Lodge L14SK3 Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Skillet, 15-inch
Seasoned, ready to use. This skillet is a kitchen’s most essential item. The even heating of cast iron is necessary for golden, tender, perfectly pan-fried chicken. What other cookware can rival the heat retention, versatility, value and durability of cast iron.. 10-1/4 inch diameter.
- Shipping Weight: 12 pounds
- Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S.
- Shipping Advisory:: This item must be shipped separately from other items in your order. Additional shipping charges will not apply.
- ASIN: B00063RWUM
- Item model number: L14SK3
As to seasoning, the Logic line now comes preseasoned. But don’t make a big deal about this. To season a cast iron skillet simply coat it lightly with oil and bake it for a half hour or so. I have also seasoned these skillets on the stovetop. Cast iron is also great because it does not easily scrap like stainless steel and aluminum pots. Aluminum pans are painful to me, as my teeth fillings react to the aluminum. With cast iron, you won’t have this problem. I also take my Lodge pan camping and set it right over the coals to cook. No melted handles or scorched bottoms to mess with.
Timeless classic for the modern kitchen
I’m a bit of a purist. I always season my cast iron – new, or used (hey, I don’t know WHAT someone else used that old piece of cast iron for – maybe cleaning auto parts). I sand it down to bare metal, starting with about an 80 grit and finishing with 200.
Then I season. The end result is a glossy black mirror that puts Teflon to shame. There are two mistakes people make when seasoning – not hot enough, not long enough. These mistakes give the same result – a sticky brown coating that is definitely not non-stick, and the first time they bring any real heat to the pan, clouds of smoke that they neither expected or wanted. I see several complaints here that are completely due to not knowing this.
But there were a few pieces I needed (yes, needed, cast iron isn’t about want, it’s a need), and this was one of them, so I thought I’d give the Lodge pre-seasoning a try. Ordered last Friday, received this Friday – free shipping, yay!
The first thing I noticed was the bumpy coating. The inside is actually rougher than the outside, and my hand was itching for the sandpaper, but that would have defeated the experiment. This time, I was going to give the Lodge pre-seasoning a chance before I broke out the sandpaper. So I scrubbed the pan out with a plastic brush and a little soapy water, rinsed well, put it on a medium burner, and waited. Cast iron tip number one – give it a little time. Then give it a little more time. Cast iron conducts heat much more slowly than aluminum, so you have to have a little patience.
Then I threw in a pat of butter, and brought out the natural enemy of badly seasoned cast iron – the egg. And, sure enough, it stuck – but not badly, just in the middle. A bit of spatula work and I actually got a passable over-medium egg. Hmmm. But still not good enough. So I cleaned up the pan, and broke out the lard.
I have only one justification for using lard. I don’t remember Grandma using refined hand-pressed organic flax oil, or purified extra-virgin olive oil made by real virgins. Nope, it was pretty much animal fat in her iron. A scoop of bacon grease from the mason jar beside the stove and she was ready to cook anything. Grandaddy wouldn’t eat a piece of meat that had less than a half-inch of fat around it. “Tastes like a dry old shoe.”, he’d declare if it was too lean. In the end, I’m sure their diet killed them, but they ate well in the meantime. Grandaddy was cut down at the tender age of 96, and Grandma lasted till 98. Eat what you want folks – in the end, it’s pretty much up to your genetics.
So I warmed up my new pieces, and smeared a very thin layer of lard all over them – use your fingers. Towels, especially paper towels, will shed lint, and lint in your seasoning coat doesn’t help things at all. Besides, it’s kinda fun.
Here’s cast iron tip number two – season at the highest temp you think you’ll ever cook at – or higher. If you don’t, you won’t get the full non-stick thing, and the first time you bring it up to that temp you’ll get clouds of smoke from the unfinished seasoning. I put my pieces in a cold oven, and set the temp for an hour at 500 degrees (F, not C). Yeah, I know, Lodge says 350. Lodge doesn’t want panicked support calls from people whose house is full of smoke. Crank the heat up.
You have two choices here. You can put a fan in the kitchen window and blow smoke out of your house like the battleship Bismarck under attack by the Royal Navy, or invest in an oxygen mask. You will get smoke. You will get lots of smoke, especially if you’re doing several pieces at once, like I just did. This is a good thing – that’s smoke that won’t be jumping out to surprise you the first time you try to cook with any real heat. The goal is to heat until you don’t get smoke, and in my experience, 500 degrees for an hour does that pretty well.
Let the pieces cool in the closed oven. Then re-grease and repeat. And repeat again. And don’t glop the fat on. Just enough to coat. More thin layers are better than fewer gloppy layers. I managed four layers last night without my neighbors calling the fire department.
Seems like a lot of work? Look at it this way. It’s a lifetime commitment. Treat your iron well, and it will love you right back like you’ve never been loved before. And this is pretty much a one-time deal, unless you do something silly.
The end result of my all-night smoking up the kitchen exercise? Dry, absolutely no stickiness, black as a coal mine at midnight and shiny – but still bumpy – could it possibly work with that rough surface?
I put the skillet back on a medium burner, put a pat of butter on and tossed in a couple of eggs. After the whites had set a little, I nudged them with a spatula, and they scooted across the pan. I’ll be… it works. My wife came back from the store and wanted scrambled eggs. If there’s anything that cast iron likes less than fried eggs, it’s scrambled. But it was the same thing all over again. No stick. No cleanup. Just a quick hot water rinse with a brush in case something got left on the pan (I couldn’t see anything, but hey), then I put it on a med-hi burner till dry, put a thin coat of lard on the pan and waited until I saw smoke for a minute. Let cool and hang up. Done.
So. do I like the bumpy texture of the Lodge pre-season? Nope. Does it work? Yes, and contrary to my misgivings, it works very well. My wife pointed out that even some Teflon cookware has textured patterns in it. The Lodge pre-season isn’t a perfect surface out of the box – but it does give you a big head-start. After a night’s work, my iron is ready to face anything, and you just can’t beat that.
Lodge makes a great product. For the quality, durability, and versatility, you can’t beat Lodge cast iron. Plus, it’s made in America. I like that. If you’ve never experienced cast iron cooking, you’ve just been cheating yourself. Plus, the price, for a piece of lifetime cookware, is insanely cheap.
And my sandpaper is still on the tool shelf.
Your Grandmother knew best, and she was right.
Seasoning cast iron is a very simple process, the instructions that follow apply to any piece of cast iron cookware needing seasoned. First, heat the oven to 400 degrees, then, using your hands, coat the iron pan inside and out, including the handle, with SOLID SHORTENING ONLY, such as Crisco(not butter flavored), or even lard. Then bake it, upside down, on the upper oven rack for an hour. Line the ovens bottom rack with alumnium foil and you’ll catch the drippings that fall as the shortening melts and gets absorbed by the iron. Then allow the pan to cool before attempting to handle it again. If your oven has a hooded fan, you will want to run it to remove the fumes and odors caused by the melting shortening. That’s all there is to it. You can also do this process outside in a gas grill, or even a charcoal grill so long as it has a cover. Afterward, you will want to fry fatty foods such as bacon, fried chicken, or fish in your newly seasoned pan, as these types of oily foods help to reinforce the new seasoning you’ve just applied. After a round of frying bacon or chicken, your skillet will be ready for virtually anything else you want to cook in it.
This skillet will quickly become the most frequently used pan in your kitchen, and that’s a good thing because the more you use it, the more seasoning you’re actually applying to the iron. Some have complained that they have lost a small area of the seasoning in their pan, and have had to remove the rest of the seasoning by hand before reapplying the Chriso and baking process. Actually, you can follow the steps above and be just fine. If, for some reason though, you have to remove all the seasoning, simply put the pan upside down in the oven and run the oven through the cleaning cycle once, then allow the oven and pan to cool. The skillet will come out like the day it was made, but you must wash, dry, and reseason it right then and there. Doing so will prevent rust, which is one of the few real dangers to cast iron. Two other dangers include, never adding or running cold water into a hot iron skillet or Dutch Oven because the sudden temperature change will cause the pan to crack. And finally, NEVER, under any circumstances, wash a cast iron pan in a dishwasher. Dishwasher soap is strong enough to remove even the oldest seasoning and the steamy, humid environment created during the drying cycle will then cause the pan to rust.
Clean all cast iron pieces by hand with hot water and a stiff bristled brush, NO SOAP EVER, and then dry the piece right after washing using a paper towel. You can then apply a very light shot of cooking spray, inside and out, to protect the pans seasoning; paper towels are helpful in spreading the spray over the pans entire surface. I realize this has been a rather long review, but I hope the various instructions listed above are helpful to first time buyers/users of cast iron cookware.
Finally, for first time buyers, I recommend purchasing the Lodge Preseasoned 3 skillet set which includes a 6″, 8″, and a 10″ skillet, in addition to this 12 inch pan. Together, whether cooking in the kitchen or over an open fire while camping, these 4 skillets will give you the versatility of cooking for one person or the entire family. You will also want to get a Lodge Preseasoned Iron Lid and a regular splatter screen for this skillet because they raise the potential uses of the pan even more. I’ve used cast iron for years, and it really is the way to go. If you consider the cost of other types of cookware, and how long it will last when compared to cast iron, you really can’t go wrong with purchasing 3 or 4 pieces for your everyday use. Remember too, that your kids, and their kids in turn, will be using these pans long after you’re gone. With a probable service life of more than one hundred years, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.