Lodge Cast Iron Skillet, 12-inch
Last updated date: August 6, 2019
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We looked at the top Cast Iron Cookware and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Cast Iron Cookware you should buy.
Update as November 17, 2021:
Checkout The Best Cast Iron Cookware for a detailed review of all the top cast iron cookware.
In our analysis of 113 expert reviews, the Lodge Cast Iron Skillet, 12-inch placed 15th when we looked at the top 17 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
From The Manufacturer
The Lodge Cast Iron 12-inch Skillet and Red Silicone Hot Handle Holder is a multi-functional cookware that works wonders with slow-cooking recipes and all your favorite foods. Fry up a mess of catfish, roast a chicken, or bake an apple crisp in this generous 12-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. Note the black patina given to the cookware by the factory seasoning process is, in fact, vegetable oil that has been baked into a piece of cookware that has emerged from an individual sand mold. This coating of oil is a functional application and not a cosmetic application. The cookware is hanging as it rides through the electrostatic sprayer and commercial conveyer ovens at very high temperatures. This allows the oil to penetrate deeply into the pores of the iron which creates an easy release finish. As a result of this process, you may see a blister or bubble of oil at the rim, southern-most point or at the end of the handle of the cookware piece. If visible, it will rub or flake off with your finger, leaving a brown spot. Don’t worry, it’s not rust but a seasoned spot that is brown, indicative of the varnish stage of seasoning. As a matter of fact, this is the color of home seasoned iron until it has been used several times. The brown spot will turn black with use
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Our Expert Consultant
Julie Chernoff is a long-time member of Les Dames d’Escoffier (past president of the Chicago Chapter, and current co-chair of the LDEI Legacy Awards Committee), the Association of Food Journalists (AFJ) and the International Association of Culinary Professionals.
Chernoff is the dining editor of Better, a lifestyle website and print magazine. Her journalism started in the test kitchens of Weight Watchers Magazine. She holds a BA in English from Yale University and is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy. She has spent the last few decades styling, photographing, teaching, developing recipes, editing, thinking and writing about food.
Overall Product Rankings
An Overview On Cast Iron Cookware
When you find yourself needing a new pot or pan to step up your cooking game, the cookware options in your favorite store will offer quite a number of potential solutions. There are white ceramic pans or thin pans that heat up instantly and claim to dissipate your heat perfectly for your needs. But keep browsing this pan selection and you’ll end up staring at a section of heavy-duty black pots and pans that you swear you’ve seen at your grandparent’s house before. Cast iron cookware is one of the most loved and longest-standing nonstick cooking options that exist. There are numerous reasons why they are regarded so highly, so we will break down some of the key points for you and help guide you towards the best style for your needs.
“There’s a good reason that these pans have been around so long — they work beautifully,” says our resident culinary expert Julie Chernoff, member of Les Dames d’Escoffier, dining editor of Better magazine and food journalist. “They are heavy enough to heat evenly and retain heat, they’re reasonably priced, and they are virtually indestructible.”
The construction of cast iron cookware is very sturdy as it is made as one solid piece of the metal and generally has no other material bolted onto it. Pick one up, and you’ll notice it’s heavier than most other pans due to this thick iron makeup. The thickness of the iron captures the heat coming from the flame or stovetop and slowly passes it on o the other side where the food is. If you were to place a thick skillet on the stove, crank the heat up to high and place a couple of eggs into the pan, the pan would slowly heat up and start firming the egg whites — but without burning them, as would likely happen in a thinner pan. That’s because the cast iron makeup is much more efficient with using and retaining heat.
If a skillet is too shallow for the big pot of chili you might be making for an autumn tailgate, try using something with more depth. Look for one that comes with a lid that helps keep the heat and steam in while the food simmers so all the flavors get to know each other in the pot.
But what about scorching and having food get stuck to the pan? As mentioned above, cast iron really is a non-stick cooking surface — once it is seasoned.
“Look for pre-seasoned pans as a timesaver, because the seasoning process can take a while,” Chernoff says.
All Lodge brand cast iron cookware comes with a coating of 100% vegetable oil on them. This oil is referred to as “seasoning” for cast iron. The oil creates a barrier between your food and the iron and creates a non-stick atmosphere while you’re cooking. The seasoning is a crucial part of getting the best results out of your cast iron cookware.
Cast iron cookware will last for many generations and often gets passed down as a rite of passage to the new cooks in the family. The stories that surround this cookware throughout its lifetime are surely some of the biggest selling points on using cast iron, and it’s something you’ll have to experience for yourself to fully understand. But you still have a big decision to make when you see that there are multiple sizes and shapes of cast iron cookware.
One category is a skillet that is used mainly as a frying pan. It has a deep enough profile to hold a healthy portion of vegetables, rice, pasta or meats that you want to sautee while still being shallow enough to let you get the spatula in for a clean flip on your over-easy eggs. It boasts a multifunctional size and shape that becomes a daily workhorse in most kitchens.
If you’re working on large stews or even roasting whole chickens, a 7-quart Dutch oven holds the largest volume of anything. When filled up with delicious ingredients, it can be the perfect size for feeding large families or meal prepping on Sunday to make the week a little easier for those of us on the go.
As you’re shopping for cast iron cookware, definitely consider the handles.
“Cast iron is heavy, so the handles are especially important, especially in the larger skillets,” Chernoff explains. “One long handle will be unwieldy. Having the ‘helper handle’ opposite the long handle allows the weight to be evenly distributed when carried.”
Cast iron cookware is not dishwasher-safe, so if that is important to you, you’ll want to consider other options. Also, these pots and pans should not air dry, as they may rust. Do not use metal scouring pads on them; once they are cleaned, they should be dried and oiled immediately. Although you must be careful of these elements, cast iron is great for home cooks.
“These pans really are incredibly versatile, from pancakes to deep frying and everything in between, and can easily go from stovetop to oven, as they are safe at almost any temperature,” Chernoff points out. “And unlike non-stick cookware, you can use metal utensils on the surface, as they will not damage it.”
Simply take care of your cast iron cookware, and it’ll perform for you!
The Cast Iron Cookware Buying Guide
- Clean your cast iron cookware with warm water and a fairly rough sponge or brush. There’s no need to use soap when cleaning these pots and pans, and it’s recommended that you do not.
- After you clean all the residue from your cast iron cookware, dry it off and drizzle a little bit of vegetable oil into it before storing it. For convenience, use a paper towel to wipe the vegetable oil all over the surface of the pot or pan to form a light and even coat.
- You now have a properly cleaned and seasoned cast iron pan. Keep up with these two simple tasks each time you use the cookware and you’ll be able to use this non-stick cookware for life.
- Cast iron cookware can be used on more than cooktops. Campfires around the country are a place where delicious meals can be made and eaten under the open sky. Cast iron cookware can be placed directly into an open fire, set on a cooking-rack above the heat and even hung from a tripod so it dangles over the flame. Either way, the heat of the direct flames is tempered down by the thickness of the iron. It allows the camp chef to make meals equally as good as they would in their home.
- Ovens and cast iron also work beautifully together. Make a homemade pizza, and bake it in your cast iron skillet for a deep-dish style pan pizza. Fill your cast iron Dutch oven with a good recipe, where anything from pasta dishes to whole chickens can be oven roasted.
- Lastly, you might find yourself in love with how beautiful this cast iron cookware can be. Share that beauty with your guests by hanging them up in your kitchen for all to see. This can add a rustic farmhouse feel while still being a functional part of your kitchen.
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