Updated February 2022
Written by Allen Foster Authors 's image

PRODUCT REVIEW: Lodge Cast Iron skillets 

Lodge Cast Iron skillets are high-quality pieces of cookware that are remarkably versatile and can enhance the flavor and texture of food, giving it more depth and even imparting some iron into it. If cared for properly, a skillet like this can become a family heirloom that is passed down from generation to generation.

 

A skillet from this brand is an affordable investment, too. You can get a 12-inch cast iron skillet from the company for under $40. In some cases, you can find one for less than $20.

 

Read our buying guide to find the best cast iron skillet for your needs and budget.

 

Bottom Line

This line of high-quality skillets is made using a process that has been employed for thousands of years. The manufacturing method is considered the best way to make cast iron cooking essentials.

Pros: These well-made pieces excel at heat retention, and they cook food evenly. Versatility is the name of the game: they come in a variety of sizes, and the handle also serves as a convenient hanging hook.

 

Durability is also a big plus, although it is possible for the fry pan to break if dropped. However, note that a rusted pan is not a ruined pan. It can be restored.

 

These skillets arrive pre-seasoned and ready for immediate use.

 

Cons: There are no cons specifically associated with this product. The only downside is inherent to all cookware made of cast iron: grill pans, frying pans, Dutch ovens, and yes, skillets. The material is heavy and can be difficult to wield. It has a pebbly texture that a few individuals dislike.

 

Notably, cast iron requires a little more diligence when it comes to cleaning and care, too. It is definitely not dishwasher safe. We will explore more on this later.

 

Who are these skillets for? If you want one for your kitchen, there is really no reason not to get one. These skillets are highly affordable, and they are a great buy for anyone who wants to experience the joys of cooking with cast iron, whether they are a beginner or an experienced chef.

 

When seasoned correctly, these skillets function as nonstick pans. However, they do not have the chemical nonstick coating that you typically see on inexpensive frying pans and such. Rather, they are pre-seasoned by the company using a special method. They may need to be reseasoned, but this is not tricky. Just follow the process mentioned in this article, which calls for a thin layer of vegetable oil and some high heat.

 

What does it do? These multipurpose cooking tools excel at versatility. They can be used for a wide variety of cooking tasks. A good one can complement or even take the place of your old fry pans.

 

How much does it cost? The classic skillet design ranges from $6.95 to $54.95, depending on the diameter of the skillet.

 


Shopping guide for Lodge Cast Iron skillets

Written by Allen Foster
Updated February 2022

Lodge Cast Iron skillets are made with cast iron to deliver a combination of even heating and heat retention. The durable material makes them suitable for use on the stove, in the oven, on a grill, and even over a campfire.

 

You can use the skillet to grill, fry, braise, sear, sauté, bake, or broi. food, and it comes pre-seasoned with 100% natural vegetable oil so you can use it straight out of the box. For people who feel squeamish about using manmade nonstick pans, this is a terrific solution.

 

The handle of these skillets can double as a convenient storage hook, and the skillet itself is available in nine different sizes.

 

Variations

The only variation found on these pans is size. However, if you would like something a little different, the company offers a few other choices.

 

Branded skillets: The company makes a number of skillets that are branded with a variety of logos. These products include a University of Tennessee skillet, a Boy Scout skillet, a Bonnaroo skillet, and a Blacklock skillet, which was named after the original foundry.

 

The company also manufactures a Buffalo Nickel skillet and a series of Wildlife skillets featuring a turkey, a bear, a deer, a duck, or a wolf. You can even get a skillet in the shape of a guitar.

 

Branded skillets make great gifts for college students, recent graduates, and others who are just beginning to outfit their kitchen.

 

Chef Collection skillets: The Chef Collection skillets feature ergonomic handles for greater control and generous pouring spouts for those times when you want to make sauce or gravy. The sidewalls of these skillets are sloped to make them spatula-friendly.

 

Deep covered skillets: These deeper skillets come with a lid and can be used for baking bread, slow-cooking meat, making stew, and more.

 

Heat-treated skillets: The brand’s heat-treated skillets are for desserts and small servings. They have been manufactured using a special process that helps prevent rusting before it has the chance to start.

 

Square skillets: Square skillets offer a little more cooking surface than the classic round design. These models are ideal for making items such as grilled cheese sandwiches, omelets, and even brownies.

How much does a Lodge Cast Iron skillet cost?

The classic design is available in a variety of sizes. Following is the pricing information based on size. Note that it is subject to change.

 

  • 3.5-inch skillet: $6.95
  • 5-inch skillet: $9.95
  • 6.5-inch skillet: $11.95
  • 8-inch skillet: $14.95
  • 9-inch skillet: $19.95
  • 10.25-inch skillet: $21.95
  • 12-inch skillet: $29.95
  • 13.25-inch skillet: $39.95
  • 15-inch skillet: $54.95

 

Where can I buy a Lodge Cast Iron skillet?

Because of its popularity, the availability of these skillets can change rapidly. Here are some of the best places to look.

 

 

About Lodge Cast Iron

The company has been manufacturing quality cast iron accessories and cookware for over 120 years.

 

Back in 1896, Joseph Lodge began using an old railroad foundry in South Pittsburg, Tennessee to make a number of products, including tea kettles, sad irons, and cookware. That was the start of the company.

 

The process that the company uses has existed since 680 BC and involves pouring a mix of steel, molten iron, and other ingredients into sand molds. This time-tested method is considered the best way to manufacture cast iron cookware. The company's philosophy is "We don't just make cookware — we make memories that last for generations."

Contacting customer service

If you ever need to get in touch for customer support or to ask a question, there are several ways to do that.

 

Email: To contact the company via email, visit the contact page to fill out the contact form.

 

Live chat: To chat live with a member from the team, visit the Lodge Cast Iron website. Once there, you will see a tab in the lower right corner of the screen that reads "Chat with an Expert." When you click the tab, a short form opens up. Fill out the form to connect with a company expert.

 

Phone: If you prefer to call, the number is 1-833-563-4387. Helpline hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CT Monday through Friday.

 

Visit: If you live near one of the factory stores, you can stop by for an in-person visit. Before visiting, it is recommended that you call for hours.

 

2704 Teaster Lane

Pigeon Forge, TN 37863

865-774-0226

 

105 Knife Works Lane, Suite 2

Sevierville, TN 37876

865-429-1713

 

220 East 3rd St.

South Pittsburg, TN 37380

423-837-5919

 

8656 Concord Mills Blvd.

Concord, NC 28027

980-949-6047

Owner's manual

Instead of publishing an owner's manual, the company keeps all of the information for its products online. If you have any questions about the cleaning or care of your skillet, visit the Cleaning & Care page on the company website to gain access to the appropriate owner’s manual.

 

How to set up your cast iron skillet

One of the benefits of these skillets is that they are pre-seasoned before they are sold. Therefore, when the product arrives, it is ready to use. There is nothing more you need to do before cooking your first meal with it.

 

At some point, you will want to re-season skillet. While that may sound a little daunting, all it means is that you must bake some oil onto the skillet. The seasoning (a layer of carbonized cooking oil) is what gives the skillet its nonstick surface. It also helps prevent the skillet from rusting.

 

To season your skillet, follow four simple steps.

  1. Scrub the skillet clean using hot water. Use a scrubber if necessary to remove stuck-on residue. Avoid using soap on the pan, as this can wear away the seasoning.
  2. Once you are finished, rinse and thoroughly dry the skillet using a lint-free cloth or towel.
  3. Apply a thin but even layer of oil. (The company uses a soy-based vegetable oil with no synthetic chemicals.) Coat the entire skillet evenly, inside and out. Cover every part of the skillet, but do not use more than a thin layer of oil.
  4. Place a baking sheet or a sheet of aluminum foil on the bottom rack of your oven (to catch any drippings), and put the skillet in the oven, upside down on the top rack. Bake it at 450ºF to 500ºF for one hour, and then let it cool.

 

If needed, you can repeat steps 3 and 4 until your skillet has a nice black patina.

 

Cleaning tips

  • Use hot water. As mentioned, hot water is the best choice for removing debris and other messes from the pan.
  • Avoid using soap. It may feel “wrong” to clean a frying pan without soap, especially one that has stuck-on food. However, using soap can erode your nonstick coating (the seasoning), causing you to have to re-season it sooner than you normally would. That said, some experts advise that a “little bit” of soap is okay to use.
  • Grab a stiff brush and some paper towels. Use both of these implements to loosen up the debris. It may take a bit of elbow grease.
  • Apply a sprinkle of kosher salt. The coarse grit of the salt, combined with your elbow grease, will also help you remove stubborn debris from the pan.
  • Dry the pan right away. Because this material is prone to rusting, do not allow moisture to sit on the surface. Use a clean cloth to move the drying process along.
  • Store your pan in a place that is cool and dry. Avoid keeping the pan in a moist or humid environment. This helps you avoid degradation and rust.

 

Ways to use your cast iron skillet

This versatile cooking tool can be used to make a wide variety of foods. Here are just a few examples of dishes you can make.

 

Breakfast: Biscuits, quiche, omelets, bacon, pancakes, crepes, breakfast casserole, scrambled eggs, corned beef hash, and more.

 

Lunch: Pizza, stir-fry, macaroni and cheese, cheeseburgers, quesadilla, soup, grilled cheese sandwiches, and more.

 

Dinner: Fajitas, tater tot casserole, frittatas, steak, paella, stew, filet, chicken, green beans, pork chops, and more.

 

Desserts: Apple pie, bread pudding, crepes, apple fritters, sweet potato pie, crumb cake, brownies, blueberry pie, skillet cookies, and more.

 

Snacks: Corn bread, rolls, caramelized onions, nachos, wings, cheese dip, taquitos, fries, and more.

 

Camping: Beans, trout, hot dogs, chili, s'mores, corn tortillas, burgers, and more.

Common issues

Cast iron is a rugged material that, when seasoned, has a nonstick finish and can actually enhance the flavor of your food with proper use. However, like any product, Lodge skillets require cleaning and care to maintain optimum performance.

 

Following is a list of common issues that may occur with cookware made of cast iron, along with some quick remedies.
 

Prone to rust

Rust will form on cast iron cookware when it is exposed to moisture or is left in a humid environment for a prolonged period. For instance, this will happen if you allow the cookware to air dry after washing. Do not do this. Instead, dry the pan thoroughly with a cloth.

 

When rust appears, you will need to scour the cookware with hot water and a metal scouring pad. (These pans are not dishwasher safe!) Some experts say it is okay to use a bit of soap for this process.

 

Next, apply an even and thin layer of cooking oil to the entire surface of your skillet and place it in the oven, upside down on the top rack. Be sure to cover the bottom rack with aluminum foil to catch any oil drippings.

 

Bake the pan at 450ºF to 500ºF for one hour, and allow it to cool. You may need to repeat the oiling and baking process a few times to achieve the desired black patina.

 

Cast iron is sticky

If you notice that the cast iron is somewhat tacky to the touch, all it means is there is too much oil on the skillet. To remedy this situation, place the skillet in the oven, upside down on the top rack. Bake at 450ºF to 500ºF for one hour and allow to cool.

 

If your skillet is still sticky, simply repeat the process.

 

Food sticks to the skillet

Some food may stick to the skillet if you do not use enough fat or oil when cooking or if you are breaking in a new piece of cast iron cookware. If this happens, allow your skillet to cool, and use a pan scraper or scrubber to remove any stuck-on food.

 

Scrub with a nylon brush, hand dry, and rub a generous portion of oil into the skillet so all parts are evenly covered. When you are finished, wipe away any excess oil with a paper towel.

 

The skillet begins to flake

Over time, the seasoning on your skillet may begin to break down and flake off. This is also a problem with nonstick pans that use a material like Teflon. However, unlike a pan with a manmade nonstick coating, you can re-season your cast iron piece.

 

The flaking of your skillet is a sign that it is time to re-season it. Lightly scour the cookware with a metal scouring pad to remove as much of the flaking as possible. Then, add your oil and bake as described in the paragraph on rusting.

 

Undesirable odor

If you notice an undesirable odor emanating from your skillet, this usually means you didn't clean it as thoroughly as you thought. The easiest fix for this condition is to set your oven to 400ºF and bake the skillet for 15 minutes.

 

Cleaning cast iron can be difficult

Actually, this is not completely true. After your skillet has cooled, you can clean it by hand using hot water and a small amount of mild dish soap. A pan scrubber can come in handy if any food is stuck on the skillet.

 

After washing, immediately dry the skillet with a lint-free cloth or towel. Rub a light, even layer of cooking oil into the skillet, and use a lint-free paper towel to wipe down the skillet until no oil comes off.

 

The material may scratch some surfaces

Good news for people with induction cooktops: these skillets can be safely used on your cooking surface. However, if your induction cooktop is made of glass, beware: the pebbly and rough nature of the fry pan exterior has been known to scratch the glass.

 

Optional accessories

When it comes time to clean and care for your skillet, there are a few items you'll definitely want to have on hand.

 

Rust Eraser ($7.95 at Lodge Cast Iron): If your skillet develops rust, this handy rust eraser will clean your skillet right down to the bare iron. After using the rust eraser, you will need to re-season your skillet.

 

Silicone Hot Handle Holder ($9.95 at Amazon): This handy cover can protect your hands from heat up to 450ºF. It is sized to fit skillets that are 10.25 inches in diameter or more.

 

Scrubbing Pad ($19.90 at Amazon): This dishwasher-safe scrubbing pad is easy to grip and can remove stubborn, cooked-on food without harming the skillet's seasoning.

 

Seasoned Cast Iron Care Kit ($19.90 at Amazon): This cast iron care kit has everything you need to take care of your new skillet. The kit includes seasoning spray (canola oil), a polycarbonate pan scraper, a grip handle holder (offering protection up to 500ºF), a scrub brush, and a use and care booklet.

 

There are also a few complementary pieces of cast iron cookware we think you’d appreciate.

 

Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven ($69.90 at Amazon): This pot is made of enameled cast iron and features a stainless steel knob and handles. It comes in a variety of colors to match your kitchen decor, and it’s even safe for use on an induction cooktop. You can put it in the oven on high heat (up to 500°F), and you can also use it on top of the stove. If you want a useful cooking vessel that adds a pretty pop of color to your home, consider this affordable Dutch oven.

 

Casserole Dish with Lid ($90.00 at Amazon): If you love the look of Lodge’s enameled cast iron, consider adding this gorgeous casserole dish to your cooking arsenal. Not only is it a kitchen workhorse, it looks beautiful as a serving dish on the table. The knobs and handles are made of stainless steel.

 

Pro-Logic Wok ($49.90 at Amazon): This hardy pre-seasoned wok gets lots of positive attention from consumers. It’s not just for your stovetop, either. You can use it on the grill or over the campfire,too. You can even place it in the oven. When treated right, this affordable wok can become an heirloom family piece.

 

Grill Pan with Assist Handle ($19.90 at Amazon): This grill pan can give you those cool griddle marks that are one of the hallmarks of delicious paninis and other food items. The assist handle gets hot, but you can use your oven mitt, oven glove, or purchase a handle cover for just a few dollars more.

 

How to find a sale

Even at the retail price, these skillets are a great value. If you want to save a few dollars, you'll have to be vigilant. One way to catch sales is to frequent your favorite retailer websites and click on the "Deals" section to see all of the current (and sometimes upcoming) sale items.

 

If you don't want to spend every morning navigating retailer websites, however, you can simply sign up for the store mailing list, and they will notify you of any sales events. For instance, to sign up for Amazon deals, log into your Amazon account, visit the subscription page, scroll down to "Deals," and subscribe.

 

Note, too, that whenever you navigate to the company website, current deals appear at the top of the page.

Similar products to a cast iron skillet

If you're still undecided and would like more information on skillet options made of cast iron, consider visiting our page on best cast iron skillets for a full breakdown on the category.

 

Interested in products similar to the ones we have already mentioned? For your convenience, we've listed a few similar items below that might also be of interest.

 

Lodge Cast Iron Griddle with Hot Handle Holder ($24.99 at Amazon): This griddle has low sidewalls and a large cooking surface that makes it suitable for cooking items such as pancakes, tortillas, quesadillas, and roasted vegetables. For your convenience, this cast iron griddle comes with a silicone hot handle holder.

 

Cuisinel Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet ($54.99 at Amazon): If one skillet isn't enough, you may be interested in this affordable multi-pack from Cuisinel. You get a Lodge 12-inch, 10-inch, and 8-inch pan with this purchase.