4 Can't-Miss Cast Iron Makers
Is there anything in the world better than a well-seasoned, heavy, cast iron skillet? Like the ones that our grandmothers used for so many years, the ones that have been passed down through the family?
Cast iron skillets are an essential part of a Southerner's cooking game. But if you don't have that multi-generational cast iron with years of tasty seasoning built up, then we've got good news: Some of the best cast iron makers are right here in the South. Here are just a few that we recommend.
Headquartered in South Pittsburg, Tennessee just a couple of hours from Nashville, Lodge has been producing some of the best cast iron available since 1896. The Lodge family still runs the company and produces everything from griddles and skillets to camp ovens and cake pans. These folks make great products. Go take a look.
Heart & Spade Forge
Run by contemporary blacksmith Jed Curtis, Heart & Spade Forge (Roanoke, Virginia) is all about fine metal-design, artisan goods. According to Curtis, "Each skillet will take on a life of its own based on the chef's idiosyncrasies and rituals they employ. In a metaphysical way, the cookware becomes a mirror of the chef using them. What does your skillet say about you?" Everything at Heart and Spade is hand-forged from scratch. This is impressive high-quality cookware. Check them out.
Butter Pat Industries
These guys from Maryland opened in 2013, so they are fairly new to the cast iron game. But their recent arrival on the scene doesn't affect the quality of their products, which come with a 100-year warranty. Their cast-iron skillets are all hand-cast in limited quantities, and you'll find them in sizes ranging from 2 inches all the way to 14 inches. Take a look for yourself.
Located in Charleston, Smithey Ironware makes cast iron cookware with a glassy-smooth surface that is naturally non-stick, simple to clean, and artfully crafted. Like Butter Pat, these guys are also new to the industry, having opened in 2015. Their products, which include ironware, skillets, spatulas and pot holders, can be found in retailers across the South. Go see what they have to offer.
When it comes to cast-iron, you never want to compromise quality. That's why we recommend all of these makers. They make high-end products that will last for generations, allowing you to pass down a well-seasoned old, skillet to your grandkids just like your grandmother did for you.