Making Life Delicious Since 1983

Cast Iron Heaven

I’ve wanted to visit the Lodge Cast Iron Factory for years. We were going through Georgia last month and I found out there was a Cornbread Festival that weekend….in the same town as Lodge! And it so happens that Lodge only opens for tours that ONE weekend a year, so it was destiny that we go, right??










The factory tour was self-guided around the plant. We just followed the skillets on the floor. At key points were employees standing by to answer questions, a short video about that part of the process, and a display board with more detailed info. It was very informative, and even had some hands-on parts. I enjoyed it and learned things. And I must say, all the employees were super nice with a good dose of Southern Charm.

Here is the Cornbread Contest winning recipe for this year. How can anything with the words bacon, cornbread, and shrimp be anything but delicious!



Lidia Haddadian won 1st place in Lodge’s 2019 Cornbread Cook-off with her very own Smoky Cajun-Style Shrimp’n Bacon Pizza w/ Crispy Cornbread Crust.



  • ½ cup warm water (110-115 degrees F)
  • 1 teaspoon double-acting instant yeast
  • 1½ tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1½ teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1, 6.5 ounce package Martha White yellow cornbread mix
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
  • 6 slices smoked bacon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1½ cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 cup yellow bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 cup green bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon crushed garlic
  • 1? teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1¾ cups store-bought pizza sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 24 medium (about ½ pound) raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup shredded Jack cheese
  • 8 ounces smoked mozzarella, cut into small cubes
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste


  • Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Combine warm water, yeast, and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Allow to sit for 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, Martha White cornbread mix, and flour. Knead with hands (adding more flour if needed) just enough to form a dough that doesn’t stick. Form into a ball and let it rest, covered in bowl for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a 12-inch skillet, cook bacon until almost crispy. Set bacon aside and remove all but 2 tablespoons of rendered bacon fat from skillet. Add butter, bell peppers, and onions. Sauté until tender and translucent. Add garlic, 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Sauté until it just begins to brown.
  • Brush 14 inch baking pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Roll out rested dough over a floured cutting board to about a 14-inch round. Fold dough in half twice for easy transfer onto pizza pan. Unfold dough over pizza pan and carefully spread evenly until the edges are filled. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes.
  • Transfer ¾ of sautéed veggies to a bowl and set aside. Add remaining veggies to the skillet, add pizza sauce, 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning, ½ teaspoon smoked paprika, vinegar, and ½ tablespoon sugar. Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.
  • Coat shrimp with 1 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning, ½ teaspoon of paprika, ¼ tsp sea salt, and lemon zest. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil and toss to coat, set aside.
  • Slice previously cooked bacon into thin strips and set aside. Spread sauce all over baked pizza dough, leaving about ½-inch edge for the crust. Top evenly with shredded Jack cheese, ½ of reserved sautéed veggies, cubed smoked mozzarella, remaining veggies, shrimp and bacon. Bake for another 8 minutes or until the shrimp is cooked and the cheese is completely melted.
  • In a medium bowl, toss arugula in ½ teaspoon olive oil. Remove pizza from oven, sprinkle with crushed red pepper, and top with arugula. Slice and serve!

recipe/photo credit: Lodge

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