Ina Garten's Favorite Cast Iron Skillet Is An Iconic Choice

Fans of Ina Garten's TV show, "The Barefoot Contessa," have seen the entertaining maven reach for her favorite tools and ingredients time and time again. She regularly praises things like 'good' Nielsen-Massey vanilla extract, De Cecco pasta, and Olio Santo olive oil, and her cooking vessels also get lots of camera time, with bougie All-Clad pans and Le Creuset Dutch ovens (which are actually two pans in one) acting as reliable co-stars. When it comes to the all-important cast iron skillets, though, Garten opts for a classic, affordable, and widely available brand: Lodge.

Lodge has been making cast iron cookware since 1896, and the company hasn't changed much about how they make their highly-respected products. Heavy, durable, and solid black in color, these are the pans that many Americans saw in their grandparents' kitchens and were used to make everything from crispy bacon to cornbread to fried chicken. Made to last a lifetime and beyond, Lodge pans are often passed down for generations, only getting better as the skillets become more well-seasoned.

Garten has used her trusted Lodge skillets to make recipes like skillet-roasted lemon chicken, steaks, panko-crusted salmon, and brownies. And she's not the only famous face who is a fan of the brand; Ming Tsai and Alton Brown are also among those who praise Lodge.

Lodge is long-lasting and versatile

There are several old-fashioned brands that make cast iron cookware, but Lodge sets the standard of how a well-made skillet should function, as the durability of its products is renowned. It's not only the brand Ina Garten reaches for when she uses a cast iron skillet, but she features the Lodge brand on her website. During a YouTube clip of an episode of "Barefoot Contessa" when making smashed hamburgers, Garten explains that her cast iron skillet produces a great caramelized sear on her burger patties. And when she makes skillet-roasted lemon chicken with her Lodge, she can fit an entire, butterflied chicken into the skillet, and even uses it for serving.  

Cast iron cookware like Lodge has withstood the test of time in large part because it lasts for so long. And even though the surface may be a little rougher than other types of cookware, cast iron is nearly indestructible, going from stovetop to oven with ease. When properly cared for, cast iron gets very hot (which is great for searing) and holds onto that heat, making for an evenly-heated cooking surface. The skillets can be used over gas, electric, or in the great outdoors over an open flame. 

Garten is well-known for her advocation of using 'good' products and ingredients, which sometimes can be expensive. However, Lodge's products are quite affordable compared to other brands, making it easier for more people to access the Ina-approved skillets.