I have seen a lot of cast iron pans for sale and they never seem to tell you the inch size. They just say Griswold #8 ( or whatever) and do not say the inches. How can you tell?
I am looking for a 10 and 12 inch pan.There seems to be plenty smaller ones.
Seems to depend on where you measure the pan, at the rim or the cooking surface. My 12 inch.... let me go measure. Ok, 4 skillets:
Lodge SK10 = 10inch cooking area, 12inch rim
Lodge SK8 = 8inch cooking area (actually almost 8.5in), 10inch rim.
Canadian Super Store special (under $10, no factory seasoning) 12 = 12inch rim, 10inch cooking area.
CSS special unmarked but I think they called it 10 inch = 10inch rim, 8+inch cooking area. (came with what looked like factory seasoning and they started off charging like it at $22, but the label said clean coating off and the price went down to $10 real quick.. so I got one)
Anyway all that to say there doesn't seem to be much of a standard. The 8inch cooking area seems to be the handiest one to have (my Yf likes them best) plus it works best on our hobs which are only 6.5 - 7 inches around. (also we have noticed that the 10inch cooking area was melting the plastic case of our induction cookers) I also found that the food tends to stick more outside the well heated portion.
Anyone living in Canada, I would recommend the CSS specials. They seem to be just as good as the Lodges but 1/3 the price (do check for straight sides as some are cupped). Walmart has cheap ones too, but the 8inch cooking area one cracked in two the first time we got it a little hot. The two smaller ones seem to be ok though. Anything you can get used is probably better
Note: in my opinion the factory seasoning is just one of those "value added" con jobs. It is never no stick, and the price they charge extra is way out of line. Just use it for a "season" cleaning with only scraping (I use a $1 putty knife as a scraper) and you will see and experience the difference. If you get a used one that is a little rusty, just wire brush the rust away (by hand works just fine with a BBQ brush $1.25) and be happy.
My preference for seasoning them is lard. My logic is that when cast iron was the most common pot/pan in use, lard was the most common cooking fat...vegetable oils were not yet readily available. I still commonly use lard for cooking in cast iron. Lard and cast iron just seems like a marriage made in heaven.
John Polk wrote:
My humble opinion is that the factory 'pre-seasons' them just so they don't get returned after they rust at the store.
The non-preseasoned ones I got were grey coloured but still had a coating on they told you to remove before cooking. These ones cost half as much as preseasoned, but still would not rust before use.
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