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Lodge Cast Iron Cookware Camping Appliances

Camping Appliances Manufacturer: Lodge
Lodge Model: Cast Iron Cookware
Review Category: Camping Appliances

Purchase: I may have first become intrigued by cast iron after seeing my parents using it to cook. The interesting thing about that is that some of the pans they were using belonged to my great-grandparents! The pans impart a unique flavor, and I enjoyed cooking with them. A few months ago (prior to Christmas) I saw a TV expose about the dangers of teflon, especially old and flaky teflon (by the way if you've got any scratched old teflon pans, I'd highly recommend getting rid of them. I'm sure if you do a search for "teflon danger" you can find out how unhealthy it can be.) and decided to switch to cast iron. Cast iron cookware is available through Cabela's, Bass Pro, Wal Mart, even AAFES for you military types, and it's reasonably priced. A medium sized (about 10") fry pan will run about $10, though the best deal is on the 3 pan set, which I got for a steal at $15. A lrage dutch oven may cost $35 or more. Lodge seems to be the most widespread brand.

Things I like about the Lodge Cast Iron Cookware: There's a ton I like about this stuff. First, the iron that comes off it can help you to ge a litle iron in your diet, it's not unhealthy for you. Secondly, you can use this stuff wherever you want -- cooktop, campfire, it doesn't matter, it's solid CAST IRON. Makes you feel like an American, huh? The distinctive flavor it gives food is very mild, and is only noticeable in certain things (and in these cases it's a positive). For my money there's no other way to cook cornbread, and for a stovetop hamburger it's the way to go. I can't wait to try it for a shore luch. You've got to like something that you can hand down, and cast iron gets more nonstick with use. That's right, cast iron is "the original nonstick cookware." Because iron is a good conductor of heat, it heats evenly. It's heavier than modern pans which some may not like, but I think it's fine.

What I don't like about the Lodge Cast Iron Cookware: It's been a challenge for me to cook eggs in the pan. I know it's possible, but it's tough. Butter is a good bet, and bacon grease worked the best. Word of caution: apparently bacon grease is a laxative. I'm not sure how these would do for spaghetti sauce, that's my next experiment. Applying the initial nonstick coating ("seasoning" the pan) is a simple matter of coating it with shortening or lard and baking it (with something to catch the drippings underneath!) for 45 minutes to an hour. Not really a big thing, and it isn't a negative for me. For those that don't want to do that, I just saw a preseasoned pan for sale at Bass Pro. Stays hot for a while after you remove from heat, so keep that in mind. You also need to use a potholder when you grab the handle as it's all one piece.

Cast Iron Cookware quality: It's pretty much indestructible. You should clean it soon after use, but only according to the directions. It's also best to coat the inside lightly with oil before storing to prevent rust. If the pan does rust, you have to remove the rust and reseason.

Cast Iron Cookware summary: Cast iron is great! There are some neat things available as well, such as cornbread molds in the shape of perch or corn cobs. I love cooking in it and feel better about it than teflon. It's a great bargain, and sturdy enough to pass on to your kids, and maybe further on down than that.

Rating for this Lodge product: 5

Author of this review on Lodge Camping Appliances: Fishin' Phil

Date: 2004-04-13

Usefulness Rating: 5 out of 5.
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