As It Happens

This giant cast iron skillet can theoretically fry 650 eggs at once

If you’ve ever wanted to make an omelette for several hundred of your closest friends, a new museum in Tennessee has just the thing.

Tennessee company unveils what it says is the world’s largest cast iron skillet

Lodge Cast Iron is unveiling what it says is the world's largest cast iron skillet. It measures 5.48 metres from handle to handle, and weighs about 6,500 kilograms. (Submitted by Walker Henley/Lodge Cast Iron)

Storry Transcript

If you've ever wanted to make an omelette for several hundred of your closest friends, a new museum in Tennessee has just the thing.

A cookware company in South Pittsburg, Tenn., is unveiling what it says is the world's largest cast iron skillet this summer outside its museum dedicated to all things cast iron.

Drivers got an early peek at the gargantuan pan on Wednesday as it was transported via a flatbed transport truck along the I-59 highway to its destination. 

"We got a lot of fun looks," Walker Henley, brand development manager for Lodge Cast Iron, told As It Happens host Carol Off. "We started receiving tweets about it even before it arrived."

The skillet— which Henley says is technically fully functional — is 5.48 metres long from handle to handle, 3.65 metres in diameter, and weighs a whopping 6,500 kilograms. 

"You'll never see anything like it," Henley said. "Talk about a photo-op."

He says they partnered with a company in Alabama to construct the tourist attraction, as Lodge Cast Iron usually focuses on "normal sized things here at our foundries."

'Big wow moment'

Lodge Cast Iron, a 126-year-old company in South Pittsburg that specializes in cast iron cookware, plans to open a museum in its hometown this summer, focused on the company's history, how cast iron is made, and cast iron cooking culture.

To mark the occasion, Henley says they were looking for a way to "make a big wow moment."

"The idea of all the world's largest tourism attractions you see came to mind, like the world's largest ball of twine and such. And so we said, well, why don't we make our own world's largest?"

The world's largest frying pan is 6.72 metres in diameter, according to Guinness World Records. It was made in Turkey in 2018 and used to cook up 600 kilograms of calf liver in 2,520 litres of oil for student dormitory residents.

Henley estimates the museum's skillet is big enough to fry about 650 eggs, though the company has no plans to test that theory.

People in Tennessee saw this massive cast iron skillet on the back of a haul truck on Wednesday as it was being transported to its new home: The Lodge Cast Iron Museum in South Pittsburg, Tenn. (Submitted by Henley Walker/Lodge Cast Iron)

Henley says he's noticed a real resurgence in cast iron cookware in recent years. 

The material is known to be long lasting and very good at retaining heat, making it a favourite for chefs. But it requires proper maintenance and seasoning to keep it in tip-top shape.

"The use of the pan is a little different than other types of cookware. And once you get used to it, you quickly realize that it's the best pan in the kitchen," Henley said.

"It takes a little longer to heat up, holds the heat a lot better and can do just about anything you want it to do and, of course, lasts a lifetime."

Written by Sheena Goodyear. Interview produced by Niza Lyapa Nondo.

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