Last Updated on October 13, 2021 by Boniface Muriuki
It’s hard to ignore the popularity of the Lodge cast iron skillet. It has become a favorite for many cooking enthusiasts, and we bought one to test its efficacy.
This article outlines a personal experience with a Lodge cast iron skillet 12 inches. It highlights its performance in the following areas:
- Nonstick properties
- Ease of cleaning
- Heat diffusivity
Read on for a detailed lodge cast iron skillet review. Is it worth the investment? Let’s find out.
Lodge Cast Iron Skillet – Brief Overview
If you’re about to buy this skillet, first read this comprehensive Lodge cast iron skillet review to make an informed decision.
What we Like
- Made in USA
- Assist handle for ease of handling
- Easy to clean
- Relatively deep
What we Don’t Like
- Requires seasoning
- Heats up relatively slowly
Lodge Cast Iron Manufacturer
Lodge cast iron skillet is, without a doubt, the most popular skillet in the United States. The skillet is manufactured by Lodge Manufacturing Company.
This company is a pioneer in the cookware industry. It was started in 1896 by Joseph Lodge, and it has become synonymous with cast iron cookware.
Its state-of-the-art facility at South Pittsburg helps in the error-free refining of cast iron. As such, you can be sure that Lodge cast iron skillets are durable.
What is Cast Iron?
When you think about cast iron, you should think of a furnace-melted iron that contains several other elements such as carbon, silicon, sulfur, and manganese.
It is formed by smelting iron ore and mixing it with scrap metals and other alloys. The molten mixture is poured into molds and allowed to solidify into the cast iron skillets and pans.
This treatment makes the cast iron non-malleable, hard, and brittle. These critical features guarantee top-notch functionality durability of your cast iron skillet.
Compared to steel and aluminum cookware, the Lodge cast iron skillet offers the following benefits:
- Exceptional ability to retain heat, making it ideal for searing
- Develops nonstick properties with time
However, the ability of cast iron to heat up fast is limited. It might take you longer to heat the skillet before you start cooking!
How to Season Cast Iron Skillet
If you look at the adverts, you’re likely to be misled that the Lodge cast iron skillet does not require seasoning!
Well, I found this to be untrue.
Initially, it would be best if you seasoned your cast iron skillet to prevent food from sticking on the pan’s surface.
To achieve this, you should place the pan on the stovetop and let it heat before adding oil (vegetable oil such as canola is best).
Let the oil heat for some time until you can see some smoke coming out of the pan. Remove the pan from the stovetop and let it cool.
Features of Lodge Cast Iron Skillet
This skillet has several unique features that have endeared it to cooking enthusiasts in the US and beyond. They include:
1. Classic Design
Lodge cast iron skillet is built with an elegant design that allows comfortability. While it’s relatively heavy compared to steel and aluminum cookware, it has an ergonomic design that eases the lifting and handling when cooking.
The skillet has a short handle that guarantees a firm grip. When you’re cooking a lot of meals, and you need better control, then you’ll use the assist handle directly opposite the main handle.
When you order the Lodge cast iron skillet, you will also get a handle holder to help you lift the pan without burning your hands.
Lodge cast iron skillet is one of the most versatile kitchen appliances.
You’ll cook virtually anything in it! Be it frying eggs, preparing pancakes, or making grilled cheese.
The pan is conveniently deep to allow you to cook anything you want without spillage. Using the Lodge cast iron 12-inch skillet, you can prepare breakfast for your entire family without a hassle.
3. A Great Pouring Lip Addition
The Lodge cast iron skillet has two pouring lips on opposite sides. While many people may consider this as a design addition, it’s an instrumental functionality booster.
The feature helps to drain grease or reduce your oil without messing the outer side of the pan. It reduces spillage and makes cleaning a breeze.
4. Lodge Cast Iron Skillet Finish
Far from it, the Lodge cast iron skillet is not elegant and classy. The finish is rugged and relatively dull.
I wouldn’t say I liked the finish of the Lodge cast iron skillet. It comes with a relatively rugged surface and irregular edges.
While these misgivings do not affect the cooking in any way, I feel that the pan should have regular edges and a relatively smoother finish.
5. Different Sizes for Flexibility
Lodge cast iron comes in different sizes to allow you to choose the ideal one for your needs. If you live iron, we recommend that you buy the Lodge cast iron 8-inch skillet.
However, you can be sure that the Lodge cast iron 12-inch skillet will offer you the versatility, functionality, and flexibility you’ll ever need in a skillet.
6. Ease of Cleaning
Cleaning the Lodge cast iron skillet is a breeze. You will only require warm water and a non-abrasive cleaning towel.
Wipe the skillet after use and apply a layer of oil before storage.
Always avoid using soap during the cleaning process.
Lodge Cast Iron Skillet Nonstick Property Test
The lodge skillet is pre-seasoned – meaning that it is covered with a layer of oil that prevents food from sticking on the pan’s surface.
While this feature is used for marketing this pan, it is not entirely true.
If you cook with the pan before seasoning, you’ll likely be disappointed!
However, you can resolve this problem by following the following simple steps:
- After unpacking the skillet, you should clean it with hot water
- After cleaning, you should apply a thin layer of canola oil (or any other oil)
- Place the pan in an oven and heat it to 450 degrees
- Heat it until you can see some smoke, then remove it and wipe it
Every time you’re through cooking, you should apply a thin layer of oil before storing your skillet.
Additionally, you should avoid using soap when cleaning your cast iron skillet since it’ll interfere with the seasoning.
Lodge Cast Iron Skillet Heating Ability
If you’re impatient, then you may not like this cast iron skillet. It is relatively a poor conductor of heat, and you can be sure that you’ll wait for several minutes before it can heat up.
Fortunately, the wait will be worth it!
Once the skillet heats up, it retains the heat for long. This property makes it the best skillet for searing. It will continually heat your meals, ensuring evenly done meals.
Lodge Cast Iron Skillet Review – Final Verdict
If you’re looking for quality, then the Lodge cast iron skillet will not disappoint. This skillet is made out of high-quality cast iron that is durable and efficient.
However, the pre-seasoned feature of the skillet is not always true. You’ll need to season it again immediately after you unbox. Cleaning the pan is simple, and its overall maintenance routine is a breeze.
Overall, we recommend the Lodge cast iron 12-inch skillet. It is one of the best cookware you can have in your kitchen. The few challenges with the skillet are easily surmountable.
You’ll be guaranteed of performance and durability. However, always ensure that you avoid putting a hot pot into cold water directly to avoid warping.
Lodge Cast Iron Skillet – Frequently Asked Questions
Do you need to season a Lodge cast iron skillet?
While Lodge claims that this skillet is pre-seasoned, we found it necessary to season it before using it. The seasoning ensures that your food does not stick on the pan, resulting in difficult cleaning. Also, ensure that you spread a layer of oil on the skillet before storing it.
What is the largest Lodge cast iron skillet?
The largest Lodge skillet is 15 inches. The skillet is large enough to cook meals enough to feed a moderately large family. The most popular among cooking enthusiasts are the Lodge cast iron 12-inch skillet, Lodge cast iron skillet 10-inch, and the Lodge cast iron 8-inch skillet.
Is Lodge the best cast iron?
The Lodge is one of the oldest cast iron manufacturing companies in the United States. Since its inception in 1896, Lodge has gained a remarkable reputation, and the Lodge cast iron skillet is certainly the most popular skillet in the US.
How do I clean my Lodge cast iron skillet?
Simply clean the skillet using warm water. Avoid using soap and abrasive cleaning agents. It would be best if you also seasoned it after cleaning.
How do I restore my Lodge cast iron skillet?
Season it! If you want to restore the pan’s functionality, you should clean it, dry it, apply oil, and bake it at approximately 450 degrees until you can see smoke coming from the pan.
Chef Boniface is a graduate in Culinary Arts from the Institute of Culinary Education, New York. He has worked in several restaurants and is currently the Head Chef at Cavali Restaurant.
He has excelled in developing unique recipes and influencing the menu at the restaurant. He prides himself in sharing his knowledge at thekitchenpot.com where he writes about the best cookware for various recipes.