Blacklock Cast Iron verses acidic food

We needed to whip up a quick dinner tonight. Something fast after a long day of work. The Blacklock Skillet was sitting on the stove so we figured we might as well use it.

This is also for the naysayers of cooking acidic foods in cast iron. We cooked this up with several tomatoes as an ingredient.

Cooking in the LODGE Blacklock Skillet

We had some left over Angel Hair pasta from a meal the night before. A raw chicken breast in the fridge and some other common ingredients available.

We sliced the chicken in rather thin stripes and started browning them in some olive oil. The rest of the ingredients we added in on top to cook until tender.  You are on your own for quantity.  We just threw this together without measuring anything.

1 Chicken Breast cut in strips
Olive Oil
Minced Fresh Garlic
1/4 Sweet Onion cut in thin strips
3 Fresh Roma tomatoes coarsely diced
Cilantro
Sweet Basil & Oregano Bruschetta Seasoning Mix (McCormick)
Salt & Pepper
Parmesan Cheese

The Chicken and Tomato medley was served over the rewarmed Angel Hair which was then lightly buttered. The Chicken and Tomato mixture was then topped with grated Parmesan Cheese.

Again we were cooking in the Skillet with only the factory triple seasoning. It cleaned up perfectly, and with ease, with just hot water. There is no visible change to the skillets cooking surface or seasoning having just cooked tomatoes in it.

Click here to see our Product Review of the LODGE Blacklock skillet.

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The BLACKLOCK review!

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.

Use this Link to visit the LODGE website.

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.

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Blacklock passes our tests! You will want one!

BLACKLOCK Wow! We are impressed. You are going to love the finish on the new cookware line offered by LODGE.

We fried up some sticky sausage, fried eggs, then scrambled eggs. All to test the cooking surface.

Check back often for our full evaluation. Get on our mailing list to insure you don’t miss it!

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BLACKLOCK 10.25 is upon us!

<center>LODGE "BLACKLOCK" Skillet</center>
LODGE “BLACKLOCK” Skillet

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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We would appreciate readers input and requests for what you might like to see us provide during our product review of this new Blacklock skillet. Please Email us.

Click here for our Contact Us info, and email info.

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BLACKLOCK FOUNDRY (Lodge)

Introducing the Blacklock line from Lodge.  As a cast iron lover, user, and collector, new products always interest us.   We like a wide variety.

We recently stumbled into the Blacklock line.  As we spoke of it to others  in our circle of Dutch Oven Cooking friends.  We quickly realized many are as uninformed as we were.

Numerous collector and daily use cookware pieces we have are Lodge. Vintage as well as more modern.  Old school plus pre-seasoned.

To our knowledge the new Lodge line of Blacklock is a premium more lightweight piece of cookware.  Best of all it comes triple seasoned!

History wise, Lodge was the first to introduce factory seasoned cookware. Starting that back in 2002.   Now they are offering a triple seasoned product.

We hope that somewhere down the road, we have the opportunity to test out a some of the Blacklock line.  Then provide you with a candid and honest TheDutchOvenCook review.

For now Please visit Blacklock on the Lodge website for more information.

Lodge images used with permission courtesy of Lodge
Consider all images on this page as well as this site as ©Copyright
Written permission is required for any use of images or text

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STARGAZER adding a new Skillet – 12 inch

We got wind that Stargazer will soon be taking orders for their newest addition.  The 12 inch skillet.

For you Cast Iron connoisseurs that love the smooth finish of some vintage cast iron.  Also cast iron produced in the USA, and you don’t know about Stargazer.  You need to investigate this brand.

We purchased one of their original 10 inch skillets to evaluate.  We reviewed the product, and how it performed with our seasoning process.  You can order them raw, or seasoned for an additional charge.  Our 10 inch was ordered raw.

When they start taking orders for the new 12 inch we are going to order one that is already seasoned just to compare.

Follow the Link to our review of the 10 inch Stargazer Skillet.  

Check back soon for updates on what we learn about the 12 Inch.

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STARGAZER CAST IRON SKILLET SKT-105-01A

I was pleasantly surprised today when my new skillet, the SKT-105-01A , was delivered.

My intent is to document  its arrival, my opinion of the product, how well it seasons, and how well it cooks.

The cost was a bit pricey but it is USA made and I really wanted to check out the smooth interior surface.  The outer surface is more rough but still smoother than most cast iron being produced today.  The interior appears to be milled smooth on the bottom, sides and upper edge.

The exterior bottom appears to have the writing cast or engraved.  With the bottom then  partially machined, or it is a very smooth casting.  The exterior sides and top and bottom of the handle are a fairly smooth cast surface.

The cost was $80.00, minus a $12.00 veterans discount, then tacked on shipping of $10 for a total cost delivered of $78.00.

The only negative so far is the wait time between ordering, shipping, and delivery.  I placed my order on line and it was confirmed 12/13/2017.  Delivery was today 1/20/2018.

Regarding the lag in shipping.  Stargazer was up front when ordering and made it clear delivery would be delayed due to back orders and the Christmas season.  They communicated well and advised once shipped, and advised again the day it was out for delivery.

The skillet came packed well and secured well in the shipment box.  A lesson some of the eBayer’s selling cast iron need to follow.  It would be difficult for it to arrive damaged unless the delivery service miss handled it.

In the box it was wrapped and securely taped tight.  The cast iron had a liberal coating of food grade mineral oil.

Following the enclosed directions I scrubbed the piece with soapy water and heated it to dry.

A thin layer of seasoning has been applied and the skillet is now in the oven getting its first coating of seasoning baked on.

Check back for follow-up on this Stargazer skillet.

Normally I am a “Crisco” seasoning person.  I have used it for decades with excellent results.  I use it because it is always on hand at home or when camping

I have some Crisbee product that I used on a griddle with great results.  So I thought the seasoning on my Stargazer would be done with Crisbee.

Whatever your preferred product, apply it to warm cast iron (not hot).   You can do this preheating the oven to 200°.  Use a lint free cloth to apply product.  Some paper towels are awful for this process.   They leave behind fibers.

Coat all surfaces very lightly with seasoning product.  Wipe away any excess.  Place back in the warm (about 200°F) oven.  Not in a hot oven.

Once the piece is in the oven adjust the temp up to your desired seasoning temperature.  Set a timer for your seasoning bake time.  I prefer 90 minutes.

Once the bake time is over shut the oven off.  Do not open the door even to peek.  Set your timer for 90 minutes and allow the oven and cast iron inside of it to cool down naturally together.

Update: 1/20/2018

My first coat I was a little disappointed.  The surface did not come out uniform.  Even though the raw iron, as arrived with a layer of protective mineral oil, was well cleaned with hot soapy water several times.  In hindsight I wished I had used #0 steel wool during my soapy hot water cleaning.

Mineral oil (which Stargazer’s inserted leaflet indicates) verses a Vegetable oil coating may make a difference?  I have even dealt with other cast iron that comes new with a paraffin coating that needed burned off.

Doing the initial  cleaning, if I was doing it again, I would do two 2 hot soapy scrub baths.  Changing the water completely between the two, and using a scrub brush, then #0 Steel wool during the initial cleaning.

Something to consider should you be reading this and plan on seasoning something smooth or something with mineral oil on it.

I kind of expected it on this smooth surface though.  I have had lots of experience seasoning and have seen this happen before.

I have noticed this same effect on other vintage cast iron that has a super smooth finish.  Regardless of the seasoning product being used.   So I am not overly concerned. The brown color on the first coat is normal   None of this uneven seasoning can be felt with a finger.  My solution from past experiences when dealing with extremely smooth surfaces, is to this is to use #0 steel wool.

Worst case scenario might be after evaluating the second coat.  I might have to strip this bare again and start over.  In hindsight, I am not so sure I did a good job of getting the factory protective coating of mineral oil off?  Or if this is a smooth surface issue.  I will know soon enough.  Stripping it is no big deal if it comes to that.

Evaluate your initial seasoned coating.

First your initial baked on coat of seasoning should be hard.  Not sticky or gummy even to the slightest degree.

If this layer of seasoning isn’t hard and firmly adhered you need to go through the baking stage again at perhaps a higher heat, or for a longer period (without applying additional seasoning product).

If you start using steel wool lightly and it starts loading up with residue, stop and repeat the bake cycle.  That is an indicator of seasoning that has not been heated to the proper heat polymerization point.

If you have “pooling” (puddles of concentrated seasoning.  These normally are  sticky or gummy to some degree, you have applied too much seasoning.  I would consider stripping it and starting over.  A bad base coat will give you problems.

Update 1/21/2018

I had no problem with the first coat on this, not being hard and well adhered.  On the smooth interior surface I can take the #0 Steelwool  and hand/finger buff with almost as much pressure as I can muster, and still not cut through the seasoning unless I stay in one spot for a long time.  I concentrate a little more on the spots I call “alligatoring”.   Then lightly buff the entire surface to uniformly rough it up.  This buffing is nothing you can see.  I can not see scratches with my naked eye.  This is all done by feel.  It provides something for the next coat to grab.

While I am at it, I hit the whole exterior surface lightly, just to knock off anything thing there.  Lint is the most common thing.

The piece is then washed a couple of times in hot soapy water.  Rinsed and dried.  I immediately place it in a 200°F prewarmed oven for several minutes.  When it is warm and completely dry I remove it and spread a very thin layer of seasoning on all surfaces of the skillet.

It is put back into the 200°F oven, upside down.  I crank my oven temp up to my desired seasoning temperature (This temperature varies product to  product, and your actual oven output – read about Polymerization Temperature).   I then set my timer for 90 minutes and bake at that temperature.

Once the bake cycle is complete I turn the oven off, leave the door shut, and reset the timer for and addition 90 minute natural slow cool down cycle.   Once that is complete this seasoning coat should be complete.

 

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STARGAZER CAST IRON

Stargazer gave us authorization to use some of their photos and info.  The images and their story is lifted off their website.  We would like to extend a huge thank you to Stargazer’s Luke Trovato for corresponding with us and authorizing the use of their images and text.


Also today I placed an order for one of their skillets.  We will have a future article to let you readers know how this all went.  We also intend to do some cooking as soon as it arrives.  We will be putting the cast iron through its paces.

I personally am drawn to the Stargazer brand Cast Iron due to the fact this is made in USA.  Secondly I own numerous vintage skillets such as Griswold, BSR and the like.  Vintage pieces from back when the cooking surfaces were smooth, compared to other rough modern Cast Iron Cookware.

I am very curious to test out this surface.  As a member of an active Dutch Oven Cooking group I often cook in competition.  There isn’t an event that goes by that we aren’t discussing Cast Iron.  The cooking surface is often a topic.  All of use have wondered why no one was producing smooth cast iron cookware like the “old days”.  We also all want USA made.

I just hope they start producing some Dutch Ovens too.

Check out our story at this link.  Or new skillet was delivered.  The Cooking and the Testing.  Most importantly the tasting!

The Stargazer Story:

In the cast iron marketplace, we’re the new kid on the block. Stargazer Cast Iron was founded in 2015 by three old friends with a shared vision: creating the best cast iron cookware around.

It started with an obsession. Peter Huntley, professional designer and hobby cook, went searching for the perfect skillet and came up empty-handed. Dissatisfied with the options on the market, he turned to vintage cookware to find the quality he was looking for. After nearly a year of collecting, restoring, and cooking with vintage cast iron, he saw the untapped potential and decided it was time for something new. He created a unique cast iron skillet from the ground up: reimagined, redesigned, and revitalized. Huntley enlisted the help of two friends to bring the vision to life and Stargazer Cast Iron was born.

Our cookware is made using the same proven materials and manufacturing processes that were used over one hundred years ago, now aided by CNC machining for unrivaled precision. Our designs are practical and our quality is second to none. We believe we have created the finest cast iron skillet available today, or anytime for that matter.

Click here for the Stargazer Website.

 

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