Equipment Review: Lodge Logic Cast Iron Frying Pan/Skillet
In the UK we are inexperienced in the allure of cast iron. Reading US food blogs and literature tells me it is a part of life there, but not so much here. The pull of non-stick is powerful. Straight out of the box it offers eggs that slide right out of the pan. Who doesn’t want that for their eggs?
But cast iron offers something a whole lot more than that, albeit with a bit more work involved in achieving food heaven. Fantastic heat retention. A really, really good sear. Absolutely no toxic chemical fumes evaporating into your face if the pan gets above 260c (very easy). Stove top/hob to oven functionality, with great crisping on pastries, pies, breads and pizza. A genuine lifetime of use. And pretty cheap with it.
Cast iron pans even transfer nutritional iron to your food. This is no small benefit. Unless I eat several portions of whole grains everyday, I really struggle to meet my recommended daily iron intake. This is certainly something that I aim for, but I must confess my good behaviour is currently being (temporarily) scuppered by working in a freakin’ delicious, fancy-ass, not-really-whole-grain-at-all pizzeria!
The multi-generational, hand-me-down (in a good way!) possibilities of such a piece of equipment should not be underestimated either. This pan will pretty much last for ever. If you want to use a great pan for your whole, long life, then pass it on to the next beloved generation, this is piece of equipment you should get.
Now I loves me a machine in the kitchen. I consider them completely indispensable for the daily production on made-from-scratch breakfasts, lunches and dinners. But my cast iron skillet is one of the few pieces of equipment I use every single time I cook (okay, perhaps not when I make a salad).
But a little work is definitely involved. My cast iron pan, Lodge Logic 12″ (30cm to my metric kinfolk), comes ‘pre-seasoned’, but it definitely requires usage. The more you use it, the better its non-stick qualities will be. Also, it is best if it doesn’t come into contact with water. If food becomes really and truly stuck, a mixture of cheap cooking oil and salt will get the thing clean. Drizzle in a few tablespoons of oil and add a teaspoon or two of salt (this may be the time to actually use crappy refined salt in your kitchen), then leave it for 5-10 minutes before rubbing gently and removing the excess with a cloth or some kitchen towel. A bit inconvenient? Yes. Way, way, way better in the long run? Yes as well.
So just to recap, a roomy, solid, heavy, cast iron pan is one of the best things you will ever buy. And the Lodge Logic 12″ Pan fulfils all the qualities I want in such as pan. Big enough to fit in large batches of vegetables that need a good browning. Heavy, but with two handles for when you need to haul it somewhere. A head start on the whole seasoning shenanigans. Simple, sleek, clean, all-black design. Yes.
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