Unhappy with Lodge Cast Iron...

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swinchen

Cook
Joined
Oct 14, 2004
Messages
98
Location
USA,Maine
Ok, I have used cast iron before and loved it.... so I went and bought a lodge cast iron frying pan.... It really ticks me off!

the pan isn't smooth on the inside. There are lots of little pits in the metal and even though the pan is well seasoned and food doesnt stick when it comes to simply wiping the pan out with a paper towel (or any towel for that mater) the pan just shreds it and shreds it badly.

I dont know what to do... after it tears up a towel I am basically forced to wash it out with soap and water (destroying the sponge and season) .... grrrrrr.
 

Chief Longwind Of The North

Certified/Certifiable
Joined
Aug 26, 2004
Messages
12,437
Location
USA,Michigan
I received a couple of Lodge Cast Iron pans from an aquaintance who couldn't use them. She said that eirther I take them or she was going to throw them into the trash. And you are right; they are full of pits, at least when you first start using them. As you fry things in them, the pits fill with the carbonized oils and the pan surface becomes smooth and hard, and nearly impervious to rust. The pits are there because the pans are sand-casted, like the engine block of a car. The sand granules leave the tiny indentations as the molten iron cools in the mold. To get rid of the problem in auto engines, and reduce the subsequent intense machining, a thin coat of parafin is sprayed onto the sand mold. It gets rid of the grainy texture and is burned away when the hot metal contacts it, leaving a much smoother surface. However, this is a more expensive process and is not required with cast-iron cookwear. Be patient with your pans. They will give you the service you expect. I was very surprised when my Lodge fry pans became as smooth as my Wagner pans. But it did happen.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
 

Michael in FtW

Master Chef
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Sep 5, 2004
Messages
6,592
Location
Fort Worth, TX
I use a nylon-bristle dish brush - that solves that problem.

It sounds like you've got some burrs (stickey-uppie thingies) that didn't get knocked off in processing. You'll have to reseason the the pan when you're done, but here goes ...

Go to a hardware or auto supply store and get some emory cloth/emory paper for metal. Then, come home and start sanding the inside of your pan to knock the burrs off. When you can wipe a dry, or just barily damp, paper towel around the inside without it snagging you're done. Then follow the directions to season it again .... http://www.lodgemfg.com/useandcare.asp
 

Paint

Senior Cook
Joined
Mar 10, 2004
Messages
358
Location
USA,Colorado
I cook nearly everything in my 3 pre-seasoned Lodge pans, I LOVE them - my expensive Calphalon now sits unused in the back of my cupboard LOL! I just use hot water and a plastic ( the 'knitted' round type) scouring pad to clean them and they come out perfect. If things have stuck badly, then add some water to the pan and simmer it for a while on a low heat. Don't worry too much about getting them spotlessly clean - I was a Food Microbiologist for 10 years, and I can reassure you that any germs will be killed when you next heat the pan :)

Paint.
 

Bigjim68

Head Chef
Joined
Jan 27, 2008
Messages
1,313
Location
Richmond, Va
A few years ago, I puchased three pieces of Lodge cast iron that I could not find at yard sales, and agree with those who do not like the sand cast finish. It seems to me like a cost cutting measure, not an improvement. Mine is in nearly daily use and still is not flat. Frankly, I would pay a little more, and forget the preseasoning, in exchange for a smooth finish on the cooking side. My griddle is finally getting smooth, but I suspect that this is due to the constant scraping rather than from a buildup of seasoning.
 

justplainbill

Executive Chef
Joined
Jan 17, 2007
Messages
4,206
Location
Eastern Long Island, New York
A few years ago, I puchased three pieces of Lodge cast iron that I could not find at yard sales, and agree with those who do not like the sand cast finish. It seems to me like a cost cutting measure, not an improvement. Mine is in nearly daily use and still is not flat. Frankly, I would pay a little more, and forget the preseasoning, in exchange for a smooth finish on the cooking side. My griddle is finally getting smooth, but I suspect that this is due to the constant scraping rather than from a buildup of seasoning.

Perhaps their unseasoned cast iron items are finished better. My wagner and griswold cooking sufaces were either ground or machined. It took me half a dozen SOS pads, 1/4 to 1/2 can of Cameo scouring powder and a lot of elbow grease to smooth out the bottom of my 7 quart Lodge dutch oven.
 

Jeff G.

Head Chef
Joined
Sep 18, 2007
Messages
1,352
Location
Indiana
the only type of pan I have found I like as well as my cast iron is Magnalite.
I would love to have an entire Magnalite set someday.

Oh, not the one available at Wal-mart etc.

this is the original Magnalite stuff...

American Culinary

A single pan can easily cost you $100...
 
Last edited:

stan41

Assistant Cook
Joined
Jan 30, 2005
Messages
14
The new Lodge skillets are not machined inside like old skillets were. The answer is to go to flea markets, garage sales, etc. and buy old cast iron. It is much better than the new.
Stan
 

Katie H

Site Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 11, 2006
Messages
16,500
Location
I live in the Heartland of the United States
the only type of pan I have found I like as well as my cast iron is Magnalite.
I would love to have an entire Magnalite set someday.

Oh, not the one available at Wal-mart etc.

this is the original Magnalite stuff...

American Culinary

A single pan can easily cost you $100...

Magnalite is neat stuff, Jeff. I bought a 5-quart Magnalite Dutch oven a while back at a thrift store for 50 cents. Didn't have a lid, but I had a lid at home that fit it perfectly. It's what I bake my N.Y. Times bread in.
 

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