What are lodge l8sk3 10-1/4-inch pre-seasoned skillet features?
- Make sure this fits by entering your model number.
- One lodge pre-seasoned 10.25 inch cast iron skillet
- Unparalleled heat retention and even heating
- Pre-seasoned with 100% natural vegetable oil
- Use to sear, sauté, bake, broil, braise, fry, or grill
- Use in the oven, on the stove, on the grill, or over a campfire
- Great for induction cooktops
- Included components: lodge l8sk3 10-1/4-inch pre-seasoned skillet
- Item shape: round
Looking for specific info?
Mine seems to be rusting. I just bought it. Should it have rust? It got worse after the first use and wash.
Can someone who bought this value pack (skillet with silicone handle) confirm if the silicone handle will comes off. Thank you.
Can you put this cast iron with silicon handle in the oven? If so, what is the max temperature?
Does it come with the lid depicted in the picture?
Since 6 1/2′ is the top measurement, what is the inside (cooking surface) measurement?
Is the skillet 10.25 inches inside at the bottom? If not, what is the diameter of the bottom?
How do you season a cast iron pan? And how often? Thanks
Where is this product made
Why is the pan with the silicone handle cheaper than the pan alone??
What is actual measurement across bottom of skillet?
What is the country of origin for this skillet? Is it made in the u.s.a? If not usa made, does anyone have a usa skillet they like? Thanks!!
Hi, is there any aluminum or lead in the pan? Are there any other metals?
What is the base size on 15 inch skillet
Is the 13 1/4′ dimension the measurement at the top or bottom of the pan? If it’s the top, what does the bottom measure? Thanks
Why did my new cast iron skillet make fried chicken i made taste funny?
What country is this product made in? Thanks.
Do they make a lid for the 3.5 inch skillet?
Would it be ok to use almond oil to season the pan after use?
Is this skillet the same as the one being offered w/o the red silicone? Price difference between the 2 are pretty significant: with $23.99; w/o $33.31
What are our customers saying?
Sorry for the long review – for the short review, count the stars!
I’m a bit of a purist. I always season my cast iron – new, or used (hey, i don’t know what someone else used that old piece of cast iron for – maybe cleaning auto parts). I sand it down to bare metal, starting with about an 80 grit and finishing with 200.
Then i season. The end result is a glossy black mirror that puts teflon to shame. There are two mistakes people make when seasoning – not hot enough, not long enough. These mistakes give the same result – a sticky brown coating that is definitely not non-stick, and the first time they bring any real heat to the pan, clouds of smoke that they neither expected or wanted. I see several complaints here that are completely due to not knowing this.
But there were a few pieces i needed (yes, needed, cast iron isn’t about want, it’s a need), and this was one of them, so i thought i’d give the lodge pre-seasoning a try. Ordered last friday, received this friday – free shipping, yay!
The first thing i noticed was the bumpy coating. The inside is actually rougher than the outside, and my hand was itching for the sandpaper, but that would have defeated the experiment. This time, i was going to give the lodge pre-seasoning a chance before i broke out the sandpaper. So i scrubbed the pan out with a plastic brush and a little soapy water, rinsed well, put it on a medium burner, and waited. Cast iron tip number one – give it a little time. Then give it a little more time. Cast iron conducts heat much more slowly than aluminum, so you have to have a little patience.
Then i threw in a pat of butter, and brought out the natural enemy of badly seasoned cast iron – the egg. And, sure enough, it stuck – but not badly, just in the middle. A bit of spatula work and i actually got a passable over-medium egg. Hmmm. But still not good enough. So i cleaned up the pan, and broke out the lard.
I have only one justification for using lard. I don’t remember grandma using refined hand-pressed organic flax oil, or purified extra-virgin olive oil made by real virgins. Nope, it was pretty much animal fat in her iron. A scoop of bacon grease from the mason jar beside the stove and she was ready to cook anything. Grandaddy wouldn’t eat a piece of meat that had less than a half-inch of fat around it. ‘tastes like a dry old shoe.’, he’d declare if it was too lean. In the end, i’m sure their diet killed them, but they ate well in the meantime. Grandaddy was cut down at the tender age of 96, and grandma lasted till 98. Eat what you want folks – in the end, it’s pretty much up to your genetics.
So i warmed up my new pieces, and smeared a very thin layer of lard all over them – use your fingers. Towels, especially paper towels, will shed lint, and lint in your seasoning coat doesn’t help things at all. Besides, it’s kinda fun.
Here’s cast iron tip number two – season at the highest temp you think you’ll ever cook at – or higher. If you don’t, you won’t get the full non-stick thing, and the first time you bring it up to that temp you’ll get clouds of smoke from the unfinished seasoning. I put my pieces in a cold oven, and set the temp for an hour at 500 degrees (f, not c). Yeah, i know, lodge says 350. Lodge doesn’t want panicked support calls from people whose house is full of smoke. Crank the heat up.
You have two choices here. You can put a fan in the kitchen window and blow smoke out of your house like the battleship bismarck under attack by the royal navy, or invest in an oxygen mask. You will get smoke. You will get lots of smoke, especially if you’re doing several pieces at once, like i just did. This is a good thing – that’s smoke that won’t be jumping out to surprise you the first time you try to cook with any real heat. The goal is to heat until you don’t get smoke, and in my experience, 500 degrees for an hour does that pretty well.
Let the pieces cool in the closed oven. Then re-grease and repeat. And repeat again. And don’t glop the fat on. Just enough to coat. More thin layers are better than fewer gloppy layers. I managed four layers last night without my neighbors calling the fire department.
Seems like a lot of work? Look at it this way. It’s a lifetime commitment. Treat your iron well, and it will love you right back like you’ve never been loved before. And this is pretty much a one-time deal, unless you do something silly.
The end result of my all-night smoking up the kitchen exercise? Dry, absolutely no stickiness, black as a coal mine at midnight and shiny – but still bumpy – could it possibly work with that rough surface?
I put the skillet back on a medium burner, put a pat of butter on and tossed in a couple of eggs. After the whites had set a little, i nudged them with a spatula, and they scooted across the pan. I’ll be… It works. My wife came back from the store and wanted scrambled eggs. If there’s anything that cast iron likes less than fried eggs, it’s scrambled. But it was the same thing all over again. No stick. No cleanup. Just a quick hot water rinse with a brush in case something got left on the pan (i couldn’t see anything, but hey), then i put it on a med-hi burner till dry, put a thin coat of lard on the pan and waited until i saw smoke for a minute. Let cool and hang up. Done.
So. Do i like the bumpy texture of the lodge pre-season? Nope. Does it work? Yes, and contrary to my misgivings, it works very well. My wife pointed out that even some teflon cookware has textured patterns in it. The lodge pre-season isn’t a perfect surface out of the box – but it does give you a big head-start. After a night’s work, my iron is ready to face anything, and you just can’t beat that.
Lodge makes a great product. For the quality, durability, and versatility, you can’t beat lodge cast iron. Plus, it’s made in america. I like that. If you’ve never experienced cast iron cooking, you’ve just been cheating yourself. Plus, the price, for a piece of lifetime cookware, is insanely cheap.
And my sandpaper is still on the tool shelf.
Very heavy. Lots of tlc required. Versatile. Multi-generational. Reasonably priced. Lodge seasoned ci-made in usa.
First of all, for those of you who care about country of origin, rest assured that lodge seasoned cast iron is made in the usa (the enameled lodge cast iron however, is made in china).
Before i delve into the review of this lci, let me just warn my readers that ci is rather heavy! If you have arthritis or a weak arm and had, you may want to consider a lighter-weight cookware.
Now on to the “meat” (pun intended) portions of this review…
Cast iron is a forgiving but high maintenance mistress! She will forgive almost anything (even allowing her to rust!!!), but she does require a little tlc before, during, and after each use. The tlc she needs is:
1. Before using: season ci
1) cast iron must be seasoned before any use; luckily, lodge double seasons its cast iron so that customers may use the product right out of the box, but if you need to re-season the cast iron product, follow these steps:
i) scrub ci well in hot soapy water.
Ii) dry thoroughly.
Iii) spread a thin layer of oil (i like avocado oil, but vegetable or canola will suffice) over the ci (interior, exterior, handle, all parts).
Iv) place ci upside down on a middle oven rack and turn on the oven and allow to heat to 550°. (please refrain from placing the ci into an already heated oven; the ci heat gradually in the oven as the oven works its way up to 550 degrees f)
(1) ***note: temperature depends on the oil being used to season (ao has a high smoking point, but vo and co have lower smoking points; this means that if you are using vo or co, you need to set the oven to 400 degrees instead of 550).
V) place foil on a lower rack to catch drips.
Vi) once the oven temperature reaches 550 degrees, “bake” the ci for 50-90 minutes.
Vii) turn off the oven and allow the ci to cool inside the oven.
***reminder: temperature depends on the oil being used to season (ao has a high smoking point, but vo and co have lower smoking points; this means that if you are using vo or co, you need to set the oven to 400 degrees instead of 550).
2. During usage: use a “fatty food” the first time you use the ci implement.
A. Personally, i love any excuse to fry bacon, so i always “break-in” my ci with bacon slices; however, there are many amongst you who are unable to partake in bacon for religious, moral and ethical, or environmental reasons. For those amongst you who cannot use bacon, cook a food that requires deep frying.
B. Pre-heat the ci before using (every single time) or your food will stick and crumble
i. Note: although i always pre-heat my ci for cooking, i rarely do so for cake-baking; for cake-baking i used a very liberal amount of my home-made pan release “goo” to fully coat the pan, and i pour the cake batter right into the pan; works every time!
3. After using: wash and re-season (no, not the detailed steps mentioned above)
a. After using the ci, and while it is still hot, wash using scorching (wear heat resistant gloves as to not burn your hands) water and salt (refrain from using chemical cleaners)
i. Never wash in a dishwasher (omg)
b. Dry completely and thoroughly
c. Spread a thin layer of oil over the ci (interior, exterior, handle, all parts) and place the ci on the stove top to heat for about 10 minutes
d. Store ci in a moisture free environment
i. Never store food in ci
ii. Never store ci in fridge or freezer
so that is the tlc required for a ci pan or pot, but there are still several things to keep in mind:
a. Not everything should be cooked in cast iron!
(1) avoid cooking acidic foods in ci (yes, it is okay to finish the dish with a small squeeze of lemon (not when skillet is hot) or a few drops of vinegar, it is okay to add tomatoes and tomato paste to the dish you are cooking, but it is never okay to stew tomato prolonged periods, deglaze with vinegar, or lemon juice to foods while they were still hot on the skillet)
(2) avoid (at least in the beginning when your cast iron is still getting tlc) sticky foods (fried eggs, omelets, pancakes, scrambled eggs, fried rice, crepes, etc.) as they will definitely stick to your ci; this is not to say that you will not eventually be able to fry eggs or make crepes on your ci, i do all the time, but you will need to have reused and reasoned you ci many times before it becomes fully non-stick.
(3) avoid cooking delicate fish (flounder, tilapia, etc.) in ci because the delicate fish will not tolerate the heat retained by the ci (an asset when searing steak) and will fall apart when flipped.
(4) avoid (particularly before your ci becomes super well-seasoned) using the same pan for savory and sweet as the ci does retain flavors; in other words, using the ci to bake a vanilla cake immediately the day after using it to make garlic chicken may make your vanilla a tad too garlicky!
(5) avoid using ci to cook foods that require lengthy periods of simmering, boiling, or steaming as the lengthy simmering, boiling, or steaming will strip your ci of its hard-earned seasoning.
Are you still reading? If after reading the previous portions of this review, you are concerned about the tlc necessary to maintain ci, then i really recommend you consider other cookware options. (caphlan non-stick is a viable alternative); if on the other hand, you are still reading, then you are not dissuaded from investing in ci cookware, and i am glad of that!
There are numerous benefits to cooking and baking in ci:
1) cast iron is extremely sturdy and is very difficult to ruin. (if you do ruin a ci pan, you can restore and reclaim it!).
2) cast iron heats up evenly and retains heat incredibly well, which makes ci excellent for searing meat, baking corn bread, making pies, baking crusty bread, etc., and for keeping food warm as you serve it!
3) cast iron is healthy; yes, that is true! During the cooking process a trace amount of iron is absorbed into the foods, and when the foods are consumed by you, you are getting some iron into your system (a healthy by-product of ci cooking).
4) cast iron is quite versatile. You may use ci for almost everything (you make slow cook a lamb leg to perfect or make a three-layer birthday cake for your daughter in ci). Additionally, ci goes from cupboard, to stove-top, to oven, to camp-fire, and to dinner table! Talk about versatility!
5) cast iron is of heirloom status; it lasts for generations! I personally have a huge collection, and i plan to bequest my ci to my daughter (it shall be written in my will-not kidding).
So, to re-cap:
ci is a rather heavy type of cookware that offers great versatility, heats evenly, retains heat well, requires pre-seasoning and re-seasoning, and is multi-generational. And, of course, lodge is an excellent ci brand. Lodge was founded in 1896 and is one of the very few remaining companies that still produce seasoned ci in the us (in the lodge foundries in tennessee). Lodge products are sturdy, versatile, heirloom-quality, and of course reasonably priced (as compared to the more expensive companies).
I have been using ci (especially lodge) for two and one-half decades (yes, 1⁄4 of a century) now, and i will never use anything else! A purchase of lodge ci cookware and bakeware is a very sound investment indeed!
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I love this pan so much! I can’t believe i spent so many years of my life without a cast iron pan. Fact is, i just never understood how easy these are to cook with and maintain. Yes, you have to season it. Yes, that takes a little getting used to at first. No, it’s not hard and really doesn’t take much time to maintain. It’s much easier than i thought it would be, and i love the way my food comes out!
Once properly seasoned, this pan is as non-stick as any other pan i’ve ever used. I did the initial seasoning in my gas grill. That way you don’t fill your kitchen with smoke. You can certainly use a regular oven if you don’t have a grill. Give it a good 2-3 seasonings before using it to cook. There are plenty of articles and videos online explaining how to season a cast iron pan.
As for the cooking, if you haven’t used cast iron, you don’t know what you’re missing. The heat distribution and retention are amazing. For best results, make sure to pre-heat to your desired temp for several minutes before adding oil or food. Cooking with oil also helps maintain the non-stick surface, so the surface improves the more you use the pan. I’ve used this for steaks, fried/scrambled eggs, bacon, arepas, and shepherd’s pie. I find myself looking for more recipes i can use it for. I haven’t tried using it on my gas grill yet, but i’m eager to try. This thing makes me want to cook more!
I like the 12-in size, though many people may prefer the 10.25-in version. I can prepare a ny strip and a fillet in this pan at the same time, with room to spare for a butter baste. It’s a bit large for a 3-egg scramble, but still works well.
The one down-side is the weight. You’re not likely to flip an omelet with this puppy, unless you have very strong wrists. Of course, that’s not specific to this brand – it’s a cast iron thing. Maybe the 10.25-in version would be easier to handle for some purposes. That said, this pan feels like it’s going to last for generations to come.
Oh, and if it seems like i’m being sponsored by lodge, please know that i’m not. I’m just a regular guy sharing his thoughts about a product i truly enjoy using. Happy cooking!
I was initially skeptical about spending this little on cast iron. Having used mine for over two years however, i am confident that most people don’t need to spend much more for their needs. If you are looking for a cast iron for heavy use, i would invest in a slightly more expensive one that is easier to clean. While i don’t find cleaning this one to be exceptionally difficult, some bits can stick on tight since this is for high heat cooking. But with a little bit of elbow grease, there hasn’t been anything that caked on so hard that it wouldn’t come off. Only in rare cases have i opted for wool over a common sponge, and even then care is more about greasing the skillet after each use and not storing it under other metal pans. I use mine about twice a week for things that need to be cooked very quickly, evenly, and at high heat. I like that for multi-step recipes, i can transfer directly from the stove to the oven and vice versa. That versatility more than makes up for the slightly more intensive cleaning process. With proper greasing, i haven’t had any rust or scent issues with mine in over a year of consistent use. Unless you need a different size, i can confidently recommend this skillet. The only other consideration besides size would be an included, removable rubber handle. There basically is no situation where i would be cooking with this skillet at a low enough heat to not need some sort of pad. That being said, this skillet is affordable enough that i would be willing to pay for a grip on top of its standalone price. So while this is not a complaint for this product at this price, the fact that a grip is practically essential for any use case means i would not consider buying this without one or i would look at options that include one.
It’s the first time i’m using a cast iron pan and i have found this pan to be wonderful and beyond all expectations. The size (10.25′) is just right – imo if you buy just one cast iron pan this should be it.
After reading a lot and experimenting a little here are a few tips:
1) the pan is perfect for fish and meat and its advantage is the heat retention. Other pans tend to lose their heat quickly. With this pan i have been able to cook even partially thawed meat and fish and the ability of the pan to hold and transfer enough heat eliminated the need for complete thawing.
2) seasoning the pan is really easy. Instead of the tiresome methods suggested online, i have found that putting a single drop of oil on the pan and spreading it over the whole area before each use (one drop is enough) does the job well enough.
3) you can clean the pan with soap and water, just don’t soak it in water for too long and be sure to dry it well afterwards.
4) i highly recommend getting a fitting glass lid for this. I happened to have a suitable lid from another set, but if you i don’t, consider buying one. A lid is highly useful whenever you need to cook something for more than a couple of minutes, since it creates a somewhat humid environment inside the pan, thus preventing the food from getting too dry or sticking to the pan.
As a born and raised southern i grew up around cast iron, seeing the same skillets pasted down from my great grandma, to my grandma and to my mom. I picked this great cast iron skillet up to have one of my own to use and it is great! It came preseasoned, but i went ahead and seasoned it very well. I haven’t had it long but it made some great bacon, eggs and friend chicken so far!
Very non-stick when seasoned, used and taken care of properly! Will only get better with time!
I’ve seen some complains about rusting, if this occurs know it’s not the skillets fault it’s the users. Yes they will rust if you don’t clean, dry and oil them!
I finally made the leap and bought this lodge cast iron skillet, partly to get away from using non-stick cookware so much and partly to see if cooking with cast iron lives up to the hype. I bought the pre-seasoned version, because keeping up a cast iron is one thing, but i didn’t want to have to season it to begin with. Cooking with cast iron has been good. You can definitely get more browning and flavor. I’ve used this skillet for everything from searing off meat cooked in the sous vide, to cooking hamburgers when outdoor grilling isn’t feasible, to gravies/pan sauces, to frying, to dutch baby pancakes, and even eggs. Clean up’s not too bad, and is easier with each use. I follow the directions from the manufacturer, cleaning with mild soap, drying thoroughly, and applying a light oil coating afterward. You cannot skip steps or delay, or you may begin to see rust. The skillet works great stove top or in the oven. It is a heavy piece (duh!) and it does get hot (even the handle), so be prepared with appropriate pot holders. The 10 inch size is perfect for cooking for 2, and i’ve since added a 12 inch for bigger jobs. Overall i’d say maintaining a cast iron piece is a little more work, but it’s worth the effort.
I prefer cooking in cast iron any chance i get. Lodge is known for quality cast iron unlike foreign made where the quality control is unknown and the iron isn’t as pure. This purchase is my 7th frying pan and also the biggest at 15”. My collection includes 3-12”, 1-10” & 1-8”. Never been disappointed with lodge. I have one off brand 10” but don’t ever use due to it’s uneven bottom, doesn’t sit flat. Once seasoned, cast iron is easy to clean and retains heat so food doesn’t cool off before seconds are being dished out. Would definitely buy again but that’s not likely to happen because if treated good, this pan will outlive me. Thanks lodge, thanks amazon.
It worked great. I didn’t use it often, because it was too big for two people. But i used it when we had several people over.
My neighbor used it once and scratched the heck out of it. I had told her not to, and kept yelling at her while she kept on. You cannot scratch it and expect it to work right. Long story short, my neighbor is buying me a new one. And she isn’t touching this one!
If you haven’t already taken the leap into cast iron you should think about it. First off the pan is cheap, durable and generally non-stick. Does this mean nothing will stick to this pan? No but if you have the right temperature and use the right amount of fat/oil when cooking and take care of this pan it will take care of you. I would say this pan excels at proteins first and foremost. I have cooked bacon, eggs and pancakes right after one another and nothing stuck to this pan. I would say vegetables are also a favorite in this pan as well because of the great flavor this pan helps create through the oil and char you can achieve with this pan.
If you are the type of person that cooks and then puts the pans in the sink for a later time then cast iron might not be for you but i have left this pan in a sink for a few hours or on the stove top overnight and cleaned the next day so it is worth a shot. If you are the type of person who lets pans soak in water overnight or puts them immediately into a dishwasher for cleaning then this pan is definitely not for you unless you are willing to make an exception with this pan.
Did i have immediate success with this pan right away? No i didn’t. I had food stick and i had issues with cleaning the pan and reasoning the pan and had to look for advice on the internet to solve my issues because not many people use cast iron so i couldn’t ask them.
Some of my mistakes were simple ones to make as i have always used either stainless steel or non-stick pans. I didn’t wait long enough for the pan to heat up. Take it easy and heat this pan up on medium before you start cooking. Don’t think this amount of iron will be hot in 5 minutes. You may need to wait 15 minutes to get this pan heated evenly but i would say put the pan on the heat before you start your prep. The next issue is using enough oil. You don’t need a ton of oil but you should use a healthy amount. If you are frying then yea sure use a ton of oil but generally your food doesn’t need to be swimming in oil but coat the bottom of the pan. I would advise against using black pepper on your steak if searing. The high temps will burn the pepper causing smoke and burnt flavor on your steak. You are better off using just salt before cooking and fresh cracked pepper afterwards. Acidic food like tomatoes are okay in the pan but make sure you have a well seasoned pan. I would stay away from sauces but cut up tomatoes in the pan for your first few uses should be fine. You need to build a good layer first before tackling sauces. This pan excels at bacon and frying so if you are in the mood to do either this pan will be your best friend. The pan is shallow so it isn’t meant for deep frying but i have done fish and chicken where i had to flip and it worked great.
Also take care of this pan. Scrub it down with soap and water. Yes you can use soap i do all the time but i also rinse thoroughly and dry immediately over heat and spread another thin, thin, thin layer of oil on it too. Every other month or so i give it a good scrubbing and then apply a light coat of oil and stick in a 500 degree oven, upside-down for an hour or so and then turn off the oven and let it cool. This adds additional seasoning to the pan. You can overseason the pan which i have done and all i did was heat, scrub, wash which eliminated most of the excess seasoning. A salt scrub can help as well or if you really are in the weeds you can get a more aggressive scour pad and remove all the seasoning and start from scratch. Shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes to strip and then dry. The time in the oven will be what takes the most time but at that point its set and forget. You just need multiple layers so it will need a lot of oven time like 6 hours or more depending on your diligence.
The best advice is keep cooking and don’t be afraid to experiment, keep the temperature lower than you think you need and don’t rush the food it will be done when it is done.
I purchased this pan to make deep dish pizzas. It arrived a little scratched in places and the box was slightly damaged. It was poorly wrapped with a few sheets of paper. I would’ve put it in a bigger box and perhaps use bubble wrap. I decided to keep it and amazon made the situation right for me. I’m 56 tall and in decent shape. But yet this pan is very cumbersome and heavy to handle especially when it’s hot.
I should’ve gotten the 10 inch but the 12 inch can be used for more things so i purchased that one.it will take some time to get used to it and how to maneuver and hold it without burning yourself. It is not recommended to keep the red handle cover on the skillet while it’s in the oven (at least that’s what i read online).
Thank goodness it has that extra handle at the top and at the base. I made a chicago pequod style pizza with the cheese above the pizza dough around the circumference of the pizza, and it did not stick after running a spatula around the circumference the pizza, it slid out well onto a platter. The problem is trying to hold something that heavy with one hand while trying to use a spatula and being careful not to burn yourself can be tricky.
I normally use non stick cookware but i wanted to try a cast iron pan for the versatility. I received the pan recently and had one occasion to use it so far. I heated the pan on my outdoor electric grill and then seared and cooked my meat, using a little oil. It was perfect and clean up was fairly easy…for stuck on food put a little water in the pan and heat on the stove. I used a heat resistant spatula to scrape the bottom, rinsed, dried completely and re-oiled the pan for storage. You can check the manufacturer for these instructions. The manufacturer also said a little soap can be used but my faithful cast iron friends say never use soap but that’s up to you (check with the manufacturer). So far i’m pleased with the pan!
Tl;dr version – the skillet is awesome, it cooks everything from dutch babies to searing meat without any sticking or hot spots. No kitchen is complete without a cast iron skillet.
now that’s out of the way, if you haven’t cooked with cast iron you’re missing out, and you’ve also got a lot to learn, so here’s a crash course to help figure out if this skillet is right for you.
Advantages of cast iron:
* cast iron has a high density, thus is retains heat extremely well
* it’s great at distributing even heat
* properly seasoned cast iron can perform with the best non-stick pans
* they are built to last longer than you, many are passed down generation to generation
* you could rearrange a home intruder’s face with a good swing of a cast iron pan
disadvantages of cast iron:
* unseasoned cast iron will rust quicker than you imagine
* takes longer to heat up than your nonstick or steel
* will probably crack if thermally shocked or dropped
* they are heavier than any other type of cooking vessel
a lot of the disadvantages of cast iron are easily addressable with a bit of common sense. First and foremost, cast iron has to be completely seasoned. This means the cooking surface, the bottom, the handle, everything. The good news is, this is pretty easy to do and the more you use the pan the better your seasoning gets.
Seasoning your cookware:
there are many discussions as to how to properly season cast iron. A recent post on lifehacker sums them up best. Basically what everyone agrees on is the vessel is covered in a layer of fat, and is put under high heat until the fat polymerizes. You let the pan cool, and repeat until you have multiple thin layers of polymerized fat. The discrepancies are what type of fat to use, the baking temp/time, and the best practices to maintain your seasoning.
Traditionalists will argue that lard is best, because that’s the way it always has been done. I’ve seasoned with bacon fat, and i’m a big fan of it. It satisfies the inner animal in me and makes me feel i’m cooking in the manliest way possible without putting a whole animal into a fire – not that i’m insecure about such things. I’ve also seasoned with vegetable oil, and found that it produces almost identical performance that lard does. The food science crowd suggests using flax seed oil, because it polymerizes easiest. I haven’t had a chance to try seasoning with flax seed oil, but it’s what i plan on doing after my next move in a few months. Another point to bring up, is that cast iron used to be offered polished and unpolished. The lodge skillet comes unpolished, meaning it has a textured surface. I think before i do the flax seed oil seasoning, i will likely use a dremel/sandpaper to smooth the cooking surface purely for aesthetic purposes to flaunt that i take care of my cookware. Polished cast iron does offer the benefit of more exposed internal pores, so the seasoning sticks better, but i’ve never had an issue seasoning so this point is moot.
I’ve done both high heat and medium heat for seasoning, and i find that the hotter the oven the better the seasoning. If you fail to season above 350f, you will likely end up with a browned pan that is slightly sticky because the fat didn’t form a polymer, and will make you leave an unnecessary low star amazon review and never know the benefits of cast iron. My suggestion is scrub the skillet with steel wool and soap until the water runs clear and you’re sure there’s no soap remaining on the cast iron. Dry the skillet completely, and cover with oil; make sure you get the handles, bottom, and top. Place a cookie sheet below the oven rack to catch any drips so you don’t burn the house down. Heat the oven to 400f to 500f and put the skillet in there and bake for an hour – not including the preheating time. Putting it in a cold oven may be unnecessary, however this is the thermal shock downfall i mentioned earlier. It’s better to get into the habit of avoiding massive temperature changes so you can pass the skillet down to your children’s children. After the hour, shut off the oven and allow the skillet to cook down. This initial seasoning layer isn’t quite ready for primetime, if you were to cook something with tomatoes, lemons, vinegar you could very well screw it all up because of the low ph reacting to the thin layer of fat polymer and possibly penetrating all the way to the cast iron. Too much science for me, so to be on the safe side if i’m going to be using the oven with temperatures in excess of 375f i make sure the cast iron gets another layer of fat and gets re-seasoned. Usually after about 3 or 4 trips to the oven, it could withstand just about anything.
Now that you’re seasoned, how do you not screw this up? First and foremost, i use metal utensils on it because it inevitably makes it easier to clean if stuff isn’t stuck to it for very long. Providing you’re not trying drill for oil through the pan, the polymer should be hard enough to not flake off and ruin your day. Next, make sure you invest in a large thing of salt. I don’t think it’s anything chemical about salt that allows it to clean the pan, but it’s an edible scouring powder. I’ve read that because we generally don’t use dish soaps that contain lye, they should be gentle enough to use on cast iron. I cannot confirm or deny this, because i find just using salt and a bit of oil to make a paste works just as well. Get a paper towel and polish down the dried bits of food until it resembles how it started. It may not have the same shine, but you should be completely drying the skillet and applying a real thin coat of oil to it. There’s your shine. It’s important to continuously use the skillet to maintain the coat. This doesn’t mean every night, but treat yourself to a steak for dinner or pannekoeken for breakfast once a week – your skillet and taste buds will thank you.
We use this pan for everything except eggs. We’ve had this one for quite a while now so i feel like i can give a longer term review. The biggest thing i don’t like about this pan is that it didn’t feel like it came sufficiently pre- seasoned, so we looked up some videos and instructions and did it. Now it feels like the more we use the pan the better it gets. My husband and i both just love this thing. The only thing it doesn’t seem to cook right is eggs. There seems to be a bit of a learning curve when it comes to cast iron, but once you figure it out, it’s very enjoyable to cook on and the food comes out delicious.
Tips on how we seasoned it: there are lots of opinions on which oil to use but we just went with plain ole vegetable oil. We made sure the pan was clean, then covered it with a thin layer of oil. We put it in the oven as preheated it until 475 degrees. Once it came to temperature, we turned it off and just let the pan sit in there until it cooled. The goal is to ‘burn off’ the oil, so bring it past the smoking point until it gets dry and hard on the pan. That’s what makes it coat well. We did this 3 or 4 times, but the more you use it the better nonstick surface you’ll have.
Tips: don’t wash with soap, it’ll strip it. We purchased a chainmail scrubber that we love to use. Seems to help smooth it out a little too, but that might be in my head. When i clean it i only use the scrubber and hot water. The more i use the pan the easier it gets to clean.
When you finish cleaning it, don’t leave it wet. It’ll rust. We just put it back on the stove with the burner on until it’s dry. Easy.
Keep in mind that cast iron doesn’t exactly heat evenly, but it holds heat well. This just means that you have to sufficiently preheat the pan before you use to ensure even cooking.
Overall i love this pan! It just gets better every time i use it.
For price i was worried but has been great
It came in it’s what u think a old style grandma black pot. But it has a weird smell. Dont use soap that’s how u mess it up salt or coffee grinds work great. Make sure don’t forget to oil after each use
Heavy duty and cooks great. The only reason for the four stars is the pre-seasoning isn’t great. I just followed the process i usually is and it really good. A little oil and some salt and it cleans right up. If you like big, this is it!
Ok, i’m an idiot. I should’ve taken out my measuring stick. This thing is so small! Bottom surface is 3 inches. I’ll use it to melt butter or sauce. I live alone, so i will put it to use.
Great value , the pot holder helps so much great size
This is a five star, american-made product, but if amazon is going to deliver items that can crack in thin plastic bags, maybe they should be purchased elsewhere.