Lodge Pro-Logic vs. Lodge Logic vs. regular Lodge

arley_gwJanuary 9, 2005

I'm looking in to getting some cast iron Dutch Ovens. I like cooking in cast iron, I know how to season and care for it, etc.

Lodge makes several. Preseasoned (such as the Lodge Logic ovens are) is a slight advantage, but even more important is the weight. They make another line called Pro-Logic which I understand is preseasoned as well, but has a more modern design. I ran across a post somewhere on the net that said that the Pro-Logic stuff was not as heavy as the older models Lodge makes. Is that true?

Anybody out there have any experience with the Pro-Logic line? I DO like the design (loop handles instead of a bail) but if they cook differently than the classics then I probably won't be interested in them.

Another design item I am particular about is how tightly the lid fits. One technique I like to do with cast iron pots is to braise the meat, add liquid and veggies, and put in a very slow oven for a long time. I just made a great lamb dish called "Gigot en Sept Heures"--yup, seven hour leg of lamb. Brown it at noon, put it in a 275 degree oven with stock and other stuff, and don't peek for 7 hours. Absolutely fabulous, meat tender and juicy. So the snugness of fit is an important criterion, and if the Pro-Logic ovens aren't as snug as the older models, I'll probably order the older ones.

Any guidance is appreciated.

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dereckbc

I might be able to help. The difference between Classic Lodge and Lodge Logic is the Lodge Logic is preseasoned at the factory. No other difference I can tell that amount to anything other than price.

My wife gave me a Lodge Pro Logic 12-inch skillet for Xmas, and the difference I can tell from Lodge Logic and Pro Logic are rolled edges, sloped sides and looped curved handles on the Pro Logic line. Both are preseasoned @ the factory.

The sloped sides of Pro Logic have an advantage when making a rue or sauce. It will allow a whisk to get in the edges of the bottom of the skillet for a smoother sauce/gravy. If you dare to make an omelet in cast iron I guess it would be easier to slide the omelet out, but IMO that is an oxy-moron, Teflon sloped sided skillet is best for omelets.

The looped curved handle on the Pro Logic is an improvement as it is more ergonomic and makes it easier to handle the skillet. Best I can tell there is no difference in overall weight between any of the lines, they are all very heavy.

Hope that helps. You can go to the Lodge website and see most of the differences.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2005 at 11:34AM
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arley_gw

Thanks for the info. I may order one of each and try them out.

The real advantage to cast iron, in addition to its fantastic heat retention, is that it's pretty inexpensive. You can get two or three items for the cost of one high-end item.

Plus, no self-respecting Cajun (I was born & raised in La., grandmother was French) would use anything but a cast iron pot to make a roux. Except now I've gotten lazy and make most of my roux in a microwave.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2005 at 4:37PM
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dereckbc

I make a mean gumbo. I make a dry roux in the oven by just putting a cup of flour in a cast iron skillet and place it in a 375 oven and stir it around every twenty minutes or so until it turns brown.

Never heard of making roux in a microwave. Care to share how? My oven method takes 1-1/2 hours, advantage is no oil or fat, low cal.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2005 at 8:11PM
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arley_gw

Glad to. It's fast and easy. Only drawback is that it IS made with oil; however, I always degrease the dish before I serve it anyway so most of the oil is gone.

Have your 'holy trinity' (celery, bell pepper and onion) already chopped up and ready before making the roux. Also have a jar of peanut butter out to judge color.

Use a pyrex glass measure about 2 to 4 times the volume of the ingredients--so if you are using 1 cup each of flour and oil, that's 2 cups and you need at least a 4 cup measure; I usually use an 8 cup pyrex measure.

Mix the oil and flour together well in the measure and put it in the microwave for about 3 minutes on high. In the first stage, it bubbles a bit. This is (I think) the water molecules being driven off of the starch molecules. At any rate, after 3 minutes take the measure out, mix well with a fork, and stick it back in for about 2 minutes on high. The bubbling will subside and it will begin to go from cream to light brown. Take it out again, mix it up again and put it back in for maybe a minute. Take it out, mix, return for 15 or 30 seconds--repeat until it's where you want it.

Now the timings are necessarily inexact because of the variations in microwaves--wattage, cavity size, etc. So you have to judge it by color, and to some extent by smell. The main idea is to steadily decrease the nuke times, stirring well between nukings. For a chicken and andouille gumbo (my favorite), I go for a roux a little darker than peanut butter. You can continue to nuke it in 10 to 20 second bursts until it's the desired color.

Now, once it is the right color for your dish, throw in your onions, bellpepper and celery. Be careful--it will put out a huge cloud of steam,and spattering roux isn't called Cajun Napalm for nothing. The water in the vegetables quenches the roux, and it arrests the browning.

Once you add the vegetables, there is water present in the system so because of the laws or physics the temp can never get higher than 212 degrees and therefore no more browning will occur.

From start to the point where you add the vegetables is usually under 15 minutes. Cook the gumbo according to your recipe.

To degrease the gumbo before you serve it, use a cheap ecko half cup ladle, skim off the fat and some broth and ladle it into a 2 cup pyrex measure. Let it settle a few seconds, ladle the fat off of that (the half-cup ladle fits just right into the pyrex cup)and pour the fat into a styrofoam cup and pour the broth back into the pot. Once you've gotten most of the oil removed, ptu the styrofoam cup in the freezer and toss next time you put out the garbage.

One of the most memorable gumbos I ever made was made with duck fat for the oil. Talk about good!

My favorite Louisiana cookbook is Richard Collin's "The New Orleans Cookbook"--see the link.

But my all time favorite way to make gumbo is as follows: Smoke a roasting chicken in a charcoal smoker. Remove the skin and bones, reserve the meat. Make stock out of the bones and skin and the drippings in the smoker's water pan, strain it through a cloth to get rid of the ashes and debris.

Make the roux, add the vegetables, use the stock you just made for the liquid, add sausage and whatever else you do, then add the reserved chicken meat 10 minutes or so before it's ready to serve; degrease and serve.

Bon appetit!!

Here is a link that might be useful: new orleans cookbook

    Bookmark   January 14, 2005 at 9:34PM
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cupofkindness

How are these Lodge Logic pans "pre-seasoned?" Also, should I worry with a cast iron pan on a glass cook-top? Thanks!

    Bookmark   January 15, 2005 at 10:00AM
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arley_gw

according to the Lodge web site, they have developed a proprietary method of baking some sort of vegetable oil onto the surface of the pot so you don't have to go thru that step.

I haven't used one yet but I hear they work well. But like any other seasoning you have to care for it properly.

The 'seasoning', of course, refers to the slick surface which develops after the pot has been used a while. I had a neglected pot that was dirty and nasty. I cleaned it up--for once I used detergent--and then fried a whole lot of fish. It's well on its way to being nicely seasoned. Different people have different reccomendations on keeping the pot in good shape, but most agree that you have to avoid soap or detergent.

Dunno about cast iron and glass cooktops. I've linked to Lodge; they have some hints on care, etc.

Here is a link that might be useful: lodge seasoning

    Bookmark   January 16, 2005 at 8:15PM
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dereckbc

Arley thanks for the roux recipe. My fav gumbo is chicken/sausage/shrimp, I will try it next time in my big ole shinny black dutch oven.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2005 at 4:24PM
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mandy

cupofkindness - I recently purchased two pieces of Lodge cookware, a Dutch oven and a smaller serving pot, and am using them on my Dacor ceran cooktop without any problem.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2005 at 9:20PM
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alanrockwood

Have a look at the Lodge Logic 10 inch chief skillet. It is great for making omelets, and lots of other things as well. Plus, it is not quite as heavy as Lodge's regular skillets. Only downside is that there is no lid available for it, unlike most of their other skillets.

Also, check out the Lodge cast iron pizza pan... to sum it up in two words "superior crust."

    Bookmark   June 3, 2005 at 1:11AM
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gin_gin

I got rid of my non stick when we got our parrot. I got both cast iron & a set of stainless. I have a glass cooktop & use the cast iron with no problem. The frying pans were not pre seasoned, but they came with instructions for seasoning them. I also have a Lodge grill pan that came pre seasoned which was nice. I love my cast iron, dont' miss the nonstick one bit. BTW, Publix grocery stores are now selling Lodge pre seasoned cast iron.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2005 at 8:25AM
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