Even heat distribution and retention; stove-to-oven friendliness; and the preseasoning is awesome.
Heavy to lug around the kitchen.
If we were stranded on a desert island, this is the one skillet we'd want to have with us.
Lodge, the foundry that Joseph Lodge launched in Tennessee in 1896, is still an American cast-iron powerhouse. Cast-iron cookware has remained popular, despite being a little finicky about seasoning and rust. Traditionally, before you could use any new pan, you needed to season it, heating and applying fat to saturate the metal’s pores. This would help it resist rust and eventually form a nonstick surface. In 2002, Lodge introduced Logic, a line of cookware preseasoned in the factory: Pans are sprayed with a soy-based vegetable oil and baked at a high temperature. The appealing thing about cast iron is that it absorbs heat slowly and evenly, and is perfect for range-to-oven cooking. We all know that cast-iron pans and Dutch ovens are pieces of Americana, things that generations of cooks have used. Can the Lodge Logic line be effective everyday cookware in a modern context?
Pretty much everything there is to know about the specs for the Lodge Logic 12-Inch Cast Iron Pan (L10SK3) is right there in the product name. Beyond that, it has a depth of 2 inches and an assist handle opposite the main one to make it easier to lug between stove and oven (which is useful, since this baby’s heavy: 7 pounds 12 ounces when empty). It’s fine on any heat surface, from the embers in a campfire to an induction burner. And it’s made in the United States.
We did three tests in the Lodge Logic, without preseasoning the way we have with traditional cast iron, and starting with the recipe most likely to stick, our Dutch Baby Pancake. Then we baked our Basic Skillet Cornbread in the Lodge to see how it (like the pancake) would perform in the oven. And finally we did a cast-iron classic, Basic Buttermilk Fried Chicken.
Dutch Baby Pancake: We took Lodge on its word that Logic is ready to go out of the gate, so we didn't season the pan, just whisked the eggy batter together, poured it into the pan, and threw it in the oven. The result: The pancake came out puffed, perfectly browned, and easy to slide out of the pan and onto a plate.
Cornbread: Perfect results, with even browning, a tender interior, and no stubbornness lifting out of the pan.
Fried chicken: Lodge delivered again. We did have to fry our chicken legs in a few batches (despite this being a large pan), but we found we didn't have to mess with the burner dial to keep the oil at a constant temperature. The coating crisped evenly on all sides with no burnt edges, even down to the third batch.
General stuff: This pan rocks. It cooks evenly, goes from stove to oven like a champ, and the price is right. Since it’s cast iron, you can't simmer acidic items like tomato sauces in it or deglaze with citrus without flavor issues. Plus you have to treat it right: no scrubbing with detergents; just wash, dry, and reseason (Lodge has a handy video that demonstrates how). The 12-inch pan is heavy, but since this is something we’d use often, we’re cool letting it hang out permanently on the range.
Photos by Chris Rochelle