Lodge 13-Inch Cast Iron Skillet
Last updated date: January 10, 2020
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Lodge's 13-Inch Cast Iron Skillet doesn't stray from the basics that make this style a staple. Durability is its main hallmark, and it's pre-seasoned, which means you can start cooking out of the box. A well-designed handle also lets you maneuver with ease, along with a "helper handle" on the opposite side. In our analysis of 35 expert reviews, the Lodge Lodge 13-Inch Cast Iron Skillet placed 2nd when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
Editor's Note January 10, 2020:
Checkout The Best Skillet for a detailed review of all the top skillets.
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From The Manufacturer
The Lodge Cast Iron 13.25-inch Skillet is a multi-functional cookware that works wonders with slow-cooking recipes and all your favorite foods. Fry up a chicken, saute vegetables or bake an apple crisp in this generous 13.25-inch pan that features two handles for heavy lifting and two subtle side lips for pouring. Cast iron loves a campfire, a stovetop, or an oven, and can slow-cook foods without scorching. It retains heat well so you can sear meat at higher temperatures and will keep your delicious meals warm for a long time. Whether used in a kitchen or camp, theses virtually indestructible cookware should last for generations. Made of cast iron, this Skillet evenly distributes heat from the bottom through the sidewalls. Sporting a stylish black color, the cast iron Skillet looks good in most kitchens and it doubles up as an excellent source of nutritional iron. Cast Iron, like your grandmother used, still ranks as one of the best cooking utensils ever made. It gives you a nearly non-stick surface, without the possible harmful fumes generated by preheating chemically treated nonstick cookware. The American-based company, Lodge, has been fine-tuning its construction of rugged, cast-iron cookware for more than a century.
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An Overview On Skillets
If your kitchen were a chessboard, the skillet would be your queen. A nice, deep skillet can do just about anything: sauté, stir-fry, braising, roasting. If it’s made of cast iron or similar materials, you can even add oven-roasting and baking to that list.
While any good skillet will be versatile, the material it’s made with is going to determine its specialties. Take the classic cast iron skillet. Everybody’s grandparents have one in their kitchen, for good reason. These weighty workhorses cook steak like nothing else, and — with a little TLC — are durable enough to handle thousands of meals on the stove or in the oven before getting passed on to the kids.
At the other end of the cooking spectrum, you have the nonstick pan. Lightweight and handy, these are typically made of quick-heating aluminum coated with a nonstick polymer that makes it a breeze to clean. They’re best for a nice plate of eggs or fish filet — soft foods that won’t abrade the surface.
In the sweet spot between the two is your stainless steel skillet. Steel is a great metal for retaining heat and distributing it evenly, making it the go-to choice for sauces, stir-fry, chicken, rice and a host of other everyday dishes. It’s also got natural nonstick properties, making it relatively easy to clean. In many cases, you’ll find skillets that are layered with an interior core of aluminum, like the All-Clad Stainless Steel models. The idea here is that aluminum heats up quicker, and then transfers that heat to the sturdier outer layer of steel.
In a nutshell, the meals you make are going to determine the skillet you need. That’s why most households have at least two options: a nonstick for quick morning omelets and a cast iron or stainless steel pan for meats, veggies and other dinner staples.
DWYM Fun Fact
While it’s hard to trace the origins of the frying pan or skillet, the earliest examples of the cookware could be found in old Mesopotamia. Most early versions of pans were made from copper — a capable enough conductor of heat if you don’t mind the low-level copper poisoning that came with it. While that was probably not the biggest problem on the mind of a 3rd-century chef, today’s copper cookware comes with a protective coating that takes that worry away.
The Skillet Buying Guide
- Using your skillet properly will not only result in better food in the short term, but a longer-lasting piece of cookware. Cast iron skillets can stand up to just about anything temperature-wise, but you’ll need to season it to get the most out of it. That involves coating it with a super-thin layer of oil and letting it bake in at high heat, a process that not only protects against rust but imparts a stick-resistant coating. Some cast-iron skillets, like the Lodge 13-Inch, come pre-seasoned, but a touch-up dab of oil every once in a while will help keep it protected.
- Nonstick skillets require a lot less care, and that’s half the point. Just make sure you don’t put it through more than it was designed for. Most nonstick options aren’t safe for oven use, and even those that are (like the T-fal Professional) have a max temperature that you’ll want to make sure not to exceed.
- Cleaning your skillet also requires a little adjustment, depending on the material. Soap will actually wear away the seasoning on cast iron, but a decent one will actually clean off easier than you’d think with hot water and a brush. Just don’t put it in the dishwasher, or let it soak in water. Most nonstick skillets are dishwasher safe, but be sure to use a plastic brush that won’t abrade the polymer coating when washing by hand.
- The weight of a skillet is something to consider long-term. Cast iron sounds heavy, and it usually is — especially with a pan full of steak. Older cooks might find it unwieldy enough to consider a stainless steel model instead.
- The material of the handle is just as important as the base. Most skillets have a handle that’s made from a separate piece attached to the pan — ideally with rivets, which will hold longer than screws or bolts. A silicone-coated or wood handle will keep the coolest, no matter what’s cooking.
- Check the base, especially if you’re cooking on an induction stovetop. Induction coils use an electromagnetic field that won’t work on sufficiently ferrous pans. Any pan with a metal base will do, and most will indicate if they’re induction-compatible.
- Will you be whipping up a lot of sauces? Look for a skillet with a rolled lip that makes it easier to pour out the contents. Shaking up some stir-fry? Straight-edged lips are best at holding in the ingredients.