Lodge Cast Iron Cookware
For more clost to 120 years, Lodge Manufacturing has been perfecting the process of making cast iron cookware. When Joseph Lodge began making cast iron in 1896, he began a legacy that would create the foundation to an enduring standard of quality carried forward by four generations of family management.
Not even the most expensive stainless and aluminum cookware can rival the even heating, heat retention, durability and value of Lodge Cast Iron.
Its legendary cooking performance keeps it on the list of kitchen essentials for great chefs and home kitchens alike! In fact, much of the cookware made by Lodge generations ago is still in the kitchens of fourth generation cooks -- a true testament to Lodge Cast Iron Cookware’s quality and durability!
Always in season, Lodge cookware is used in restaurants, in homes and over open campfires!
Lodge cookware offers an endless range of home entertaining possibilities. Lodge foundry seasoned cast iron helps create meals that sizzle on arrival and remain hot throughout the meal. Whether you want to serve food hot, cold, or add a measure of creative flair, Lodge offers a world of cast iron inspiration!
In 2002 Lodge Manufacturing developed a proprietary vegetable oil spray system to season the cookware before it leaves the foundry, which means your Lodge Cast Iron cookware will have an heirloom finish that you can use right out of the box!
Lodge has introduced four stylish mini dishes (pictured left) that will enhance any cookware offering. Like all Lodge Cast Iron cookware, the mini tableware features foundry seasoned cast iron, and is versatile -- perfect for hot or cold appetizers, desserts, sauces or specialty entrees. The mini collection includes round, oval, rectangular and divided rectangular serving dishes.
Cooking With Cast Iron - a tried and true tradition!
People who cook with cast iron cookware simply rave about it! The benefits of cast iron
pans are numerous:
- cast iron is an ideal heat conductor
- cast iron heats evenly and consistently
- the heat retention quality allows for even cooking temperatures without hot spots
- cast iron pans can be used on top of the stove, in the oven, or over an open fire
- cast iron is an old-fashioned way to cook fat-free
- a well seasoned cast iron pan is stick resistant and requires no additional oil
- cast iron is inexpensive and will last at least a lifetime
- the more you cook with cast iron, the better it is!
It’s all in the “seasoning”!
Lodge Cast Iron Cookware comes fully seasoned directly from their foundry, so no pre-seasoning is required. Because cast iron is porous and has microscopic jagged peaks, it must be seasoned first to fill in the microscopic pores.
Every time you use your cast iron pan you are actually seasoning it again and again by filling in the microscopic pores and valleys that are naturally part of the surface. The cooking surface develops and maintains a non-stick surface because the formerly jagged and pitted surface becomes smoother after each use. The more you cook, the smoother your surface becomes!
Learn about cast iron cleaning, seasoning and refurbishing
- Hand wash with water and a bit of coarse salt if food sticks. If necessary, apply light pressure using a nylon bristle brush, to preserve the cookware’s finish. Dry immediately.
- Rub a small amount of oil all around the pan using a dry paper towel. This keeps the iron “seasoned” and protected from moisture.
- Never put a cast iron pot away wet. Assure that it is thoroughly dry by resting it on a low heat burner for 10 minutes. Allow to cool before storing.
- Dishwashers, strong detergents and metal scouring pads are not recommended, as they remove seasoning.
“Seasoning” is oil baked onto the iron at a high temperature. Appropriate oils to season your pan with are vegetable oil, canola oil and grape seed oil, because they are all tolerant to high temperatures.
Seasoning creates the natural, easy-release properties. The more you cook, the better it gets.
Because you create, maintain and even repair the “seasoning”, your cookware can last a lifetime. Chemical non-stick coating cannot be repaired thus has a limited lifespan.
Without protective seasoning iron can rust. It’s really easy to fix.
- Scour the rust, rinse, dry and rub with a little vegetable oil.
- If rust remains, thoroughly remove all rust and follow our re-seasoning instructions
REFURBISH AND RE-SEASON
While maintaining the seasoning should keep your Cast Iron and Carbon Steel in good condition, at some point you may need to re-season your cookware. If food sticks to the surface or you notice a dull, gray color, repeat the seasoning process.
- Wash the cookware with hot, soapy water and a stiff brush. (It is okay to use soap this time, because you are preparing to re-season the cookware).
- Rinse and dry completely.
- Apply a very thin, even coat of oil to the cookware inside and out.
- Place aluminum foil on the bottom rack of the oven to catch any drips.
- Set oven temperature to 200 degrees F.
- Place cookware upside down on the top rack of the oven to prevent pooling.
- Bake the cookware for an hour. After the hour, turn the oven off and let the cookware cool in the oven for an additional hour.
- Store the cookware uncovered, in a dry place when cooled
Tips for cooking with cast iron!
- Never put liquid into a very hot cast iron pan or oven -- doing so will cause it to crack on the spot!
- Avoid buying cast iron pans or skillets with wooden handles, since wooden handles can not be put directly into the oven or over an open fire.
- If your cast iron pot or skillet comes with a lid, be sure the lid is seasoned, as well.
- In most cases, due to the heat retention properties, you will never need to use heat higher than medium when cooking with cast iron on a stove top.
- Wooden implements (spoons, spatulas etc) work best with cast iron cookware.
- Cast iron skillets are multi-functional -- great for frying eggs, pancakes, sandwiches, chicken, hamburgers, cornbread and more!
- Dutch ovens are generally used for baking and stewing. The lid holds in moisture.
- A Dutch oven with legs is usually used over an open campfire, and flat bottomed Dutch ovens are generally used on the stove or in a conventional oven.
Cast Iron Facts
Did you know that cast iron isn’t just a name: cast iron cookware is actually made from iron that has been melted and formed into molds. The material used is the same base material that’s used to make engine blocks and building girders. No wonder cast iron cookware lasts a lifetime!
Cast iron cookware has been in use since the 1600s.
The Dutch used dry sand to make their molds, giving their pots a smoother surface than the English system of casting iron vessels.
During the California Gold Rush, small cast iron skillets were used for panning gold!
Cast iron was such a valuable commodity that George Washington’s mother, in her 1778 will, bequeathed one half of her “iron kitchen furniture” to her grandson, Fielding Lewis, and the other half to her granddaughter, Betty Carter.
In 1776, in his book “The Wealth of Nations”, Adam Smith noted that the actual wealth of a nation was not its gold but in its manufacture of pots and pans.
Lewis and Clark listed their Dutch oven as one of the most important pieces of equipment they took on their exploration of the Pacific Northwest in 1804.
Dutch ovens made for outdoor use usually have three legs, a wire ball handle and a slightly concave rimmed lid so that the coals from the cooking fire can be placed on top as well as below, allowing them to act as a oven.
The difference between cast iron and wrought iron is that cast iron has been put in a mold and wrought iron has been worked with tools.
Good cooks claim, “the heavier the metal...the lighter the bread”.