CAST IRON KINGS
We’re constantly cooking with fire- the dancing flames, hellishly hot coals, aromatic smoke and every untamed interpretation of this ancient heat. If we’re using a pot or pan, you better believe we rely on one of fire’s greatest friend- CAST IRON.
Powerful, even heating and a wide ranging versatility are just two advantages cast iron pans boast- the most impressive however, with proper care they’ll outlive you, your kids and maybe even your grandkids. That’s why we give ours names like Wyatt or Rosie or Francisco, and treat ‘em like family.
We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite cast iron pots and pans on the market. These are some of the best brands and respectable pans, but are neither ranked to hailed as the best. Sure some are better than others, but there’s a cast iron for every budget, and we guarantee a well cared for $20 pan will be much more rewarding than the $300 pan gatherin’ dust.
Smithey Ironware takes the utmost pride in processing their quality cast iron cookware entirely in the US- from design to casting to polishing, these crafted beauties are born in the company’s hometown of Charleston, South Carolina.
The No 8 skillet provides playful rounded slopes making steaming and tossing mussels or clams a cinch. The interior boasts an incredibly smooth finish while the gritty exterior and wide handle reminds us of the rough and hardworking vessel it is.
“Don’t let your Smithey dither in a cupboard. Proudly display it on your stovetop. Put it to work!” - Issac Morton, Smithey Ironware Co Founder
THE FIELD COMPANY: NO.10
Looking to replicate, no less understand their grandmother’s hand poured cast iron pans, brothers Stephen & Chris Muscarella’s quest to recover truths behind this high quality material led to what is now The Field Company.
Their selection consists of the different sizes, we prefer their med sized No. 10- coming in just a hair under 12 inches in diameter and a solid 6 pounds. All their skillets come preseasoned, but you’ll find their dedication to the iron quality makes seasoning, general maintenance and keeping that non-stick pore damn near effortless.
“Anything Can Happen In A Field” - Field Co
Lets be honest- we see the Finex used more often as the backdrop of an overly styled endive salad with puffed quinoa and maybe some sheep’s yogurt we all know had no reason to touch cast iron. Simply put, its beautiful- but behind all that beauty is a badass, heavy hitting pan. Twelve American hands and twelve hours- they claim it takes to make every piece in their home of Portland Oregon (also home of that endive salad photoshoot).
The Finex design isn’t purely art- the angular design leads to easier sauce pouring and convenient edges to flip spatula necessary dishes. That dope handle? Retains much less heat than the iron, meaning cool down time is significantly shorter. Arguably one of the highest quality pans on the list, it also the most expensive as well.
“Each piece has its own personality that’ll fit right into your kitchen, grill or campfire.” - Finex
Raúl Mejía founded Medellin based company Victoria three generations ago. What began with crafts and crosses at a young age, shifted to grain grinders and eventually cast iron cookware and tools.
Victoria produces a solid plain Jane-no whistles kind of pan. Its durable, takes well to a good seasoning but most importantly wont break the bank. This particular “wok” style cast iron is one of our favorite, set it right on a pile of glowing coals and sear you heart out- utilize the shape to build and simmer some fantastic sauces.
“Cast iron, like love, is patient if you continue to appreciate it for what it is, like, deep inside, really see it, you know?” - Victoria