On cast iron, old and new
When each of our two older daughters graduated from high school and left the nest, they took a big part of my world with them – my cast iron pans. Yes, of course, a piece of my heart, but also, my beloved pans.
When I showed you guys our kitchen renovation a month or two ago #slowdownfarmsteadkitchen, I got quite a few questions about my cookware. I exclusively use cast iron. Specifically, Le Creuset for all of my roasters, Dutch ovens, stockpots etc. (vintage stuff is lovely but has some possible heavy metal concerns with the enamel). My skillets, however, were all vintage cast iron.
Now, let’s get into it, shall we? Why vintage cast iron for my “frying” pans? Because the cast iron produced today is terrible. It’s rough and gritty. Mine are smooth and slippery, well seasoned after decades of use. It’s the seasoning part, laid over a properly finished, smoothed surface that makes cast iron the most effective and safe non-stick coating there is.
Please, nobody on earth should be using non-stick pans. Stainless steel pots and pans leech harmful metals from their mystery alloys, nickel being one of the less friendly in the bunch. Ceramic coating isn’t ceramic at all, it’s just a trade name of another slurry of materials that will be used until someone somewhere figures out there’s something a tad poisonous in the mix. Remember BPA? They’re still using chemicals just as harmful, it will just take a decade or so for it to come to the light.
No, thanks. I will stick with my animal-fat sealed cast iron.
If you’ve ever bought a new cast iron pan and tried to cook on it only to have everything stick, you are not a failure. You were just using a pan that wasn’t properly cast and finished.
A couple of months ago I started researching companies that were making cast iron pans today and why they are all so different from my old beauties. As luck would have it, I found a company that was making cast iron in the good ole’ USA that actually addressed this issue head on.
Enter “Field Company” @fieldcompany manufacturers of cast iron skillets, the quality way it used to be done.
I watched their videos. Then I watched video reviews. I was intrigued and started digging through the history of cast iron pan making because that’s what I do. My family says I’m intrigued by a speck of dust and I say “who wouldn’t be”?!
And then, as life often conspires to do, I was contacted by @fieldcompamy, the very cast iron pan company I had been considering buying a pan from. Field asked if I wanted to try one of their pans out. Isn’t life amazing, like that? Of course, I said yes under the agreement that if I didn’t like it, I wasn’t going to pretend otherwise to which they happily agreed.
I don’t have to pretend otherwise
This pan may just become my new favourite, the heart of my kitchen, my champion horse in the race. It is absolutely dreamy. Field goes through meticulous steps to produce pans that are properly machined to create a product unlike any of the $30 pans you can find at the hardware store and the proof is in the hands of the cook. I know cast iron, I’ve been using it for decades, and I am thrilled to add this pan to my kitchen.
I’m looking forward to all of my husband’s future presents that will surely round out the rest of the sizes from Field. After all, my cooking pleasure is his eating pleasure.
One day, when I kick the bucket, my pots and pans will go to my children. All the meals I’ve ever made out of my deep devotion and love for them to echo into their creations. You can keep your jewelry and fancy clothes, this gal is all about the quality tools that build a life.