Since 1896, Lodge has been making the cookware you love. We don’t just make iron; we make heirlooms that bring people together for generations.
Nestled alongside the Cumberland Plateau of the Appalachian Mountains is the town of South Pittsburg, Tennessee (population 3,300). It was here that Joseph Lodge and his wife settled and, in 1896 opened his first foundry. Originally named The Blacklock Foundry after Joseph Lodge’s friend and minister, the company gained success until May of 1910 when it burned down. Just three months later and a few blocks south, the company was reborn as Lodge Manufacturing Company.
Joseph Lodge created a legacy of quality that has thrived through two World Wars and the Great Depression and is still carried on by his family today. Both our CEO and Chairman are Joseph Lodge’s great-grandsons who continue to evolve our product line and improve manufacturing methods. While many worthy competitors have fallen by the wayside, Lodge’s dedication to quality, technology, and employees have helped it not only survive but flourish.
Even during the hard times of the 1930s, the Lodge family found ways to keep employees above water. Novelty items such as cast iron garden gnomes and animals were produced and sold to keep the furnaces burning and the paychecks issued. As the economy bounced back, Lodge responded to growing demand, and in 1950 converted its foundry from a hand-pour operation to an automated molding process in order to keep up with demand. This led to safer and more efficient manufacturing that at the time was very rare.
Continuing a dedication to technology and conservation, Lodge once again updated its foundry in 1992. The replacement of coal-fired cupola furnaces with an electro-magnetic induction melting system earned a Tennessee Governor’s Award for Excellence in Hazardous Waste Reduction.
Well into our second century in business, Lodge continued to innovate. In 2002, the legendary Lodge Logic line of pre-seasoned cookware was introduced, eliminating the hassle of its unseasoned counterparts. It was an industry first that has since become an industry standard. As Lodge continues to develop the core line of seasoned cast iron, the introduction of complementary lines of cookware has seen great success over the past 2 decades. Lodge’s diverse and colorful line of Porcelain Enameled Cast Iron has earned rave reviews from media and consumers since its inception in 2005, offering the performance of European brands at a much more affordable value.
Introduced in 2013, The Lodge Seasoned Carbon Steel line features an assortment of skillets that are American-made and seasoned right at the Lodge foundry. Appealing to both professional chefs and outdoorsmen, these brutally tough pans are the perfect tool for any culinary aspiration. With consumer demand exceeding foundry capacity, Lodge unveiled plans for a considerable expansion of their South Pittsburg plant in 2014. The addition of new melting systems, sand systems, an additional molding line, and expanded seasoning lines has nearly doubled our capacity to make cast iron in the US.
In 2016, Lodge has broken ground on two new expansions. The first is a new distribution center for increased efficiency and shipping. The second is an entirely new foundry in addition to our current one.
Iron foundries have been recycling long before “being green” was cool. Here are some of Lodge’s continuing environmental success stories.
· ENERGY STAR® Partnership
In 2011, Lodge accepted the ENERGY STAR® challenge to reduce consumption by 10% over a 5 year period. We are extremely proud to have surpassed the 10% and in less than 1 year. Our continuing efforts to monitor and reduce energy consumption at our foundry, warehouse, and offices have led to an increase in energy efficiency of nearly 20%!
· Hazardous Waste Reduction
Lodge received the 1994 Governor’s Award for Excellence in Hazardous Waste Reduction: In 1991, company President Henry Lodge replaced the cupola melting system with a more environmentally friendly induction melt system. The result was that Lodge Mfg changed its status as a Large Quantity Generator of Hazardous Waste to Small Quantity Generator.
· Cardboard Recycling
Lodge began cardboard recycling by allowing outside companies to pick up cardboard. In 2001, the amount of cardboard recycled was 34.5 tons. In 2005, it was 48 tons. In 2012, it grew to 109 tons. The program continues to this day.
· Reuse of Foundry Sand
Lodge coordinates with Marion County government to reuse over 250 tons of foundry molding sand each year for various local projects including creating a protective layer at the Marion County Landfill. This not only saves thousands of dollars, but also helps our local environment.
· Settling Ponds Support Plant & Animal Life
A stream flows from South Pittsburg Mountain through the Lodge foundry and into the Lake Guntersville Reservoir Watershed. Working to enhance the stream’s water, Lodge constructed three storm water settling ponds to support plant and animal life. Water lilies, cattails and fish have been introduced to the ponds and are thriving. Our waste water is now cleaner than the river into which it flows.
· Planting Trees for Beautification & Ozone Attainment
A total of 121 trees have been planted on the Lodge campus to help improve air quality and beautification. The establishment of 1.4 acres of trees is equivalent to removing one motor vehicle from the highway.
When Lodge first started making cast iron 121 years ago, it wasn’t sold seasoned and ready to use like it is today. Instead, it came coated with a thin layer of wax to prevent rust during storage, shipping, and merchandising. Lodge did this by suspending the cookware from hooks and dipping them into a vat of hot carnauba bean wax.
My new pan feels rough in some areas. Is this normal?
Yes. This is a result of the sand casting process. With use and replenishment of the seasoning, the pan will become smoother. Unlike other types of cookware, Lodge Cast Iron only gets better with use. For concerns about roughness, it is OK to use a fine grade of sandpaper to smooth out the rough areas. Make sure to re-season the item before using.
Are there foods that I shouldn’t cook in Cast Iron?
Foods which are very acidic (i.e. beans, tomatoes, citrus juices, etc.) should not be cooked in Seasoned Cast Iron until the cookware is highly seasoned. The high acidity of these foods will strip the seasoning and result in discoloration and metallic tasting food. Wait until cast iron is better seasoned to cook these types of foods. Lodge Enameled Cast Iron is not affected by acidity and can be used with all foods.
Are Lodge Enamel products tested for lead safety?
Lodge utilizes the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Test Procedure 18.104.22.168a Leachability of Lead and Cadmium for Glazed Ceramic Surfaces. The FDA Division of Compliance Programs uses ASTM-C738 as the Standard Method of Test for glazed ceramic. In addition to information provided by vendors, Lodge Manufacturing Company uses third-party testing to ensure that products with the Lodge name comply with standards set forth by the United States Food & Drug Administration. All our domestic as well as imported cookware complies with the FDA Standards. We are also in compliance with California Proposal 65, the world’s most rigid standard for lead and cadmium content.
Are Lodge products made in the USA?
All of our foundry Seasoned Cast Iron and our Seasoned Carbon Steel products are manufactured in the USA and always will be. All Enameled Cast Iron products are made in China to our strict quality standards and overseen by an American owned 3rd party inspection company. Our accessories come from multiple sources, some of which are American, and some overseas. Our in-house Quality Assurance Department constantly inspects all items we produce and sell.
How is the diameter of Lodge cookware determined?
We measure from outside rim to outside rim across the top of the cookware, not the bottom. Please note that the item number may differ from the actual size. For example the L10SK3 is not a 10″, but a 12″ skillet. The 10 in the item number comes the days from when cast iron pots and pans were sized to fit on the numbered eyes of a wood stove. The L10SK3 was for a #10 stove eye.
What is the difference between Seasoned Steel and Seasoned Cast Iron?
Lodge Seasoned Steel products are made out of 100% carbon steel. While the iron pans are cast in molds, the steel pans are formed by spinning and stamping, allowing them to be lighter and thinner than cast iron. Seasoned Steel will heat up and cool down faster than cast iron. The Iron products typically have integrated handles, while the Steel pans have riveted handles. Both Seasoned Steel and Cast Iron products are pre-seasoned at our foundry with the same soybean oil, and as always, they are both made in the USA.
Are Lodge silicone products BPA free?
Yes. All Lodge silicone products are certified by suppliers to be both BPA(Bisphenol A) and Phthalate free.
Why is Lodge Enamel Made in China?
Enameled cast iron cookware has exploded in popularity since the advent of celebrity cooking shows. As the maker of the world’s best cast iron, Lodge customers turned to us for an affordable and dependable alternative to expensive European brands.
After exhausting efforts to find any plant who would enamel bright colors in the United States, Lodge had to search overseas for a partner that could meet our quality standards. We happened to find those partners in China, and have worked directly and constantly with them. We work with U.S. owned third-party inspection teams to ensure that quality is up to Lodge standards, and that all partner companies comply with all applicable employment laws and regulations.
We are proud of our Enamel products and stand behind them like we do our traditional Cast Iron. The profits from our Enamel sales still go to support over 250 families at our American company. As an American manufacturer for over 100 years, Lodge takes pride in making over 80% of our products in the U.S. and providing jobs for our community.
Seasoning and Lodge Pans
The wax was water soluble and could be washed off at home, however people had to dry, oil, and bake their iron in the oven before they cooked with it so that food would not stick. The labels at that time gave brief instructions:
There is not a written warranty for Lodge Cast Iron cookware; however, we do stand behind every product manufactured. For product problems, please contact Lodge Customer Care and we will solve the problem to your satisfaction.
Lodge Enamel Cookware is covered by a lifetime warranty:
Lodge Porcelain Enamel on Cast Iron is warranted to the purchaser by Lodge Manufacturing Company, Inc. to be free from defects in material and workmanship at the time of purchase. Small cosmetic blemishes inherent to sand casting and hand finishing which do not affect the performance of the cookware are not covered. This warranty extends from the date of purchase, for the lifetime of the original owner. This limited lifetime warranty is exclusive of all other warranties expressed or implied, and is limited to the lifetime of the original purchaser. This warranty is made by Lodge Manufacturing Company, Inc., and no other person or entity. For this warranty to apply, the owner must follow use and care instructions provided with the product. Warranty covers normal household use, but does not include damage from use in commercial establishments, abuse, neglect, abnormal wear, overheating, or any use not consistent with the directions included with the cookware. Defective cookware will be repaired or replaced at Lodge’s option, free of charge, with a similar product or one of equal value if the defective product is no longer in production. Replacement with the same color cookware cannot be guaranteed. Please include your proof of purchase, mailing address and a brief note explaining the defect of the returned cookware.
Lodge Manufacturing Co., 204 E. 5th Street, South Pittsburg, TN 37380, Attn: Customer Service
Cast Iron Cooking & Cleaning Tips
- Cast iron comes seasoned and ready to use! Just give it a quick rinse and hand dry, and you’re ready to start cooking.
- Use any utensils you like, even metal. There is no chemical coating to damage.
- Cast iron can be used on all stovetops, from induction to electric to gas, even on the grill! It also works great on glass top stoves.
- Cast iron performs best when heated and cooled gradually, so give it a few minutes to pre-heat before adding your food.
- Cast iron retains heat very well, so using a lower heat setting can prevent food from sticking. And don’t forget to use a hot handle mitt
- Wash cast iron by handwith a nylon bristle scrub brush. If needed, use a pan scraper for stuck on bits. For extra sticky situations, simmer a little water for 1 minute, then use the scraper after
- Dry promptlyand thoroughly with a lint-free cloth or paper towel.
- Rub with a very light layer of cooking oil preferably while the cookware is still warm.
- Hang or store cookware in a dry place.
Occasionally, you may notice some dark residue on your paper towel or cloth when cleaning. This is perfectly safe – it’s just the seasoning (the baked-on cooking oil) reacting to foods that may be slightly acidic or alkaline. It will disappear with regular use and care.
Soap isn’t always necessary, but if you like, a little mild detergent is fine. Promise. Stay away from dishwashers and metal scouring pads, which can harm the seasoning.
Enameled Cast Iron
After the iron cookware is cast in the traditional method, a glass particulate called “frit” is applied. This is baked on between 1200 and 1400ºF, causing the frit to transform into a smooth porcelain surface that is bonded to the iron. There is no exposed cast iron on your enameled cookware. The black surfaces, pot rims and lid rims are matte porcelain. The porcelain (glass) finish is hard, but can be chipped if banged or dropped. Enamel is resistant to acidic and alkaline foods and can be used to marinate, cook and refrigerate.
Cooking with Enameled Cast Iron
- Wash and dry cookware before first use. If cookware includes rubber Pot Protectors, set them aside and keep for storage.
- Enameled Cast Iron can be used on gas, electric, ceramic and induction cooktops, and are oven safe to 500 °F. Do not use in microwave ovens, on outdoor grills or over campfires. Always lift cookware to move.
- Use vegetable oil or cooking spray for better cooking and easier cleaning.
- Do not heat an empty Dutch oven or covered casserole. Add water or oil when heating.
- For added longevity, pre-heat and cool your cookware gradually.
- Low to medium heat when cooking stovetop provides best results due to natural heat retention of cast iron. Do not use high heat.
- To sear, allow cookware to gradually come to heat. Brush cooking surface and food surface with vegetable oil just before introducing food into the pan.
- Use wooden, silicon or nylon utensils. Metal can scratch the porcelain.
- The heat retention of cast iron requires less energy to maintain a required temperature. Turn the burner down to accommodate.
- When on a stovetop, use a burner nearest in size to the diameter of the pan bottom to avoid hotspots and over-heating of sidewalls and handles.
- Use oven mitts to protect hands from hot cookware and knobs. Protect countertops/tables by placing hot cookware on trivets or heavy cloths.
Caring for Enameled Cast Iron
- Allow cookware to cool.
- Although dishwasher safe, hand washing with warm soapy water and a nylon Scrub Brush is recommended to preserve the cookware’s original appearance. Citrus juices and citrus-based cleaners (including some dishwasher detergents) should not be used, as they can dull the exterior gloss.
- If necessary, use nylon pads or scrapers to remove food residue; metal pads or utensils will scratch or chip porcelain.
Every Now and Then
- Follow steps above
- Remove slight stains by rubbing with dampened cloth and Lodge Enamel Cleaner or other ceramic cleaner according to directions on bottle.
- Follow all steps above.
- For persistent stains, soak interior of the cookware for 2 to 3 hours with a mixture of 3 tablespoons of household bleach per quart of water.*
- To remove stubborn baked on food, bring to a boil 2 cups of water and 4 tablespoons of baking soda. Boil for a few minutes then use a Pan Scraper to loosen food.
Always dry cookware thoroughly and replace rubber Pot Protectors between rim and lid before storing in a cool, dry place. Do not stack cookware.
* With regular use and care, a slight amount of permanent staining is to be expected with enameled cookware and does not affect performance.
Refurbishing A Cast Iron Pan Finish
While maintaining the seasoning should keep your Cast Iron and Carbon Steel in good condition, at some point you may need to re-season your cookware. If food sticks to the surface, or you notice a dull, gray color or if rust appears, follow the seasoning process below.
- Wash the cookware with hot, soapy water and a stiff brush. (It is okay to use soap this time because you are preparing to re-season the cookware).
- Rinse and dry completely.
- Apply a very thin, even coating of MELTED solid vegetable shortening (or cooking oil of your choice) to the cookware inside and out. Too much oil will result in a sticky finish.
- Place aluminum foil on the bottom rack of the oven (not directly on bottom) to catch any drips.
- Set oven temperature to 350 – 400 degrees F.
- Place cookware upside down on the top rack of the oven to prevent pooling.
- Bake the cookware for at least one hour. After the hour, turn the oven off and let the cookware cool in the oven.
- Store the cookware uncovered, in a dry place when cooled.
- Repeat as necessary.