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A Guide to Lodge Cookware
 

Lodge Cookware is the oldest family owned cookware iron foundry in America.  It was founded by Joseph Lodge in 1896 in South Pittsburg, Tennessee – during the first presidential term of William McKinley.  Some of the first skillets, griddles and Dutch ovens that were made over 100 years ago are still being used today!

Four generations later, the Lodge family still runs the business and continue to uphold the high quality of the products.  They have done this by using their privately held metal formula, precision molds and precise mold wall thickness. 

The continued excellence of their products has earned them praise from Good Housekeeping magazine, Fine Cooking magazine, various test kitchens and satisfied consumers.

Lodge claim that the even heating, heat retention and durability of their cast iron products rivals that of the most expensive stainless steel and aluminum cookware. 

What Do They Make?

Lodge Cast Iron cookware specializes in Dutch Ovens, griddles, combo cookers (a Dutch Oven with a lid that converts to a griddle) and grills. They offer over a hundred pieces in various shapes and sizes. 

What is pre-seasoning?

Lodge cast iron ware is all pre-seasoned at the factory so it is ready to use immediately. Seasoning is also called ‘curing’ and is an essential step if you are using cast iron cookware that has not already been pre-seasoned. 

Lodge pre-season their cookware with a proprietary vegetable oil which is soy-based and has been certified as Orthodox Union Kosher.  The oil also has no animal fat or peanut oil.   The oil is baked into the pores of the iron and this helps to prevent it rusting. 

To begin with, the pre-seasoned surface will not be completely smooth but this is normal and it won’t affect how your pan performs.  The more often you season it, the smoother the surface will become. 

Care And Seasoning Of Your Cast Iron Pan

To build up the seasoning, simply apply a very thin layer of oil after you have cleaned it.  This repeated seasoning will gradually build up a beautifully non-stick surface.  To maintain this, avoid stacking items inside your cookware as this could damage the surface.  To further protect it, use wood or silicone utensils to avoid scratching.

Whenever possible, avoid washing your cast iron cookware.  Detergents are used to remove oil and you don’t want to strip your carefully built-up oiled surface.

Taking care of burnt-on food…without washing!

It’s going to happen sooner or later!  To take off food that has stuck or baked on, boil a cup of water mixed with two tablespoons of baking soda in the cookware

If a stain refuses to shift, make up a bleach solution of one teaspoon of bleach per pint of water and pour it into the cookware.  Leave it to soak for up to three hours and then rub off with a soft cloth.

In both cases, rinse the interior thoroughly and then re-season. 

Do they only make bare cast iron cookware?

No - they also have enamel coated cast iron cookware made for them in China, meeting FDA standards.  It is made with a glass-based enamel imported from France. 

The two lines of Dutch ovens, casseroles and skillets are made specifically to Lodge’s strict high standards.  High level Lodge representatives and experts on manufacturing go to China many times each year to check out the facilities and ensure that the cookware is being made to their strict requirements. 

Random inspections are also carried out by a third party American company based in China.

Can Lodge cookware be used on any type of heat?

You can use it on gas, electric, induction and ceramic or glass top stoves and ovens.  It is also great for using on a grill or for cooking in an open fire at camp. 

Start your cooking on a low heat and gradually bring it up to medium or high.  Always remember to take your cookware off the heat when you’ve finished cooking.

Lodge recommend that for the best results, the cast iron cookware shouldn’t be used in an oven if the temperature is over 400 degrees F.

Is there anything that shouldn’t be cooked in cast iron cookware?

Once your cookware has been seasoned several times, you can cook anything it it.  When you first get it, avoid acidic foods like tomatoes, beans, sauces with citrus fruit juice etc.  This is because the acidity of the foodstuff will strip out the oils from the seasoned surface and may result in food that has a metallic taste.

Lodge are also Eco-Friendly!

• In 1991, Henry Lodge (Company President) replaced the melting system with a more environmentally friendly one.  As a result, Lodge changed from a Large Quantity Generator of Hazardous Waste to Small Quantity Generator.  As a result of this, in 1984, Lodge received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Hazardous Waste Reduction

• In 2001, Lodge arranged for external companies to collect and recycle their cardboard.  That year, 34.5 tons were recycled.  This rose to 48.1 tons in 2005.  The recycling is still in operation today.

• Lodge have also worked with the government to find a beneficial use for foundry sand (which was used to line a landfill site, saving the county over $191,000), built ponds and streams and improved the water quality of a stream flowing through the foundry and planted many trees to improve local air quality and enhance the land.

RELATED INFO

- How to Season Cast Iron Cookware

 

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