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Anyone Own any Lodge Signature Series Cast Iron Pans?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by pen, Jan 18, 2010.

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  1. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    I cook almost exclusively on cast iron and own pieces of the modern lodge cookware as well as vintage griswold.

    The old pans (in general) had a smooth finish whereas the modern pans have a rough texture due to a different (cheaper) casting process.

    I prefer the newer pans for being generally thicker than my antiques. However, I like the finish of the smooth antique cookware better.

    I was looking at the signature series by lodge but can only find it online and can't see the finish very well through the pictures.

    I was wondering if it has the rough texture like the regular lodge cookware or does it have the smooth finish like the old school cast?

    Thanks,

    pen

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  2. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Don't know, but you could try calling the VC factory - don't know about present time, but I know that they used to be the ones that actually made Lodge pans - their foundry had much more capacity than was needed just for doing their stove parts, so they did a lot of other cast iron manufacturing, everything from parts for other stove companies, to pots and pans, to you name it....

    Gooserider
  3. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    I checked the one Lodge pan we have, a skillet used almost every day, and it wasn't a signature series.

    Is there any way you could sand the rough texture off the newer pan? I've lapped out plenty of pits from the soles of old cast iron wood planes.

    If I could find a small, antique cast iron skillet I would have bought used. All of my cast iron (except the skillet) is around 4 generations old.

    Matt
  4. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I use cast iron for things that don't stick like bacon and mine is modern and rough textured. I had one blob of what felt like weld spatter on mine so I ground it off. You can't even tell where I did it. I see no reason that you couldn't polish the cast down to a smoother finish.

    I had a problem with teflon but I've gotten over it for the sake of fried eggs (Poke eggs). We have 6 chickens and I get good eggs so I want the best final product possible on my toast.
  5. SlyFerret

    SlyFerret Minister of Fire

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    Do you guys put your cast iron cookware directly on top of the stove? or do you use a trivet?

    I was given a Lodge grill pan for Christmas and I haven't used it yet, as I wasn't sure if I'd regret putting it right on top of my 30.

    -SF
  6. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Never put it on the stove but I do put the pans directly on the flat glass surface of my electric range.
  7. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    I put them on the stove but line the stove w/ alum foil first. I use a trivet w/ a dutch oven / covered pan for cooking slow (simmering)

    I can slide eggs out of my modern lodge cookware the same as my antique stuff w/ the smooth finish. However, cleanup is easier w/ the smooth finish (warm water on a warm pan w/ a vegetable brush) if I cook something like bacon, sausage, or brown beef.

    I emailed lodge today and here was their response:

  8. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    So it sounds like you could take a quarter sheet sander to it and knock down the high spots.

    Matt
  9. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    I've tried w/ a 1/4 sheet palm sander and had very minimal luck. I've got quite an assortment of misc metal ready sandpaper, don't remember what grits I had tried, but remember not gaining much.

    Perhaps there would be better results w/ an orbital or something else.

    pen
  10. pyper

    pyper New Member

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    I used a quarter sheet sander with wet/dry paper -- the grit got sucked up inside and it wore out the sleeve bearing on the sanding pad.

    A better option is a sanding disc on a drill -- fits into the corners better too.

    For a while (about 15 or 20 years ago) Lodge offered two finishes -- rough from the foundry, or milled. The milled ones were a lot smoother, but still had ridges. I sanded them off when I got the round griddle.

    If you use steel cooking tools (spoons, egg turners, etc) you will eventually wear down the finish on a lodge skillet. Or at least I did.

    I've seen those old pans, and they sure are nice. I can't justify spending that much money though, so I make due with the modern stuff. With a little effort you can smooth them off some and give them a good seasoning (I use olive oil on a turkey burner) and they will become fairly non-stick. I use cast iron straight on my LP kitchen stove, so it ought to be just fine on a wood stove. I've been wanting to try using a camping dutch oven to bake something.
  11. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

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    If you want good quality smooth cast iron stuff hit up garage and estate sales. That's where I got my Griswold skillets and griddles-I think I paid less than $5 for the two of them! When an older person dies or people move they look at them and say, "just an old frying pan-put $0.25 on it and get rid of it." My cast iron collection is as dear to me as my guns and will be passed down to my children along with them. I haven't been able to find a dutch oven yet but they're out there. Old Wagner stuff isn't bad either.
  12. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    I am an idiot. Not sure why I didn't think of trying them myself. My father has air tools, I bet the DA or the angle grinder w/ a sanding disk would do good work.

    Thanks for the kick in the right direction.

    pen
  13. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    I agree! The dutch oven seen here was given to me. I have a 10 in pan I ADORE that I got dumpster diving (cleaned it w/ about 3 days of 3x per day using oven cleaner on it, then seasoned w/ lard turned upside down on gas grill) and have gotten others off of ebay for cheap. I always search the garage / yard sales but have never had luck (just bad timing on my part)

    Here's my dutch oven in action last winter on a pot roast on the old wood stove.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  14. pyper

    pyper New Member

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    Good luck. It's slow going. But the good news is you can't really mess it up because it takes so long. Like sanding wood, but in s.l.o.w. motion.

    I have a friend who collects vintage cast iron. He's got every size of Griswold and matching lids. Pretty nifty.
  15. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    So Pen . . . when are we being invited to supper . . . that meal looks mighty tasty!
  16. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

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    Pen that's a beauty right there. I'm hoping to come across one soon. Since I'm directly east of you maybe I ought to hop across the river and hit some yard sales on the Pennsy side one of these days!
  17. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    I need an excuse to make another pot roast! Come'on by.

    Actually think I'm going to be cooking some country style ribs in that dutch oven on Sunday and having the folks over.

    pen
  18. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    If you are patient you can find them on ebay reasonable. Modern ones can be found in Walmart's camping section or Gander Mountian, etc and the price isn't bad at all.

    I have had good luck buying some pieces that didn't look so desirable and then cleaning them up and reasoning them.

    For example, my wife bought me a Griswold Single egg Skillet #129 w/ Square spelled "Squar" on it. The pan usually sells for 100 bux. She bought it for 20 including shipping. I had it reseasoned to look every bit as good as this one in about 1 hour.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Griswold-Cast-I...emQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item230199bea8

    pen
  19. pyper

    pyper New Member

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    Here's a tip if you get one that's really nasty -- put it in your self-cleaning oven and it will burn off totally clean.
  20. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    That does work well! But I wouldn't do it w/ a sentimental piece (great grandma's chicken frying skillet) because getting cast that hot does have the potential (albeit small) of cracking it / warping it.

    Cracking a 3 dollar yard sale special is no biggy, just would feel bad if something worth more went south accidentally.

    pen
  21. pyper

    pyper New Member

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    Good advice! Another thing I've used successfully to clean off bad seasoning is oven cleaner.
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