I have a well seasoned 10 inch cast iron skillet that I have had for years, okay decades. I'm not sure of the brand, as on the bottom it only says, "Made in USA, 10 inch." I suspected a problem for a while, but the other day I was able to "prove it." The problem is food cooks unevenly in this pan.
I was cooking some eggplant the other day and noticed the slices in the center of the pan browned nicely, the ones near the edge of the flame circle only browned on the parts over the flame, and the slices around the edge of the pan did not brown at all. Yes, some of the slices were half browned and half not on each side.
Before I started I preheated the pan properly and brought the oil up to temperature before putting any the food in. After several batches like this I switch to my Nordic Ware Pro Cast aluminum fry pan. After heating the pan and the oil, I fried up the remaining slices and they fried up evenly browned no matter where I placed them in the pan.
So does cast-iron inherently heat unevenly, or do I have a bum pan? Is it time to buy a new one? If it's the latter, is Lodge the only quality choice?