Pros: Handy size for smaller portions; great surface to cook on
Cons: You have to be careful how you clean it
The skillet that sees the most use in my house is my 12 inch Lodge Cast Iron Skillet. Not only is it a great surface to cook on, but I also feel good about cooking in a skillet that's not coated with questionable chemicals. The only problem is that this big heavy pan can be a bit too big for some quick and easy meals I like to cook for breakfast and lunch when I'm by myself. For those times I turn to my handy, dandy Lodge 6.5 Inch Cast Iron Skillet!
This skillet has the same look as its big brother with slightly sloped sides that measure just under two inches, a looped 4.5 inch handle, and spouts on either side of the pan. It has the same great pre-seasoned finish that gives it a nice non-stick surface and eliminates the need to "season" before your first use.
While it isn't as heavy as the larger skillet (which weighs in a 7.5 lbs.) it still is the heftiest skillet in its class, weighing in at 3.5 lbs.
Why I love this little baby just as much as its big brother
This is the perfect personal size skillet. I use most often to fry up an egg for myself or for a quick serving of scrambled eggs for my oldest son. While his little brother turns his nose up at eggs, he does love having a nice big thick slice of French Toast in the morning and this little skillet is the perfect size to get the job done. I also partial to toasted cheese sandwiches, made the old fashioned way (as opposed to using some fancy dancy Panini press) with lots of butter on the outside and grilled to a golden brown perfection with lots of gooey cheese. Thanks to this Lodge skillet, I get my perfect little toasted cheese sandwiches.
Of course, I could use any old small skillet to get the job done. But once you've used cast iron, you'll know why I love this skillet. You see, cast iron conducts heat very evenly to your food, resulting in food that's perfectly cooked on the inside, without being overcooked on the outside. The trick is to allow enough time for the cast iron to heat up properly. You'll find that you won't need to cook on high heat, since cast iron is much like a hot stone that holds onto heat.
Now, the question is, do you need to use oil since it supposedly has a non stick surface? Well, yes, I do use some, but I find that I use less with cast iron than I do with stainless steel.
Cast iron is wonderful to cook with, but you will need to retrain yourself when it comes to cleaning it. Don't scrub it with a stiff brush and don't use soap! I have a specific sponge that I use that has a soft scrubbing surface and it seems to do the trick. If I ever get food stuck on it (which is rare) I will make a paste with salt to scrub it off. What you don't want to do is let it soak in the sink. That will result in rust! It also goes without saying that you should immediately dry your skillet and also don't stack it on top of your other pans. I've got a rack underneath my stove where I store all my cast iron cookware vertically on their sides.
If you forget, and your wonderful little skillet gets some rust or loses some of its non-stick seasoning, you can re-season it by lightly coating it with oil or lard, and sticking it a 350 degree oven for at least an hour.
For me, cast iron is the best cooking surface out there. I'm glad Lodge makes a small skillet like this for individual cooking needs. If you love cast iron, you'll want to have this in your cooking collection. Like all Lodge pieces, it's very affordable, at only around $7, readily available online or at stores like Walmart or Target. 5 stars.
Lodge Square Cast Iron Grill Pan
Lodge 12-Inch Cast Iron Skillet
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