Another guest post from my friend Faye; a foodie fan who loves beautiful Kitchen cookware, and the dependability of cast iron cookware in particular…
A lot of families just love to bond with each other over hot and delicious homemade food. For those who are in charge of the home cooking, they know that it’s not only a great recipe that’s important in making those perfect meals. You also need the right high performing tools in your kitchen. Cooking aficionados should know for a fact that if you are looking for the best cookware you might well need to have a big budget. There are a lot of brand names out there in the market that perform really well but are also sold at really high prices. Now if you are on a tight budget but still you want but still you want that high quality cookware in creating those delicious home cooked meals you don’t need to worry because you could always turn to Lodge cast iron cookware.
The Lodge brand has a great line of cast iron kitchen products that could fit not only your cooking needs, but also your budget perfectly. And if you are worrying about quality, you should listen to the numerous people who say that even the most expensive cookware in the market right now, couldn’t surpass the dependability, the performance, and also the durability of the Lodge cast iron cookware line. Actually cast iron cookware is already popular right now in the culinary world; these items are really dependable when it comes to heat retention and heat diffusion, so you are ensured that the heat would be evenly distributed to the food that you are cooking. And another good thing about it is that you could use it from the stove top, to the oven, and then straight to your table top.
History of Lodge Cast Iron Cookware
Lodge cast iron cookware had been around for 100 years already, and Lodge have been a great contributor to the advancement in terms of design and features if this said kitchen cookware. The Lodge Company was founded by Joseph Lodge in the early 1800’s who initiated a legacy in creating the finest cast iron items. Nowadays the company is being run by the 4th generation of the Lodge bloodline, but still the quality has never faded and the fact is the quality has even got better. With newer and better advancements added to their products making each one the perfect ware for every home.
When they started creating cookware they were really dedicated to creating items made solely from cast iron like their Dutch ovens and skillets. But as years went by they have expanded their lines and have ventured into trying out on other materials but still they make sure that the cast iron items remain a priority even with these changes. Firstly they have started to import their very own enamelled cast iron from China. This line provides an economical alternative to Le Creuset, but at an admittedly lower quality, perhaps more suited to occasional than everyday use.
Joseph Lodge and his company have dedicated their lives in creating fine quality cast iron cookware and with that dedication that were able to create a formula to create the perfect items. They have already perfected their metal formula and also the precision of their mould for the right thickness.
The Best Lodge Cast Iron Items to Buy
With the very wide range of the products that they offer it wouldn’t be hard to find the perfect the one that could fit your cooking needs. They have really high performing and sturdy skillets that you could use for everyday cooking, they also have grill girdles that works perfectly for your Sunday barbecue, and also their Dutch oven for creating those really sumptuous slow cook meals. Now if you are still planning to buy your very own cast iron cookware from Lodge, may it be a whole set or just one piece, it would be best to make a little research about their items so that you would be able to make a smart and more informed decision. I hope this information about their top products could help you out. Here are the best Lodge Cast iron cookware ranges.
- Lodge Cast iron skillets – this item is the best item for you if you are looking for the perfect companion for your searing and frying needs. The seasoned black cast iron a material that works as a super conductor that is very dependable in absorbing the heat efficiently and the distributing it evenly all throughout the pan. Another good thing about this product is that it can go straight from the stove top when you are searing a piece of meat, straight to the oven to finish it up, talk about convenience! And if you are worried about safety especially when carrying it when it is all heated up, the Lodge cast iron skillet has a very sturdy handle and also a lip opposite of it on the pan to make sure that you can carry the item with both of your hands, thus lessening the risk of spills or burns. There are a lot of models of the Lodge cast iron skillets; all of them have unique features added to them specifically to cater to different needs. And as amazing as it may sound, that even if these items are really functional, they still stay really cheap. The prices may vary though depending if you want a plain seasoned one, or a professional series with cooler stainless steel handles
- Lodge cast iron Dutch ovens – now if you are really into slow cooking then you don’t need to choose another item, because the Dutch oven of Lodge is your best bet. This item can assure you that you would really get your money’s worth since they can last for a very long time. They are really cheap but mind you that they are made from really sturdy materials that are virtually indestructible if you just maintain it pretty well. Using the Lodge Dutch oven is very easy, all you need to do is just to apply a little on it before use and also make sure that you clean it immediately after using it to avoid stubborn food particles to stick on its surface that may cause permanent damage. There are also Dutch oven ranges that can be used when camping outdoors. These items also come in different sizes and styles making sure that you would have the perfect oven on any occasion. And regarding the price, the Lodge ovens may cost at about $30 dollars which is virtually cheaper that the other Dutch ovens that are being sold in the market.
- Lodge Enamelled cast iron Dutch ovens – if you want to achieve success in cooking those perfect slow cooked meals, this is also another item that you could make use of. This enamelled cast iron Dutch oven may be more expensive compared to those which are just plain cast iron, however buying this product is also a great investment. Though made in China, Lodge confirm that their own high standards are followed, and the range has been tested for FDA guidelines so we now know they are free from lead. It would be best to choose a large one that is at least 4 inches deep and offers enough space for searing which is a very important part when creating braises and stews. Check that the lid fits very tightly. We have noticed a few customer reviews claiming the fit isn’t quite as good on these, as on the Le Creuset Dutch ovens. A tight fit is the only way to ensure all the moisture stays inside which is crucial when slow cooking meat in particular. It doesn’t seem to be a problem for everyone, but if you do buy one of these I would suggest you check the lid is a good fit before using. Remember enameled cast iron is more delicate than simple seasoned iron. You can chip and crack it, and of course these prettier items are not suitable for use on the camp-fire.
- Lodge Cast iron Griddle – This item is ideal for you grilling needs, you can virtually cook anything using the se cast iron griddle, and some people even say that they are perfect in creating those really delicious and juicy steaks because of the even distribution of the heat when it is used for grilling. It also has a small slope on the side for the drippings making sure that when you grill those perfect pieces of meat you would have all the juices that you want. And you don’t need to worry about getting burned because these griddles has sure grip handles making sure that it wouldn’t be that hard to carry the item. Also, actually it is reversible. It has a ribbed side that is perfect for those steaks and the other side is the flat side that you could use when you want to make pancakes. They also arrive pre-seasoned so you can use it immediately. This is also a good item that you could add to your kitchen tools collection so that you would have that perfect grill on those Sunday barbecue parties.
Having all these ranges in your home can ensure you that you don’t have to worry about not having the right kind of cookware whenever you are cooking. Actually there are still a lot of designs and colours that you can choose from. Some items also have added features for more convenience and functionality.
Looking After Lodge Cast Iron Ware
Lodge cookware now comes pre-seasoned, meaning you can use it “straight out of the box”. However, over time if cleaned in a slightly over zealous manner, or treated unkindly with metal utensils the seasoning can ware off. Don’t panic though, as re-seasoning is simply a matter of copying the technique used in the factory.
The process of seasoning a piece of cast iron is pretty simple, but it is important to follow the steps very well so that the item will retain a non-stick coating. Seasoning any cast iron, is very important so that it would have a layer of oil that protects the surface of the pan and also keeps it naturally non-stick making sure that the food would not stick on the surface. Continued use of a seasoned cast iron skillet could make the surface condition better that is why some people really dig that items that have already been used for a very long time. It is simply a matter of applying a thin layer of vegetable oil (some use lard) and baking the item in a medium hot oven for a few hours. You will find full details with any new item bought.
If you look after your cookware correctly, re-seasoning shouldn’t really be necessary. But if damp or scratches have damaged the surface switch the oven on, and get to work…
Here are the steps to re-season your Lodge cast iron cookware.
- Wash it with hot water and then brush it with a stiff brush. When preparing it for re-seasoning you are allowed to use soap but you need to makes sure that you rinse it very well afterwards.
- And then after cleaning it, it should be applied with shortening or some vegetable oil in the inside and outside surface. Make sure that you just apply a thin layer because too much oil would be very unnecessary.
- Set the oven racks, making sure that the cast iron item would fit on the top rack and also make sure that you would place something under the item to catch those drippings. Place it upside down on the top rack of the oven and then set the temperature of the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and then bake it for an hour. After the baking process let the item cool down naturally and it would be good to go. Just make sure that you coat the cast iron ware with oil before and after it’s being used for achieve better performance and also longer life span of the item.
To maintain the seasoning and non-stick capabilities of your cast iron pots and pans, follow these simple steps.
- Wash in very hot water very well and then dry it up thoroughly. Now when you are sure that it is completely dry you should apply a thin layer of vegetable oil on the inside surface of the skillet. Always remember that it is not good to use harsh detergent when washing up the skillet since it could cause surface damage and could lead to the item to rust.
- Place the oiled skillet over a low heat, and then slowly increase the heat. When you are cooking allow the skillet to pre heat properly before you add the food to avoid it sticking to the surface. When you are cooking cold food, make sure to let it rest first over low heat before cooking it completely because fridge cold items are more likely to stick.
- And when you are done cooking make sure that you cool it down before washing it. You can use a nylon scrubby to remove food particles, what’s important are to remember that not to use soap when cleaning it. After cleaning makes sure that you re apply another thin coat of oil and keep the skillet in a dry room.
Notes on Lodge Cast Iron Cookware
As much as we all love a bargain, we don’t want to spend money needlessly. Lodge produce a huge variety of products, but most kitchens will really only need a few items. A large Dutch oven, a skillet or two and perhaps a grill pan or griddle. Their basic pre-seasoned items are the best value for money, and quality, will last for decades and really are the only ones I would choose from the company!