Thursday, June 16, 2016

Victoria Versus Lodge Cast Iron

Have you ever heard of Victoria cast iron cookware?

I got my hands on a few pieces, and at first glance I was impressed by the quality.

I’ve been putting the Victoria 6 ½” egg skillet through its paces. Here’s how it stacks up against the Lodge 6 ½” skillet.

As many of us know, the Lodge is pre-seasoned with soy-based vegetable oil. Victoria’s factory seasoning is kosher-certified single-source Colombian palm oil. The Lodge has a slightly smoother surface, but the Victoria skillet is significantly smoother than any Chinese CI I’ve seen. Both brands seem to have casting voids here and there. The Victoria is nearly a quarter of a pound heavier than the Lodge. The source of much of the extra weight? The gently curved handle of the Victoria is about an inch longer. I felt both handles were equally easy to grasp and both pans were equally easy to maneuver, even when hot, but the difference in the weight, shape, and size and overall ergonomics might be more noticeable with heavier large pans. The Victoria has enormous pour spouts comparing to the Lodge. In fact, they are so large that they don’t give a Dutch baby all the support it needs as it bakes and rises, causing it to split at the rim and resulting in a less than attractive but nevertheless delicious specimen. But, and this is a big but, the spouts work beautifully well for pouring. Not a drop of oil dribbles down the side of the pan! The same cannot be said about the Lodge. Both the Lodge and Victoria seem to brown food and release food equally well. Dutch babies bake and color evenly in both skillets. Sunny-side-up eggs slide out of both skillets with ease. Overall, I’m extremely pleased with how the Victoria skillet performs and I’d recommend it. You might like it especially if you find Lodge handles to be uncomfortable. One other point of interest about Victoria CI: according to a company representative, the factory recently installed the same machinery that Le Creuset uses, and they’re in the process of migrating all molds to the new machine. I cannot wait to see what they come up with next!

Thanks to Creative Home & Kitchen for providing the Victoria cookware samples.


featherPA said...

I am very pleased with the Victoria cast iron. The handles are designed much better, in my opinion, for balance when picking them up. The are doing an excellent job. The handles are angled up and longer than Lodge.

Doug B. said...

I bought a Victoria 10 inch skillet and I am quite happy with it. I also prefer the longer handle compared to the Lodge. I think the surface is smoother than the Lodge pan, at least it was in my case. One thing though is the seasoning on the Victoria is not as good as Lodge. Some bare metal can be seen on the bottom of mine. Not a problem though, just need to use it, oil it and season it.

Anonymous said...

You say the lodge is made in the US. I have NEVER seen a lodge product made in the US. They ALWAYS have a tiny marking on the packaging (by law) because they are made in China. It is an important distinction.

Unknown said...

Wife loves the Victoria and especially the way it sears. Other brand pans now sit at the bottom of the closet .,pour spouts and handle design are other plus features.

MARK W said...

I am looking at comments here, and where one chose one and commented on it, the owners did not actually compare. The most important part of these pans is how smooth the interiors are, so that they cook with better quality. I see no such reviews. I would like someone to step forward and explain the differences. Why? Because there are hot-shots on line showing us how they are taking 'new pans' and sanding the interiors to get them smoother.
This should be an easy selection process. Instead, it has become difficult because of the sanding. Please, someone please review the quality of how well the pans break in when cooking. Thank you.

Elise Marks said...

I've used both Lodge and Victoria, and like both brands. My 12-inch Victoria is my favorite, though!! Really well made, and after a bit of seasoning and use, nothing sticks. I use it daily. Sear meat, make scrambled eggs, thin scallion pancakes, you name it. Clean up is super easy. I think it only cost about $20, and it works as well or better than much more expensive things I've used. The interior is quite smooth...maybe not as ultra-perfectly-smooth as those ridiculously expensive pans they sell online, but since NOTHING STICKS, it's not a problem.

(I'm also less than strict about how I wash it--some soap and a scrubbie, since I can't stand build-up. I dry it, reheat it, smear it with olive oil, and it's good to go for the next round.)

Unknown said...

I have the12" Victoria with tempered glass cover! LOVE it...I had the same Lodge Skillet and it does not compare in quality. The Lodge is rough & I know why people have to sand it down! Also my Lodge is much heavier & the handle is very short. The Lodge is $30, the Victoria was $70. I feel the extra cost for Victoria well worth it. I returned the Lodge very disappointed with it.

Anonymous said...

Lodge is made in the U.S.

Anonymous said...

I own both of these skillets both are great I do like the longer handles on Victoria but both are awesome

Matt W. said...

I own both Lodge and Victoria. To me theses brands have a lot in common. Lodge has been around since the late 1890s making cast iron. Victoria since the late 1930s. Both are family owned.

Lodge cast iron is absolutely made in South Pittsburgh, Tennessee. However their enameled cast iron is made in China. Victoria is made in Colombia.

Lodge's Chef Collection line has a very similar handle to Victoria's handles. Their regular handles, however, are shorter & flatter (less contoured) but are space savers in the oven or in storage.

Both are, in my opinion, higher quality options than Chinese produced competitors. Virtually everything else on the American market (with the exception of expensive, high end options such as Field, Smithey, Butterpat, Stargazer, Finex and a couple others) is made in China.

I experienced the same weaker seasoning on the bottom of my Victoria as one comment mentioned above. Smoothness between Victoria and Lodge was comparable. Both will smooth out with use or could be sanded and reseasoned with little effort.

Lodge offers a much more extensive line of cast iron cookware and is made in the USA. Lodge is the only one of the old US brands still making cast iron in the US (in the same town it started in).

Both are by far the highest quality options in the affordable cast iron market.

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