137 of 143 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cast Iron is better in every way and Lodge is a good buy
Lodge is my favorite cast iron label because it is well made and inexpensive. Now it even comes pre-seasoned, although it still requires some additional seasoning before it reaches top nonstick form. This can be done by baking it with oil or bacon/ham grease or just by using it to cook a few times. The more cast iron is used properly, the more nonstick it becomes. If one...
Published on May 30, 2009 by Rutherford
34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cheap and gets the job done... with care
Cast iron is safe (unlike teflon and other chemical nonstick surfaces). It's also very heavy. And sadly, Lodge cast iron pans have a rough surface, which make them that much worse with regards to sticking (slick cast iron surfaces are much more nonstick).
Lodge's comes pre-seasoned, but unfortunately the pre-seasoning is pretty bad. So the first thing you'll...
Published 15 months ago by EK
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137 of 143 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cast Iron is better in every way and Lodge is a good buy,
This review is from: Lodge LCS3 Chef's Skillet, 10-inch (Kitchen)Lodge is my favorite cast iron label because it is well made and inexpensive. Now it even comes pre-seasoned, although it still requires some additional seasoning before it reaches top nonstick form. This can be done by baking it with oil or bacon/ham grease or just by using it to cook a few times. The more cast iron is used properly, the more nonstick it becomes. If one learns to change cooking habits, following usage and cleaning instructions, better results will be achieved in short order.
Unaware of the Teflon industry unethically hiding their toxicity reports from the public and the government for more than 20 years (not to mention the toxins they dumped into the environment), I raised my children on Teflon nonstick pans. None of my food ever turned out with the flavorful browned finish that cast iron provides, but I was lazy and I bought into the idea of the new conveniences. Now that I know Teflon is actually dangerous to not only our individual health but to the planet, I've replaced all of my Teflon with cast iron, bought cast iron for my young adult children, and I'm trying to help them learn to cook on it so they too will learn that it is not only better for their health, but it also produces superior texture and flavor.
I started by going back and remembering how my grandmother used hers. It is all she used until she died at 91-years-old. Her cookware is still entirely useable and has been divided up among relatives.
Grandmother cooked everything on cast iron, and she knew how to use pieces in multiple ways so that she required fewer of them. For example, she used her large fry pan to cook homemade pancakes by turning it upside down on the burner and using the bottom as a griddle! Because she kept an empty coffee can of recycled bacon and ham grease next to her stove (lard) and used it as her cooking oil, she never needed to re-season. Her pans were completely nonstick from all of the use. While most of us will not recycle meat grease and cook with it, we can do the same with the olive and vegetable oils we use.
A contemporary concern often expressed is that it must be unhealthy to clean pans without dishwashing detergent. I remind my children that their great-grandparents lived to just under and just over 90-years-old (neither died from a cancer) and never once washed their cookware with detergent. They used only hot water. Our entire family grew up eating Grandmother's cooking and none of us were sickened by it. Remembering that reminds me that much of our concern with hyper-cleanliness has been marketed to us so we will buy innumerable products we do not really need; products that actually have hurt overall health by inhibiting our opportunities to strengthen our immune systems, and now we have actually introduced too many antibacterial products into our environment as well. Grandmother did dry her pans by placing them over a hot burner and that will kill bacteria, but it is not necessary to dry cast iron that way. Because drying pans over a hot burner uses more energy, I towel dry mine and I've never been made sick by doing so.
Reasons to switch:
1. Food has better flavor and texture
2. No toxins in the air or in the food to worry about.
3. No dishwashing detergent used so it is better for the planet and for the wallet.
4. For good results, cooking with lower heat is required, which means less energy use and that also is better for the environment and the wallet.
5. Less expensive to purchase than nonstick considered "high quality" and much more durable so rarely does any of it need replacing. The same pans can be used by multiple generations. One more reason cast iron is better for the environment and our pocketbook.
6. Small amounts of healthy iron added to our diets without a mineral supplement in pill form.
7. Weight of pieces forces at least a little weight lifting every day which is better for our muscles, therefore our overall health, including contributing to staving off osteoporosis.
8. Because it is easier to wash right after use and needs to be dried right away, pans do not pile up cluttering the kitchen and hanging over our heads as a chore we are avoiding.
9. To stop rewarding the Teflon industry for lying to us with withheld toxicity reports as they sold us products that were actually slowly poisoning our children.
10. To stop rewarding the Teflon industry for dumping toxins into our waterways and releasing toxic gases into the air during the manufacturing process.
11. To hold cookware manufacturers, distributors, and retailers responsible and accountable for what they choose to market and sell to us.
Reasons to purchase Lodge brand:
1. Well made
2. Readily available
4. For those who do not want to go to the store, it can be purchased from Amazon with free shipping.
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best!,
This review is from: Lodge LCS3 Chef's Skillet, 10-inch (Kitchen)This is such a great pan for omlets because of the sloped sides that allow you to slide underneath. This would be a great first peice of cast iron for someone new to using it because of the size and it is pre-seasoned. I use it all the time & it just keeps getting better!
147 of 166 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why cast iron instead of some fancy non-stick? Is Lindy a Neanderthal?,
This review is from: Lodge LCS3 Chef's Skillet, 10-inch (Kitchen)Nope, it's cuz Lindy stir-frys. Lindy has used cheap non-sticks skillets, expensive non-stick skillets and was considering the ones that cost a bomb in Williams-Sonoma (Lindy like shiny...oooh..., aaah...) when the kindly and knowledgeable saleswoman informed her that there was not a non-stick skillet on the market that could tolerate daily stir-fry even with the temperature correctly set to medium heat (err....yeah....) for much more than a year. This tallied exactly and precisely with Lindy's experience with non-stick coatings, no matter the price.
Sigh. Lindy is not made of money. Sigh.
So at the nearest Wally World, Lindy found this skillet in the clearance section without the instructions for seasoning. Half price. Score!
A quick internet search netted much advice for seasoning the pan.
Update (11/23/12): Here's the classic method for seasoning a pan.
From the Lodge website:
"Re-Seasoning your Lodge Cast Iron
While maintaining the seasoning (as in Step 5 above) should keep your Cast Iron in good condition, at some point you may need to repeat the seasoning process. 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 thin, even coating of MELTED solid vegetable shortening (or cooking oil of your choice) to the cookware (inside and out).
Place aluminum foil on the bottom rack of the oven to catch any dripping.
Set oven temperature to 350 - 400 degrees F.
Place cookware upside down on the top rack of the oven.
Bake the cookware for at least one hour. After the hour, turn the oven off and let the cookware cool in the oven.
Store the cookware uncovered, in a dry place when cooled."
Other internet sites are big fans of bacon grease. Simply put, you will need some kind of solid fat that can take very high heat in order to season the pan. Lindy knows that Crisco will take very high heat and is easier to obtain than bacon grease. Lindy doesn't eat bacon because of her high cholesterol.
Not that Lindy EVER burns food in her spiffy frypan but should this happen to you, scrap/soak/remove as much as possible, then place the pan on the burner set to max heat. The heat will burn off the crud and the pan will not rust. You can add salt to the pan and use it as an abrasive to help scrub off the food bits as they carbonize. Re-seasoning at this point is useful but not utterly necessary. Lindy would like to give credit where credit is due and report that Lindy's Mommy taught her this trick.
If you don't re-season, you'll just need more oil than usual until the seasoning builds up again. Once this happens, eggs don't stick. Steaks sear on the outside and are juicy on the inside. Lindy can break her diet and make fried rice. Use one of those plastic bottles with a tiny tip to drip oil in as needed and your food won't be too much fattier than using regular non-stick.
But Lindy is very scared for her toes if she ever drops the pan. Never use one hand to move it.
Update 11/23/12: Here's the method using flaxseed oil that is sweeping the foodie blogosphere:
Use flaxseed oil (from healthfood, or vitamin store) to season the pan. Be warned - flaxseed oil is amazingly expensive; the price on Amazon is less than the healthfood stores but not by a whole lot. Some people note the chemical similarity between flaxseed and the very cheap linseed oil but LINSEED OIL is TOXIC. No substitutions.
Ventilate the area. The smoke is mild but it builds up as you keep working.
Strip off any old seasoning using procedure mentioned above. The salt reduces smoking as you burn off the coating. The cast iron will turn a silvery gray as the seasoning is removed. Let cool.
Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees.
You want about 5-7 coats of oil on your skillet, so repeat this as many times as needed. Don't think about trying this with 1-2 really thick coats of oil. It won't season evenly or smoothly. You'll lose a lot of your costly oil as it drips off the pan during the baking procedure.
Coat your pan with the thinnest possible coat of flaxseed oil. Try to apply evenly. Avoid any drips, if the oil sets inside your oven or other equipment it will be a nightmare to remove. Put a sheet of disposable aluminum foil in case of drips below the skillet.
Bake the skillet for 1/2 hour.
Repeat for however many times as you desire.
By the last coat, the seasoning will have a soft, tacky feel, like you could scrape it off with a metal utensil. If you turn off the oven and leave the piece in place until the oven cools off on it's own, it should have hardened into a black and very, very shiny layer. It will be as shiny as black nail polish.
Observations about flaxseed oil seasoning performance.
1) It's hard but not indestructible. I was unable to scratch it with the back of a knife but scouring with steel wool did remove some of the seasoning eventually.
2) You can leave it sitting it water and it is protected. No rust.
3) you can clean the pan in the dishwasher. Not sure how many times you can repeat this before you need to re-season.
4) The surface has a smooth non-oily feel but it is not non-stick. You must use a little oil to prevent sticking. Clean up is very easy, stuff come right off. The pans have not been in use long enough to build up a second layer from bacon/crisco/daily use.
5) The flaxseed surface sticks more than the traditional seasoning surface. This may be a highly unfair comparison because the flaxseed surface is only a few days old and the traditional seasoning surface was a few years old. I will update this comparison if performance changes over time.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars outstanding saute pan,
This review is from: Lodge LCS3 Chef's Skillet, 10-inch (Kitchen)Is not fully seasoned out of the box but within a short time will be a non-stick HIGH heat saute pan. Lighter in construction than other lodge pans it handles well. The casting ridges are not ground down but you will be using a potholder. Great tool period.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best, Best, BEST!!,
Can't believe I 'fell' for the teflon-type or anodized skillets; I was purchasing a new one every 2 or 3 years as they do not stand up to daily use. The one improvement we made to both our 15-1/4 and 10-1/4 inch Cast-iron Skillets was to subject them to some serious sanding with our orbital sander. We started with 80 grit and worked up to 220 grit - took more than an hour, but boy was it worth it! The pan finish is now like glass and is 100% stick free!
34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cheap and gets the job done... with care,
This review is from: Lodge LCS3 Chef's Skillet, 10-inch (Kitchen)Cast iron is safe (unlike teflon and other chemical nonstick surfaces). It's also very heavy. And sadly, Lodge cast iron pans have a rough surface, which make them that much worse with regards to sticking (slick cast iron surfaces are much more nonstick).
Lodge's comes pre-seasoned, but unfortunately the pre-seasoning is pretty bad. So the first thing you'll need to do is season it more. The easiest way to go about this is to cook nothing but bacon in it for the first several uses. In between batches, poor out the fat, scrape off the crumbs with a spatula or wooden spoon or whatever else you have, and wipe the pan several times with paper towels until you can't wipe up any more grease. This will ensure that you have the thinnest layer of oil on it. Then stick the pan in a 400 deg oven for an hour, turn off the oven, and leave the pan in there until it cools or until its next use. When you cook your next batch of bacon, repeat. Do this several times and your pan will be well seasoned enough to cook an egg on it.
Stuff can still stick to well-seasoned cast iron. If you get the stove temp right and add just the right amount of oil, you should be able to scramble an egg with minimal sticking. If the pan's too hot, your pan's gonna be a mess with egg stuck all over. If it's too cold, again, big mess. It takes practice getting the temp right, but you'll eventually get it. Thankfully, cooking meat isn't nearly as critical. Just preheat, add oil, and lay your room temperature meat in the pan (cold meat is more likely to stick).
There are a million other ways to season a pan, some better than others. Lard from the Mexican market is cheap and works great. Apply a thin layer until your paper towel cannot wipe up any more, bake for an hour, cool down, repeat. Do this a 5 times and you'll have a nice season.
Here are things that will ruin your seasoning:
-- Acid. Don't even think about cooking tomatoes or tomato sauce or vinegary or lemony dishes in it. The amount of seasoning that comes off depends on how acidic and how long it's in there.
-- Soap. I use soap, but only minimally, and only on well-seasoned pans. I will avoid it if possible, instead just scrubbing with a brush under hot water, followed by drying on the stove.
-- Abrasion. Steel wool is safe on cast iron. It is not safe on the seasoning. Same goes with metal utensils. While you can certainly use a metal spatula, it's best to refrain from doing too much scraping.
-- Too much heat. I constantly blast one of my skillets in my 550 deg oven or 700 deg BBQ. The cast iron can handle it, but some of the seasoning does burn off (google "self cleaning oven cast iron" without quotes to see why)
The great thing about cast iron is that you can always replenish the seasoning. But it's a terrible pain in the rear. It's best to season it right, then just take whatever precautions are necessary to maintain that seasoning.
Cast iron is great for:
- fried chicken (any kind of frying, since it retains heat quite well).
- flat breads
- searing meat (esp steaks)
- pizza (just make it small enough to fit; works almost as well as a stone!)
- grilled cheese
- cooking on the grill or over a campfire
Cast iron is horrible for:
- fast cooking, since it takes a while to heat up
- acidic foods
- even heating (despite it's good heat retention, these cast iron pans distribute heat VERY UNEVENLY!)
Overall Lodge makes decent cast iron pans that are made in the USA. For the price they are a decent value. But I personally prefer other materials, such as stainless steel or carbon steel for my everyday cooking. If you've never used cast iron, and you have the storage space for it, it's definitely worth purchasing. Just make sure you use it enough to understand it. So many people I know buy it, try it, and then never use it again.
One more note... If you're OCD about cleaning pans, don't bother with cast iron. It's supposed to stay a little grimey after use and cleaning. It's advised to wipe with a little oil after each use, and you'll see your paper towel pick up black gunk from the pan. Don't worry, that gunk is supposed to be there, and it really won't transfer to your food.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Lodge Skillet of them all!,
This review is from: Lodge LCS3 Chef's Skillet, 10-inch (Kitchen)I purchased this skillet after falling in love with my 12" and 8" Lodge cast iron skillets. After owning this 10" Chef's Skillet for a months, I realize that I didn't ever even need to buy the other two! I am finding that I hardly ever pull out the 8" & 12", because this does both of their jobs. I had mainly used the 12" for cooking and searing meat, and the 8" for small omelets and pancakes, but the 10" does a fantastic job at both of these! (It is also great at cooking lots of other things, just Google "cast iron recipes".) The longer handle is much more comfortable to use than the short stubby handles on the 12" & 8". Plus, the rounded sides on this skillet make it much easier to get under food with a spatula. In short, one of my most useful kitchen purchases that I use almost every day. I can't for the life of me figure out why this model of skillet isn't more popular!
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chef vs. Regular,
This review is from: Lodge LCS3 Chef's Skillet, 10-inch (Kitchen)The Chef 10 inch skillet has sides that slope more than the "regular" Lodge skillets, which means it also has less surface area than a regular 10.25 inch skillet. This skillet's inside flat cooking area is about 7 inches in diameter vs. the roughly 8.5+ inch diameter of the 10.25 inch skillet. So what fits on the regular 10.25 inch skillet is going to seem crowded on the Chef 10 inch skillet. Practically, it seems I have about 75% of the cooking surface with the Chef vs. the regular. The convenience of the sloped sides is undeniable (draining grease from bacon for example), but in order to get the surface area of the regular 10.25 inch skillet Lodge would need to make a 12 inch Chef skillet. The Chef's geometry means it is noticeably lighter. This is a skillet I would buy in addition to, not instead of, the 10.25 inch skillet Lodge Logic L8SK3 10-1/4-Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great alternative to traditional nonstick saute/omlette pans,
This review is from: Lodge LCS3 Chef's Skillet, 10-inch (Kitchen)I have been searching for a cast iron pan just like this. The angle of the sides are perfect for flipping foods as you saute them. The surface is non-stick. The pan is just slightly lighter than Lodge Pro Logic pan of a similar design. It is certainly heavier than the heavy-duty no-stick aluminum skillets. Areas to be aware of are that you need to use a pot holder on the handle as it does get hot, as all cast iron skillets to, and to follow proper care of cast iron. I am completely satisfied with this cooking tool.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Versatile Cast Iron Skillet,
This review is from: Lodge LCS3 Chef's Skillet, 10-inch (Kitchen)I was a little hesitant in buying this cast iron skillet because it wasn't a traditional one and has the tapered sides like a steal skillet. The only reason I bought this one was because there seemed to be a lot of issues with the other traditional shaped skillets and Amazon.com put a freeze on selling their inventory for this reason. You'll see the reason in a majority of the "negative" reviews.
I first want to say that this has turned out to be a great skillet. It's a good size and isn't as hefty as the 12" skillet. I've been able to cook meals for 3 people at a time in it with ease. If you're cooking for 4 or more I would recommend the 12" traditional cast iron skillet, which I will probably purchase in the future.
The curved sides allow you to cook a variety of items like omelettes once I get a good seasoning on it. However, due to the unique shape of this skillet it would be a little more difficult to cook things like biscuits and cornbread because the sides aren't as square and upright as a traditionally shaped cast iron skillet.
Speaking of seasoning cast iron, I must say that the preseasoning process Lodge uses on these skillets is a bit suspect. After the first time using my skillet and cleaning it per Lodge's instructions found here and on their website, I found that some rust had built up on it the next time I pulled it out to use it. I was forced to sand off the rust, clean it thoroughly and reseasoning it myself. I must say, that after seasoning it myself, it is as slick as a non-stick pan and I now feel comfortable cooking anything (even eggs) on it without them sticking. So, I would suggest saving yourself the time and just removing their seasoning and reseason this skillet yourself, the old fashioned way. (Again, these instructions are found on the Lodge website). This is the only reason for not giving the products 5 stars.
Also, it is worth noting that per some of these reviews you will want to gradually heat up the pan which takes a little longer and might be a bit more inconvenient, but it's worth it when you get it good and hot and get that wonderful blackened edges on meats and vegetables.
Overall, this is a great skillet and I love the flavor it brings to the foods I cook in it. And after all, that's what this is all about, flavor.
I hope this review helps and if you have any questions please don't hesitate to comment on this review.
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Lodge LCS3 Chef's Skillet, 10-inch by Lodge Logic