Pros: Pre-seasoned; practically non-stick; beautiful; incredibly durable; thermal properties
Cons: Can’t put in the dishwasher (not a big deal); 10 inches is a little small–I’d recommend 12
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
First published 7/12/2005
Review item courtesy of Lodge Manufacturing
I admit it–I was always intimidated by the idea of cast iron cookware. The whole idea of seasoning sounded like a lot of work. As it turns out, it really isn’t. The Lodge Logic and Pro-Logic lines are “pre-seasoned” cast iron, which saves you a few initial steps before using them. All you have to do in order to begin using them are rinse them with hot water, dry thoroughly, and then prepare the surface before cooking with vegetable oil or cooking spray.
Cast iron isn’t dishwasher-safe, but it isn’t that hard to clean either. Food hardly seems to stick to it at all if you take good care of it. While you don’t generally want to use dish soap on it, you just use hot water and a stiff brush to clean it, and we found this worked quite well. You dry the cast iron immediately and apply a light coating of oil (spray or not) while the skillet is still warm.
The only complication this introduces is the need to be prompt in your treatment of your Lodge cookware. However, it doesn’t require lots of work or complex care instructions. Even if you screw up and end up with some rusting, the Lodge website provides simple instructions telling you to how to scour off the rust and re-season your cast iron.
Cast iron is incredibly durable. It’s heavy-weight (not great for those of us with hand problems, but it definitely helps with the thermal properties and durability) and can last for ages with proper care. These aren’t pieces of cookware that you’re likely to replace in five, ten, or even twenty years from now. There’s no coating to wear off, and there are no flimsy bits to warp or crack.
Cast iron heats slowly and evenly. You don’t need to put it over high heat. It browns things beautifully–it’s wonderful for producing lovely burgers, pancakes, seared meats, etc. It holds heat well for stews and other things that need to simmer for a while. You won’t get little “hot spots” and undercooked points like you will with cheap, thin cookware.
The difference between Logic and Pro-Logic is appearance. Logic is more of an old, traditional appearance, while Pro-Logic is rounded and modernized. Honestly, I prefer the Logic. There’s just something comforting and pleasing about it, while the Pro-Logic seems like something of an odd clash of old and new. Also, because of the rounded shape of the Pro-Logic it seems to have a smaller surface area on the bottom of the skillet.
I’d probably recommend getting a 12″ skillet over 10″ unless you tend to cook very small amounts of food; we often found the size to be just a little shy of comfortable for what we were making.
The Lodge pre-seasoned cast iron has much to recommend it. It’s durable and easy to clean. It’s practically non-stick if you take good care of it. The thermal properties are wonderful. And I admit it, there’s a certain sense of age and ritual to taking care of your cast iron that provokes a feeling of nostalgia in the kitchen; if you’re a die-hard cook and baker you may well understand what I mean.