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As an avid cook, I want durable cookware that performs well time after time, which is why I use Lodge cast iron skillets. They’re extremely heavy duty and can last decades if properly cared for.

I prefer to limit my exposure to the controversial chemicals found in conventional nonstick coatings, so I love that cast iron skillets can be seasoned with plant oils to form a natural nonstick coating.

My Lodge cast iron skillet has become my go-to piece of cookware for a wide range of cooking tasks, such as sauteing veggies and producing perfectly crisp tofu. 

What is a Lodge cast iron skillet? 

A cast iron skillet is like any other skillet, but it’s made from cast iron. Due to its excellent heat-retention properties, it’s better at browning and searing food than regular skillets. Plus, it naturally leeches some iron into whatever you’re cooking, increasing your dietary iron intake. Lodge has been producing cast iron cookware since 1896, so this is a company that knows how to make cast iron skillets that perform exceptionally and stand the test of time. Lodge also makes cast iron Dutch ovens and other cast iron cookware.

How a Lodge cast iron skillet works

Since food sticks to raw cast iron, cast iron skillets need to be “seasoned” with oil to give them a nonstick coating. Lodge cast iron skillets come pre-seasoned with natural vegetable oil so food won’t stick to them — and they don’t contain the types of controversial chemicals found in some conventional nonstick pans. You can top up this seasoning with continued use, but even straight out of the box, you can use a Lodge cast iron skillet just like you would any other skillet.

What you need to know before purchasing a Lodge cast iron skillet

I found the Lodge cast iron skillet easy to use with impressive natural nonstick properties. It comes already seasoned, but at first, it can have issues with foods particularly prone to sticking. As you cook with it, adding more oil that eventually polymerizes on the surface of the pan, the seasoning builds up over time. So, it’s best to start out cooking with a generous amount of oil. 

I’ve been cooking with the 10.25-inch pan, which is a great size for day-to-day use, neither too small nor so large that it becomes awkward to lift. The handles can get hot, however, so I’ve found it useful to have an oven mitt on hand.

Cast iron gets a bad reputation for being difficult to care for, but my Lodge is easy to clean and maintain. When a cast iron skillet is well seasoned, you can often simply wipe it clean, but it’s a myth that you can’t use soap. As long as you thoroughly rinse the soap off and dry the pan completely to avoid rust, it’s fine to wash your Lodge with soap — just avoid using steel wool or other abrasives, as these can remove the seasoning. 

I like to grill when the weather allows, and another bonus of this pan is that it can be used directly on the grill, adding a smoky sear to vegetables like asparagus that might fall through the grates if cooked directly on the grill. 

Where to buy a Lodge cast iron skillet

Lodge Cast Iron Skillet

You can buy Lodge cast iron skillets from Amazon or Sur La Table. They’re available in a range of sizes from 3.5 to 15 inches.

Other products worth considering

Calphalon Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet

Calphalon Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet

This heavy, sturdy 12-inch cast iron skillet comes from a big-name cookware brand. It’s pre-seasoned so it’s ready to use right out of the box. Sold by Amazon.

Cuisinel Cast Iron Skillet

Cuisinel Cast Iron Skillet

With a smooth finish and cooking surface pre-seasoned with natural oils, this cast iron skillet is a pleasure to cook with. Sold by Amazon.

Victoria Cast Iron Skillet 

Victoria Cast Iron Skillet 

Victoria’s affordable cast iron skillet is seasoned with kosher certified non-GMO flaxseed oil. It’s available in various sizes from 4.8 to 13 inches. Sold by Amazon.

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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.