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Lodge Seasoned Carbon Steel Skillet

I stumbled onto this product at Amazon:

http://tinyurl.com/3qsjhmc

I have never heard of Lodge doing carbon steel cookware. Price is about $41 dollars for a 10 inch skillet. I wonder if the product works well? Does anyone have it? It seems like it might be a less costly alternative to French carbon steel.

Most of the other carbon steel products from Lodge are out of stock. A search at their site provides no info at all about this product.

Thanks!

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  1. Interesting that Lodge is launching this. You can find it at Katom, a restaurant supply store:

    http://www.katom.com/261-CRS10.html

    It is cheaper, but if you include shipping fee, then they are probably the same. However, if you are going to buy several things from Katom, then the shipping fee will be relatively less. No, I have not had this, but these are new products, so I don't think a lot of people have them.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      Thanks for finding these through another vendor. The pans at Amazon are not available yet. I was thinking it might be a good way to try a carbon steel pan w/out having to make a major investment. These are American made, too.

      1. re: sueatmo

        Well, they aren't the only ones made in US :) Vollrath also claims theirs are made in USA, and I believe Vollrath has been in the carbon steel cookware business much longer -- well, anyone is longer than Lodge since it is new to Lodge. Here:

        http://www.katom.com/175-58910.html

    2. Hi, sueatmo:

      The more things change... [sigh]

      I don't have a carbon steel skillet, but a lot of people like them. Certainly there are many sold and they're generally inexpensive. I can appreciate how durable they are, and how they might excel, like CI, at high searing on a fearsome hob.

      But... A little reality: CI has thermal conductivity ranging from 27-46 Btu/(hr oF ft)--a low and poor number. High carbon steel's is even worse, ranging from 17-21 Btu/(hr oF ft). Compare with aluminum, at 118-144 (Btu/(hr oF ft).

      Carbon steel and CI have almost identical specific heats--a decent measure of "heat holding"--0.49 kJ/kg K and 0.46 kJ/kg K respectively. And carbon steel has a slightly higher density. Which means carbon steel holds a bit more heat by volume (i.e., for the same size, shape and thickness pan).

      So...if you hate CI for its uneven heating, you will loathe carbon steel for the same reason. If you looooooove CI's "heat holding" propensity, carbon steel's may impress you more.

      This new pan is stamped from 12 gauge metal--0.1094" or 2.64mm thick. Neither thick nor thin, but probably a little thinner than most CI skillets. So, given the exceedingly poor conductivity of steel and a thinner gauge, I would expect WORSE hotspotting for it than for the same pan in CI--a dubious achievement at best.

      But hey, like I said, some folks like steel pans.

      Aloha,
      Kaleo

      8 Replies
      1. re: kaleokahu

        kaleo,

        I agree that neither cast iron nor carbon steel cookwares are good for providing an even heating surface. They are not horrible, but not great compare to many other materials. Their strength is their ability to (1) endure extremely high heat and (2) provide a relatively nonstick surface (seasoned surface). In addition, they also (3) are physically strong, (4) easy to regenerate their seasoning surface without professional help, (5) inexpensive. There are rare and are highly valued.

        Yes, Teflon cookwares are more nonstick, but they cannot endure high temperature and are easily scratched. Tinned copper cookwares are much more evenly heating and great temperature response, but they cannot endure extreme high heat neither, and they are very expensive and the tinned surface is reapplied by professional. Enameled cast iron cookwares are expensive as well. They are not as nonstick as fully seasoned carbon steel cookwares, and they are much more fragile than carbon steel cookwares (try to drop a carbon steel cookware 2 feet above the ground and try to do the same to an enameled cast iron cookware, and you will see the huge difference). If the enameled surface is chipped out, then forget about regenerating that surface. It is a goner..... etc etc for other cookwares.

        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          Hi, Chem:

          My point was (and is) that these "new" pans aren't any big improvement over Lodge's CI. You already know that, but others might not--others who might buy and not be very happy with their performance.

          You lost me on the "rare and highly valued" point. What's rare about carbon steel pans? Are they highly valued monetarily or are they simply appreciated for what a good benefit/bargain they provide?

          Kaleo

          1. re: kaleokahu

            Kaleo,

            Well, carbon steel cookwares have some advantages over cast iron cookwares. They are usually lighter and they are less brittle. So, if you like to flip your pancake (just one example), then it is better on a carbon steel pan over a cast iron pan.

            I meant the combination advantages that carbon steel cookware offered is highly valued. I know many people dislike seasoning cookware and it is a bit of an art. However, you probably have read many posts where people want to find a durable nonstick cookware or nonstick cookware which can be used for high temperature cooking. Unfortunately, Telfon cookware cannot quiet offer that combination -- very nonstick, but not very durable. Stainless steel cladded cookwares? Very durable, but foods stick to them more so than other style of cookwares.

            So I think the combination of "(1) Fairly nonstick, (2) High temperature compatible, (3) inexpensive, (4) thinner and therefore lighter than cast iron" is really attractive to many people.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              Hi, Chem:

              Well, let's consider this a little more then...

              Lighter--HCS is lighter only if thinner than CI. *Heavier* if of equal thickness. If thinner, even greater hotspotting than CI. Can't have it both ways.

              Brittleness--Who breaks CI skillets? This is 99% academic.

              Pancakes--I guess you mean *tossing*... Who can toss in a carbon pan who can't in CI? This is more about handle misdesign (leverage) than weight.

              Seasoning/Nonstick--This is a matter of preference, but HCS does win for convenience.

              Expense--HCS and CI are both cheap (Shhhhh LC fans are up past bedtime).

              Heat Compatibility--HCS and CI are exactly the same.

              What is the weight comparison? The link says the 10" HCS weighs 3.6 pounds--hardly light. A 10" CI of the same dimensions (slope-sided, 2.46mm thick) should be the same, except perhaps for the handle.

              I'm not arguing these HCS pans aren't as good as CI. IMO they're just not any better. Acceptable alternative, but no overall improvement except perhaps in convenience.

              Your thoughts?

              Kaleo

              1. re: kaleokahu

                Kaleo,

                "Lighter--HCS is lighter only if thinner than CI. *Heavier* if of equal thickness. If thinner, even greater hotspotting than CI."

                I know, but it is much easier to make a thinner carbon steel without making it too fragile. Cast iron... if you try to make a 1 mm thick cast iron pan, it will be weak. So what I am saying is that you can make a thin carbon steel pan and it will be light and durable. Cast iron? No.

                "Brittleness--Who breaks CI skillets? This is 99% academic."

                As mentioned above, if you push the cast iron cookware thinner, it will break.

                "Who can toss in a carbon pan who can't in CI?"

                I cannot. :) I have weak wrist. Cast iron too heavy for me to toss.

                "HCS and CI are both cheap "

                Yes.

                "Heat Compatibility--HCS and CI are exactly the same"

                Yes.

                So there are many similarities between cast iron and carbon steel pans, except that carbon steel pan can be made thinner. Now, if an even heating surface is not the primary concern like sauting and stir fry where the foods are constantly moved around, then having a lighter pan is better.

                I think it entirely has to do with what the person is seeking for.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  Hi, Chem:

                  OK, now we're getting somewhere. Thanks.

                  This new Lodge pan is 12 gauge (0.1094" or 2.64mm thick). It weighs 3.6 pounds. Is yours lighter? Thinner?

                  I think what this "tossing" thing comes down to--ultimately--is really brittleness. I think there's not a lot of difference in pan weight unless you go very thin with steel. But the CI pans, being cast in one piece, can't have longer handles, else they *would* break off. I think you are stronger than you admit--you just have CI pans with short, stubby (brittle) handles!

                  One of my LC "boat anchor" pieces is a 9" slope sided CI skillet with a screw-in wooden handle about as long as the handles on these HCS pieces. It weighs 3.7 pounds--actually a little more than a no-name 10" CI I keep for steak. I'll comparison flip a (unevely cooked) pancake or two.

                  Cheers,
                  Kaleo

                  1. re: kaleokahu

                    Kaleo,

                    Not talking about specifically about the Lodge carbon steel pans. Just in general. My debuyer Force Blue pan is thinner at 2 mm thick. I intentionally get this thinner version. There is an even thinner version at ~1 mm for the La Lyonnaise one. I don't have that one:

                    http://www.debuyer.com/product.php?id...

                    "you just have CI pans with short"

                    No, my cast iron skillet is not the one made with Lodge. Those Lodge cast iron skillets have really short handle. Mine is ok. I will take a photo when I have a chance.

                    1. re: kaleokahu

                      I have old CI skillets. I make French toast in them. I'd never attempt to flip them by flipping the skillet. And I am pretty strong. If the skillet slipped, it would fall on my glasstop cooktop, which would not be a good thing. Come to think of it, I don't flip omelets in my non stick pans, either. Perhaps the flipping is not a factor for me.

        2. "Foundry seasoned with natural soil bean oil and ready to use"

          HAHA - yes it does say "soil bean oil."

          I'm not fond of foundry seasoned cast-iron Lodge. I have bought a couple of pieces since they started doing this and disgarded them. I want to season my own and don't want to have to get rid of their seasoning.

          I like carbon steel skillets, but don't use them as much as I would like to -- just don't think about it - shame!

          3 Replies
            1. re: Rella

              I really hated the seasoning on the 13" cast iron I bought, but over time it's disappearing. It's a nice size so I do use it irregardless.

              1. re: Rella

                i had to read that three times to figure out what was so funny about soy bean oil before I caught the typo. my eyes now have spellcheck i guess. too funny.

              2. The reason I am interested in trying a carbon steel skillet is that I know my non-stick guys will not last forever, and will have to be replaced. I am thinking a fairly slick carbon steel skillet might be a good permanent replacement, and I am intrigued by the low cost of the Lodge. I think I am right that the Vollrath carbon steel skillets and the French skillets I have noticed on Amazon are expensive.

                I do like CI very much. I also like my stainless cookware, and my Berndes aluminum Dutch oven.

                But I don't like doing eggs or fish in my CI. I also avoid sautes with tomatoes. On the other hand CI is great for French toast.

                I guess I am always interested in trying new gear.

                6 Replies
                1. re: sueatmo

                  The Vollrath carbon steel pans I found on Katom are fairly inexpensive. I don't know if the Vollrath or the Lodge carbon steel pans are better, but they seem competitive in price. Have fun!

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    You are correct. I think I remember a higher price on Amazon.

                  2. re: sueatmo

                    Sometimes these carbon steel pans are sold by the case which generally is 6 pans per case. This is the way they are packaged from the factory and some supply houses will not break apart a case. Now if you can find friends who want a pan or can gift them then the price can be excellent. If the price seems quite high then look to see if it is being sold as a case and not an individual pan.

                    1. re: sueatmo

                      Hi, sueatmo:

                      Now *those* are good reasons, if you eschew cooking those foods in CI.

                      I hope you get one and report back on how you like it.

                      Aloha,
                      Kaleo

                      1. re: sueatmo

                        My experience, so far, with carbon steel is that:

                        - a pan dedicated to items like pancakes, crepes and omelets takes and retains a good seasoning.

                        - a pan used for searing meat followed by deglazing (or even soaking to remove burnt crust), does not stay seasoned. Other that wiping it with oil after drying I've given up on seasoning my 9" Force Blue skillet.

                        1. re: paulj

                          My Force Blue holds up for searing meat and fish, but I don't usually deglaze. Do you glaze using wine or vinegar? Those can really eat the seasoning away. If you use water or other liquids, then it probably is ok.

                      2. I inadvertently left my 8" non-stick on a burner for too long, and now my non-stick is no longer non-stick. So I'm forced to find another pan. This is probably a good time to replace it with a Lodge. Amazon carries the Lodge carbon steel pan I think I want: http://tinyurl.com/82zml6t

                        This pan gets good, if few, reviews. Here's my question: do I need to reseason? If so, O carbon steel Wizards, please boil down into 3 or 4 steps what I should do to season. My natural tendency would be to go with the factory applied soy based seasoning, with the hope that a good slick seasoning would develop naturally.

                        I've looked a video on YouTube--at least one--but I couldn't really tell what the person was doing. It was just murky. And that video was not specific to the Lodge.

                        It would be so nice to have a pretty good pan for eggs and fish that I didn't have to replace every few years. I have CI to put on a sear.

                        Thanks in advance.

                        15 Replies
                        1. re: sueatmo

                          "do I need to reseason"

                          What do you mean by reseaon? Do you mean by seasoning on top of the factory preseasoning? Or do you mean by stripping off the original preseasoning surface, and then put on a new one? Either way is fine. I would do the latter if you have sufficient time to spare.

                          Have you seasoned a cast iron cookware? It would be 99% the same really.

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            I basically seasoned my CI by cooking on them. But I did experiment with the Sheryl Canter method on 2 of my pans. I had one success and one failure. If I could just start cooking without worrying about stripping and reseasoning I would be very happy.

                            1. re: sueatmo

                              I would see how the Lodge seasoning works out first. You may spend an inordinate amount of time removing the factory seasoning and re-seasoning only to find no difference.

                              The problem I have is that Lodge is not going to crack the restaurant market at their current price point for these pans. Compare the Amazon price for the Lodge 12" at $41.98 to this Vollrath carbon steel pan made in the US: http://www.wasserstrom.com/restaurant...

                              1. re: SanityRemoved

                                Hmm. I appreciate seeing the Vollrath. I wish it was carried by Amazon. (I only order from a few selected online sites.) I really wish I knew where to get either of these locally. There is no restaurant supply store remotely near me.

                                Perhaps, Lodge will reduce the price eventually, or perhaps it costs them that much to produce it. I note that the Vollrath is made in the U.S. as well.

                                1. re: sueatmo

                                  Don't quote me, but I remotely remember the Lodge carbon steel pans are slightly on the thicker side, so they will cost a tad more than the thinner ones. That is not to say the Lodge carbon steel pans are thicker than the Vollrath ones.

                                  Lodge carbon steel pans do look a bit higher, but maybe it is made a bit more refined, just like DeBuyer carbon steel pans have a nicer touch to them.

                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                    This may be subjective, but I think I like the angle of the Lodge handle better.

                                    The price for this pan is not very bad if I use it for the next 20 years.

                                    1. re: sueatmo

                                      Absolutely. There are many more wasteful things in life, like a parking ticket or a credit card late fee. If you like the pan, then get it. :)

                                      1. re: sueatmo

                                        Both handles follow the sides of the pan before extending outward. The Lodge pan has sides that are similar to what de Buyer has on it's Country pans but I don't believe as high. Vollrath has the more traditional fry pan sides.

                                        Handles are funny because for some people they can be the deal maker or breaker. Some are better suited for flipping or doing a saute (jump) and some are solely for transporting or positioning. Certainly if you prefer a certain style, angle or height you should go with what makes you happy considering that you will be using it for many years.

                                        1. re: SanityRemoved

                                          The steep angle of some French pans seem to be designed for access on a crowded commercial stove. On the other hand the level handles of traditional cast iron probably are designed for manufacturing ease.

                                  2. re: SanityRemoved

                                    The Vollrath has welds instead of rivits like the Lodge and DeBuyer. I prefer rivits.

                                    Although I have a DeBuyer, I would have bought the Lodge had it been available at my time of purchase because it costs less and I like the straight handle as apposed to the one that angles upward. The Lodge and the Volrath are a pound lighter so I assume they are thinner but I am not sure this will matter that much.

                                    1. re: cajundave

                                      Somewhere, I read that a handle that canted upward too steeply would be an awkward fit in home oven.

                                      1. re: sueatmo

                                        It is hard to fit in the oven. You have to move the rack to a lower position.

                                        1. re: cajundave

                                          Which pan are you referring to? Or are you referring to this sort of pan in general?

                                          1. re: sueatmo

                                            The DeBuyer pan 12 inch skillet. It has the handle that angles upward. This means you need more vertical space in the oven as opposed to the lodge CS skillet.

                                            1. re: cajundave

                                              Yes, it appears that way to me. Although I will buy an 8 incher, not a 12 incher.

                            2. I did finally buy a skillet, the 8 inch, to replace a non-stick that had lost its stick. I've used it twice, and I intend to use it again at lunch time. Overall I like the functionality of this pan. It isn't pretty, but I like the function. It is made in the USA and it is obviously well made. Textured surface. Long handle. Small footpring on the burner. The no nonsense skillet is built like a tank. It feels solid in the hand, and is balanced. It is surprisingly heavy for its size.

                              The pan comes preseasoned. There are almost no instructions.

                              I've used it twice. Things improved on the second try.

                              With a CI skillet, you test the readiness of the surface with a couple drops of cold water. Yesterday the drops of water just went right through to the pan; I won't try the water thing again until I build up a better seasoning. But I notice a difference in how the heat radiates from the surface of the pan. You can feel the heat from about 6 or 7 inches coming off a cast iron pan. When I place my palm above the carbon steel pan, I have to put it lower to feel the heat. I can see the hot air moving up, so I know it is hot, but I can't feel it the same way as I do with CI. So, a learning experience.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: sueatmo

                                Glad to hear it is working out. Carbon steel is very deceptive especially in photographs. It's not until you pick it up that you notice how solid it feels.

                              2. I've been asked to review my 9" Lodge seasoned carbon steel skillet. I've owned it for perhaps 6 weeks, and I've used it several times a week since.

                                The pan is built like a tank, with a nice heft, but it isn't as heavy as a CI frypan would be. The handle angles outward, but the angle does not appear to be as steep as images of other, similar fry pans I've seen. The finish is not smooth, but feels textured. The handle stays cool for a fairly long time. The pan is balanced in the hand.

                                Because the pan interior is so small, I can't use it for a variety of tasks. I wish I had bought the next size up, frankly. I have been making my morning egg in it using canola oil. At first the egg stuck, and I had to scrape it up. But as I kept going with this, the pan has gradually become much less sticky. I tried to speed up the seasoning on this by frying bacon, but both times I did this, the pan was a mess to clean up, so now I only use the pan for an egg. I am open to using it for other things, but, as I said, this pan is very small.

                                If I fry a couple of eggs in my larger non-stick on medium heat, the eggs come out white and seemingly unscathed by the pan. With the carbon steel pan, the eggs pick up some browning. I've begun lowering the heat once I crack the egg into the cs skillet. My egg turns out lovely, so I'm not unhappy at all about the results.

                                As you can tell, I haven't done anything on high heat. As it happens I haven't been cooking that much lately. And the pan is so small that I don't know what I'd cook for the two of us in the pan. And truthfully, I didn't use my small non-stick pan for very much else than a morning egg, either.

                                I'd recommend trying the pan; it isn't a very big investment, even at the larger sizes. I think it could take the place of CI, if you don't like messing with CI.

                                I care for this pan by wiping it down, or lightly scrubbing with a nylon scrubber, rinsing and then wiping down. For me this is a good replacement for non-stick, at least for certain purposes.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: sueatmo

                                  Try baking a batch of cornbread in the skillet, and see how it turns out.

                                  1. re: deet13

                                    The pan is really too small for my normal recipe. Its a thought though. Are you recommending that I do this, or do you want to know how it turns out if I do? ; )

                                  2. re: sueatmo

                                    <The finish is not smooth, but feels textured.>

                                    That is interesting for a carbon steel pan.

                                    <tried to speed up the seasoning on this by frying bacon, but both times I did this, the pan was a mess to clean up, >

                                    It could be the sugar in the bacon. Heat will burn the sugar and make it a sticky mess.

                                    Thanks for the review, sueatmo.

                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                      I thought the same--after I'd cleaned up the pan twice!