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Lodge Cast Iron Skillets/Frying Pans – an Essential Tool for Every Kitchen
Whether you need to scramble an egg, fry a chicken, sear a steak or sauté your vegetables, Lodge offer a vast array of traditional cast iron skillets that are perfect for the job. Ranging in size from 8 to 43 centimetres (3.5 to 17 inches), and available with and without lids, the skillets boast essential features such as assist handles for easy lifting and side lips for effortless pouring. The assortment also includes skillets with additional depth that are designed for tasks such as deep frying and oven baking. Fabulously adaptable, a Lodge cast iron skillet is an essential tool for every kitchen.
About Lodge – 100 Years and Still Cooking
Originally established by Joseph Lodge in 1896 – and with over 118 years of experience – Lodge is renowned for producing the finest cast iron cookware in the world. The family-owned company, based in South Pittsburg (Tennessee), is the only remaining manufacturer of cast iron cookware in the USA. The business has survived two World Wars and the Great Depression and continues to prosper today due to its legacy of quality and dedication to improving manufacturing methods.
The Evolution of Lodge
Lodge’s legendary foundry has undergone several notable upgrades as the company has grown. In order to respond to increasing demand, it was converted from a hand-pour operation to an automated moulding process in 1950. This led to safer and more efficient manufacturing procedures. In 1992, with an emphasis on conservation, Lodge’s coal-fired cupola furnaces were replaced by an electro-magnetic induction melting system. With consumer demand beginning to exceed foundry capacity, Lodge recently completed a comprehensive expansion of its facilities that cost in excess of 30 million dollars. This included new melting and sand systems, an additional moulding line and enhanced seasoning capabilities. These developments have increased capacity by almost 50% and have ensured that Lodge’s foundry is now the most technologically-advanced in the world.
Why Cast Iron?
Cast iron provides the finest heat distribution and retention of any cookware metal. The heat spreads rapidly and evenly across both the bottom and sides of the material and stays hot for a prolonged period of time. It is also extremely versatile and can be used to sear, fry, sauté, grill, roast, bake, braise and broil – both indoors or out. Cast iron will tolerate any heat source (except microwaves) and is therefore suitable for induction, ceramic, electric and gas cooktops. It will perform effortlessly in the oven, on the stove, in the grill and even on barbecues/campfires. The material is also brutally durable to the point of being almost indestructible. In fact, amazingly, some of the very first skillets, griddles and Dutch ovens, produced more than 100 years ago, are still being used in kitchens today!
Why Lodge Cast Iron?
Every shipment of iron that arrives at Lodge’s foundry passes through a stringent radiation detector. This ensures that no contaminants are able to enter the manufacturing process. Although standard procedure at Lodge, many other factories around the world do not follow this protocol and actually encourage the addition of secondary materials to the iron so that production quantity is maximised.
Lodge’s privately-held metal formula and precision moulding systems are the result of the company’s continued dedication to improving quality – a process that began with the very first skillet that was ever made.
Not even the most expensive stainless steel or aluminium cookware comes close to rivalling the heat distribution/retention, versatility, durability and value of Lodge cast iron. Its cooking performance ensures that it is an essential tool for both professional chefs and discerning home cooks.
Seasoning – a Natural Coating that Improves with Use
In 2002 Lodge introduced pre-seasoned cookware, known as the Lodge Logic range, into their ever-evolving assortment. This eliminated the requirement for seasoning prior to initial usage and ensured that Lodge cookware was ready to use as soon as it was removed from its packaging. At the time this was an industry first. It has since become standard practice.
The Lodge seasoning procedure is a multiple-step process in which vegetable oil is applied via an electrostatic spray system that coats the cookware. It is then baked into the iron in commercial ovens at temperatures of 600 degrees Fahrenheit (315 degrees Celsius). This allows the oil to penetrate deeply into the pores of the iron and provides the easy-release properties that are equivalent to a natural non-stick surface. Crucially, this process eliminates the health concerns that are associated with chemical non-stick coatings.
The foundry-based seasoning process is far superior to what can be achieved at home. The oil is more advanced, the spray system coats the cookware more uniformly and the oven temperature is substantially hotter. Independent tests have confirmed that it takes several years of regular home seasoning to equal the performance of that attained at the factory.
That said, in addition to the pre-seasoning that occurs during production of Lodge’s cast iron cookware, the natural non-stick surface can actually be enhanced and repaired (if necessary) once it has been used. This capability, which isn’t evident in chemical-based coatings, means that Lodge products can be used on a regular basis for 100 years or more!
The Lodge ‘Bubble’
Lodge cookware is hanging as it passes through the electrostatic sprayer and conveyer oven. As a result of this, a ‘bubble’ or ‘blister’ of oil may form at the southern-most point of the product and be initially visible when unpackaged for use. The ‘bubble/blister’ can be rubbed-off and will leave a brown spot directly underneath it. This is not rust – it is a seasoned spot that is indicative of the varnishing stage of the coating process. It will turn black with usage, as does home-seasoned iron when employed repeatedly.
It is not the intention of Lodge to produce cookware that appears as if a non-stick coating has been applied to it. The black patina given to the products by the seasoning process is not paint, is not a synthetic polymer coating, nor is it enamel – all of which modify the valuable characteristics of cast iron. It is, in fact, vegetable oil that has been baked into the cookware. This is a functional application; it isn’t a cosmetic one.
Care and Use Instructions – Follow these to Ensure that Your Lodge Cast Iron Lasts a Lifetime!
1) Hand wash and dry immediately – even before the very first use.
2) Allow your cookware to cool naturally prior to cleaning (plunging hot cast iron into water may cause damage).
3) Rub a small amount of vegetable oil into the product after every wash. Use just enough to restore the sheen, without it becoming ‘sticky’. This reinforces the natural seasoning and protects the cast iron from moisture (which can lead to rusting).
1) It is safe to use metal, wood or silicone utensils with your cookware.
2) Some foods (especially eggs) may stick to some degree during initial usage. It is advisable to employ extra oil or butter until the seasoning has built-up.
3) Acidic foods such as tomatoes, beans and certain sauces can damage the seasoning and should be avoided until the natural non-stick layer has matured.
4) Cast iron rarely needs to be placed on an above-medium heat setting if adequately pre-heated. On occasions when a higher cooking temperature is required, elevate the heat gradually and apply oil just prior to adding the food in order to prevent sticking.
5) Holders/mitts are essential when using the handles. Protect countertops with trivets.
Cleaning – to Soap or not to Soap?
Lodge cookware reaches 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204 degrees Celsius) in 4 minutes on a medium heat setting and is sterile at 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius), so soap is often not necessary. However, if using it is preferred, wash with mild soapy water and dry immediately before adding oil.
Dishwashers, strong detergents and metal scouring pads will remove seasoning, so are not recommended.
How to Reverse Rusting
Without protective seasoning, iron can rust. If this does occur, it can be easily fixed by scouring the rust, rinsing and drying the cookware, and then applying a small quantity of vegetable oil.
If significant rusting is apparent then the cookware may need to be re-seasoned. Visit www.lodgemfg.com for specific directions.
Lodge’s Limited Lifetime Warranty
Lodge cast iron is warranted to the purchaser by Lodge Manufacturing Company, Inc. to be free from defects in material and workmanship at the time of purchase. Small cosmetic blemishes inherent to sand casting and hand finishing which do not affect the performance of the cookware are not covered. This warranty extends from the date of purchase, for the lifetime of the original owner. This limited lifetime warranty is exclusive of all other warranties expressed or implied. This warranty is made by Lodge Manufacturing Company, Inc. and no other person or entity.
For this warranty to apply, the owner must follow the use and care instructions provided with the product. The warranty covers normal household use, but does not include damage from abuse, neglect, abnormal wear, or any use not consistent with the directions included with the cookware. Rust is not considered a defect.
Features an assist handle so that the skillet/frying pan can be easily lifted and maneuvered
Two subtle side lips enable simple and mess-free pouring
Pre-seasoned at Lodge’s foundry for a natural, easy-release finish that improves with use
Unparalleled distribution and retention of heat ensures rapid and efficient cooking
Suitable for use on induction, ceramic, electric and gas cooktops, as well as in the oven, on the stove, in the grill and on barbecues/campfires
Extremely versatile – can be used to sear, fry, sauté, grill, roast, bake, braise and broil (both indoors or out)