Lodge Cast Iron Cookware Review
by Sue Davis
(Glen Allen, Virginia)
The Fantastic Lodge Grill Pan
If you had told me a year ago that I would buy and actually use cast iron cookware, I probably would have called you crazy. I'm a chef that was brought up on Teflon, Silverstone and other non-stick surfaces. Frying an over-easy egg and not having it stick was nothing short of a miracle when I bought my first Teflon skillet.
That was until a year ago, when I suddenly found myself without a job. While I was home sending out résumés, I turned on The Food Network and began watching some of the hosts prepare delicious-looking food many of them in those heavy, old-fashioned and ugly cast iron skillets.
I started to pay more attention to the shows that used cast iron cookware and realized that cast iron had a lot of excellent properties, as long as it was used and maintained properly. So I bought myself a pre-seasoned Lodge cast iron grill pan at Wal-Mart for less than $20, took it home, and decided to make some chicken breasts.
Oh my goodness! These were the best chicken breasts I had ever made on top of the stove! They were tender, juicy and had those remarkable grill marks that one usually gets only on a charcoal grill. Plus, the breasts didn't stick. I was really excited to have discovered a new miracle pan! And I also was kicking myself for not accepting my grandfather's old cast iron cookware when he wanted to give it to me. (I think it ended up in a yard sale.)
Cleaning the grill pan wasn't much fun. In order to remove any grease or food particles, you're advised to use a stiff brush and avoid any detergent soap. If any food residue stubbornly remains, boiling some water in the pan will help loosen it. After using the pan a few more times, it became well-seasoned and much easier to clean. Now it's a snap because I use the pan regularly.
I was so enamored with the grill pan that I went out and bought a regular cast iron skillet and began using it religiously for anything that I needed to fry. Again, the pan performed flawlessly. Cast iron is a great conductor of heat, distributing and holding it evenly for long periods of time.
I am now one of Lodge's number one fans and have continually added to my cast iron collection to include griddles, corn bread pans, and a Dutch oven, which is essential for making chili, soups and stews. Plus, all Lodge cookware can also be used in the oven, so the versatility is limitless.
Lodge is a family-owned Tennessee-based business that has been making quality, cast iron cookware since 1896. Their products are high quality, affordable and belong in the kitchen of anyone who considers themselves a chef. Although I still like my non-stick cookware for certain applications, my Lodge cast iron cookware will continue to be my first choice for most stove and oven recipes.