Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Ovens and Skillets
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.
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.
This one has fabulous reviews.
Extremely versatile and one of the lower cost ones. Read the reviews for cooking ideas.
Comes in 5 qt or 7 qt sizes.
Want to Find Out More About Lodge? - Visit their website and take a look around.
- Lodge Cast Iron Cookware - America's Original Cookware - South Pittsburg, TN USA
Lodge Manufacturing Co. is the sole domestic producer of foundry seasoned cast iron cookware in the United States. Founded in 1896, the family owned company produces the largest selection of cast iron cookware on the market.
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...
There's Even an Organization for Dutch Oven Cooking
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
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