4 Lodge Cast Iron Skillet Recipes for Winter
Whether you’re the proud owner of a skillet passed down from your great-grandmother, or a kitchen novice who just received one as a wedding present, there’s no reason to be afraid of cast iron. Especially if you’re from Tennessee, the home of Lodge Cast Iron.
Based in South Pittsburg, just outside of Chattanooga, Lodge knows that cast iron cooking is on the rise. “The popularity of cast iron – both seasoned and enamel coated – has grown tremendously since we began foundry seasoning our cast iron cookware in 2002,” says Mark Kelly, public relations manager for Lodge. Back then, cast iron represented 4 percent of the domestic cookware market. Sixteen years later, it accounts for more than 15 percent.
That’s one reason Lodge expanded the production line at its 118-year-old foundry in 2015 and opened a new foundry in November 2017. “In the past three years, we have increased production capacity by 125 percent,” Kelly says, crediting the Food Network and PBS, along with Gordon Ramsay’s shows and local cooking segments showcasing cast iron cooking.
The versatility of recipes from sweet to savory and the ability to transfer a skillet from stovetop to oven are just two benefits of cast iron, which Kelly says has become a growing trend across all age demographics in the U.S.
Recipes in this Article
The foundry seasoning also plays a large part in the popularity, as well as the reason the average cook shouldn’t be scared of cast iron. While previous generations had to season skillets themselves to keep food from sticking, Lodge now bakes oil directly onto the iron to prevent rust and provide a natural finish that improves with use.
According to Lodge, “seasoning” can refer to both the initial finish of the cookware as well as the ongoing process of maintaining the finish.
“We started foundry seasoning in 2002 with 25 of our items,” Kelly says. “Within a year, we shifted to 75 of our items. On July 1, 2007, we began seasoning all of our cookware.”
To season its skillets, Lodge uses a highly refined soybean oil with no synthetic chemicals, animal fat, peanut oil or paints, and eliminates all proteins that cause soy-related allergies.
That’s a long way from the oil- or even pork-fat-seasoned pans of previous generations, but it doesn’t mean a brand-new Lodge skillet won’t stick around for a lifetime.
“If taken care of properly, they last a minimum of 100 years,” Kelly says. “I have my grandmother’s skillet and Dutch oven that were wedding presents 100 years ago. If you visit historic museums like Mount Vernon, Monticello and others, there are items from our colonial era. Much older in European museums.”
And in that time, you can certainly do a lot of cast iron cooking. We offer a few recipes for inspiration this holiday season, and you can find even more at tnhomeandfarm.com/castiron.