With the fourth of July almost here we’ve been thinking a lot about the products we carry that are made right here in America. While there are a ton of them; from bitters and bundt pans and ball jars to tea towels and cutting boards and pepper mills; I think my personal favorite is our cast iron skillets.
We carry Lodge cast iron, and all of their seasoned cast iron products are proudly made in Tennessee and come pre-seasoned and ready to use out the gate.
I have several non-stick pans at home, but ever since I took home two cast iron skillets, a 9″ and a 12″, my non-stick cookware has sat collecting dust.
Unlike non-stick pans, lodge pans actually improve with age rather than degrading, and if you know how to care for them properly and treat them with a little respect, your skillets could be passed down through generations. I actually have a cast iron dutch oven at home that belonged to my great grandmother. When she died it was moved into my grandmother’s basement to collect dust and rust until I rescued it, cleaned it, and re-seasoned it.
Cast iron can be heated to temperatures that would completely ruin non-stick cookware, so they’re great for roasting, searing, and frying; but a well seasoned pan can also be used for cooking eggs or delicate filets of fish. You can even bake pies in them for a rustic presentation of a classic American apple pie with a super crispy crust. Lodge cast iron pans can go into the oven, be used on electric or gas stoves, can go on your gas or charcoal grills, and can even be put over camp fires. They even make pans with grill ridges for making perfectly grilled steaks at home all year round!
Check out this mixed berry skillet cake I made last week and posted on my personal blog, Brooklyn Homemaker:
While caring for cast iron cookware does take some getting used to, once you learn the ropes it’s actually pretty simple. The main points to remember are to NEVER put it in the dishwasher, and to try to use very little (or no) soap when cleaning it. Hot water and a scrub brush or a rigid scraper are really all you need to keep your pans sparkly clean, and a tiny bit of oil rubbed on with a paper towel after each cleaning will keep the seasoning in good shape. While seasoning can be damaged by mis-use, and cast iron can rust if soaked for long periods of time or put away wet, seasoning is super easy to fix, even if it’s really far gone. The more you use your pans, the stronger the seasoning will become, and eventually they’ll almost build up their own “natural” non-stick coating!
We love cast iron so much that we’ve created an entire Pinterest board filled with our favorite recipes, products, cleaning and care tips and tricks, and re-seasoning tutorials. Feel free to check it out for recipe inspiration or to learn how to care for your soon to be new favorite cookware!