Lodge’s Cast-Iron Casserole Dish Is My Secret to Quick and Easy Dinners — and It’s Just $30

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Crisp-golden Brussels sprouts that have been cooked in an air fryer
Credit: Photo: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

As a natural skeptic, I know how hard it can be to trust cast-iron cookware. The benefits of cast-iron pans — the natural nonstick surface, amazing heat retention, and the ability to create a beautiful sear — are tempting. But, if you don’t take care of your cast-iron gear properly (mainly by not drying them fully after cleaning), they can quickly become difficult to use. Now, it’s possible to restore a damaged piece of cast-iron cookware to its former glory, but I’ve never been able to do it.

However, after testing a smaller cast-iron fry pan and remembering how nicely this material chars food, I decided to try a cast-iron casserole. I’ve been using it to make sheet-pan dinners and roasted side dishes, for which I normally use an aluminum sheet tray, and I love how it performs. It quickly gets my food crispy and golden brown, and because I got a pre-seasoned model, I never worry about food sticking (which is an issue with aluminum). I now reach for this casserole almost every evening, and am kicking myself that I went so long without it.

What is the Lodge Cast-Iron Casserole Pan

Like Lodge’s iconic skillet, this kitchen tool is made of 100-percent cast iron and seasoned with vegetable oil to prevent food from sticking to it. It has a handle on each end and has a cooking area that measures 13 inches long by 9 inches wide, with 2-inch sides to give you room to roast large amounts of vegetables or meat, or bake a big dessert.

The casserole is big enough for making recipes that can feed a group or give you leftovers, but it’s not so large that it becomes burdensome to move around. I can easily take it out of the oven and find room for it to cool on my stovetop without feeling like I have to move every other pan out of the way.

Credit: Nic Dobija-Nootens

Why I Love the Lodge Cast-Iron Casserole Pan

My favorite thing about this piece of cookware is simply its cooking power. Because it heats up so evenly and doesn’t get hot or cold spots the way my non-cast-iron pans do, food tends to finish quickly and develop a crisp exterior without over- or undercooking on the inside. While the casserole’s heaviness requires that I set it down in my sink to wash it, instead of being able to hold it up and easily move it around under the running water, its pre-seasoned surface makes it easy to clean. I just make sure to dry it completely and rub a tiny bit of cooking oil on the dish before putting it away, and I haven’t had any issues with rust, discoloration, or sticky spots.

Credit: Nic Dobija-Nootens

With fall and winter holidays coming up, I know I’m going to put this cast-iron casserole to good use. I’m looking forward to roasting a chicken in it, as well as browning mirepoix for stuffing. And because it’s oven- and stovetop-safe, I can make gravy right inside the dish when my bird is done cooking. At $30, you’d be hard pressed to find another piece of cookware that’s this versatile and long-lasting.