Staff photo illustration by Doug Strickland / Lodge Cast Iron's new lighter-weight Blacklock cast iron cookware is photographed in the Times Free Press studio on Thursday, July 11, 2019, in Chattanooga, Tenn.

This story was updated Thursday, July 11, 2019, at 6:52 p.m. with more information.

America's biggest cast iron cookware maker is introducing a new lighter gourmet line of skillets and ovens to expand its cookware market for the future by adopting its original name from the past.

Lodge Manufacturing Co., in South Pittsburg, Tennessee, unveiled seven new cast iron cookware products Thursday under the label Blacklock, which was the original name of the foundry Joseph Lodge built in 1896. Although the company name was changed to Lodge Manufacturing in 1910, the company still is owned and managed by the descendants of the Lodge family and is one of America's oldest cookware companies in continuous operation with nearly 500 employees at its foundry and distribution facilities in South Pittsburg and New Hope, Tennessee.

"Our story comes full circle," the company said in an announcement of the new Blacklock line of cookware. "The Blacklock Foundry defines our beginnings and our transformation into Lodge. ... As we introduce Blacklock cast iron cookware, we hold our past close to our hearts and look ahead toward the future."

Adam Feltman, marketing coordinator for Lodge, said the new products are about 25% lighter and offer longer, more heat resistant handles and slicker designs. Feltman said the new cookware preserves all the advantages and durability of traditional Lodge cast iron cookware but new molds and castings allow for thinner and different designs.

Blacklock touts revolutionary triple seasoned cast iron for a natural, nonstick surface right out of the box. Feltman said the three layers of seasoning enhance the flavor cast iron is known for, with an even more simplified cleanup.

Blacklock is launching with seven core pieces: a 7 Inch Skillet for $30, a 10.25 Inch Skillet for $60, a 12 Inch Skillet for $80, a 14.5 Inch Skillet for$100, a 5.5 Quart Dutch Oven for $150, a 12-inch Grill Pan for $100, and a Double Burner Griddle for $100. The primary handles of the skillets and grill pan are extended and raised with a cool-V design to stay cooler longer, and the assist handles are elevated for great comfort and control.

"Each piece is cast in a thin, lightweight design that heats up and cools down fast for everyday cooking," Feltman said.

The new product line is being introduced less than two years after Lodge completed a $90 million expansion that doubled the company's production capacity — the largest expansion in the company's 123-year history.

"The company has an innovative past and a long-standing reputation of quality and we wanted to capitalize on those elements in the creation of a new tier," said Mike Otterman, president and CEO of Lodge Cast Iron who unveiled the new product line in New York. "We drew from our heritage and are introducing something revolutionary to the marketplace while resurrecting the historic Blacklock foundry. The combination of lightweight iron with natural triple seasoning makes this tier of cast iron cookware the first of its kind."

Contact Dave Flessner at or at 423-757-6340.