There is no upper limit on things you can cook in a cast-iron skillet. Yes, it specializes in creating an ideal environment for the most wonderful, crusty sears, but it isn’t one-dimensional. Bake in them, fry in them, make sauces in them and just generally abuse the shit out of them — after all, cast-iron skillets are the most frugal cookware you can buy, in that the cheapest options work plenty well (the same can’t be said for stainless steel).
Lodge’s cheap skillets are, for the most part, the cheapest, and are still made in its South Pittsburgh, Tennessee, factory (the same town it was founded in more than 100 years ago). Though known now as mega purveyors of budget-friendly, well seasoned cast-iron skillets, Lodge’s success is sort of astonishing.
Cast-iron cookware dominated domestic kitchens of America through the 19th century and into the 20th, but most were made at smaller scales and included a great many craftspeople in the manufacturing process (primarily in the department of smoothing the skillet’s cooking surface). The rise of industrialization saw most of these makers die off or consolidate — even the likes of Griswold and Wagner, which are now collector’s items.
By the end of World War II, most cast-iron manufacturers had all but disappeared — steel was the material du jour in American kitchens. Prized for the relative ease of the manufacturing process and easy upkeep. By way of technological innovation, smart business practices and adjustments to the manufacturing process, Lodge has outlasted everyone in the field. It’s now country’s single large scale manufacturer of cast-iron pans.
From the $4 3.5-inch skillet to a more useful $15 10.25-inch skillet to its behemoth 15-inch skillet, Lodge’s entire lineup of skillets is on sale on Amazon right now, marked down up to 40 percent off.
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