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Price:$7.50 - $280.00
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on November 17, 2007
Sorry for the long review - for the short review, count the stars!

I'm a bit of a purist. I always season my cast iron - new, or used (hey, I don't know WHAT someone else used that old piece of cast iron for - maybe cleaning auto parts). I sand it down to bare metal, starting with about an 80 grit and finishing with 200.

Then I season. The end result is a glossy black mirror that puts Teflon to shame. There are two mistakes people make when seasoning - not hot enough, not long enough. These mistakes give the same result - a sticky brown coating that is definitely not non-stick, and the first time they bring any real heat to the pan, clouds of smoke that they neither expected or wanted. I see several complaints here that are completely due to not knowing this.

But there were a few pieces I needed (yes, needed, cast iron isn't about want, it's a need), and this was one of them, so I thought I'd give the Lodge pre-seasoning a try. Ordered last Friday, received this Friday - free shipping, yay!

The first thing I noticed was the bumpy coating. The inside is actually rougher than the outside, and my hand was itching for the sandpaper, but that would have defeated the experiment. This time, I was going to give the Lodge pre-seasoning a chance before I broke out the sandpaper. So I scrubbed the pan out with a plastic brush and a little soapy water, rinsed well, put it on a medium burner, and waited. Cast iron tip number one - give it a little time. Then give it a little more time. Cast iron conducts heat much more slowly than aluminum, so you have to have a little patience.

Then I threw in a pat of butter, and brought out the natural enemy of badly seasoned cast iron - the egg. And, sure enough, it stuck - but not badly, just in the middle. A bit of spatula work and I actually got a passable over-medium egg. Hmmm. But still not good enough. So I cleaned up the pan, and broke out the lard.

I have only one justification for using lard. I don't remember Grandma using refined hand-pressed organic flax oil, or purified extra-virgin olive oil made by real virgins. Nope, it was pretty much animal fat in her iron. A scoop of bacon grease from the mason jar beside the stove and she was ready to cook anything. Grandaddy wouldn't eat a piece of meat that had less than a half-inch of fat around it. "Tastes like a dry old shoe.", he'd declare if it was too lean. In the end, I'm sure their diet killed them, but they ate well in the meantime. Grandaddy was cut down at the tender age of 96, and Grandma lasted till 98. Eat what you want folks - in the end, it's pretty much up to your genetics.

So I warmed up my new pieces, and smeared a very thin layer of lard all over them - use your fingers. Towels, especially paper towels, will shed lint, and lint in your seasoning coat doesn't help things at all. Besides, it's kinda fun.

Here's cast iron tip number two - season at the highest temp you think you'll ever cook at - or higher. If you don't, you won't get the full non-stick thing, and the first time you bring it up to that temp you'll get clouds of smoke from the unfinished seasoning. I put my pieces in a cold oven, and set the temp for an hour at 500 degrees (F, not C). Yeah, I know, Lodge says 350. Lodge doesn't want panicked support calls from people whose house is full of smoke. Crank the heat up.

You have two choices here. You can put a fan in the kitchen window and blow smoke out of your house like the battleship Bismarck under attack by the Royal Navy, or invest in an oxygen mask. You will get smoke. You will get lots of smoke, especially if you're doing several pieces at once, like I just did. This is a good thing - that's smoke that won't be jumping out to surprise you the first time you try to cook with any real heat. The goal is to heat until you don't get smoke, and in my experience, 500 degrees for an hour does that pretty well.

Let the pieces cool in the closed oven. Then re-grease and repeat. And repeat again. And don't glop the fat on. Just enough to coat. More thin layers are better than fewer gloppy layers. I managed four layers last night without my neighbors calling the fire department.

Seems like a lot of work? Look at it this way. It's a lifetime commitment. Treat your iron well, and it will love you right back like you've never been loved before. And this is pretty much a one-time deal, unless you do something silly.

The end result of my all-night smoking up the kitchen exercise? Dry, absolutely no stickiness, black as a coal mine at midnight and shiny - but still bumpy - could it possibly work with that rough surface?

I put the skillet back on a medium burner, put a pat of butter on and tossed in a couple of eggs. After the whites had set a little, I nudged them with a spatula, and they scooted across the pan. I'll be... it works. My wife came back from the store and wanted scrambled eggs. If there's anything that cast iron likes less than fried eggs, it's scrambled. But it was the same thing all over again. No stick. No cleanup. Just a quick hot water rinse with a brush in case something got left on the pan (I couldn't see anything, but hey), then I put it on a med-hi burner till dry, put a thin coat of lard on the pan and waited until I saw smoke for a minute. Let cool and hang up. Done.

So. do I like the bumpy texture of the Lodge pre-season? Nope. Does it work? Yes, and contrary to my misgivings, it works very well. My wife pointed out that even some Teflon cookware has textured patterns in it. The Lodge pre-season isn't a perfect surface out of the box - but it does give you a big head-start. After a night's work, my iron is ready to face anything, and you just can't beat that.

Lodge makes a great product. For the quality, durability, and versatility, you can't beat Lodge cast iron. Plus, it's made in America. I like that. If you've never experienced cast iron cooking, you've just been cheating yourself. Plus, the price, for a piece of lifetime cookware, is insanely cheap.

And my sandpaper is still on the tool shelf.
129129 comments2,430 of 2,523 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 24, 2004
I own several Lodge cast iron products and use them everyday. I have 3 teeneage boys that enjoy cooking, and after they destroyed a few teflon coated pans, I decided I would go heavy into cast iron. These pans are indestructible. You can use them in the oven or stovetop, and if you keep it seasoned properly food will not stick. Also, to avoid sticking problems, you may want to remember to allow the pan to get hot before applying oil or food.
As to seasoning, the Logic line now comes preseasoned. But don't make a big deal about this. To season a cast iron skillet simply coat it lightly with oil and bake it for a half hour or so. I have also seasoned these skillets on the stovetop. Cast iron is also great because it does not easily scrap like stainless steel and aluminum pots. Aluminum pans are painful to me, as my teeth fillings react to the aluminum. With cast iron, you won't have this problem. I also take my Lodge pan camping and set it right over the coals to cook. No melted handles or scorched bottoms to mess with.
6363 comments1,379 of 1,434 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 18, 2006
Cast iron skillets, and Dutch Ovens are probably the most versatile pans you can own; it's a fact that fights have actually broken out in families over who is going to inherit the heirloom cast iron cookware after a loved one passes. Lodge Manufacturing, in South Pittsburg, Tennessee produces some of the last cast iron pieces to actually be made in America. They also happen to make the best in the world. They produce the only type of skillet I've seen that can go from the stovetop, right into the oven, and then onto the table. In addition, these pans can be used with great success over an open fire while camping, something no other cookware can do. Since this skillet comes preseasoned, you get to skip the job of seasoning the pan before it's first use. However, if you don't maintain this preseasoning, you'll have to reapply a new coat.

Seasoning cast iron is a very simple process, the instructions that follow apply to any piece of cast iron cookware needing seasoned. First, heat the oven to 400 degrees, then, using your hands, coat the iron pan inside and out, including the handle, with SOLID SHORTENING ONLY, such as Crisco(not butter flavored), or even lard. Then bake it, upside down, on the upper oven rack for an hour. Line the ovens bottom rack with alumnium foil and you'll catch the drippings that fall as the shortening melts and gets absorbed by the iron. Then allow the pan to cool before attempting to handle it again. If your oven has a hooded fan, you will want to run it to remove the fumes and odors caused by the melting shortening. That's all there is to it. You can also do this process outside in a gas grill, or even a charcoal grill so long as it has a cover. Afterward, you will want to fry fatty foods such as bacon, fried chicken, or fish in your newly seasoned pan, as these types of oily foods help to reinforce the new seasoning you've just applied. After a round of frying bacon or chicken, your skillet will be ready for virtually anything else you want to cook in it.

This skillet will quickly become the most frequently used pan in your kitchen, and that's a good thing because the more you use it, the more seasoning you're actually applying to the iron. Some have complained that they have lost a small area of the seasoning in their pan, and have had to remove the rest of the seasoning by hand before reapplying the Chriso and baking process. Actually, you can follow the steps above and be just fine. If, for some reason though, you have to remove all the seasoning, simply put the pan upside down in the oven and run the oven through the cleaning cycle once, then allow the oven and pan to cool. The skillet will come out like the day it was made, but you must wash, dry, and reseason it right then and there. Doing so will prevent rust, which is one of the few real dangers to cast iron. Two other dangers include, never adding or running cold water into a hot iron skillet or Dutch Oven because the sudden temperature change will cause the pan to crack. And finally, NEVER, under any circumstances, wash a cast iron pan in a dishwasher. Dishwasher soap is strong enough to remove even the oldest seasoning and the steamy, humid environment created during the drying cycle will then cause the pan to rust.

Clean all cast iron pieces by hand with hot water and a stiff bristled brush, NO SOAP EVER, and then dry the piece right after washing using a paper towel. You can then apply a very light shot of cooking spray, inside and out, to protect the pans seasoning; paper towels are helpful in spreading the spray over the pans entire surface. I realize this has been a rather long review, but I hope the various instructions listed above are helpful to first time buyers/users of cast iron cookware.

Finally, for first time buyers, I recommend purchasing the Lodge Preseasoned 3 skillet set which includes a 6", 8", and a 10" skillet, in addition to this 12 inch pan. Together, whether cooking in the kitchen or over an open fire while camping, these 4 skillets will give you the versatility of cooking for one person or the entire family. You will also want to get a Lodge Preseasoned Iron Lid and a regular splatter screen for this skillet because they raise the potential uses of the pan even more. I've used cast iron for years, and it really is the way to go. If you consider the cost of other types of cookware, and how long it will last when compared to cast iron, you really can't go wrong with purchasing 3 or 4 pieces for your everyday use. Remember too, that your kids, and their kids in turn, will be using these pans long after you're gone. With a probable service life of more than one hundred years, I'm sure you won't be disappointed.
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on February 25, 2011
After receiving the skillet and wanting to re-enforce the pre-seasoning, I seasoned it again myself 3 times with canola oil in a 475 degree oven for 50 minutes each session. After that, I used my skillet for 2 weeks straight to cook steak and fatty fish fillets (I even pan fried some chicken once). I think I cooked with it a total of 10 times.

Today, curious about exactly how nonstick this skillet has become, I tested it by frying an egg. I used 1/4 teaspoon of oil to grease the pan first, then dropped the egg in. To my delight, I was able to flip and lift the egg clean from the cooking surface. There was zero sticking.

Emboldened by this success, I decided to put the skillet through the ultimate sticking test: making fried rice. Due to the high starch content of rice, fried rice loves to stick and burn onto any and all cooking surface that lets it. I was ecstatic to discover that my skillet even lets me fry rice with zero sticking (using 1/2 teaspoon of oil). The only cleanup I did was to wipe it with a paper towel. That was it. And I've only been using it for 2 weeks!

This skillet is a freaking miracle. So long, nonstick! See you never.
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on May 30, 2009
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
3. Inexpensive
4. For those who do not want to go to the store, it can be purchased from Amazon with free shipping.
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on February 28, 2013
sooo, i just used this pan for the first time after getting it. "had my eye on it along time, and finally took the hit"
and, wow, this thing is heavy, black and big enough that you could hide underneath it during a nuclear attack.
barely fits in the oven, actually on the top rack it even holds the door open slightly but not enough to defeat its chosen purpose!
the Uncle buck pancake sized PIZZA PAN.
and it does deliver. and how..nothing browns like cast iron and pizza is no different i guess, made a fast no frills pizza with a quick dough to try it out and it did not disappoint me at all.
nice brown crust, crispy out to the tip of the slice. no floppy pizza here!
i was worried that the pan was so massive that the bottom wouldnt get done as fast as the top...not the case.
on the bottom rack at 500 degrees for fifteen minutes was almost too long.
done top bottom and everything in between with a great rise/oven spring on the dough.
and this was just very a rough first test, i think for alot of baking roasting chores this bad boy is going to be my best friend for aloooong time. Also makes a great gong!
if you are thinking about it and like cast iron and know how to treat it and love super crispy pizza crust.
What the heck are you waiting for!
and for that matter all of lodge cast iron is worth the ticket price..buy it once and it will outlast your grandkids.
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on February 28, 2003
Let me start by saying we have a kitchen full of 20+ pieces of Calphalon Hard Annodized Commercial cookware. I was always of the opinion that quality cookware carried a price that was justified by the performace of the cookware. So I thought if I wanted cast iron I should look at LeCreuset... wrong! Lodge blew that theory out the window! I can't express how well this simple pan works. Let it get hot and it will hold the temp like nothing else, oven to cooktop. I finally decided to get a good cast iron skillet after hearing Alton Brown (Host of Good Eats - ...- TV Food Network - ...) rave about cast iron for the last few years. He steared me to Lodge, Lodge's web site (lodgemgf.com) told me about the pre-seasoned "Logic" line. This stuff makes cast iron simple. No messing around with seasoning a new pan. Simple care instructions. And clear instructions to reseason should the need occur. At the price these pans sell, there is no excuse to not have one, (or more) in your kitchen. It will soon become your favorite pan. I bought a 5 quart Lodge Logic Dutch Oven at the same time and it is fantastic as well!
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on February 13, 2003
After waiting a month to get the thing because it was back-ordered, I FINALLY got to try out my skillet. I love this thing! Most of my cookware is garden-variety non-stick and hardly suited to things like searing steaks or fajita meat.
You can run this pan as hot as you dare without hurting it - works great for steaks, and makes an awesome cheese steak. The pre-seasoned coating works as advertised, and the cast iron gives good heat transfer and VERY even heat across the entire pan. I think I'm going to be using this skillet A LOT.
A handy suggestion regarding cleaning that I stumbled across on another website... be SURE to use a hot pad while doing this! Immediately after cooking, fill the pan with HOT water (not cold; you could crack it!), put it on high heat, and bring the water to a rolling boil... this will lift debris off the pan bottom. Dump the water and immediately wipe dry with a paper towel, set on the (turned-off) burner briefly to dry completely, and wipe the cooking surfaces with oil.
Another note - want those steaks well-done but juicy? Buy the Lodge Logic 5-qt Dutch oven; the lid fits this skillet! Sear both sides of the steak on medium-high (about 3 min each), then flip, reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook as desired, flipping the steak once along the way (about 5 minutes per side for a small, well-done filet mignon). Your cooking times may vary, but the combo of cast-iron skillet for searing and lid to keep things moist while cooking works exquisitely. Brown, not black, outside... and tender inside.
1414 comments568 of 620 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I started buying an assortment of small Lodge skillets and serving plates. I really like the way that they keep food warm on the table which is especially useful for dinner parties when people are enjoying themselves and eating slower. In addition, they look pretty cool too, especially when you are serving rustic or country dishes.

I like the 6 1/2 inch skillet for both side dishes and entrées. In this short video I compare this size Lodge skillet to some of the other small pans. I also show a few of the dishes that I have made in it. I hope that this video review is helpful to you.

Old Dutch 008MB 5.5 Inch Round Matte Black Cast Iron Hobnail Trivet
Lodge Logic L5MS3 5 Inch Miniature Skillet
Lodge Logic 3.5-Inch Miniature Skillet
2727 comments328 of 356 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 11, 2005
It's big, it's black, it's cast iron! I had the 15in skillet in my wish list for a long time when this one showed up in my gold box. I didn't even mind paying the higher price for a pre-seasoned piece which is a bonus for a skillet of this size. The two smaller handles on this one make it even easier to get in and out of the oven, not to mention giving it a better fit. It works just find on the stove top but will over hang the side a bit. A damp towell on the counter will help if your counter is not high heat proof. If you cook big meals for big crowds you're probably already in love with cast iron. Put this one on your list. And thank you Amazon; not many companies will wave shipping on somthing as heavy as cast iron.
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