I use a Lodge Skillet myself, as do many of our cooks and chefs, so I thought I’d share a few notes and tips.
We love the creative opportunities a Lodge Skillet brings. Personally, I take advantage of the fact I can use my Lodge at super high temperatures without worrying, and use mine for a lot of searing and charring. Corn on the cob is a favourite – rub the cobs with oil, sear in the pan until slightly blackened on all sides, add a knob of butter and baste the cobs all over with a silicone brush & season well (I prefer mine with a lot of seasoning, so I always rotate the cobs in the pan to pick up all the sprinkles of salt & pepper) and either eat as-is or cut the corn off into chunks into a salad (simply incomparable to the tinned stuff). Asparagus finished with butter and lemon, tuna steaks, for a delicious and healthy dessert - pineapple sliced marinated in lime and chilli, seared then finished with a squeeze of lime (with coconut ice cream would be good)… Our cook school manager is a lot more creative with hers. You can check out the indulgent Pineapple and Mango Upside Down Cake recipe she bakes in a Lodge Skillet here.
Your Lodge is unique
Quite apart from what we’ve become used to these days – mass-produced things that look absolutely identical, Lodge are advocates of ‘slow manufacturing’, and as everything isn’t done by robot, subtle variations in finish will occur. Your Lodge is cast from iron – they look fairly identical at this stage. It’s then hooked up to a conveyor belt and dipped in vegetable oil, which is then baked on. That’s it – no other chemicals or materials are involved. Because it needs something attached to it when it dips in the oil, you’ll sometimes get small spots where there is no oil. If this is apparent with yours, simply rub a little vegetable oil over it, and it will naturally bake on over time as you cook. This ‘seasoning’ is there to provide a degree of non-stick and to prevent the iron from rusting if it’s exposed to moisture.
You’ll also sometimes get little bubbles on the surface – usually around the edge, where the vegetable oil has bubbled as it has been baked. This won’t affect the pan’s performance, but if it bothers you on an aesthetic level, it’s only oil – it can be scraped off and no harm will come to your pan. Just make sure if you expose the iron to rub a little more vegetable oil on.
Lodge Skillet care
Wash your Lodge by hand, using a small amount of washing up liquid if you need to. You can scrape stubborn food off, and if you have really persistent food stuck to the surface, simply simmer some water in the pan for 3-5 mins then scrape off.
Your Lodge must be dried thoroughly after cleaning – iron will rust if left wet. (If it ever does rust, this can just be wire-brushed off, but it’s easily preventable) Either a cloth or a piece of kitchen roll works.
Talking of kitchen roll (or paper towel, as some people call it), finish by wiping a small amount of vegetable oil over the surface. It shouldn’t be dripping in oil – in fact, you can wipe all the excess off – anything you need will have clung to the surface. Don’t worry if your kitchen roll turns dark – that’s just the seasoning.
How to season a Lodge cast iron pan
Scrub the pan in warm water - it's fine to use washing up liquid, as you're about to re-season your Lodge. Put some vegetable oil on a piece of kitchen towel, and rub a thin layer all over the pan, inside and out. Place the pan in the oven upside-down, bake at 450-500 degrees F for one hour, then leave to cool.
We’re sure you’re going to love creating great dishes with your new Lodge as much as we do ours.