The Most Recommended Lodge Cast Iron SkilletsPublished on 09/15/2023 · 10 min readExplore the world of Lodge Cast Iron Skillets in this Expert guide! From versatility to durability, find your perfect cookware companion.
Photo by Tatiana Volgutova
Ask any home or professional chef — they'll tell you that there is more to cooking than just preparing a meal. It's an art, a skill, and one of the best ways to bring people together. Lodge Cast Iron skillets embody this philosophy perfectly. Their versatile, durable, and iconic pieces of cookware are more than just tools — they're the key to unlocking a world of culinary possibilities.
In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the various models and sizes of Lodge Cast Iron cookware and highlight their best uses. Whether you're a professional chef or a cooking enthusiast, these skillets are an essential addition to your kitchen.
Either for cooking for large crowds professionally to training staff on culinary equipment, I am always excited to try the newest technology in the kitchen. At home, I've personally used and tested many products from the Lodge collection in recent years. What started as a quick purchase for campfire cooking has turned into a true appreciation for cast iron and the affordability of Lodge cookware!
The Benefits of Lodge Cast Iron Skillets + Cookware
For over 125 years, Lodge Cast Iron’s cookware has garnered a reputation for their exceptional quality and performance. Here's why they are highly recommended:
Lodge Cast Iron pans can be used on a variety of cooking surfaces: gas, electric, or induction cooktops; oven; grill; and even over campfires! This versatility allows for preparation of a wide range of dishes, from searing steaks and frying eggs to baking treats, sautéing vegetables, and Sunday roasts.
2. Even Heating
Cast-iron cookware is renowned for its exceptional ability to retain and distribute heat evenly. This means that once your skillet is properly preheated, it maintains a stable and consistent temperature throughout the cooking process. Here's why this matters:
- Eliminating Hotspots: Unlike some other materials, cast iron doesn't develop “hotspots,” those areas where the pan becomes significantly hotter than others. Hotspots can lead to uneven cooking, resulting in some parts of your dish being overcooked, while other parts are undercooked.
- Consistent Browning: Achieving a perfect sear on a steak or a beautiful golden-brown crust on cornbread often depends on even heat distribution and retention. Lodge Cast Iron skillets excel in this aspect, ensuring that food browns uniformly and attains that desired visual appeal and flavor.
3. Durable Build
Lodge skillets are built to last. Crafted from a single piece of cast iron, they are known for their exceptional durability and resilience. This makes them not only a practical addition to any kitchen but also an eco-friendly choice, reducing the need for disposable cookware and contributing to a more sustainable kitchen. With proper care, these skillets can last for generations and literally perform better with each passing season!
4. Natural Nonstick Surface
Over time, cast iron develops a natural nonstick surface known as “seasoning.” This layer is created as fats and oils bond with the skillet's surface through repeated use. This nonstick surface improves with each use, making cooking and cleaning easier over time. My Lodge cookware is truly a staple in our kitchen, and I can attest to how easy it is to clean if seasoned and maintained properly.
5. Made in the USA
Lodge cookware proudly boasts its "Made in the USA" label, a testament to its commitment to quality and craftsmanship that began over 100 years ago! Established in 1896, Lodge has been crafting its renowned cast-iron cookware in South Pittsburg, Tennessee, since the beginning. Their process begins with the highest-quality iron, sourced domestically. Skilled artisans then melt, mold, and meticulously finish each piece, ensuring it meets the company's rigorous standards for durability and performance. The result is cookware that not only reflects a rich tradition of American craftsmanship but also supports local communities and economies. Lodge's dedication to American manufacturing shines through in every piece of cookware, making it a trusted choice for home cooks and chefs worldwide.
6. Adds Iron to Your Diet
Cooking with cast iron can provide a small but significant amount of dietary iron. Researchers have found that using an iron skillet can increase the iron content in many different foods. Certain factors that influence how much iron is absorbed include the acidity of the food, the cooking time, using a newer skillet, and frequent stirring. This is an easy way to incorporate this essential nutrient into your diet!
Lodge Cast Iron Skillets — The Basics
Lodge offers a wide range of cast-iron skillets, each designed for specific cooking tasks. Here are some of their most highly rated models and their uses:
Searing steaks is a snap with a Lodge Cast Iron skillet.
Highly regarded as one of the best cast-iron skillets and a versatile workhorse in the kitchen, this skillet provides consistent, even browning, and its moderate size makes it suitable for a variety of dishes, from baking cornbread to making pancakes. The large helper handle makes transferring from stove to oven/table easier, and the pouring spouts are handy features as well. This classic model is already seasoned and ready for use!
Seasoning is the process of applying oil or fat to the cast iron, then baking it at a specific temperature (depending on the type of oil used). This process helps prevent the pan from rusting and contributes to its nonstick properties. Though this skillet is pre-seasoned, it’s important to clean and oil it after every use for optimal performance.
Best Used For: Searing at high heat, pan frying, baking, sautéing, making frittatas.
- Diameter: 10.68 inches
- Depth: 2 inches
- Weight: 5.35 pounds
This jelly-roll-sized pan is an essential in a baker's kitchen. Naturally seasoned with the sturdy two-handle design, it's ideal for a variety of baked goods and guaranteed never to warp in the oven.
Best Used For: Cookies, sheet cakes, roasted vegetables, focaccia bread, dehydrating at low oven temps.
- Inner Dimensions: 15 inches x 10 inches
- Depth: 1.5 inches
- Weight: 7.5 pounds
3. Seasoned Cast-Iron Cornstick Pan
Love dunking your cornbread in chili or delicious sauces? This fun pan has six cornstick impressions that will bring a smile to the table every time. Angled feet keep the pan in place in the oven or table.
Best Used For: Your favorite cornbread recipe!
- Inner Dimensions: 14.13 inches x** **5 inches
- Depth: 1.13 inches
- Weight: 4.37 pounds
4. Holiday Wreath Pan
This fun pan is your secret ingredient for turning holiday baking into a festive masterpiece, letting you whip up wreath-shaped treats for gifts or keeping all to yourself! Makes seven mini cakes.
Best Used For: Holiday parties or baking with the kids.
- Inner Dimensions: 11.75 inches
- Depth: 1.13 inches
- Weight: 6.87 pounds
5. Silicone Bakeware Grips
These grips snap on and off the handles of all bakeware pieces, offering a quick and secure way to grip handles out of the oven. Brilliant!
Best Used For: All Lodge bakeware.
- Dimensions: 3.12 inches x .38 inches
- Weight: .09 ounces
Lodge Cast Iron Skillets on the Go: Camping Edition
Another amazing feature of Lodge Cast Iron skillets is their adaptability for outdoor use. Whether you're a seasoned camper or embarking on your first outing, these skillets will definitely up your cooking game in the wild!
1. Lodge 12-Inch / 8-Qt-Deep Camp Dutch Oven
A sturdy bail handle and its three-legged design allow you to suspend this piece over an open flame or set it directly on hot coals. Suspension method will do best with the 43.5- or 60-inch tripod.
Best Used For: Sear, saute, fry, bake cobblers and breads, and simmer casseroles over a campfire.
- Diameter: 12 inches
- Depth: 8.37 inches
- Weight: 19.35 pounds
2. Lodge 17-Inch Dual Handle Skillet
For larger camping groups or hearty appetites, the Lodge 17-inch skillet is a solid choice at the campsite! Its substantial size allows for generous portions of campfire favorites.
Best Used For: Cooking breakfast for a group, frying fish, making campfire stews.
- Inner Diameter: 13.625 inches
- Depth: 2.62 inches
- Weight: 13.53 pounds
Lodge Cast Iron Sets
Lodge Cast Iron sets are a practical choice for outfitting your kitchen with essential cookware. These sets typically include a range of versatile items like skillets, Dutch ovens, and griddles to provide the basics for everyday cooking tasks. Whether you're looking to upgrade your kitchenware or starting fresh, Lodge cookware sets are an affordable option to consider!
Set includes 5-qt Dutch oven with lid, 10.5-inch seasoned griddle, and 8- and 10.25-inch seasoned skillets.
Best Used For: Everyday cooking — sear, saute, bake, broil, braise, fry, or grill with these pieces!
- Dimensions vary
Featuring generous pour spouts, lifted handles, elegant sloped walls, and a stunning stove-to-table presentation, the Chef Collection design was inspired by professional chefs and sure to become a household favorite. Set includes a 10- and 12-inch skillet.
- Total Weight: 11.16 lbs
Lodge Enameled Cast Iron
Lodge's enameled cast-iron cookware represents a wonderful fusion of the timeless durability of cast iron with the modern convenience of enamel coating. Lodge's line offers a beautiful alternative to pricier cookware with its own unique style and exceptional performance. It should be mentioned that some of the enameled cast iron pieces are made in China, and some are now being made in the USA, too.
Whether cooking for a large gathering or slow roasting meat until it falls apart, this large Dutch oven is the answer. Stainless-steel inlaid handles and hardware complement this classic piece.
Best Used For: Braise, boil, roast, simmer, even deep fry and marinade!
- Dimensions: 15.7 inches x 11.92 inches
- Depth: 4.94 inches
- Weight: 17.71 pounds
2. 7-Qt Essential Enamel Double Dutch Oven
Another large Dutch oven but with a cool addition — the lid pulls double duty as a handy skillet, too! Great in the oven and all cooktops, including induction.
Best Used For: Same as above Dutch oven, but the lid/griddle can be used while the deep-dish meal is browning up in the oven.
- Dimensions: 15.7 inches x 11.92 inches
- Depth: 4.94 inches
- Weight: 17.71 pounds
Care and Maintenance
Now that we've covered the most recommended products in the Lodge collection, here are some tips to keep the cookware in prime condition:
- Season Regularly: After a few uses, be sure to apply a thin layer of cooking oil to the skillet's surface to maintain its nonstick properties and prevent rust.
- Avoid Soap: To preserve the seasoning, avoid using soap when cleaning. Instead, scrub with a brush or chainmail scrubber and rinse with water.
- Dry Thoroughly: After washing, dry the skillet immediately to prevent rust.
- Store Properly: Store your skillet in a dry place to prevent rust. You can place a paper towel inside to absorb any moisture.
- Re-season as Needed: If your skillet's seasoning starts to fade, re-season it by applying a thin layer of oil and heating it in the oven.
Find the Best Lodge Cast Iron Cookware for You
Because Lodge's cast-iron skillet and cookware collection offers durability, versatility, and excellent heat retention, it's proven itself to be a solid investment in your kitchen. From hearty meals at home to savory creations around the campfire or outdoor grill, Lodge cookware stands the test of time.
So, whether you're a seasoned chef or an aspiring home cook, Lodge is a trusted brand to consider when upgrading your kitchen cookware. When you are ready to invest in your own Lodge cookware, please be sure to contact me or any of the other Curated Kitchen Experts.