Lodge Grill Pan is one of the most affordable cast iron grill pan out there. When its raining outside and you are craving BBQ, the grill pan is the best alternative. However, there seems to be some confusion about how the grill pan works. Things like ridge height, construction and and material all affect how a grill pan works. This review will take a closer look at Lodge Grill Pan and see whether its worth it to buy.
Lodge Grill Pan Review Quick Summary
|Categories||Lodge Cast Iron Grill Pan|
|Compatibility||Gas, Electric, Halogen, Glass Top, Induction|
|Country of Manufacturer||USA|
|Thoughts||One of the best cast iron grill pan on the market. The ridges are tall at 3.5 mm, its nonstick and it practically last forever. However, grill pans are generally limited in versatility. For this reason, I recommend one that doesn’t cost too much, like Lodge Grill Pan.|
|Reviewed Cookware||Lodge 10.5 Inch Square Cast Iron Grill Pan. Pre-seasoned Grill Pan.|
History of Lodge Cookware
Lodge is one of America’s oldest manufacturer of cast iron cookware. The company was founded by Joseph Lodge in 1896. Their first foundry was called the Blacklock foundry and some of their cookware is still found today. While most of them are unmarked, you can usually identify them by the heat rings on the bottom. Modern version of Lodge Cast iron skillets are a little different. They now have a texture finish as opposed to the rough texture one. Regardless of the one you get, you can be assure that it will last a lifetime.
Lodge grill Pan Design
This section will take a closer look at the design and feature of Lodge Grill Pan. We will go through things like handle, shape and performance.
The handle on Lodge grill pan is a one piece design. It is fused with the pot, meaning that there is no rivets or screws. These designs are better overall as they wont get loose overtime. Other types of pots have the handle riveted on because the manufacuturing process is different. For cast iron cookware, molten hot metal is pour into a sand mold. That mold will have the handle already formed into it. On a aluminum pan, those will be stamped on. The handles are then affixed afterwards.
The problem with a fused handle is that it gets hot really fast. You cant use a stainless steel handle to keep it cool. For that reason, it is always advised to use a glove when cooking. On the other end, there is a big helper handle. This helps you get a secure grip and prevent the heavy pan from slipping.
In terms of ergonomic, it has a slight taper inward to fit the contour of your hand. While its not exactly comfortable, you shouldn’t experience any fatigue when using it.
Shape and Ridges
The shape is like any other grill pan. It is square with ridges on it. When buying a grill pan, its important to look at the height of the ridges. The ridges does two important thing. It gives food the desired grill mark and it keeps the food away from the fat.
Poorly designed grill pan will usually have really low ridges. Cast iron grill pan usually have a higher ridge height because of the way its manufacturer. Sand mold will let manufacturer set a higher ridge. Stamped pans cant have ridges that are too high. They will tear if they do so. On the lodge grill pan, I measured around 3.5 mm in height. Much better than the aluminum alternative.
Cons of using a Grill Pan
Although not all is perfect with these grill pans. Because of the grill mark, it reduces the amount of contact area. This means that less of the food will brown properly, this cause less flavor to develop. Not only that, fat is important when developing flavor. Since its up and away from the oil, it wont be as flavorful. However, its good for those who are looking for a low fat alternative.
Versatility is another issues that you will faced with. These pans are only good for one purpose, making grill mark. For stuff like stir fry and sauce making, you need a traditional pan. For this reason, its best not to spend too much on a grill pan.
Cooking time will almost be vastly increased. Since there is less contact with the pan, there is also less heat being transferred. Something that usually takes 5 minutes can easily be increased to 15 minute. It is best to only cook light and thin food. Vegetables are perfect for this. Chicken thigh will basically take forever. I recommend just getting the grill mark and finishing it in the oven. If you don’t want to use an oven, I recommend using a lid. Drop some water inside and cover it. The steam will help accelerate cooking time.
Enamel vs Cast Iron Grill Pan
Lodge makes a enamel version of the grill pan. The difference between the bare cast iron and enamel one is minimal. You wont experience any performance difference between the two. Although, you do get a better choice of colors on the enamel one. Whether its worth the jump in cost is up to you. Nonstick performance should be about the same as well. The surface contact area is too small to cause much of a difference. However, there is one big difference, the place of manufacturer. All enamel cast iron from Lodge is made in China. I heard that this was due to environmental issues. The cast iron version is still made in America. Lodge maintains that there should be no quality difference between the two.
Cleaning Grill Pan
This is one of the biggest chore when you clean a grill pan. If you do not have the right brush, it will take forever to clean. I recommend using the OXO grill brush. Those bristles are stiff and can make quick work of stuck on food. I like to soak the pan when its still hot, but still can cause thermal shock. If you do not want to do this, you can wait till the pan to cool down, then soak it in water.
Seasoning the Grill Pan
Seasoning the grill pan will reduce the change of food sticking. All you need to do is wipe the top ridge with oil. I recommend that you get a paper towel and soak it with oil. Run it across the top of the pan and heat it up till you see it smoke. Doing this after every use will ensure that it remains nonstick.
Most if not all cast iron cookware is induction compatible. For a cookware to be compatible, it needs to have a magnetic pull. You can test this by using a magnet. If it sticks, it should be induction capable.
Lodge Grill Pan Thoughts
Lodge Cast Iron Grill pan is one of the best bargain out there. It is well designed and will last forever. The ridges are also higher than the aluminum alternative. Because of the limited nature of the grill pan, I do not recommend spending too much for this pan. As such, brands like Le Creuset or Staub is probably not worth it.
I hope you like this Lodge Grill Pan Reviews, If you would like to see more, please visit our Pots and Pans Review page.