Lodge Cast Iron is America’s oldest cast iron cookware company, founded in 1896. The company gave a behind-the-scenes look at how it creates its castor iron pans on YouTube. The process is fascinating and rigorous as it combines ancient and modern techniques to create this ubiquitous kitchen staple.
“Cast iron is made by pouring molten iron into molds made of sand, the company said. “Since sand melts at a higher temperature than iron, it holds its shape when it comes into contact with molten iron.”
While Lodge Cast Iron may use state-of-the-art equipment, its casting technique is “ancient” according to the company. Sand-molding dates back to 680 B.C. and is still the most practical way to press cast iron cookware.
After the cast iron mixture is molded, it needs to be “shaken.” To shake them, the pans are run through a vibratory conveyor belt that shakes away any excess sand (all of which is recycled). The cookware is then placed in a rotating drum filled with pieces of iron that aid in further breaking down the sand and removing it.
Next, the pans are moved to the finishing area where they are shot-blasted with ground steel. Then each is individually sanded down to smooth the surface of the pan.
After cleaning, each pan is hung from a conveyor where it’s seasoned by removing any soap remnants, spraying the pans with vegetable oil and then baking them at a high temperature.
Finally, Lodge Cast Iron packages the cookware and ships it off to retailers.
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