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A Black Iron Haven

Camp Chef's Web Presence Continues to Grow

Posted by Rick Mansfield

Earlier in the summer, we ran a post titled "Lodge Manufacturing Expands Web Presence with YouTube and Twitter." Well, in the interest of equal time, we're including this post to make mention of all the ways Camp Chef communicates with its customers via the Internet.

If you haven't discovered it already, you must check out the Camp Chef website. There you will find listings of all the Camp Chef products--not only cast iron, but also lots of other grills, cooking appliances and accessories--as well as informative articles about subjects such as camping, hunting, tailgating, and more. There's so much to explore, you will want to spend a good bit of time on the Camp Chef site.

One of the newest additions to the Camp Chef is their extensive collection of videos. Videos are categorized by subject: Products, Media/Press, Recipes, How to, and Frequently Asked questions. There's lots to explore here as well, and lots of examples for using cast iron in creative ways. If you find something you really like, Camp Chef offers embed codes so that you can add the video to your own website. Camp Chef videos can also be found on YouTube.

Camp Chef has a great blog. I know because I'm a regular reader. Not only do they highlight new products, they also feature mouth-watering recipes that make me want to immediately get out my dutch oven and start a campfire. You'll also find descriptions of Camp Chef events and the occasional cartoon.

As of this writing, Camp Chef has over 800 fans on it's FaceBook page. This is a great place to hold conversations with other Camp Chef fans as well as post your own photos using Camp Chef products.

If you use Twitter, be sure to follow Camp Chef! On average, Camp Chef "tweets" once every day or two. Sometimes it's something overheard around the campfire, sometimes it's announcements about events or new products. They are also very good about responding back if you have a question for them.

You may or may not be aware that Camp Chef has a sister company, Santé. The company is described on the website as a "manufacturer of high-end cooking equipment for the ultimate home kitchen." In many ways, you can think of Camp Chef for use at the campground and Santé for use in the kitchen; however, the reality is that there's a lot of overlap as anyone who regularly uses cast iron knows. I own a couple of Santé's cast iron loaf pans and have found them to be well made and perfect for making homemade bread.

There's also a Santé blog you'll want to check out for lots of recipes and more.

So check out Camp Chef as well as Santé. They've got a great selection of cast iron cookware and a whole lot more.

Feel free to leave your thoughts or ask questions in the comments below, or you can contact Rick directly at

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Follow Us on Twitter

Posted by Rick Mansfield

I’ve been sending out tweets about new posts here on Cooking in Cast Iron for a while through my personal Twitter account. But I think that’s been confusing for some folks, so I’m setting up a distinct Twitter account for this site. We will primarily use this Twitter account to announce new posts and perhaps occasionally news related to cooking in cast iron.

By the way, our Twitter account can be found at Yes, we left out a word. But Twitter limits user names to 15 characters and “cookingINcastiron” is 17 characters.

So, I hope you’ll follow us on Twitter. We’ll keep you up to date with what’s going on with Cooking in Cast Iron!

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Lodge Mfg. Expands Web Presence with YouTube & Twitter

Posted by Rick Mansfield

I don’t collect cast iron simply to collect it. I’m not knocking those who do, mind you. Cast iron cookware has a wonderful history, and if anything is worth of collection for hobby or investment, it’s cast iron. But for me, it’s a more practical issue. I’ve got to figure out where I’m going to put it. We bought an entire baker’s rack just for our cast iron. In addition to that, three cast iron skillets are kept on our stove at all times.

So, if I’m going to add a new piece of cast iron cookware to what we already have, I have to justify it. That means, I have to ask if we really need it, if we really will use it. Just last week we had some guest over for dinner. I noticed one of our guests staring at the growing number of items on our baker’s rack. She turned to me and said, “I just realized--you actually use all this cast iron!” Looking at the assorted skillets, dutch ovens, cornstick pans, sizzle skillets, loaf pans, and more, I asked “What do you mean?” She said, “Well, a lot of people who collect something like this just do so to show it off, but you actually cook with all this.”

Of course I do!

What’s more, the great majority of the cast iron we own was made by Lodge Manufacturing in South Pittsburg, Tennessee. Oh, I also have a couple of Camp Chef items, and I have no idea who made my prize skillets handed down from my grandmother which are at least seventy years old if not much older. But the first skillet which was my very own was made my Lodge. In fact, the three skillets that permanently reside on our stove are the two skillets I inherited from my grandmother and my own Lodge skillet--the first cast iron I ever owned, given as a gift from my mother in the mid-nineties.

I honestly have nothing against other cast iron companies. In fact, I welcome quality cast iron in any form, regardless of its source. But Lodge has been very good to me, and I’ve been able to make food over the years that simply wouldn’t have tasted quite as good in other kinds of pans.

All that to say, I’m very pleased to notice that Lodge Manufacturing has been expanding their web presence lately. For the longest time, they’ve had a top quality website--an indispensable source for finding that right cast iron tool for a particular cooking need. My normal habit is to find it first on the Lodge site, and then I often order it from

Now, Lodge has also created their own page on YouTube. Already there are videos that allow the viewer to tour the cast iron foundry (something I’ve been fortunate enough to do in person) and learn how cast iron is made. There’s a video of Johnny Nix showing off his skill with outdoor cast iron cooking. Watching Johnny Nix cook is the cast iron equivalent of seeing a high profile magician. Both have put in the time and effort to know their craft well, and it simply comes across as if it’s real magic.

Lodge has also joined in with the current Twitter craze by setting up their own Twitter account. I only allow a handful of the folks that I follow on Twitter to come directly to my iPhone and Lodge Manufacturing is one of them. Lodge has been sending out a lot of interesting tweets. Sometimes they’ve used Twitter to promote particular products or specials. Sometimes they send links to articles or internet reviews of their products. They even tweeted about my review of the Lodge Sportsman’s Grill a few days ago. Today, they posted a link about re-seasoning cast iron. I believe that Lodge has discovered that Twitter is a great way to stay in touch with their customers while allowing loyal fans to stay connected with them as well.

There are also some pages about Lodge cast iron on FaceBook, but I’m not sure if they are official or not. Perhaps someone from Lodge will let us know.
Update 9/16/09: Lodge's official Facebook page can be found at

Lodge has been around since 1896, and they are still family owned. They are also the only remaining cast iron company with a foundry in the United States to my knowledge. So, I’m very impressed that a company with such traditional roots can also stay up to date with current technology in an effort to to communicate with their customers.

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Feel free to leave your thoughts or ask questions in the comments below, or you can contact Rick directly at


30% Off MacGourmet Deluxe through July 31

If you’re a regular visitor to Cooking in Cast Iron, you may have noticed one of our sponsors in the sidebar, MacGourmet Deluxe from Mariner Software. I’ve been tardy in posting a review of MacGourmet Deluxe, but it is so feature-filled, I’ve been taking my time learning all of its capabilities. I’ll be writing that review, probably later this week, not simply because they’re our sponsor, but because the program impresses me that much. In fact, they are one of our sponsors not because they contacted us, but rather because I contacted them after downloading the demo.

Anyway, between now and Thursday, July 31, you an receive a 30% discount off the price of MacGourmet deluxe by going to the Mariner Online Store (follow this link, not the one in the sidebar for now) and then typing in the word “Happy” and then clicking the Go button.

I’ve been very impressed with MacGourmet Deluxe and if you use a Macintosh computer, I believe you will be, too. Look for a full review by the end of the week.