If you’re looking for the best cast iron skillet to buy, then the new Blacklock skillet by Lodge is probably on your list. Find out what I like about this high quality, moderately priced pan in this Lodge Blacklock review.
My trusty Lodge classic cast iron skillet has been one of my all time favorite pans. At under $25, it was a great purchase because of the high quality, durability, and value. But as our family grows, my smaller 10.25″ skillet needed an upgrade to accommodate bigger family meals. So of course I started researching cast iron pans from all different brands, and I kept coming back to the Lodge Blacklock skillet, since I was already a HUGE fan of the Lodge products.
While doing my research and trying to determine which cast iron pan would make it into my shopping cart, I wasn’t really focused on price, but more finding the best VALUE. I’m all about getting the “bang for your buck”, and the Blacklock series by Lodge seemed to have some great features for a fairly inexpensive price, at least compared to some of the higher end cast iron brands.
Can you buy a less expensive cast iron pan? Sure. But remember, you get what you pay for. If you want a quality-made, beautiful, and durable pan, consider the Blacklock skillet.
If you’re doing research also for the best cast iron skillet to buy, then read on for my Lodge Blacklock review.
What makes the Lodge Blacklock line special?
The Blacklock cast iron line is one of the newer Lodge product lines, designed to handle heat and large dishes, with a focus on ease of use. Here are some of the highlights of the Blacklock skillet:
The Blacklock skillet comes triple seasoned, which is one of the main reasons why I was so drawn to it in the first place. Who wouldn’t want to get a reasonably priced cast iron piece that already comes seasoned not once, not twice, but three times?!
The extra seasoning layers that are already applied in the manufacturing process not only save time, but they also make the skillet easier to clean, and it’s easier to apply your own coats of seasoning to the pan as well.
According to the Lodge website, the Blacklock cast iron pieces are made with a proprietary iron recipe which makes the pans 25% lighter than traditional cast iron cookware.
And if you’ve ever cooked with cast iron, then you know that it is HEAVY! My wife makes me clean the cast iron skillets after using them, because it’s hard for her to lift them with one hand and wipe or wash them with the other hand. Or maybe she’s just using that as an excuse to get out of doing dishes.
But the lighter weight Lodge Blacklock line is definitely a benefit for many people because:
- the pan is easier to lift and handle
- the pan preheats faster
- the pan cools down faster when finished cooking
In fact, the weight of the 12″ Blacklock skillet is about the same as the 10.25″ Lodge Classic Cast Iron skillet, so you’re getting much more surface area for cooking without really increasing the weight of the pan.
If you’ve ever cooked with cast iron, then you know that the handles get super HOT. Unlike a traditional Teflon or stainless steel skillet, most cast iron skillets are made of one solid piece of metal, which means that as the pan itself heats up, so does the handle.
But the handle of the Blacklock skillet has a unique design compared to most other cast iron pans. It features two cut-outs, which helps to keep the handle cooler.
You can see the difference in the handles in the picture below. The handle on the left is that of my 10.25″ Lodge classic skillet, and the other handle is the 12″ Blacklock skillet:
More cooking surface
One of my favorite features of the Blacklock skillet is the added cooking surface area and volume, compared to the classic skillets of the same size. So, you get a lighter pan AND additional cooking space, perfect for larger family meals.
In fact, I used my 12″ Blacklock skillet to make these Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Thighs and Potatoes to feed my family of four, and we still had leftovers. It’s hard to tell in the photo, but there are a TON of potatoes and onions in the bottom of that skillet, plus 6 good sized bone-in chicken thighs… not bad for a 12″ skillet:
And my wife said that this cast iron chicken thighs recipe was one of the BEST and most flavorful cast iron recipes that I’ve ever made, so that’s a plus too!
What I don’t like about the Lodge Blacklock Skillet
After using the Blacklock skillet for over a year, here are the things I don’t like about it. Keep in mind that this is my opinion only, and features that I see as a “con” may not bother you at all. You will also notice that the beneficial features of the Blacklock line mentioned above, are actually some of the things that I don’t like about the skillet, which is pretty ironic.
You still need to season it
Don’t let the triple seasoning fool you! After performing an initial “egg test”, I found that I still had to apply a few coats of seasoning to the pan, even though it came triple seasoned. So depending on what you use your skillet for, you may still need to go through the multistep process of seasoning your brand new skillet.
However, if you’re strategic about what you cook in your skillet in the beginning, you may not need to season it before using it. Bacon, sausage, ground chuck, hamburgers, sauteed vegetables, fried foods, and grilled cheese would all be good things to cook in the triple-seasoned Blacklock skillet for the first 10 or so uses. Then, you may not need to season the skillet before using it. However, if you go that route, be sure that you don’t use soap to wash your skillet during those first 10 cooks, because you want to build the patina on the pan.
Shape of the handle
The extra cut out in the handle is nice, because it does make it cooler to the touch. However, I found the deep curve of the handle’s silhouette to be a bit uncomfortable. I feel that it forces you to put your hand further down the handle, away from the pan to get a good grip, which doesn’t give you as much leverage when picking up the pan.
Here is where my hand naturally wants to grip the handle, due to the more curved shape at the top:
As I said, this is my opinion only, and it’s definitely not a dealbreaker. You may not feel the same way, based on the size of your hands and where you like to grip your skillet handle.
Regular Lodge Skillet vs. Blacklock – Is it worth it?
If you’re reading Lodge Blacklock reviews, then you’re probably wondering if the Blacklock line is worth the extra money versus the classic Lodge skillet. Let’s take a look at the two 12″ skillets, head to head:
|Features||Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet||Lodge Blacklock Skillet|
|Available sizes||3.5″, 5″, 6.5″, 8″, 9″, 10.25″, 12″, 13.25″, 15″||7″, 10.25″, 12″, 14.5″|
|Seasoning||seasoned with 100% natural vegetable oil||triple seasoned for a natural nonstick finish|
|Dimensions for 12″ skillet:|
|Weight||7.89 lbs||5.38 lbs|
|Volume||0.29 quart||0.42 quart|
|Cooking Surface Area||74.62 square inches||78.5 square inches|
|Retail price for 12″ skillet||$29.95||$80.00|
I know that price is subjective, but for me the extra $50 for the Blacklock skillet is well worth it. Consider the life of the pan, which is literally decades, so the additional cost is so small compared to how long the pan will last you. It’s not like you’re spending an additional $50 on a nonstick pan that will have to be replaced in 2 years.
Plus, the extra $50 is only the price of one steak dinner at a restaurant… so make this Filet in a Cast Iron Skillet at home one time instead of going out to eat, and you’ve covered the cost difference.
And, you may be able to catch the Blacklock skillet on sale like we did… We found ours at Costco for only $60, making it an even greater value!
Lodge Blacklock Review: My Thoughts After 1 Year of Use
Overall, the 12″ Lodge Blacklock skillet is a great cast iron pan if you’re looking for value, durability, and ease of use. Plus, it holds a lot of food, so it’s perfect for larger families.
Over the last year, I’ve used it to cook everything from eggs to steak to fried catfish… and I’ve even put it on my charcoal grill at 550 degrees to cook this AMAZING Grilled Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza!
After one year of heavy use, and with proper seasoning and care, the pan still looks brand new!
Bottom line… The 12″ Lodge Blacklock skillet is a great pan for a great price, and it’s a welcome addition to my cast iron collection.