Lodge Cast Iron is a famous American manufacturer of cast iron cookware.
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Specializing in Skillets and Dutch ovens. They are based South Pittsburg, Tennessee.
Formed in 1896, the company is now known as Lodge Cast Iron. Established by Joseph Lodge who spent his early years travelling across the country and south America, working in machine shops.
Finally settling in the small town of South Pittsburg, Joseph Lodge built his home. He worked in the local area managing blast furnaces and coal mines in the area. Originally building the Blacklock Foundry in 1896 which burnt down in 1910, he rebuilt it a small distance away. It is now known today as Lodge and it is still owned by the Lodge family. The oldest cast iron cookware manufacturer in the US.
How is Lodge cast iron made?
The molten cast iron is a mixture of recycled cast iron, pig iron and scrap steel. A 2900 degree Fahrenheit oven takes 15 mins to melt 2000lbs of the mix. A bonding agent is added to remove impurities in the molten metal.
Sand moulds are then used to create the shape of the cast iron. The cast iron is poured into the mould and then the sand is removed. A shot blasting process using a very fine steel shot, is then undertaken to remove any excess sand.
The finishing process is then undertaken which creates the final product. This involves grinding and polishing. It is then cleaned and dried using a steam drier to remove any moisture and open the pores of the cast iron.
The seasoning process which is referred to as factory seasoning can now begin, something that Lodge pioneered and something that is now considered standard within the cast iron cookware industry.
Spray guns are used to apply a soy oil. The cast iron is then transferred to an oven to bake. This gives it the famous Lodge patina which is black.
What does the numbering on the bottom mean?
The numbering on the bottom of the cast iron does not refer to sizing. In fact, it was used as in internal mechanism to track production. Employees were rewarded based on the number of items that were cast and produced.
The result of this quirky numbering means that they vintage items are collector’s items with an avid following.
Other numbering refers to the eye size based on the number of eyes on a wood stove.
What Cast Iron products do Lodge make?
Lodge are a historic brand with a very loyal following. Their reputation, especially is the US where they are principally focused, is simply unparalleled.
They offer a full range of cast iron goods which include the following items;
- Dutch ovens
- Camp Dutch ovens
- Grill pans
- Grill press
- Lid stands
- Meat rack/trivet
- Dutch oven cooking table
A simple search will tell you how revered Lodge Cast Iron products are. They have a great reputation to go with their great products. A simple search on Amazon will reveal the thousands of great reviews their products get.