I've had my eye on a 9 quart, Lodge Dutch Oven for quite a while. I bought it today with Christmas gift money from my parents. And I got a great deal on it at our local hardware store. Because it's cast iron and will last hundreds of years, it's possible one of my great, great, great, etc., grand children will use it, too.
Lodge Cast Iron is the oldest family-owned, family-operated cookware foundary in the United States. Located in South Pittsburg, TN, Lodge has made cast iron cookware for more than 100 years.
In a February 2, 2005 article, "Skillet Sense", the Chicago Tribune compared six skillets ranging from the $12 Lodge Cast Iron skillet to the $160 Viking Professional 7-Ply. You can find the article on the Lodge website.
The conclusion after review in the test kitchen?
"To our surprise, higher cost didn't automatically equal best performance. While the most expensive skillets certainly performed well, the skillet we like the best cost the least: the Lodge pre-seasoned cast-iron skillet."
Here's what I think ...
There is little that has real value available to consumers. We've become consumers of disposable everythings. Even expensive things like computers, 30-inch monitors and washing machines are disposable. And we pay dearly for our disposable junk. We know when we buy our expensive toys, the manufacturers have little faith in them. Most computers, monitors and washing machines come with only a 12 month warranty.
Cast iron cookware offers real value. The skillet or dutch oven you buy today will last so long you could pass it on to your grandchildren who could pass it to their grandchildren. Try to do that with an HDTV!