The Upgraded Lodge Cast Iron Skillet With More Character

lodge cast iron

Allie Holloway & Timothy Mulcare

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This cast iron skillet comes with a backstory. All cookware should, shouldn’t it? So you can use it to make meals that provide the backdrop for more stories? In this case, it’s a story of honoring roots. Lodge, the foundry America has trusted with cast iron since the early days of cowboying and sizzled meat, was originally called Blacklock; that’s what Joseph Lodge named it when he founded it in Tennessee in 1896. A hundred and twenty-five years later, Blacklock is Lodge, and Lodge is a company to whom heritage means something. So it crafted and released a special line of cast iron called Blacklock—a circle made full. The Blacklock line falls in that sweet spot between cheap Lodge classic cast iron and upper-echelon-of-cookware cast iron from the likes of Smithey. It has more character, like the vintage cast iron you may’ve been hunting down. It’s good stuff.

lodge blacklock
Each Blacklock pan is emblazoned with a date that marks a big year in Lodge’s history.

Allie Holloway & Timothy Mulcare

It’s triple-seasoned and nonstick.

You know all about seasoning a cast iron pan—oiling it up and baking it in the oven so that it in turn cooks food better, sticks less, and lasts longer. Cast iron pans like Lodge’s original model come pre-seasoned, but really that won’t cut it if you want the thing to be a kitchen (or hell, campfire, if you’re as cool as I one day hope to be) fixture for years to come. Triple-seasoning, however, is another story. Besides lending a nonstick quality to the pan, it simply holds its coating longer. And I’ll back up to reiterate: nonstick.

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lodge blacklock
Spatulas scrape up food more easily from sloped sides.

Allie Holloway & Timothy Mulcare

It weighs significantly less.

Maybe you are strong. Maybe you have arms like the ones Justin Theroux is baring on the most recent cover of Esquire. As hard as I have considered working out just once in my life, I am not strong. These wrists will snap. The one and a half fewer pounds the Blacklock skillet weighs than the standard seasoned cast iron skillet Lodge makes mean something to me. As in, no strained muscled because I had the audacity to brown vegetables two nights in a row. For someone slightly less wimpy than me, that translates to easier maneuvering, sauce-pouring, and rinsing.

lodge blacklock
The handle hooks slightly upward, which keeps it cooler for longer. You’ll still need mitts, though.

Allie Holloway & Timothy Mulcare

It’s designed differently than other cast iron pans.

The final argument for Blacklock plays out on the design front. We like to fill our homes with things that look nice—things that perhaps aren’t what every other home in America stocks—and this cast iron skillet is certainly that. Notice the thin, sloped walls, which respond to heat changes more rapidly. Draw your eye to the grace of the handle, whose elevated style makes carrying the skillet that much easier. Then, take a step back and examine the whole picture. Nice one, isn’t? Okay, take a step forward and buy the damn thing.

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Photography and prop styling by Allie Holloway & Timothy Mulcare

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Sarah Rense is the Lifestyle Editor at Esquire, where she covers tech, food, drinks, home, and more. 

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