ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Ovens and Skillets

Updated on August 1, 2013

Thinking About Dutch Oven Cooking or a Great Cast Iron Skillet? I Like Lodge...

Lodge Cast Iron cookware has been manufactured since the 1890s, and with good reason. It is great to cook in and it lasts. Here, I'll describe the cast iron dutch oven and how to choose one. Then I'll talk about dutch oven cooking and offer some YouTube videos from real experts in the art of cooking this way.

Next will come a section on the cast iron skillet. (We keep ours on top of our stove all the time and use it several times a week.) Information on how to season and clean cast iron follows, and this page ends up with some accessories for cast iron cooking that you might like to know about. Since I'm a librarian, I can't help but throw in some books--cookbooks on how to cook scrumptious meals in these pots.

Why am I featuring the Lodge dutch oven and skillet? The brand pretty well dominates the market. I for one prefer American companies, and Lodge has been in Tennessee for over 100 years. Since Lodge cookware is reasonably priced, it's no hardship to buy Lodge. I feel more secure about the cast iron itself by buying theirs rather than something from an unknown company in a country where manufacturing standards are anyone's guess.

Photo credit: Biscuits in a Dutch oven, from a cooking class on Flickr.com

The Dutch Oven

A dutch oven can be used for stovetop cooking, oven cooking, or campfire cooking.

If you plan to do outdoor cooking, get one with the three little legs, as you will be putting the dutch oven on a bed of coals and you'll do best if there is a little air circulation under the pot. But those legs can be a pain if you are using the same pot on the shelf in your oven, so if you want a Lodge dutch oven for both indoor and outdoor cooking, you could just as well skip those little legs.

Also think about usage in choosing the kind of handle you want. If a lot of your use will be over a campfire, then you'll be happiest with a large wire loop type handle, where it wouldn't get as hot as side handles.

Five Top Rated Lodge Dutch Ovens - They're All Good! Choose by Size and Kind of Handle.

When I went to look at the top rated Dutch ovens on Amazon.com, I wasn't too surprised that the top ones were all made by Lodge. Here they are, in the order of popularity on the day I was there. All of them have dozens if not hundreds of enthusiastic reviews.

Lodge L8DD3 Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven, 5-Quart
Lodge L8DD3 Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven, 5-Quart

Extremely versatile and one of the lower cost ones. Read the reviews for cooking ideas.

Pre-seasoned.

 

Dutch Oven Cooking and Recipes

To me, dutch oven cooking is part of the romance of the American West. I grew up in Maryland and didn't encounter cast iron cooking until I married into an Idaho family. My in-laws' unique home had a large stone fireplace in the living room, and there was a swinging stand for the cast iron dutch oven, used mainly on jam session days. With people on piano, sax, drums, trombone, banjo, and other instruments playing old jazz tunes, the dutch oven would be emitting delicious smells for hours. Then we would all turn to the meal. No wonder I love dutch ovens.

A Thanksgiving Dinner Cooking Outside - The turkey is in the big dutch oven, what might be on top?

When I found this photo at the popular photo sharing site Flickr, I knew I had to use it here! The coals are sure glowing golden, aren't they? You can see the shovel handy on the side. It looks like two dutch ovens to me, with coals above and below each one.

Dutch Oven Cooking Videos - Click on one of the little images below the video that's showing to see another...

How to Season Cast Iron

Seasoning is the term used to mean preparing the surface for cooking.

Many of the Lodge cast iron skillets and dutch ovens come pre-seasoned. If you have an old one that needs its surface worked on, or if you buy a new one that isn't pre-seasoned, the process can be done in a variety of ways.

All I have ever done is quite simple. If you buy new but not pre-seasoned cast iron cookware, there may be a covering on it to keep it from rusting. So wash that off under hot water. It's fine to use soap, which you probably won't do again.

Dry the pot and thoroughly coat it with olive oil, canola oil, or any other cooking oil you happen to have. Some people use bacon grease. Heat the pot up thoroughly and then allow it to cool down slowly.

For everyday cleaning after use, we just scrub it with a sponge or something else that won't scrape off the finish. We dry it over a flame on the stovetop or with a paper towel, and we coat it with a small amount of cooking oil.

Over time, it builds up a smooth, non-stick finish with no chemicals!

A Video on Caring for Your Cast Iron Dutch Oven

This is an excellent video, but I do want to quibble about one thing he says. He mentions near the beginning that you can use steel wool on the rough spots. I don't use steel wool myself, for anything, because it is much harder to rinse it all off than most people realize. So I'd suggest trying one of those Lodge scrapers listed further down the page, under accessories.

Some Accessories for Cast Iron Cooking

Please note that if you click through to Amazon.com from here and if you buy something, Squidoo and I may share a commission, at no cost to you. Clicking on some of the other links might also yield me some commission. I appreciate the income, as it enables me to spend time doing writing like this.

Your Thoughts are Welcome! - I try to answer the ones that call for it.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • hartworks lm profile image
      Author

      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @Brite-Ideas: They are very useful!

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I really need these cast iron skillets - next on my list of things to get for my kitchen!

    • hartworks lm profile image
      Author

      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @aquarian_insight: Thanks! I had more fun with this lens than with any I've done recently... maybe because it came easy to write about this.

    • profile image

      aquarian_insight 5 years ago

      I would love one of these cast iron Dutch ovens or skillets! I think cast iron is just the best anyway. This is a great lens. *blessed*

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Really nice lens about Cast Iron Ovens.

    • hartworks lm profile image
      Author

      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @TheresaMarkham: Great! Report back on how you like it!

    • TheresaMarkham profile image

      TheresaMarkham 5 years ago

      Really looking forward to getting a cast iron skillet!

    • hartworks lm profile image
      Author

      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      @OhMe: C'mon over and he can use our skillet... or bring yours!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Great job on featuring these Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Ovens and Skillets. My husband makes the best cornbread in our Cast Iron Skillet.