Have you ever wondered what makes Lodge Cast Iron so popular besides the price point?
And should you maybe be considering other more expensive brands such as Butter Pat?
What does each brand offer?
I decided to take a closer look at Butter Pat, one of the more expensive brands, and compare it with Lodge, a definite favorite in the cast iron world.
Let’s see what I found.
Butter Pat vs. Lodge Cast Iron
Butter Pat and Lodge are two American cast iron companies. Lodge started in 1896 and Butter Pat in 2016. The price difference may be what’s most noticeable, as well as the way the skillet looks right out of the box. Lodge moved with the times to keep their pans affordable, whereas Butter Pat brought back the lost art of how Cast iron was made in the late 1800s (when Lodge first began). So, that means Butter Pat will cost more, but you will also get all that made cast iron special in the past.
Tell Me About Butter Pat
Dennis Powel, the founder of Butter Pat, broke his grandmother’s skillet in 2013. He tried to repair it but was unsuccessful, so he decided to make his own.
His pans would be cast thinner and smooth like they used to make.
However, it was not as easy as he hoped it would be. It took three years of trial and error before he and his team came up with the design, casting technology, and iron formula they were happy with.
The pans they make today are a result of their ingenuity and perseverance.
What They Sell
Butter Pat has a relatively small selection of cast iron pans compared to Lodge.
- Skillets: 14-inch (12-inch cooking surface), 12-inch (10-inch cooking surface), 10-inch (8-inch cooking surface), 9-inch (6-inch cooking surface, and a 2 3/4-inch toy skillet (2.25-inch cooking surface)
- Glass lids: 8, 10, and 12-inch
- Pots: 4.5 quart (8-inch cooking surface) and 1.5 quart (6-inch cooking surface)
- Accessories: storage bags, transportation (Heavy Hauler), ring cloths, trivets, and more
About Their Pans
- Butter Pat names all their pans.
- They have a unique design.
- The cast iron is bronze in color but will quickly darken when cooking.
- All surfaces are polished smooth. They weigh less and metal spatulas will sound quieter when scraping.
- Each pan is hand-cast thin and smooth (no automation). It weighs less than today’s modern cast iron.
- The handle is designed for comfort and puts less stress on your wrists when moving it around. The helper tab is for using two hands to carry.
- Production from start to finish is in the USA.
- Their quantities are limited, so this sometimes makes wait times long. It takes about 21 days to make a pan, and it can take nine weeks or longer to ship if there aren’t any in stock.
- All their cookware comes with a 100-year guarantee. However, the marks and slight imperfections from hand casting are not included.
- Butter Pat does not mill their pans down from a thicker casting; instead, they cast them as thin as grey iron will allow.
- Over forty people in two locations will touch your pan during production. Each pan is cast in Pennsylvania and finished and seasoned in Maryland.
I don’t own any Butter Pat but here is a review from someone who does have one.
A Little About Lodge
I will not go into as much detail with Lodge because you’d be reading this for a week. Lodge is a huge company.
It is a family-owned business located in South Pittsburg, Tennessee.
Joseph Lodge began Blacklock Foundry in 1896, but after it burned, he rebuilt and named the new foundry Lodge Cast Iron.
Over the years, Lodge has survived several economic downturns and even thrived when other foundries were closing down.
And as business continued to grow, another foundry was built. The new foundry enabled Lodge to increase its manufacturing production by seventy-five percent.
Lodge is the only company that began in the 1800s and is still in business today.
They make cast iron and carbon steel cookware, though cast iron remains their primary production.
And as far as cast iron goes, Lodge offers a large variety, including classic, enamel, chef, and Blacklock.
Additionally, Lodge carries bakeware, and several series, all of which are cast iron.
Plus their carbon steel cookware and many accessories.
Lodge continues to be a leading manufacturer worldwide and makes close to 2 million cast iron pans every month.
Let me note that this comparison is for Lodge’s seasoned cast iron cookware, which is what they sell the most. However, they do have some more expensive cast iron cookware as well (though nothing as high-priced as Butter Pat).
About Their Cast Iron Cookware
- Seasoned with 100% natural vegetable oil
- Automated using the latest innovation (began in 1950)
- Textured surface so the seasoning will better adhere
- Cast in a sand mold, an age-old process
- Production from start to finish is in the USA at one of their three foundries, all in South Pittsburg, Tennessee
The Official Lodge Cast Iron Foundry Tour
There are several similarities between these two brands:
- Made in the USA
- Will last a lifetime if taken care of
- Factory pre-seasoned in extremely high-temperature ovens
- Sell accessories along with their cookware
- You can buy straight from their website
- Both websites tell their story and offer cleaning, care and use sections
- Their cleaning and seasoning instructions are very similar
However, there are even more differences:
- Price: Lodge offers affordable, and Butter Pat only has high-end expensive.
- Color: Butter Pat’s pans are bronze, and Lodge’s are black.
- Surface: Lodge has a textured surface, and Butter Pat’s surface is smooth and polished.
- How Their Cast Iron is Made: Butter Pat casts their cookware by hand, and Lodge’s is automated.
- Handle: Lodge has short, traditional-type handles, and Butter Pat’s handle is also short but has a unique design.
- How to Buy: Butter Pat can only be bought on their website, and Lodge sells most of their cookware in stores and online venues too, such as Amazon and Wayfair.
- Selection: Lodge has a vast selection, and Butter Pat only sells a handful of cast iron cookware.
- Age of Company: Butter Pat is a new company making old-style cast iron, and Lodge is an old company making a more modern type of cast iron.
- Business: Lodge is a family-owned business, and Better Pat isn’t.
- Production: Although both make their cast iron in the USA, Lodge makes some of their other products in China, such as the chainmail and glass lids.
- Website: Lodge has a much bigger one and you can spend hours navigating it, but can see everything on Butter Pat’s in less than an hour. The Butter Pat website has two things that Lodge’s doesn’t, a Press page with several endorsements and a place to leave a review on any pan you buy.
- Press: Butter Pat has received several endorsements for making a truly impressive cast iron pan, and Lodge is the more popular of the two.
A Test Comparison of Both Pans
As you can see, Butter Pat and Lodge both make cast iron cookware, but with quite a few differences.
The price is probably the most significant factor in which brand a person will buy.
However, if you are particularly interested in having a new pan made like a vintage pan, you might be willing to pay the extra money for a Butter Pat.
Butter Pat casts each pan by hand, so it weighs less and has a smooth polished surface.
Lodge automates their cast iron because production is so high. However, their pans are heavier with a textured surface.
It depends on what you like.
Both Lodge and Butter Pat make quality cast iron cookware that will last for generations if maintained.
If you like some things about the Butter Pat pan but are unwilling to pay that much, you might want to consider Lodge Blacklock. It also weighs less and is cast somewhat smoother. However, it also costs more, but not as much as Butter Pat’s pans.