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Axford Cast Iron. It never ceases to amaze me. Stumbling into a piece of cast iron at a garage sale or flea market. Something that looks so commonplace you think it has no value. We often see worthless knock-offs that are mass produced.
Then unfortunately passing the piece due to lack of knowledge. Leaving the few dollar item lay.
Later becoming curious when you get home and start sifting through obscure information on the internet.
So is the case, with a recent cast iron broiler skillet. AXFORD was on the bottom. Not being particularly fond of the raised rib skillets (broiler) for use in actual cooking, this became a “pass” situation. For me the “broilers” are not often given a second look. Though I collect, I like to also use my finds for cooking from time to time. Even well seasoned, the raised ribs of a broiler skillet make them hard to clean.
In hindsight, I found some interesting reading and photos of an existing Axford Mansion in San Francisco. A registered Landmark #133. Built in 1877.
Some vague information connected to William Axford and two metalworks companies from the 1800’s. Is this information and person connected to the Axford Cast Iron Cookware? The skillet bears a raised Pat 1931 on the handle.
We would like Axford photos and copies of any documents readers are willing to share on our site. Most of what we attempt to track down leads us to sites you have to have a paid membership. Or to sources like eBay or Worthpoint that often do not provide any accurate historic information.
At lease some of these open sources have provided some photos of pieces that exist out there. So if you have your own information or images that are not copyright, please use our CONTACT US information. Please help us provide more historical background and images.
The story does have somewhat of a happy ending. My wife went back and the skillet was still there. I guess we aren’t the only ignorant collectors. For $4 it followed us home.
While I enjoy Dutch Oven cooking/baking often. I don’t shy away from other forms of cast iron. Even while camping.
While on a recent “car camping” outing I put to use a modern piece of Cast Iron. A modern Lodge 6 muffin cast iron pan. It fits perfectly in a fold up Coleman Oven. I use the oven on my camp stove. Both the Oven and Pan pack in a small space and permanently ride in my “camp box”.
Shown above serving hot corn bread muffins with a bowl of chili. Which incidentally, the chili was done in a Dutch Oven.
Also shown is a 4 burner LP Partner Stove.
If you think this combo doesn’t make warm muffins for a side with coffee…..on a brisk fall morning. You better reconsider!
The BLACKLOCK skillet is a keeper! You certainly want to read through this review for all the details. We will also provide the link to the info on the LODGE website.
The Dutch Oven Cook is happy to present our personal evaluation of the new cookware line from LODGE.
The BLACKLOCK line of cookware is redesigned, lighter weight, smoother surface, and comes factory triple seasoned.
When UPS delivered our skillet, we were attending an event in the Redwoods of Northern California. We were camping, cooking, and enjoying the outdoors. We could hardly wait to return and put the skillet through some cooking tests. In hindsight, we wished the skillet had arrived before we left. We could have put it to use the 10 days we were camping and cooking.
Back home to the real world again we found the skillet, double boxed, delivered by UPS. The packaging was excellent. Someone would really have to mess up in the delivery system to have it arrive damaged.
Our test piece is a 10.25 inch skillet. We used the skillet straight out of the box, after giving it a wash in hot soapy water. We applied no additional seasoning. It comes tripled seasoned.
You will appreciate the thinner, and lighter, design. We love the handle style. It stays cooler longer when cooking. You will also like the smoother finish. More smooth than their traditional modern cookware. Though not machined to a glass like finish, they have found the perfect balance to achieve great seasoning properties. Seasoning that even right out of the box is virtually a non-stick cooking surface.
EDITORS NOTE: For those new to cooking with Cast Iron, or having trouble with food sticking when cooking with Cast Iron, please take note. Cast Iron Cookware, regardless of the finish or seasoning, is not for someone in a big hurry that may be used to cooking with Teflon or other manufactured non-stick materials, at medium high or high. For the most part, slow things down and you will be amazed. Though there are times you may have to sear meat at higher temperatures.
During our testing we apply a light coat of spray canola oil and cook on medium low. We use the same technique when using other Cast Iron cookware for comparison.
We cooked 3 items in the skillet that might normally give even the average experienced Cast Iron cook problems with sticking. We did Sausage Links, Fried Eggs, and Scrambled Eggs.
Again we sprayed a thin coat of canola oil on the interior cooking surface of the skillet. We then cooked the 3 items on Medium Low.
The sausage did not stick and browned nicely.
The over easy eggs did not stick. In fact they easily slid around. We were even able to accomplish a chef flip without the use of a spatula.
Scrambled eggs are always a tough food to avoid sticking when cooking in cast iron. No problem in the BLACKLOCK. As shown in the video nothing is adhering.
Cleanup was simple with hot water.
In the opinion of The Dutch Oven Cook: If you are an occasional Cast Iron Cook, or the more experienced daily user. Have had trouble in the past with sticking and have given up on cast iron. We can only say you will want one or more of the BLACKLOCK line of cookware from LODGE. They cook great right out of the box!
We hope to come back to this review from time to time with additional information of foods we cook.
For more information on the BLACKLOCK line of cast iron cookware, LODGE, LODGE Products, and some of the fascinating history they provide.
Disclaimer: LODGE provided us this 10.25 inch skillet for testing since we were unable to find them locally yet. In no way is our review a paid testimonial, solicited advertisement, or were we at any time even asked to provide anything other than an honest review.
We are excited to announce our Blacklock skillet arrived. A new product line from Lodge. We have yet to find this line in any local sporting goods stores or places we normally find Lodge products.
Be watching for our product review/evaluation coming soon. We are already liking the look of the factory triple seasoning! Definitely lighter weight! For sure, though not machined, a more smoother surface.
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