Lodge Blacklock *39* 12-Inch Triple Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet
Lighter weight than most cast irons
Great for high-heat searing
Must hand wash
Acidic foods can damage seasoning
Our reviewer was sent a sample of the Lodge Blacklock *39* 12-Inch Triple Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet to the test in her kitchen. Keep reading for our full product review.
Step into any random kitchen, and you'll be sure to find one universal thing—besides the sink and oven, of course. Cast irons have come a long way (literally, from 8th century in modern-day China to 16th century Europe to the '60s hippies), to its present settling as a vital cookware staple.
As expected, there are many options out there. I decided to take a look at the Lodge Blacklock *39* 12-Inch Triple Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet to see how well it heats up many recipes in my kitchen. Here is what I found.
Design: Typical for cast iron
At first glance, this cast iron pan didn’t look much different from the average cast iron pans you’d find in most home kitchens. There’s nothing really flashy about it; it looks nice but not remarkable. The longer handle seems just a bit short in comparison to the pan, but a longer handle wouldn’t be particularly useful given the weight of the pan. The interior surface is smoother than typical Lodge pans, but it still has texture.
Not only is the pan good for super-high heat searing that sets off the smoke alarm, it’s also good for steady medium heat.
The handle has a pleasing design that gives it a graceful look while leaving space at the end of the handle for hanging on a hook. The opposite helper handle gave me an easy place to grab when I needed to lift the pan, even when I was wearing mitts or using a kitchen towel. Pouring spouts on both sides of the pan made it easy to drain liquids from the pan after cooking, although holding the pan sideways to access the spouts usually needed two hands.
The helper handle has Blacklock stamped into it, and the rim by the long handle is stamped with USA«1896. The bottom of the pan is a bit more decorative, with the Blacklock name and logo and a few other bits of information.
Material: Cast iron but slightly thinner
Made from cast iron, the manufacturer says this is triple seasoned; it certainly looked darker than other pre-seasoned pans I’ve used. I didn’t bother with additional seasoning before use and moved right on to cooking after a quick wash. Like other new cast iron, the seasoning will improve with more use, but I was impressed with the performance from the beginning. While extra seasoning isn’t a bad thing, I appreciated that this pan didn’t need it.
The selling point of this pan is that it’s lighter than typical cast iron pans. While I’ve seen plenty of people scoffing at lighter, thinner cast iron—one of the benefits of heavy cast iron is the way it holds the heat and to cooks evenly—the truth is that I know plenty of people who are abandoning their favorite cast iron cookware because it’s simply too heavy to use on a daily basis.
Looking at the pan, I could see that the sides were a lot thinner than my other cast iron pans. That’s a great place to shave off some weight since food doesn’t get cooked on the sides of the pan, and it made the pan look a little less rustic. It’s hard to tell how thick the bottom of the pan is, but it’s certainly thick enough to perform well. When I seared the outside of a leg of lamb after a sous vide cook, I got a quick sear with no trouble as I rolled the roast around to cook all the sides.
Not only is the pan good for super-high heat searing that sets off the smoke alarm, it’s also good for steady medium heat. When I toasted a pan full of garlic bread slices on the stove, the slices toasted evenly all across the pan. When I made French toast, it browned evenly without burning, and the centers cooked through at the same time. Even though there was some egg residue in the pan, it didn’t stick or burn.
Like all seasoned cast iron, acidic foods can damage the seasoning. Once the pan is heavily seasoned, it can handle some acidic foods, but in the meantime it’s wise to avoid too much lemon or tomato.
Made from cast iron, the manufacturer says this is triple seasoned—it certainly looked darker than other pre-seasoned pans I’ve used.
Heating Capacity: Heats up fast and stays hot
Since this is a little thinner than typical cast iron, it heats a little quicker—but just a little. It retained heat well, it seared meat well, and on a lower heat, it did a fine job cooking vegetables without burning them. Overall, it’s very similar to thick cast iron, and most people using it would likely not notice a difference in performance.
Cleaning: Hand wash, please
Like all cast iron, this should always be washed by hand, and never washed in the dishwasher. After washing it should be dried completely—it can be heated on the stove to help dry it—and a light coating of oil can help the seasoning process.
Although I had to wash the pan by hand, it was never a problem. Even when I made French toast with its sticky eggs, washing the pan was easy. When I toasted garlic bread slices in a dry pan, nothing stuck, so it needed little more than a rinse. Even when I seared meat and there were browned bit in the pan, I was able to clean it using just a scrubby sponge and plenty of hot water to get rid of the grease.
It’s a yes
The Lodge Blacklock *39* 12-Inch Triple Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet works as well as your old-school cast iron but with easier handling thanks to the reduced weight. Double wins.
Price: Just a tiny bit high
At $80, this pan is more expensive than similarly sized Lodge pans, which might seem odd since it uses less material. The extra is for the manufacturing that makes this lighter yet just as efficient.
There are other lightweight cast iron pans on the market that are much more expensive, so this is actually a good buy. Considering cast iron can last for generations, it’s practically a bargain.
Competition: Lodge Blacklock *39* 12-Inch Triple Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet vs. Lodge 10.25-Inch Cast Iron Skillet
The Lodge 10.25-Inch Cast Iron Skillet is popular for a reason. Well, actually several reasons. It’s inexpensive. It’s nearly indestructible. And it works well.
That said, although the new Blacklock pans are certainly appealing, I’m not ready to give up my heavier pots and pans. But for people who don’t like wielding heavy cookware, the Blacklock pan is a great choice. It’s even a great choice for anyone who’s looking to add some more cast iron to their collection.
- Product Name Lodge Blacklock *39* 12 Inch Triple Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet
- Product Brand Lodge
- SKU BL39SK
- Price $80.00
- Material Seasoned cast iron
- Warranty There is no specific warranty for this pan. The overall warranty at Lodge says, “If you experience any of the following issues with your cookware, Lodge will replace your product with the same—or like—product, free of charge: Manufacturing defects, shipping errors*, or chipped enamel.”