Posts Tagged ‘pans’

Back to the Future with Cast Iron Cookware

Monday, October 13th, 2008

As a little girl I remember my grandmother cooking with her heavy cast iron cookware. Although they were cumbersome, she had used those same skillets for many years, and she certainly knew how to use them to cook up a fantastic meal.

In those days before processed foods and slow cookers, the majority of the food we ate was fried, and cast iron skillets were excellent for frying. The other major method of cooking was roasting, and cast iron roasters turned out wonderful pot roasts and chickens.

You just couldn’t beat cast iron for dispersing the heat evenly. Sometime in the late 1950s, however, my grandmother did away with the cast iron cookware in favor of more modern, aluminum pots, pans, and roasters. Even though Teflon hadn’t been introduced yet, and everything stuck to the aluminum cookware, she wanted to keep up with the times.

You can imagine my surprise, then, when I started seeing cast iron pans in mail order catalogs again in the 21st century. The Lodge Cast Iron company, the premium maker of cast iron cookware, is still very much alive and well in South Pittsburg, Tennessee. In fact, they’ve been in business for over one hundred years. They still offer a line of cast iron cookware that looks just like the old pans my grandmother used to use, but with a modern twist. The old time pans needed to be broken in, so to speak. They had to be used over and over and over again before they developed a desired patina known as seasoning.

For 21st century users, however, the pans now come pre-seasoned as Lodge has now developed a coating which seasons the pans and makes them perfect to use new from the box. If you ever get down to southeastern Tennessee, you’ll want to be sure to visit the Lodge plant. They have an outlet store where you can purchase high-quality cookware for a fraction of its mail order price along with all the accessories you’ll need to use it. You still can’t beat cast iron for even heat, and it makes excellent cookware for campers and people who like to barbecue.In spite of innovations Lodge has introduced over the years, it’s a part of our American heritage that’s changed very little except to get better and better.