5 Stars By lighten_up_already2 on 1969-12-31
Here's the scoop on that scary first seasoning process.
I just got the pan earlier today and decided to season it before first use.
I washed it with warm water only, dried it, and put in on a stove burner on low for a few minutes to evaporate any moisture off the pan. I did not let it get too hot to handle.
I set my oven to preheat 350 degrees.
I used a paper towel to rub Spectrum High Heat Canola Oil all over the pan without using enough to come near to dripping.
When the oven was hot, I put the pan in there and shut the door for an hour.
I just opened the door, and there was no smoke at all. Hopefully the picture I included will show that.
Now, the pan is too hot to pick up even with an oven mitten, so it's staying in here to cool with the oven off until it is safe to handle.
The point is that this was easy, and there was no smoke. Soon my pan will be cool enough for its first use.
Update: Just made enough beef and beans for seven burritos, five of which are in the freezer. The pan cleaned up with the sponge I use to clean my nonstick pan.
5 Stars By Pavel on 2016-03-19
Victoria skillet vs. Lodge skillet
This is from my wife:
I own a few Lodge frying pans, so it's easier to compare the same size Lodge to Victoria.
12" Lodge weighs 3.5 kg/7.7 lb, 12" Victoria weighs 3.0 kg/6.6 lb.
Lodge has short handle positioned at a right angle to the bod.
Victoria has a longer slightly curved, much more ergonomic handle.
Which means that I cannot lift my lodge with one hand even empty, while Victoria is more manageable with one hand empty or with not too much food (still, using the helper handle most of the time is recommended). So if you are after a pan that holds heat longer and is made in USA, you want Lodge. If you want a pan that is easier to handle and don't mind it being made elsewhere (Colombia, in this case), Victoria is for you.
As for cooking quality, I own my Lodge for a few years, so by now it is more properly seasoned, and currently gets me somewhat better results. I use Victoria not so often and for not so long period of time (I bought it for some special jobs, to supplement and not replace the Lodge), it is not as seasoned yet. But I feel it is getting there.
5 Stars By blip on 2017-11-11
Perfect pan! Will last a lifetime.
OK, I wanted a cast iron skillet because I was tired of buying non stick pans with bad for me coatings that flaked off. Cast iron pans are cheap but scary for a couple of reasons: seasoning and weight. So, after reading food blogs and ratings for weeks on the Internet, I decided Victoria was best for me because the factory seasoning was supposed to be better out of the box and the 12 inch pan was 1.1 pounds lighter than Lodge with a longer handle and a better helper handle. So I got a good deal for a few bucks more than Lodge and here are the results. (1) SEASONING. Even though the factory seasoning is supposed to be good, everything I read said you must enhance it for the best performance. I enhanced the seasoned by heating it on the stove, wiping it all over with Cisco (if it was good enough for Grandma, good enough for me), and placing it upside down in an oven at 500 degrees for one hour, let it cool in the oven, and wipe off excess, if any. I did this 4 times. Some people recommend 6 seasonings but the pan had gotten really dark and black after 4 so I called it quits. Every time I use the pan I wash it out with water and a scrub brush (no soap), put in on the stove over medium heat to dry, wipe all over with Crisco, let it set to cool off a bit, and then wipe off excess. Avoid using paper towels when seasoning because they leave little bits of paper behind and that is not something I want included in my seasoning. Use a lint free towel instead. After only six weeks, I am thrilled that my eggs (using a pat off butter) slip around this thing better than my non stick pans and they cook more evenly. (2) WEIGHT. I have some arthritis issues in my hands and back. Was I crazy for getting a 6.6 pound frying pan? I sure as heck wasn't going to be tossing stir fry or flipping omelettes in this baby. But with that extra long handle and the nicely designed helper handle, I can move this around pretty well. You always have to use oven mitts because the handles gets screaming hot but still it isn't hard to hold onto. I can brown a nice pork loin roast with rub on all sides in the pan, remove, thrown in some root vegetables and onions and toss in oil, put the roast back in, throw in the oven at 350 degrees until roast is 145 degrees ( about an hour) and have a great one pot dinner with fabulously carmelized vegetables without killing my back. The frying pan is lighter than a cast iron dutch oven. Have you tried cast iron pizza? It is the crispiest pizza crust I have ever eaten. Corn bread?
Yum. BOTTOM LINE. A cast iron pan is incredibly versatile. My Victoria 12 inch cast iron frying pan is well-designed, lighter-weight, incredibly well-seasoned after only 6 weeks. It is an amazing value that I expect to last the rest of my life. I am having a heck of a lot of fun discovering a new way of cooking. Although there is a new rule in my house, no one touches my cast iron but me!
5 Stars By Chris W. on 2016-04-09
This seems like it will be a good skillet
This seems like it will be a good skillet. We received it today, cleaned it, and immediately cooked with it. I figured I'd share my thoughts as I normally stick to Lodge products, but have ventured off to other manufacturers as well. I am not new to cooking with cast iron, but I am not someone with years of experience either. . . but here are my thoughts, so take them for what you will.
-Fit and Finish
The build quality is pretty good. I can't say it's flawless, but overall everything is very uniform. I have seen a few Chinese manufactured skillets with varying thicknesses in the pan wall, or handle, but not so on this Victoria 8in skillet. Everything is pretty uniform. The overall texture is a little rough, but nothing excessive. The only part not uniform is the cooking surface. One part is very smooth, while the rest is the standard texture to be found on most new cast iron products. There was one small spot on the bottom that had no seasoning and was probably beginning to rust, but I've restored two other skillets before so that was of no concern to me. This can be seen in the picture of the bottom. (I cleaned it, after cooking and reapplying oil I didn't see any rust)
The skillet measures 8in (~20.32cm) in diameter from the outside edges of the skillet wall. The cooking surface is about 6 1/4in (15.8cm) in diameter. The handle is about 5 1/4in (13.34cm) in length. The handle is nice and you can get a comfortable grip on it.
This seems like it will be an overall nice pan to add to our little assortment of cookware. There are some decent care instructions on the cardboard cover, and the cover isn't secured to the skillet with any tacky glue like stuff either. If you are new to cast iron, there are many good resources out there with various methods of caring for your skillet and seasoning it. The basics for care are: let the cast iron cool down, rinse the cast iron in warm water, and use either a stiff bristled brush or a plastic scraper to remove any cooked on crud. You can add salt as well when you use the brush to help remove stuff. No need to use brute force or you will simply remove the seasoning. Rinse again and immediately dry off the cast iron. Some people will also put it on a burner (low heat) for a few minutes to burn off any hidden water. Then add a light coat of oil. Too much oil and it will become sticky. We've tried canola, vegetable, and shortening. . . They all have the same effect for us. Overall I think I could recommend this pan.
5 Stars By Western Sizzlin on 2017-08-13
I know this isn't made in the USA (and that is a huge detractor for me) but the design superiority of this is too great to ignore
I used to be a Lodge Lady, but after trying out this skillet, I think I'm switching brands. I know this isn't made in the USA (and that is a huge detractor for me) but the design superiority of this is too great to ignore. The ergonomics are fantastic, the pour spouts work flawlessly, and the helper handle is big enough to use with a bulking oven mitt. The pre-seasoning was perfect, it's heavy, and very well made. I love this skillet.
5 Stars By Sandra L. Evans on 2017-12-18
Glad I bought this pan
Glad I bought this pan. I have 10-1/2 Lodge Skillet and 10-1/2 Griddle but the 12” Lodge Skillet was too heavy (I tried lifting at a Walmart). This Victoria is about a pound lighter and the handle design makes it easier to manuver. The pan is getting plenty of use and is getting nicely seasoned for a good non-stick finish.
5 Stars By cobaltcanarycherry on 2018-01-25
It is as good as the online reviews
It is as good as the online reviews. The surface really cooked scrambled eggs with NO sticking. I only used a spritz of cooking spray, no added fats. When I grated the cheese on, it grabbed briefly and released from the surface, too. The angled handle is kind to sore wrists, as well. The only downside is that the Victoria has much less mass than the 12" Lodge, and would not have as much thermal inertia for searing large cuts as a consequence.
5 Stars By unojo324 on 2018-01-28
It came pre-seasoned and is great to cook in
This skillet is very well made in Colombia. It came pre-seasoned and is great to cook in. I would not hesitate to buy it again. BTW, one of the food blogs rated as the number 1 skillet on the market. It is very inexpensive and far better than products from the other side of the Pacific.
5 Stars By J. Wrubleski on 2016-08-12
This was my first cast iron purchase. It quickly became the go-to fry pan in our kitchen. It arrived seasoned nicely and I caramelized onions on it the day it arrived. To perfection. The heat dispersion is unbelievable. Don't worry about cleaning it either. Water isn't going to hurt it. I've left it overnight with all kinds of sauces and food particles in it. Just soak it for 19 minutes and it brushes right out. No harm to coating at all. A light brush with oil and you're ready to go again. This thing is totally legit and basically free its so inexpensive.
3 Stars By RAD on 2017-10-19
Nice, but not quite flat
Long handle and pre-seasoning work well. Bottom is not flat. Oil pools along edges and flows away from center. You have to be mindful to tip the skillet to get oil to center.