It's one of America's great road trip clichés: "Hey, pull over! It's the World's Largest (Fill in the Blank)!" West Virginia has the World's Largest Teapot. Illinois has the World's Largest Catsup Bottle. Missouri has the World's Largest Fork. (Wikipedia even has a comprehensive list.) And if you appreciate such blatant appeals for tourism, the next time you're driving through Tennessee there's a new one to look out for: the World's Largest Cast Iron Skillet.
Measuring over 18 feet from handle to handle, this 14,360-pound piece of cookware — said to be able to hold about 650 eggs — was recently spotted on the road as it made its way to its future home: the Lodge Cast Iron Museum in South Pittsburg, Tennessee, which is slated to open in late summer of this year. The attraction is being built in the hometown of Lodge Manufacturing, makers of cast iron cookware and accessories since 1896.
If you were driving down I59 yesterday, you might have seen something special headed north! The World's Largest Cast Iron Skillet made its way to our campus to find its home in the Lodge Cast Iron Museum that is currently under construction. Learn more: https://t.co/ccaO9ysccD pic.twitter.com/eYO1VQH06g
— Lodge Cast Iron (@LodgeCastIron) January 13, 2022
"In 2021 we celebrated 125 years of Lodge Cast Iron, and as we look ahead to 2022 and the next 125 years, we're thrilled to be bringing the Lodge Cast Iron Museum to South Pittsburg," Mike Otterman, the company's CEO and president, stated. "Covering everything from the history of cast iron to how it's used today, the museum is an exciting opportunity to celebrate our community and share Lodge with the world through this unmatched experience."
Specifically, Lodge says the new museum will feature three exhibitions. "How It's Made" will be a recreation of the experience in the company's actual cast iron foundries. "Lodge History & Legacy" delves specifically into the brand's history. And then, for food lovers, "Cast Iron Culture" will give visitors a taste of cast iron cooking with a focus on Southern food and cooks thanks to Lodge's partnership with the Southern Foodways Alliance.
But though Lodge promises plenty of "rare cast iron collections," the top billing has to go to this new World's Largest Cast Iron Skillet. Lodge tweeted that there will be "more information about the creation of this skillet in the coming weeks." However, they did let some details slip, stating that they "teamed up with an awesome foundry in Alabama that specializes in large cast iron pieces" to produce the 100-percent real cast iron pan. Also, it's not operational; it's for display only.
Speaking of which, if you're thinking about grabbing a sneak peak of the massive skillet in person, think again. Lodge also tweeted that the attraction "likely will be placed inside the under-construction museum by this weekend and will not be visible to the public until our museum officially opens."
So you'll just have to wait until late summer of 2022, at which point you can see the whole museum… as well as the Lodge Cast Iron Factory Store where customers can "shop from the largest selection of cast iron cookware." But though the selection may be the largest, the largest skillet will not be for sale.