Cast Iron Cooking

In my quest to downsize and go green I have been really thinking about what matters most to me and what I need versus want. I have known for a long time I wanted a cast iron pan. I finally started pricing out Lodge skillets yesterday, and then today when I was out with my lucky charm of a best friend I found a gorgeous 10.25 ” cast iron LODGE skillet for $6 at the Thrift Store here in town! It was in almost mint condition with only a hint of rust and will clean up perfectly and once reseasoned it will make an amazing addition to my kitchen!

Hailed as an “essential kitchen tool” (Martha Stewart 2008), the Lodge 10.25 inch cast iron skillet is crafted to cook memorable meals for generations

The features of my knew pressie are:

  • Foundry seasoned, ready to use upon purchase. (That is if I bought it new which I did not)
  • Use on all cooking surfaces, grills and campfires.
  • Oven safe.
  • Sauté, sear, fry, bake and stir fry to heart’s content.
  • Made in USA.

The following use and care instructions for Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron will help your cookware last a lifetime.

If you do Nothing Else…

Hand wash. Dry immediately—even before first use.

Rub with a light coat of vegetable oil after every wash.

How much oil? Enough to restore the sheen, without being “sticky”.

Why? To keep the iron “seasoned” and protected from moisture

Seasoning—It isn’t Salt and Pepper

“Seasoning” is vegetable oil baked onto the iron at a high temperature: not a chemical non-stick coating.

Seasoning creates the natural, easy-release properties. The more you cook, the better it gets.

Because you create, maintain, and even repair the “seasoning”, your cookware can last 100 years or more. Chemical non-stick coating cannot be repaired, limiting lifespan.

Let’s Cook!

Lodge Cast Iron is right at home on induction, ceramic, electric and gas cooktops, in your oven, on the grill, or even over the campfire. Do not use in the microwave.

On glass or ceramic cooktops, lift cookware; never slide it.

Our cookware is safe at high temperatures; use metal, wood, or hi-temp silicone utensils.

Some foods may stick to new cookware (especially eggs). Use a little extra oil or butter until you’ve built up the seasoning.

Acidic foods like tomatoes, beans, and certain sauces can damage seasoning, and should be avoided until the seasoning is well-established.

Cast Iron rarely needs to go above a medium heat setting when properly pre-heated. For the times when you do cook at higher temperatures, bring the pan to temperature gradually and add oil to just before adding food to prevent sticking.

Our handles get hot; use mitts. Use trivets to protect countertops from hot cookware.

To Soap or not to Soap…

If no soap is too scary, wash with mild soapy water and dry and oil immediately. However, consider that cookware is 400ºF in 4 minutes on medium heat and is sterile at 212º F, so soap isn’t always necessary.

Dishwashers, strong detergents and metal scouring pads are not recommended, as they remove seasoning.

Rust?! Don’t Panic, it’s not Broken

Without protective seasoning iron can rust.

It’s really easy to fix. Scour the rust, rinse, dry, and rub with a little vegetable oil.

If problem persists, you will need to thoroughly remove all rust and follow our re-seasoning instructions (below).

Refurbish Your Finish

While maintaining the seasoning should keep your Cast Iron and Carbon Steel in good condition, at some point you may need to re-season your cookware. If food sticks to the surface, or you notice a dull, gray color, repeat the seasoning process:

* Wash the cookware with hot, soapy water and a stiff brush. (It is okay to use soap this time because you are preparing to re-season the cookware).

* Rinse and dry completely.

* Apply a very thin, even coating of MELTED solid vegetable shortening (or cooking oil of your choice) to the cookware inside and out. Too much oil will result in a sticky finish.

* Place aluminum foil on the bottom rack of the oven (not directly on bottom) to catch any drips.

* Set oven temperature to 350 – 400 degrees F.

* Place cookware upside down on the top rack of the oven to prevent pooling.

* Bake the cookware for at least one hour. After the hour, turn the oven off and let the cookware cool in the oven.

* Store the cookware uncovered, in a dry place when cooled.

* Repeat as necessary.

Some Basics

Gas flames should not extend up the sides of cookware.

Match pan size to burner size.

Don’t use in the microwave.

When deep frying, fill cookware only to 1/3 of capacity.

It’s not easy being green… but good golly Lodge tries!

Eco-Responsibility

Iron foundries have been recycling long before “being green” was cool. Here are some of Lodge’s continuing environmental success stories:

ENERGY STAR® Partnership

In 2011, Lodge accepted the ENERGY STAR® challenge to reduce consumption by 10% over a 5 year period. We are extremely proud to have surpassed the 10% and in less than 1 year. Our continuing efforts to monitor and reduce energy consumption at our foundry, warehouse, and offices have led to an increase in energy efficiency of nearly 20%!

Hazardous Waste Reduction

Lodge received the 1994 Governor’s Award for Excellence in Hazardous Waste Reduction: In 1991, company President Henry Lodge replaced the cupola melting system with a more environmentally friendly induction melt system. The result was that Lodge Mfg changed its status as a Large Quantity Generator of Hazardous Waste to Small Quantity Generator.

Cardboard Recycling

Lodge began cardboard recycling by allowing outside companies to pick up cardboard. In 2001, the amount of cardboard recycled was 34.5 tons. In 2005, it was 48 tons. In 2012, it grew to 109 tons. The program continues to this day.

Reuse of Foundry Sand

Lodge coordinates with Marion County government to reuse over 250 tons of foundry molding sand each year for various local projects including creating a protective layer at the Marion County Landfill. This not only saves thousands of dollars, but also helps our local environment.

Settling Ponds Support Plant & Animal Life

A stream flows from South Pittsburg Mountain through the Lodge foundry and into the Lake Guntersville Reservoir Watershed. Working to enhance the stream’s water, Lodge constructed three storm water settling ponds to support plant and animal life. Water lilies, cattails and fish have been introduced to the ponds and are thriving. Our waste water is now cleaner than the river into which it flows.

Planting Trees for Beautification & Ozone Attainment

A total of 121 trees have been planted on the Lodge campus to help improve air quality and beautification. The establishment of 1.4 acres of trees is equivalent to removing one motor vehicle from the highway.

Over all I could not be happier with my Thrift Store find. I feel so blessed to find a treasure on my hunt today!!! If you need more detailed information for the care or reseasoning of your cast iron cookware Lodge has even more information and videos to help you care for your investment. I am curious how many kitchens my skillet has been in before it came to my house… hmm, that is something to think about that certainly makes me smile. I love quality and this pan will last me a lifetime.

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