Lodge Manufacturing: Beyond the Cast Iron Cookware
Since 1896, Lodge Manufacturing has been working to perfect the cookware used in home kitchens and restaurants across the globe. With a resurgence in home cooking and a return to more traditional forms of doing it, many are looking again to the classic cookware of previous generations. That, combined with the fact that it has been a beloved American-made brand for more than a century, helps explain the popularity of Lodge.
Over the past several years they have expanded their world-renowned cast iron line to include four additional kinds of cookware: Enameled cast iron, stainless steel, seasoned carbon steel, and heat enhanced iron. Read on for the benefits of each of these lines and best uses.
Seasoned Cast Iron: In the early 2000s, Lodge Manufacturing revolutionized the way hesitant home chefs looked at cast iron. Aware that the greatest concern for many home cooks lay in their misunderstanding of the ease of seasoning, they began pre-seasoning their pans.
The seasoning process consists of two steps: Coating the traditionally forged pans in oil and heating to a specified temperature to create a natural, easy-release cooking surface.
Heat-enhanced Cast Iron: Continuing the tradition of innovation, in early 2014, Lodge introduced heat-enhanced cast iron tableware. After being forged in the same manner as traditional cast iron, this collection undergoes a secondary, patented heat treatment process that inhibits rust. Most importantly, this makes this collection dishwasher safe.
In addition to the heat-enhanced process, the cookware is also pre-seasoned. Learn more about Lodge Heat-Enhanced cookware in our full guide to Dishwasher-Safe Cast Iron.
Enameled Cast Iron: This series is known for its vibrant, eye-catching hues. Newer to the Lodge family than the traditional cast iron, it’s less of an entire new line and more an extension of the classic. In fact, at the core, this entire series is simply traditional Lodge cookware.
What creates the vibrant hues is a process in which a glass particulate called “frit” is applied to the outside of the cookware. After drying, the cookware is fired between 1,200 and 1,400 degrees transforming the rough frit to smooth porcelain. The process bonds the new finish to the cast iron creating an easy-release finish on the cookware’s surface.
Remember to handle your enameled cast iron cookware with care. Though the core is solid iron, the porcelain finish is subject to chipping if dropped or stored haphazardly.
Seasoned Carbon Steel: In 2011, Lodge manufacturing introduced a line of seasoned carbon steel cookware. With the same quality in mind for these pieces as their traditional cast iron, the line was immediately competitive with the more than two century old, French brands.
Lighter than cast iron but equally as tough, carbon steel pans can stand up in the most demanding of environments while being less taxing on the cook.
The smoother surface area reduces friction when working with more delicate food items but also makes seasoning your pan a bit more difficult since there is less to hold on to. What you trade in seasoning ability is gained in responsiveness to heat. The carbon steel responds quicker to temperature change than cast iron, which can prove beneficial when cooking multiple portions of a meal in a single pan.
Lodge Stainless Steel: Comprised of marine grade stainless steel, this line of cookware rounds out Lodge’s extensive offering for the home and professional chef. Each of the stainless pieces in the set are induction ready, feature multi-layer clad bottoms, and include markings inside for measurements. The tri-ply base is constructed with an aluminum core encased in 430 stainless steel. The takeaway being that this cookware will produce quality heat distribution and retention.
This set also includes one 8-inch cast iron pan, silicon handle mitt, and three tempered glass covers.