Chances are, if you are a fan of cast iron, you already know the name Lodge. This company has been a preeminent manufacturer of cast iron for over a century. They continues to push the bar higher, and their new Blacklock Cast Iron line builds on their history and reputation, offering a premiere line of lightweight, triple-seasoned cast iron. We invited Kris Stubblefield, associate culinary manager for Lodge’s test kitchen, on the show to tell us all about this new cookware. This “test kitchen guru” is sharing all of the important insider details about Blacklock.
Fall camping is the perfect time to break out that cast iron cookware and bring it to the campground. Enjoy the crisp air while making some delicious food over an open fire or over a camp stove. Long before cast iron cookware makes it to your campsite, people like Kris are working away in Lodge’s test kitchen, helping to develop quality products. Kris tests recipes, tries to cook like a novice, and looks for helpful hints to share about Lodge’s cast iron. We think this sounds like a dream job, for sure.
What Makes Blacklock Cast Iron Special?
The Blacklock name dates back to the 1896 founding of the company’s first foundry, which was before Lodge officially became Lodge in 1910. The name of the new line pays homage to the people who came before. If you’re looking to add some new cast iron to your game, Lodge’s Blacklock line is an exceptional choice, but what is it that makes this new line different from existing products?
One thing that makes the Blacklock line special is that it is triple seasoned. Lodge learned that modern consumers want to buy pre-seasoned cookware that is ready to use straight from the store. The Blacklock line takes this even further by triple seasoning the pieces, giving them a signature dark patina. Even busy, novice chefs who haven’t grown up around cast iron will find this line easier to use.
The Blacklock cookware is also lighter than Lodge’s traditional lines. Kris said these pieces are 25% lighter, to be exact. Blacklock pieces have a thinner design, which helps them heat up and cool down more quickly (and makes them lighter for hauling in your RV).
The handle also has been redesigned for the Blacklock line. Handles extend up and away from the heat, meaning they won’t warm up as quickly as they do on traditional cast iron, and the handles feature a distinct open triangle shape, which holds less heat. This is another user-friendly feature that novices will appreciate.
Introducing the Blacklock Skillets
Lodge’s Blacklock skillets come in four sizes. The 10.25-inch and the 12-inch skillets are the most commonly used sizes, with either being enough to feed a family of four. The company added a smaller 7-inch skillet just for fun, and then there’s the massive 14.5 inch for those feeding a crowd.
Similar to using traditional cast iron, pre-heating is your first step for cooking with a Blacklock skillet. You won’t have to use quite as much oil, and you’ll find that these pieces heat more quickly. After cooking, it is important to hand dry your Blacklock cookware since water rusts cast iron. Then, add a protective layer of oil to protect it while stored. Check out Lodge’s Use & Care page for tons of recommendations for caring for your cast iron pieces.
Kris said these skillets are great for cooking just about anything. You can find tons of ideas on Lodge’s Recipe page and the new Blacklock Foundry Recipe page. Jeremy has been dreaming of making scallops in our skillet using this pan-seared scallops with lemon and thyme recipe.
Introducing the Blacklock Grill Pan
The 12-inch Blacklock grill pan is a large, square pan with low sidewalls for premium spatula action. You can fit five pork chops in this bad boy! And, they’ll leave the pan with beautiful grill marks that will rival any restaurant or outdoor grill.
This isn’t just for your steak, burgers, and other meats, Kris also loves making vegetables on the grill pan. But, the crowning jewel for the grill pan just might be the grilled lobster tails with lemon garlic butter. This is surprisingly easy to make and is as delicious as it sounds.
If you’ll be cooking inside on a stove instead of over the campfire, you’ll find that this grill pan extends far beyond the size of the burner. Kris recommends thoroughly pre-heating before cooking. While cooking, make sure to move the grill pan around to distribute the heat. Cast iron doesn’t naturally distribute heat well, but it will retain it.
Introducing the Blacklock Double-Burner Griddle
The Blacklock 2-burner griddle is 10 inches by 20 inches, making it perfect to fit over a camp stove. The griddle has a built-in grease trap and features elevated handles, which make it easier to get on and off a flame. This is the perfect breakfast griddle. Check out Kris’s favorite, mascarpone-stuffed french toast.
Introducing the Blacklock Dutch Oven
Dutch ovens, campfires, and fall weather make the perfect trifecta. The Blacklock 5.5 quart dutch oven is a terrific choice for slow cooking those soups, stews, and cobblers that everyone loves. The fact that the Blacklock is 25% lighter than traditional dutch ovens is, of course, a terrific selling point for anyone who has hauled one around.
For seafood lovers seeking a divine experience, Kris recommends the garlic and white wine clams. Now, we can’t wait to try this with our boys.
Parting Thoughts from Kris
When put on the spot for his favorite piece, Kris decided the 10.25-inch skillet would have to be it. He said this is his daily workhorse. If you are thinking about adding some cast iron to your cookware, check out Lodge’s Blacklock line.
As Kris said, “Nothing’s better than getting around a campfire, eating good food and telling good stories.”
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See you at the campground,
Jeremy + Stephanie