Is buying a pre-seasoned lodge cast iron pan just as good as going to the time and trouble to season one?
Pre-seasoning gives you a head start, but I have found it fades quickly. I don't think you can find unseasoned cast iron. I usually season them myself after or sometimes before the first use. I use beef tallow to season my wok and my CI. I prefer it over soy oil which is what most
Lodge is good quality, but I would still take the time to season yourself - slow oven with good oil. Lots of instructions on lodgemfg dot com under the "care" tab.
The best cast iron pans are the old ones. I've bought them at antiques and "junk" shops. You can sometimes find them at flea markets or yard sales. I think it's true that they don't make 'em like they used to.
Pre-seasoning is a cute little joke. All cast iron pans need to be seasoned.