Does it count if I don’t buy them in the South?

By Mir
February 15, 2007
Category Hot Hot Hot!

As some of you know, I’m going to be relocating much further south in a few months, and one of the things people keep telling me is that I need to have a cast iron skillet. Now, most of the people telling me this have a great big skillet sitting on top of their stove that comes with a story like “My great-great-granny used to make her cornbread in this skillet every day for 98 years….”

No one in my family has ever made cornbread in a skillet, I’m fairly certain.

That’s why I’ve got my eye on this 3-Pack of cast iron skillets; the price is certainly right, and this way I can maybe start out small, so that the first time I drop a pan on my foot I only break a toe or two.

The listed price is $9.99, then it drops to $7.99 in your cart (I don’t know why). Shipping is $9.95 regardless of the size of your order, but these suckers are heavy so it’s still a pretty good deal. (Plus if you shop around for some other stuff, even better.)


  1. …Welcome (early) to the south!

    The best cast iron skillets are OLD and best found in flea markets and secondhand shops. The iron had smaller pores, for some reason, and is almost nonstick when seasoned.

    (Just my two cents. If you’ve already bought those, that’s great. Just never use soap to clean them, and never put tomatoes or other acidic foods in them- it eats off the seasoned surface.)

  2. Whatever you do, do NOT put them in the dishwasher! When we first got married, my mother in law bought a set of three for me, because she insisted we needed them. My husband proceeded to put them one at a time into the dishwasher and ruin them. The first one, I could understand because “he didn’t know”, the second one annoyed me, but by the third one I decided that we were just not meant to have them. My mom recently bought us some more, and my husband is terrified to put anything into the dishwasher now that we have them.

  3. Mir, as a Yankee born and bred, I can tell you cast iron skillets are not just for Southeners. I have some that have been passed down for a couple of generations. And while the older ones do work great. If you take proper care of a newer one, there’s no reason it shouldn’t be fine.

    Now, in my house “proper care” of a cast iron skillet involves things that most people consider abuse (i.e. chucking it in a camp fire to burn off the remaining food particles). The most important thing I’ve learned is if you remove the seasoning, through scrubbing or what have you, all is not lost. It can be re-seasoned. In fact, I was advised (after I thoroughly scubbed one bare) that they should be seasoned repeatedly.

  4. Oh yeah… and the big one? It’s a foot breaker, don’t let it fool you.

  5. The South? We’re in the south. And, I got my 2nd and 3rd cast iron skillets at a local flea market. LOVE them. A LOT! My 1st (cast iron wok) and 4th (blintz pan) were gifts. LOVE them too. My point? Both the older and newer ones work well, although my older ones are easier to clean (probably because they’ve been so well loved).

    Good luck with the move.

  6. MMM, now I am hungry thinking of all the wonderful things that can be made in a good cast iron skillet. This seems like an amazing deal, and if they suck, you can give them to your new neighbors as gifts or something.

    I have two – one for the house and one for camping. One was cheap, one was not. I really can not tell the difference between the two.

    If you plan to stack them in your cabinet – lay a papertowel between each one to prevent any possible rusting in the skillet from the underside of another skillet.

  7. Not just a “southern” thing – I have the largest, blackest OLD iron skillet and I inherited it from my Grammy in Iowa! Did you know you can also make Cobbler in a cast iron skillet – put the stick of butter in pan – melt – add dry ingredients in a mound in the middle then hollow out like a volcano and pour peaches (or whatever – cherry pie filling, blueberries) with juice in the hollow and bake in the oven.
    Yum Yum….

  8. I’m another northerner who adores the cast-iron. I’m on the lookout for a griddle and dutch oven now. The skillet is amazing. It can go from range to oven, it adds iron to your diet, well-seasoned ones are more non-stick than any of the non-stick pans I got for my wedding. Just be sure to season them well (the internets have a lot of advice on how to). Then they don’t take a lot of effort. If there’s stuck-on grossness, fill it half-full with water and boil for a few minutes. Then it will come right off. And caring for them is basically just keeping them clean and dry. I wash them, dry them, and rub a dime-sized drop of canola oil around the inside with a paper towel. Then I hang them on my pan-rack thingy, and they’re ready to go.

    I’m embarrassed at the sheer amount I have to say about cast iron pans.

  9. my mom cooked more often in a cast iron skillet (I think I will ask her for it if it’s still in her possession – it’s FANTASTICALLY seasoned!)

    I just bought my first “preseasoned” skillet, and keep it well-oiled, as the instructions stated = but the oil sometimes dries up and gets gummy. But I DO make cornbread it in – it’s the best!

  10. Plus, once you own one, you can go around singing Wanda Jackson’s “Big Iron Skillet” song.

  11. I am very sad because I cannot work the link. It takes me to the online directory of the site, but I can’t find the skillets. Maybe they’re sold out?

  12. Just a note about buying newer cast iron. Often it comes with this really obnoxious coating that will stink up your whole house if you put them in the oven with it on. This is the one time you do put them in the dishwasher–to get the coating off. Then you scour off any rust with your steel wool pad, coat with oil and throw in the oven. Using bacon regularly in your skillet early on will season it very well too. And they are virtually non-stick once seasoned well. I have had my skillet and dutch oven for 14 years now (purchased new by my dad) and I love them!!!!

    The great thing about cast iron too is that it is cheap and you can find them everywhere at garage sales and flea markets. Once you move to the South, you ought to be able to find any piece you want including those fun corn bread pans (Mmmm….cornbread).

  13. Well, I’ve lived in the south my entire life and never have owned anything cast iron (nor has my mother), but they do gather us round the campfire every Halloween down here and instead of telling tales of hitch-hikers with hooks for hands, they tell tales of people who dare remove the seasoning from their skillets.


  14. I live further South and don’t have a skillet. Wait…. I actually might. I make Jiffy corn bread anyway, shhh. Don’t tell anyone. Are you going to tell us what state you are moving to?

  15. A Southerner born and bred here. Mom’s European, and never adapted to cast iron- but I use mine EVERY DAY. In fact, I don’t use any other kind of frying pan/skillet. I threw them all away and only use a large cart iron skillet (usually) or a small one (eggs, onions, etc…). Follow the directions on lodge logic to season them even if they are “pre-seasoned” (coat with a good spray- handle and all, and bake upside down in the oven, using a pan underneath to keep your oven clean). Do this several times in a row, and them spray them good every time after you clean them (use only water and scraper or a chemical-free scouring pad if needed). Clean them right after you eat. I keep both of mine on the stove. If they ever rust, just scrap ot off and re-season. I LOVE them.

  16. And they are also great for casseroles in the oven.

  17. I used to have, be ready – a cast iron WOK! Seriously, and I used it for everything (but cornbread.) Gave it to a friend before a big move across country, and have regretted it ever since. It weighed as much as my youngest 😉

  18. I think a cast iron skillet is essential in any kitchen. Once seasoned, they are pretty non-stick. I just finished reading a book by MFK Fisher – she knew someone who always called it a “frah-kell”. I had to read that a couple of times to figure out that it meant “fry kettle”. Enjoy your new pans!

  19. Is it just me or is the link only going to the home site?? When I get there, I can’t find them. Can someone help?Must…have…skillets!!

  20. Tori – “The first one, I could understand because “he didn’t know”, the second one annoyed me, but by the third one I decided that we were just not meant to have them.” OMIGOSH! I was SO sure you were going to finish that with “…by the third one I decided that we were just not meant to be and I left him.” LOL I just thought I saw it coming…glad you had more sense.

    Mir – welcome to the south! Where ’bouts are ya gonna be? I am an Alaskan transplanted in Chattanooga. If you buy iron skillets, Lodge Manufacturing is the only place to go – the source!

    Oh, and Anita, Mir’s link didn’t work for me either. Must have jumped on her. I hate when that happens.

  21. The link changed once they sold out. Y’all bought ’em up! (See, I’m working on that southern thing.)

  22. Clearly I’m late. But just a heads up that I have three pans already. One I bought at a fleamarket here in NC, broken in. Two I bought new. The ones I bought new are in far better shape than the used/antique one. I think it’s because I had total control in how it got seasoned.

    Oh my I am a control freak.

  23. We love our iron skillets! Hey Mir — as an extra bonus of cooking with a cast iron skillet is that it adds iron to the food. I struggle with anemia (despite my girth), so this is a bonus for me.

    Not cleaning a skillet? Gross! I always soap it up, rinse it, dry it immediately, and then slather it again with olive oil. They’re tough; they can take it. You can always scrub with salt, too.

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