curved handle and the nicely-sloped sides that make tossing or getting under food easy.
Though the pan does come seasoned, the texture is still quite rough, so you might find that it isn't really and truly nonstick until you've used it for a while. After a few weeks of use, though, mine was shinier and rarely ever stuck. I accidentally burned off most of the seasoning on the inside last year and pretty much had to start over, but now it's blacker and slicker than it was before. I clean it every now and then with soap and water, but most of the time a scour with salt and a paper towel held in tongs right after use while the pan is still on the burner is enough. Every so often, I smear a very light coat of shortening or vegetable oil all over the entire pan and throw it in the oven on 450-500F for about 3-4 hours. It's honestly less work than it sounds like - it's more effort to wash one of my other pans.
There are other brands of cast iron cookware out there, and while I haven't tried them, my experience with my Lodge has made me loyal. If I had a second large burner on my stove, I'd buy a second one of these right now. ...more info
It's a metal skillet, it works! This low-tech oven skillet works as designed. I use it to make Dutch Babies (German pancakes) for breakfast and it does a great job at this task. Not much more you can say... it's just a big, heavy skillet that works. ...more info
Chef's skillet This pan can do anything. It even makes an electric stove cook well. The preseasoning is a bonus....more info
a new way of cooking I've been cooking with this for about 2 months now, and you simply can't use it the same way as you would a teflon pan.
The pros are: its healthier to use, it lasts longer, and if you cook correctly on it, its just as easy to clean as teflon.
The cons are: you will have to cook on a higher heat. for example, if you cook scrambled eggs on a low heat they will fuse to the bottom of the pan. if you cook on a high heat, they dance on it and come right off. So, you have to learn how to cook differently.
So far, I've cooked eggs, french toast, pancakes, reheated pizza, reheated steak, diced potatoes... the list goes on.
As for cleaning, I have to put about as much effort as I did into my teflon pan, but, its a different kind of effort and I don't like cleaning it as much.
If you want to consider this as an alternative to the teflon you are used to, I would highly recommend that you be PATIENT and WILLING TO LEARN. Otherwise, you will get frustrated with it.
Overall, for what it is, its a great pan at a great price. Of course, i'm a member of Amazon prime, so that made it fast, cheap, and quality, which is really hard to get in one package....more info
Great Product.....could be better! Recently my wife got rid of all the non-stick/Teflon dishes due to health concerns. We got this pan especially for cooking eggs etc. Although a little heavy, it is a excellent product and we are very happy with this.
I did not give it 5 stars since I believe the handle could be a couple of inches longer and have something like a wooden "cover" to avoid overheating and make it convenient to manage.
Overall, I have no hesitation in recommending this......you will not regret the buy!
Best, Best, BEST!! This is the most incredible skillet I have EVER used! I use it every single day to cook for my large family.
Can't believe I 'fell' for the teflon-type or anodized skillets; I was purchasing a new one every 2 or 3 years as they do not stand up to daily use. The one improvement we made to both our 15-1/4 and 10-1/4 inch Cast-iron Skillets was to subject them to some serious sanding with our orbital sander. We started with 80 grit and worked up to 220 grit - took more than an hour, but boy was it worth it! The pan finish is now like glass and is 100% stick free! ...more info
Black Beauty ! I just received it this morning. It looks really black and shiny so beautiful! After washing it with hot water only, patting it dry thoroughly, oiling it all over with vegetable oil I gave it a first try by frying an egg. It works better than my Teflon skillet!! Nothing stick on it!!! Excellent skillet!! ...more info