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Customer Review

404 of 431 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, May 30, 2009
This review is from: Lodge LCS3 Cast Iron Chef's Skillet, Pre-Seasoned, 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
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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Showing 1-10 of 16 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 16, 2010 3:50:54 PM PDT
Flo Smith says:
Another reason to purchase Lodge brand cast iron - it is made in the USA!

Thanks for a great review!

Posted on Apr 17, 2010 12:42:49 AM PDT
Rutherford says:
Thanks Flo, and you're right, I forgot to add that Lodge is made in the USA.

Everyone should be aware, though, that their porcelain covered cast iron is not made in the US, but in China. I didn't realize it until I bought three pans. Once I discovered it, I got rid of them because I just don't trust the glazes not to have lead in them, and will not buy anything with a glaze that isn't made in the USA first, and if not available, then one of the western European countries with higher safety standards. Lodge's plain cast iron cookware is still made here though.

Le Creuset porcelain covered cast iron is still made in France, but their stoneware casserole dishes and other non-cast iron products are made in Asia. So I buy Lodge cast iron pans and my porcelain covered dutch oven is a Le Creuset.

Posted on Apr 25, 2012 2:40:54 AM PDT
BenSr says:
Great post. Only like to add one comment. Grandma only saved PORK grease. Never anything else because it will go bad. Always clean the skillet after beef or fish has been cooked in it. We still save our bacon grease because it has the most flavor and you do not have to refrigerate it unless you want to hide it. Another tip is you can keep the bacon grease (pork) in the skillet, just place it in the oven when done cooking. It will keep. If you cook ANYTHING else in that grease pour it out when done and clean the skillet with hot water and dry it on the stove then add a little oil or bacon grease. "Live long and prosper"

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 17, 2013 12:55:27 AM PDT
Eileen says:
It was bacon grease in my family! Those were the days!

Posted on Aug 30, 2013 12:31:38 PM PDT
Cheryl K says:
In your opinion can the cast iron skillets be used on ceramic top ranges?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 12, 2013 4:49:48 PM PDT
Mike G says:
Most definitely! Just be careful not to slide it around on the cooktop, otherwise you'll scratch the surface. I have a gas stove now, but I used to have a ceramic cook top range and cast iron seemed to be the best way to cook on that. I always managed to burn things in my copper cookware on the ceramic top range, but the cast iron seems to hold and distribute heat a lot more evenly.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 15, 2013 8:53:29 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 15, 2013 8:54:08 PM PDT
Rutherford says:
Thanks for that reminder. You're right about the pork. My grandmother's can of lard was bacon and ham grease. I'll edit my review to replace "meat" with bacon in case new users of cast iron don't read these comments!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 15, 2013 8:53:50 PM PDT
Rutherford says:
Same here! (<:

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 6, 2014 9:25:39 AM PST
Elaine Wolfe says:
For those of us who do not eat any pork products, how would you recommend seasoning a cast iron skillet? How does cast iron hold up when cooking only vegetarian? Thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 6, 2014 3:25:58 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 6, 2014 3:44:07 PM PST
Rutherford says:
I don't eat much pork myself and usually season my pans with olive oil. I think almost any vegetable type oil you would cook with does the trick. Cast iron holds up well to vegetarian cooking as well as it does to any other, as long as the pans are kept seasoned.
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