Product Review: Crofton Cast Iron Skillet

I have had my Crofton Cast Iron Skillet for about a year. My mother-in-law gave me one as a birthday gift (Thanks Cyndi!) and it has seen a lot of use. I am a big fan of cast iron and have added a few pieces of "vintage" cast iron to my cooking collection from grandparents as they have down-sized. Cast iron has been around for years and years and if you know how to take care of it, it will last you for many more. I like that cast iron pans have no chemical non-stick coating but when well-seasoned are pretty non-stick. 

Crofton 12" Cast Iron Skillet

A few things you should know about taking care of cast iron:

1. Never put it in the dishwasher. One of mine went through the dishwasher recently and came out with rust all over it and the seasoning (non-stick layer) stripped. Make sure you let anyone doing the dishes in your house how to properly wash them. (Ah hem- I love you, Honey)

2. To wash, simply run it under hot water and use a plastic scouring pad or sponge to scrub off any food residue. I don't use soaps as I feel it strips the seasoning. If you are worried about my safety, please see the Lodge Cast Iron FAQ page  where they explain why not using soap on your cast iron is okay. After washing, dry it thoroughly and rub it down with oil  before storing.

3. The first few times cooking with it, make sure to cook higher fat foods like sausage or bacon. The fats will help add to the seasoning layer and increase its non-stick quality. I have learned to slowly build up to starchy foods that stick like potatoes or pancakes. The Crofton pans all say preseasoned, but I find them to stick a lot at first (same with my Lodge pans).

4. If it rusts, don't throw it out. You can remove rust on a cast iron pan with salt and a potato. Kid you not. Cut a potato in half, sprinkle some salt on the pan, and use the cut side of the potato to scour. Rinse and check to see that all the rusty spots are gone. You will need to season the pan the pan again to restore the non-stick coating. I find that the Lodge Cast Iron site is a great resource for seasoning and care instructions.

5. Don't cook acidic foods (tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, chili, etc.) in cast iron until it is really well seasoned. It can leave the foods with a metallic taste. I still cannot get eggs to release evenly from any of my cast iron without a heck of a lot of butter or oil, so I still keep a Calphalon pan around for eggs. Do preheat your cast iron as it takes a long time for the heat to spread to the outer edges of the pan.

The Review: The Aldi Crofton pan cooks and performs every bit as well as my Lodge pans. Cast Iron seems high maintenance at first, but once you learn its quirks, it's a great addition to your kitchen cookware. The 12" pan is currently priced at $14.99 - similar Lodge and Emeril Cast Iron pans are $21 and up, so it is a great deal if you are wanting to try out cast iron cooking. Carolyn just picked one up this weekend, so we will be interested to see how it goes for her.

Comments

  1. Thank you so much for your helpful and informative review. The Crofton 12" cast iron pan is on sale at my local Aldis for $9.99. I will definitely be purchasing it!

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  2. I just bought a Crofton 12" cast iron skillet today for $12.99. It's pretty nice looking. I got a red one and I used Dawn and hot water for the first wash to make sure there wasn't any machine or packing oil on the surface. I bought it for using under my broiler to make pizza crusts with Garbanzo bean flour...

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  3. I love this pan, I got a red one. I bought it 2 weeks ago and have used it most days since. I have some smaller old cast iron skillets that I also love, but wanted this size and it has become my go-to pan.

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  4. I bought a crofton cast iron skillet at aldi and not knowing anything about cast iron tried to cook potatoes and onions and it scorched the bottom. I used a plastic spatula to try to scrape it off but there is still burn residue. Any tips on how to remove that?

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    Replies
    1. I would try a course salt (kosher salt) and a damp dishrag first.

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  5. I have a cast iron pan from Aldi but it has grey enamel on the outside. Would I season this differently? Like only on the inside? I've watched different videos where you would put oil all over including the bottom and put it in the oven to season for and hour. Do you just do this for the inside of the pan?

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  6. After a hot wash and dry, you can season the pan on a hob by wiping inside with oil and heating til it just starts to smoke. Wipe again and let it cool. Repeat. Take care not to overheat in one spot if you are using an electric hob. Move the pan around to heat evenly. Make sure you ventilate your kitchen well; there will be a fair amount of smoke

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  7. I have this pan, but seems like it has a coat of paint that it's starter to peel off.

    -_-, I don't think that's a good sign, any thoughts?

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  8. Anyone use the pre-seasoned cast iron on a campfire?

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