Lodge 12-Inch Cast Iron Skillet Review – Rated Best Overall

One of my favorite cast iron pans is my Lodge 12-inch skillet.

Therefore, I decided to do a review on it.

I think you will agree it’s a great pan after reading about it.

So let’s dive right in!

Lodge 12-Inch Cast Iron Skillet Review

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Product: 12-inch Cast Iron Skillet
see Amazon.com
7.89 lbs.
0.29 qt.
Cooking Surface Area: 74.62 sq. in. (10 in. diameter)
Great for: Family dinners

Lodge Cast Iron Skillet Overview

According to Food and Wine, this pan is rated the best overall skillet for its quality and affordability. That is quite impressive.

This skillet has also received high ratings on Amazon for its versatility, heat distribution, durability, heat resistance, and ease of cleaning.

Lodge Cast Iron has been making cast iron cookware since 1896 when it opened its first foundry, called Blacklock. Blacklock was in South Pittsburg, Tennessee.

In 1910, a fire destroyed the building, but soon the family built another foundry down the road. and they renamed it Lodge Cast Iron.

The 12-inch skillet is part of Lodge’s seasoned cast iron collection. This collection is part of their classic cookware that has been pre-seasoned in the factory. And first became available to the public on May 3, 2003.

Some of its best features are:

  • excellent heat retention and even heating
  • can be used in the oven, on the stovetop or grill, and over a campfire
  • great for searing, sauteing, baking, broiling, frying, and grilling
  • works well on induction cooktops
  • comes with an assist handle for easier handling
  • has been pre-seasoned in the factory
  • made in the USA

What Customers are Saying:

  • No false rim to give the impression its sides and bottom are thicker than they are
  • The coarse surface is perfect for building up the seasoning
  • The seasoning doesn’t come off if you use a metal spatula
  • Even though it’s heavy and we have to carry it around with both hands, we love this skillet!

Yes, It’s Heavy, But You Can’t Beat Its Quality

I can attest to this skillet being on the heavy side, but the helper handle built into the skillet makes it manageable.

Like many others, I need to use both hands when moving it around. But really, this is a small thing when you compare it to the quality and other features this skillet offers.

Cast iron, in general, is of good quality because it is durable.

And if cared for properly, your pots and pans will last forever, and you can pass them down from generation to generation.

Lodge, in particular, has a fabulous reputation and is very popular in the cast iron world. They have been making cast iron cookware for over 120 years. And, that says a lot.

Within that 120 years, Lodge has made many new technological advances but they have never skimped on quality.

Smooth vs. Rough Finish

Often higher-end cast iron cookware has a smoother finish than Lodge pans (Lodge’s finish is rough). Many would say that the smoother finish makes it better quality because it is more non-stick without oil.

That’s not necessarily true. What makes a cast iron pan nonstick is building up layers of seasoning. Sometimes, a smooth skillet has more trouble building up the seasoning.

Lodge says they keep their cookware textured because the seasoning adheres better.

It also allows them to keep their prices down since they don’t have to go through the added time-consuming and costly expense of machining or sanding.

However, having a smoother finish is the goal for any cast iron cookware.

And this is eventually achieved with proper care and use.

In other words, if you keep cooking in and take care of your skillet, the seasoning will build up enough in your pan to produce a smooth surface.

You can even sand it yourself if you don’t want to wait and don’t want to pay the higher price.

One user of Lodge cast iron had this to say when comparing coarse cast iron to smooth, “The bumpy ones cook just as well, so there is no ‘need’ to make them smooth.”

Amos, the director of photography at the Chicago Tribune and owner of nearly thirty cast iron pieces, commented on Lodge cast iron in an article comparing the difference between cheap and expensive cast iron cookware.

He said that Lodge “takes to seasoning well, meaning a dedicated owner could eventually own a glossy Lodge that might rival a Finex.”

Finex is a much more expensive brand than Lodge. And speaking of cost leads us to our next point.

RELATED > > > > > Why is My Cast Iron Skillet Bumpy – And Does It Matter?

Lodge Cast Iron is Affordable and Adorable

Okay, so maybe this skillet isn’t adorable.

However, one of the great things about Lodge cast iron cookware is its affordability. Compared to other reputable brands, Lodge cast iron costs less.

As a result, it is one of the things people appreciate most when considering what cast iron pieces to purchase.

According to Mark Otterman, the President, and CEO of Lodge Cast Iron, they can keep their cookware reasonably priced for several reasons:

  • It only takes a few steps to make the cookware. The machinery is expensive, but the operation costs less now that the machinery is in place.
  • Lodge makes the cast iron locally, and it costs less to ship from Tennessee than it does from overseas.
  • There are no packaging costs. They ship the pans direct with a label stuck to the inside with any necessary instructions. No boxes.

Remember I said that the more expensive cast iron cookware brands add a step to make their cookware smooth and glossy?

Well, that step can add to the cost as well. Because Lodge has opted not to do this, this also keeps the price down.

Cooking in your 12-Inch Cast Iron Skillet

How can I do a review without adding a recipe I like to make in my 12-inch cast-iron skillet? It’s pretty simple and tastes delicious; just ask my husband.

Cheesy Potatoes and Ham


  • 2-3 potatoes
  • 1 ham steak
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Pineapple tidbits, drained (optional)

Directions—Preheat oven 425°F

  • Wash potatoes and slice thin, leaving on the skin if desired. Add to your 12-in cast iron skillet
  • Season with salt and pepper and toss in oil. I use avocado oil
  • Bake for 35 minutes
  • While potatoes are baking, cut up the ham into bite-size pieces
  • When the potatoes are done, remove them from the oven, and sprinkle the cheese over the top
  • Add the ham and pineapple
  • Return to oven for 5 minutes

This meal should be easy to clean up too. You’ve only used one pan so you have less to wash. Just follow the four simple steps for cleaning cast iron pans:

  1. Scrape out any leftover food
  2. Wash with a bit of soap if needed and a brush
  3. Dry thoroughly with a lint-free towel
  4. Season with a thin coat of oil if needed

RELATED > > > > > Cleaning Cast Iron Cookware – To Use Soap or Not

Final Thoughts

The Lodge 12-inch cast-iron skillet is a favorite for many.

You’ve read what I’ve said and what other people are saying and you can see it’s a great skillet; it’s durable, versatile, good quality, and affordable.

The only drawback is it’s heavy. But even then, it’s not heavier than other 12-inch cast-iron skillets on the market.

Fortunately, the pan has a helper handle that makes it easy to pick it up with two hands.

Well, I have enjoyed writing this Lodge Cast Iron Skillet Review. I hope reading it has been beneficial to you in some way.

If you have a Lodge Cast Iron Skillet, please let me know in the comment section below. Also, if you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear them.

If you are looking for a cast iron skillet, and the 12-Inch seems like the right fit for you…

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