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Old Yesterday, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
14,310 posts, read 17,512,523 times
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I have the 10" Lodge and I use it frequently - mostly steaks, burgers and pork chops. HOWEVER , this is the one I wish I had purchased: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01726HDY0...=13MSJ2D29MXTT. I

The 10" is much easier to work with and a perfect size for 1 -2 people. If you're just starting with cast iron (as I was about a year ago), I think the 10" is a better chouce.

but now that I've grown to really like the thing, and find more and more used for it, I'll be getting a 12" ( from Victoria, not Lodge.)

BTW don't get the version with the ribs that supposedly leaves grill marks. Useless.

I avoided cast Iron for decades because the idea of not using soap after every use freaked me out. Then, I discovered this little ten dollar item, which is TERRIFIC. https://www.amazon.com/Blisstime-Cen...eaner+for+cast
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Old Yesterday, 07:53 AM
 
Location: Texas
42,237 posts, read 49,783,147 times
Reputation: 67035
Have a Lodge pan.
Great for stovetop to oven.

Have a Lodge pot/dutch oven, too, but much prefer my enameled cast iron (with the kooky French name) in terms of ease of maintenance.
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Old Yesterday, 07:55 AM
 
Location: The analog world
15,640 posts, read 8,758,135 times
Reputation: 20962
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkgourmet View Post
I have the 10" Lodge and I use it frequently - mostly steaks, burgers and pork chops. HOWEVER , this is the one I wish I had purchased: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01726HDY0...=13MSJ2D29MXTT. I

The 10" is much easier to work with and a perfect size for 1 -2 people. If you're just starting with cast iron (as I was about a year ago), I think the 10" is a better chouce.

but now that I've grown to really like the thing, and find more and more used for it, I'll be getting a 12" ( from Victoria, not Lodge.)

BTW don't get the version with the ribs that supposedly leaves grill marks. Useless.

I avoided cast Iron for decades because the idea of not using soap after every use freaked me out. Then, I discovered this little ten dollar item, which is TERRIFIC. https://www.amazon.com/Blisstime-Cen...eaner+for+cast
I like the length of the handle on the Victoria skillet. If I have one complaint about Lodge, it's the length of the handle. It's just a bit too short, especially for the 12" skillet. However, one thing about the Lodge is that you can easily find fitted silicon covers for the both the main handle and the helper handle that will protect your hand from burns.
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Old Yesterday, 08:04 AM
 
2,368 posts, read 3,031,253 times
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Buy a Lodge 10 inch. It will last your entire lifetime if you care for it properly and then will last your kids lifetime. You basically cannot wear them out. They get better the longer you have them as long as you keep them seasoned and do not do stupid things like put them in dishwater with detergent or the worst is put them in a dishwasher.
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Old Yesterday, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Bloomington IN
5,868 posts, read 7,093,742 times
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Agree with the 12 inch size for your needs. The largest one I have is 10 inches. It's a bit too small for some things. BTW--you may already own a lid that fits. I've found that one of my Calphalon glass lids fits the 10 inch skillet perfectly.
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Old Yesterday, 09:00 AM
 
210 posts, read 82,100 times
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I'd recommend a Dutch oven with lid. Having that instead of just a skillet will open up your options greatly. With a Dutch oven, you can not only saute chicken on the stove and bake it in the oven, but you can also make soups, braise meat, bake bread, deep fry, etc.
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Old Yesterday, 09:07 AM
 
Location: The analog world
15,640 posts, read 8,758,135 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by English Ivy View Post
I'd recommend a Dutch oven with lid. Having that instead of just a skillet will open up your options greatly. With a Dutch oven, you can not only saute chicken on the stove and bake it in the oven, but you can also make soups, braise meat, bake bread, deep fry, etc.
I love having a Dutch oven, but I do not consider it a replacement for a skillet.
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Old Yesterday, 09:27 AM
 
3,598 posts, read 1,518,497 times
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Get a standard size skillet. Not sure what this is in inches, but the bottom's about 7 inches diameter and the top's about 10 inches diameter.

Current production Lodge pans are inadequately finished on the inside. Personally I would buy an old one from the antique store or swap meet.

Please, please, please ignore all the "cast-iron care voodoo" nonsense. Season it. Use it. When you're done, wash it out with Palmolive and one of those plastic scrubbies (NOT steel wool!!), dry it off, and you're done. DO NOT put a cast iron skillet in the dishwasher.

(I have been using a cast iron skillet my entire life, as did my mother and grandmother.)
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Old Yesterday, 09:30 AM
 
10,871 posts, read 41,162,985 times
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as mentioned above: "all cast iron is not the same". The difference in the iron formulation is significant as to the way the iron seasons and conducts heat uniformly across the bottom of the utensil. The grain structure of the metal is much tighter in the old cast iron formulations.

IMO, Griswold and Wapak were the best cooking cast iron utensils, followed by old Wagner Ware.

The "basic" skillets are readily available in many places … easy to find on eBay, or in flea markets across the country, or at farm auctions if you're near rural areas. The difference in quality and the ease of cooking with these compared to new Lodge (and other brands) is astounding. Yes, you can cook chicken with the Lodge ware, but it's not going to give you the same results as the older cast iron pans (for that matter, you can cook food in the "cheapie" far east or indian cast iron, but much of the qualities of ease of use and uniform heating simply don't present with these items).

Given your intended use of the pan, I'd look for one of the Wagner "chicken fryer" pans. The difference compared to the standard fry pan is that the sides of the pan are much higher, intended to allow for a deeper layer of the frying grease. Even if you may only be sautéing chicken in a shallow layer of grease/oil, the deeper sides prevent a lot of spatter around the stovetop. The difference in added weight of the pan is minimal. This series of cook pan is not in the "collectable" stratosphere of cast iron pricing, and tends to be readily available in the usual sources. I bought a 12" one years ago for $15, and they're not much more expensive today.

Alternatively (or additionally), you may want to check out the "Tramontia" line of cast iron enamel ware found in Sam's or WWorld (very inexpensive compared to LeCruset, Descoware, etc). A friend gifted me one of these Dutch ovens a few years ago, and I've been very happy to use it for sautéing meats (and onions, peppers, garlic, celery, etc) as a beginning to soups/stews. The cast iron is pretty good quality and the enamel surface makes for very easy clean-up, no seasoning required. Use with a little bit of good quality olive oil and you're all set for good cooking. I saw that they're now carrying a set of their fry pans … which I've not used, but if the cast iron and enamel is as good as on the dutch oven, these would be a very good piece of cookware for your purposes.

An added advantage for the enamelware is that it minimizes the iron that gets into the food from plain cast iron cookware. We've family members with high iron in their blood tests and while it's not a huge source of iron in their food, the iron from cast iron cookware can be a factor. So we've eliminated that source by using mostly cast iron enamelware … which I've been collecting for over 40 years, so it was no big deal to use it more than the plain cast iron cookware.
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Old Yesterday, 09:38 AM
 
350 posts, read 79,377 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
as mentioned above: "all cast iron is not the same". The difference in the iron formulation is significant as to the way the iron seasons and conducts heat uniformly across the bottom of the utensil. The grain structure of the metal is much tighter in the old cast iron formulations.
When I was researching the topic I read that even the Griswold brand varied and that pre-WW II pans were better than the ones from the 1950s because so much of the good metals they needed were used up in the war effort. I have the 1950s pans, and they're still considered very good. The markings on the back are clues to when they were made.
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