From $10 Skillets to Campfire-Sized Griddles
The Complete Buying Guide to Lodge Cast-Iron Skillets and Cookware
It goes like this: Blacklock Foundry began as a 25-man iron casting company making kettles, pots, broilers and skillets in South Pittsburgh, Tennessee. After a fire destroyed the facility in 1910, its founder, Joseph Lodge, reopened with a new name: Lodge Manufacturing.
In the 120 years since, Lodge has become the name in cast-iron cookware. Unlike many of today’s small-production manufacturers, Lodge proudly makes its cast-iron skillets, ovens, griddles and grill presses for the masses. Here’s your guide to its most notable offerings, today.
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Cast Iron Skillet
Lodge’s bread-and-butter product seems like it’s been around for ages. It hasn’t. The company shifted from a hand-poured casting system to total machine casting in 1950, and it wasn’t until the early 2000s that Lodge began pre-seasoning all of its standard cast-iron skillets. Both were good moves. In the last two decades, Lodge has quadrupled its manufacturing capabilities to meet a new demand for cast-iron cookware. The standard skillets are heavy and a little rough around the edge. But they come pre-seasoned and start at all of five bucks. You won’t find a more accessible combination in all of cookware.
Sizes Available: 3.5-inch to 15-inch
Chef Collection Skillet
The newest of Lodge’s skillets, released in early 2019, is 15 percent lighter than its standard skillet — a cut that drops half a pound from the 10-inch pan and more than a pound from the 12-inch. The Chef Skillet also sports longer handles with a more ergonomic taper and more gently sloping side walls. Altogether, the Chef Skillet is a slightly pricier, more maneuverable cast-iron skillet.
Sizes Available: 10-inch, 12-inch
Pro-Logic Cast Iron Skillet
Released in 2002, the Pro-Logic pan is something of an anomaly. It’s the only Lodge skillet that doesn’t feature the company’s trademark teardrop handle eyelet; it was also the very first cast-iron skillet to come pre-seasoned, a feature that’s since become industry standard. It’s also got a much more pronounced, upward-bending front grip and much more naturally sloping walls compared to the standard skillet.
Sizes Available: 10-inch, 12-inch
The deep skillet is the most straightforward of the bunch — think of it as Lodge’s standard skillet with higher walls. That increases the weight but also your cooking options. Deep skillets can act as vessels for true deep frying, baking breads, deep dish pizza and just about everything else.
Sizes Available: 10.25-inch, 12-inch, 3.2-quart, 5-quart
Cast Iron Pan
Pans are not skillets. Lodge’s cast-iron pans are handle-less and instead sport grips on either side. Why? The lack of handle means it takes up less space — making it an especially adept baking tool (where space is limited) or stovetop sitters. The dual grips are especially useful with the larger sizes, too, as you’re not going to be able to lift a 17-inch skillet with one hand anyway.
Sizes Available: 8-inch, 10.25-inch, 12-inch, 17-inch
Chef Collection Everyday Pan
The lighter, lid-toting cousin of the standard cast-iron pan adds pour spouts and is a lot more expensive. Like all Lodge pans, it comes pre-seasoned and ready to cook out of the box.
Sizes Available: 12-inch
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Unenameled Dutch ovens feel a bit antiquated nowadays. Enameling means you don’t have to season anything and you can clean with all the soap your heart desires. But, unenameled iron still outshines its enameled counterparts when it comes to searing (enameling lowers the cookware’s heat ceiling) and cooking outdoors. Why? Potential chipping issues aside, has anyone ever brought a $300 Le Creuset to a campsite?
Sizes Available: 2-quart, 5-quart, 7-quart
Enameled Dutch Oven
Lodge did to the classic Dutch oven what it did to the cast-iron skillet: it took an expensive market and turned it on its head. Where Staub, Le Creuset and others of their ilk charge hundreds for a single pot, Lodge’s full-sized enameled Dutch ovens run in the mid-$50 range. There’s plenty of color and size options, too.
Sizes Available: 1.5-quart to 7.5-quart
Double Dutch Oven
What’s different about this unenameled pot? Its domed lid is also a cast-iron pan. Other than the obvious value of having both, it also makes for a much more rounded lid top, a helpful attribute for those baking high-rising breads.
Sizes Available: 5-quart
Camp Dutch Oven
A campfire staple. Lodge’s big, heavy, affordable camp oven comes with a ridged lid to place hot coals onto, legs to keep it stable and a handle to hang it over a roaring fire beneath. The lid flips over into a griddle, too. A word to the wise: be careful not to put the pot too far into a larger fire — temperatures that high can very easily melt what seasoning you’ve developed on your rig.
Sizes Available: 1-quart, 2-quart, 4-quart, 8-quart
Pro-Logic Dutch Oven
The Pro-Logic version of the unenameled Dutch oven is more or less the same, but built with a more ergo-focused lid and side grips.
Sizes Available: 4-quart, 7-quart
Specialty Cast Iron
Other than applying aesthetically pleasing grill marks to steak, pork chops and all manner of vegetables, the grill pan is different from the everyday skillet in that it renders fat away from food instead of cooking food in it. Hot tip: buy the grill pan-specific scrapers.
Sizes Available: 10.5-inch
This three-pound weight flattens curly bacon, pork chops and weirdly shaped chicken thighs. Beyond ensuring a more even sear, it also levels out the thickness in larger cuts of meat, so especially meaty chicken breasts will cook a bit more evenly.
Sizes Available: One size
Reversible Grill and Griddle Combo
The simplest way to turn your kitchen into a diner? Place the heavy-duty combo griddle over adjacent burners and crank out pancakes, paninis and bacon with room to spare. Uuse the flip side when the weather is too bad to go outside. Pairs perfectly with the grill press.
Single-use cookware isn’t usually Lodge’s thing, but its Aebleskiver pan is an exception. And if you don’t already know about the fluffy Danish pancake balls, you have some reading to do.