Lodge Cookware

Cookware & Accessories

Now, That's a Pan

When Daily Grommet went looking for an everyday skillet to replace those slightly scary nonstick versions in our kitchen cabinets, we knew just who to turn to. Katie Workman has cooking in her DNA. She was a cookbook editor for 13 years, and her own family publishing business brought us such well-loved favorites as The Silver Palate Cookbook, andThe Barbecue Bible. Last year, Katie started a new website that’s became one of our favorite stops on the Web — www.cookstr.com.

We knew we could trust Katie when she brought us
her favorite cast iron skillet: the Lodge. It’s a seasoned 12” skillet with a handy handle that makes it easier to work with. Lodge was founded in 1896 and makes its cast iron cookware right here in the US (in Tennessee to be exact). In 2002, Lodge discovered a way to pre-season this fantastic product — no more need to spend precious time breaking in your new pan. Just take it home, rinse, dry, and you’re ready to go.

Says Katie: “Cast iron lets you easily transfer food from stovetop to oven. It has incredible, even heat distribution, and maintains a very steady temperature. It sears and browns like nobody’s business, with excellent natural non-stick properties, so no Teflon worries. Plus it lasts forever. Now, that’s a pan!”

Katie shares her secret corn bread techniques in today’s video, and you’ll find the recipe right on her site. Hungry for more? Check out the Daily Grommet blog.
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Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Mark

    Greetings from South Pittsburgh, Tennessee. We're proud to report that Lodge Cast Iron began making cookware during the first presidential term of William McKinley. Amazingly, some of the first cast iron skillets, griddles and dutch ovens made over 100 years ago are still being put to good use.

    Even though our original cast iron skillets have lasted for decades, in 2002, the Lodge team developed a proprietary vegetable oil spray system with high temperature gas ovens to season the cookware before it leaves our South Pittsburgh foundry. No hassle, no magic, no work—simply an heirloom finish everyone can use right out of the box! Now you can have a perfectly seasoned skillet on day one. I look forward to reading your comments.

  • Cindy
    7/16/2009 12:14 PM

    As a food historian and a History Buff, I'm dying to get one of them, bu I can't even afford a meal out right now.

  • Lori
    7/16/2009 12:18 PM

    I have this skillet. It does cook very well. Even temp, heats fast, stays hot when needing to "keep warm". I do have a question, though... what's the best way to clean this pan? I seem to have some rust on my skillet. :(

  • Paula
    7/16/2009 12:30 PM

    How well does this pan work on a smooth top electric range? I'm also considering getting an induction cooktop so how well does it work on that type as well?

    And can you share the cornbread recipe? Looks yummy! : )

  • Suzie
    7/16/2009 1:16 PM

    For those of us who don't have stoves with vents, "grilling" a steak in a cast iron pan in the oven is the only way to get a perfect steak without setting off the smoke alarm. And the corn bread in the video would make a perfect go-with for a summer supper. Loved that idea!

  • Barbara
    Barbara – Grommet Team
    7/16/2009 1:23 PM

    @Paula, for the cornbread recipe, just click the links (blue copy) in The Story. The first link takes you to the cornbread recipe. The second link, to our Daily Grommet blog, has links to more great recipes from Katie Workman of Cookstr.com.

  • Briana
    7/16/2009 1:32 PM

    @Lori, cast iron is tough, it will take almost anything you can dish out. Don't worry. If you get little rust spots simply wash them off with an abrasive sponge, and coat with cooking oil. If you need to use a steel wool or something more abrasive you may have to rub with oil and bake at 350° for an hour (http://www.lodgemfg.com/use-care-seasoned-cast-iron.asp#3). Either way the rust won't hurt you (it just doesn't taste good). I usually just cook something oily when I have rust. Sometimes rust is a nice excuse to indulge in something deep-fried. For everyday cleaning, just use warm water and a sponge/dish towel. Those nylon scrubbers work really well too. You can use soap, but we don't recommend it because soap can wear down your seasoning (and may cause little rust spots). If you are concerned about not using soap, here's a fun fact; boiling point (considered sterile) is 212°, the bottom of a skillet reaches 600° in 4 minutes.

    Happy cooking.

  • Hannah
    7/16/2009 2:02 PM

    I have this pan as well and when I cook something that leaves a mess behind and needs to be scrubbed, I rub it with some coarse or kosher salt .It's abrasive without harming the pan. You can also wipe it out with a little oil on a paper towel afterwards.

  • abby
    7/16/2009 2:34 PM

    What an amazing looking cornbread!

  • Kermalkin
    7/16/2009 3:01 PM

    Very inspiring! I'm thinking about something sweet like an apple cake made in a cast iron skillet.

  • Briana
    7/16/2009 3:15 PM


    Cast iron works just fine on a smooth top electric range. You just have to be extra careful not to drop it! You also want to be wary of dragging or pushing any cookware across the glass surface; anything stuck under the pan can cause scratching.

    Cast Iron is ideal for induction cooktops. Induction cooktops use magnetism to heat up the cookware rather than heat the cooking surface and in turn the cookware. This is why aluminum won't work on induction cooktops; it's not magnetic. Many restaurants use our cookware for induction cooking.

  • jenny
    7/16/2009 4:33 PM

    I have a lodge skillet and use it for almost everything. I have to admit that I do scrub it with soap (I know, I know) but it seems fine and I have never had trouble with rust or stickage (is that a word?) I love the idea of adding browned butter to the cornbread batter, and also melting lots of butter in the bottom of the skillet before baking so the cornbread has a real crust. I am hungry already and can't wait to try this.

  • Lisa
    7/16/2009 4:42 PM

    I cannot wait to get this pan, my grandmother had a similar pan and I do not have one in my own collection...the cornbread looks incredible I can never get a moist bread with a crisp crust, it is either crisp and dry or moist and soft, I never knew that the pan was the secret. I also need to comment on the adorable chef ,I miss having little sous chefs in my own kitchen...

  • Kristie
    7/16/2009 6:33 PM

    Reminds me of my grandma!! Who, by the way, was an amazing cook and loved her cast iron pans. Maybe they were her secret. I have always heard that they need to be warmed up before using, even as a baking dish... is that correct?

  • Des
    7/16/2009 10:00 PM

    I took a Mediterranean cooking class recently and one requirement of the instructor: NEVER use pans with non-stick surfaces. This cast iron pan would be perfect for the recipes she taught us.

  • Sara
    Sara – Grommet Team
    7/17/2009 8:32 AM

    Des, I have heard this also. In fact, some of my older Teflon pans that I inherited started to peel...... and that can not be good. I tossed them.

  • Mary
    7/17/2009 8:41 AM

    Cookstr.com looks awesome and I LOVE The Silver Palate. It taught me to cook way back when. This pan looks great too.

  • Patti
    7/17/2009 12:45 PM

    Hey Kristie. Don't want you to think that we've forgotten you! We are checking into your question and we'll get back to you shortly with the answer. Thanks for your patience!

  • Mary
    7/17/2009 1:31 PM

    Cast iron pans ARE wonderful for all the reasons cited in the video. I have a 10" cast iron skillet that I inherited from my father-in-law (it must be over 50 years old) that I use frequently. Great for "grilling" peppers and onions, cooking a small steak, etc. However, these pans, especially the 12", are very heavy to lift. As I get older, I value lighter-weight pans and only use cast iron when it is the perfect application.

  • Briana
    7/17/2009 2:24 PM


    You don't need to pre-heat seasoned cast iron pans for the sake of the pan. Cast Iron can take most abuse you can dish out. Some recipes may call for a pre-heated pan. Cast iron does take a couple minutes longer to heat up than glass or stamped metals. Otherwise it would be extremely difficult (if not impossible) to cause thermal shock damage in a home kitchen to Lodge seasoned cast iron cookware. If you have an enamel coated pan you will want to heat it slowly so that the enamel doesn't "craze" (small surface fractures caused by temperature discrepancies between the iron and the glass).

  • Anne
    10/21/2010 10:18 PM

    Update: I received this from a friend about a year ago. I can honestly say that this pan makes me a better cook--I can't live without my non-stick (and my initial thought was that I don't need another pan adding to the clutter in my kitchen), but there are some things that this pan does so much better, and I had no idea. I'm never giving it up!

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    10/22/2010 3:04 PM

    @Anne: Thank you for stopping back with your experience! It speaks volumes that a year later you still have such high praise for this pan. I love that it has made you a better cook. I bet those who benefit from your cooking are loving this pan as well!

  • Beri B. Bek
    Beri B. Bek
    12/3/2010 6:30 PM

    My Lodge cast-iron is wonderful! It belonged to my Great-Grandmother and my kids are buying their own. It DOESN'T stick. Fried food gets a nice crust. Makes food taste better.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    12/4/2010 12:19 PM

    @Beri B. Bek: Thank you for sharing with us your experience with this pan! That's great to hear how many generations have used it.

  • Benjamin
    12/29/2011 1:18 PM

    How would you suggest cleaning the pan? Is it correct that soap is a bad idea for case iron?


  • Tori
    Tori – Grommet Team
    12/29/2011 1:40 PM

    @Benjamin: To clean, simply rinse with hot water (do not use soap), and dry thoroughly. Don't wash in dishwasher.

The launch day conversation has ended. Please direct further questions about this Grommet to our Community Experience Team.

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