I’ll comment again that if I need nonstick I use a skillet with a cast iron coating. Mine last forever and, no, the coating isn’t dangerous.
I’m happy to hear your enjoying your cast iron skillets. As I said, cast iron does have a place for me.
Most of the claims you make, however, aren’t really supported by my experience or most reasonable tests. It’s just the thing you need for certain preps, but many others call for something that works better. For me, it’s a very romanticized product. And I’m talking about brands like Lodge, which are reasonably priced.
Finex, Smithey, and other recent producers of highly finished cast iron skillets are making the very definition of a veblen good.
I’m glad that a few companies are making modern cast iron that’s machined smooth (Field is a bit cheaper and seems decent). I’ve got a couple of Wagners, and love them (my first CI pan, which broke, was also a no-name vintage piece). I much prefer cooking on the smoother surface, but also, the vintage stuff is much lighter, comparable to a heavy carbon steel pan. For example, my Wagner #10 is ~ 5 lb, roughly the same as a Mineral B skillet, and a good pound or two lighter than the same diameter Lodge.
I absolutely agree that charging $100-200 for a product like this is not something that is reasonable for most people, however at some point, I’d like to have one of these new companies’ products just because I like that they’re doing it. That said, I’d definitely suggest getting vintage, even something no-name / non-collectible, vs. new Lodge.
It’s also a bummer that Lodge had pretty much shut down any other makers of cast iron, so I’m glad that there are some smaller outfits making products, even at high prices.
Well… we did buy a Smithey pan, But I can tell you are now - please do not do it! The pan arrived, and clearly the bottom of the pan was not hand polished. While the edges of the pan were quite smooth and glassy, the center of the pan, about 1/2 of the diameter of the pan, was very rough and appeared to have been incompletely polished by a machine. This was certainly not what we were expecting after paying that kind of money for this pan!
Even worse, when I contacted customer service, Trevor initially claimed they would do what they could to “make this right”, however, In the end he claimed ”we do not consider this skillet outside of our quality control”.
So the pan gets a D rating, however their customer service is a complete F!
Do not spend your money on this pan.
Wow that’s terrible they don’t stand by their product, thanks for the review.
Very sorry to hear that. Thank you for taking one for the team.
Your claims are completely unwarranted. You have no basis in assuming that the pans are not hand polished. They are! I live in N. Charleston, SC where the pans are finished and I have witnessed the pans being finished, by hand. The technology behind Smithey’s product is second to none. The pan arrives in mint condition and ready to cook. The smooth, hand polished finish will cook an egg over easy with a drop of butter straight out of the box. And the packaging is beautifully done.
My customer service response time has been incredible. My early questions only stemmed from how to care for the pan as it cooked beautifully. The updates to website under the “USE” section now address all of those questions.
I strongly recommend this pan for any avid chef (professional or at home) or someone who appreciates fine quality products that will span generations. This is truly a pan that represents the finest in modern craftsmanship and the work ethic of a hardworking small business owner trying to redefine modern-day cast iron.
I highly recommend the pan. You won’t be disappointed.
This is a peculiar sub-thread here. RMR and Bird are both new users with one post each.
Another odd thing, I can’t find customer reviews of Smithey anywhere. It’s not sold on Amazon or by any of the major online kitchen-equipment retailers.
So what is your thinking Robert? I mean sherlock holmes.
What is the deal with these cast iron pans? polishing, flavor, why no dishwasher?
Also, could this pan be cleaned? No, I am not buying it. But I do check this site from time to time.
I find both those posts suspicious, but it’s a moot point to me since I prefer enameled cast-iron.
More generally, I don’t know why anyone would pay $160 for a new cast-iron skillet when you can get a first-rate old one in excellent condition for a fraction of that price.
those can be easily reseasoned, it doesn’t really look that bag but you could always burn off the seasoning and start over if you want. I tend to use DeBuyer type pans but have heard nothing but good things about the old Griswold’s
And I’ll add that my first cast iron skillet, a no-name, from the hardware store on main street in Culver City, is performing better than my new pre-seasoned lodge. Maybe it’s that the other one has 20 years of cooking and seasoning - but boy howdy is that skillet a Rock Star, comparably… Maybe I’ll feel that way about my Lodge in a bit…
But for now? My cheapie oldie brings it.
The polishing provides a smoother finish that makes it more non-stick. Newer mass-market pans (like my Lodge) have a “sandy”, or bumpy, finish from when they are cast. As far as the dishwasher, dish soap and hand washing is fine, as that won’t remove the seasoning. However, dishwasher detergents (as tasty as those pods are) have harsher detergents that can strip away the seasoning that builds up over time and makes the pan more non-stick. Worse, if someone in your house runs it through the dishwasher and puts it away without you knowing it, your pan will develop a not-so-nice film of rust over the entire thing (yes, it’s happened to me), and cleaning that up is a total pain.
I wash my new and old ones with dish washing soap, i.e., Dawn. With just a little water left on it I’ll put on high heat of the stove. When the water is mostly cooked off, I add some oil, rub around with a paper towel. I don’t have a goal of non-stick so don’t if my old ones are or not. “That’s why Jesus invented nonstick!” J/K
is this kind of like kosher cooking, where someone has to verify that every pan gets polished? Impressive that they got you doing that job for free.
Obvious shill. Those two posts should be flagged and removed.
My first post here, but I thought I might offer my thoughts after receiving a 12" pan as a gift back in May. First off, I love cast iron, I’ve cooked on it for over 40 years. I lost my antique griswalds in the divorce several years ago but my hardware store lodges are serving me well. I’ve had issues with the Smithey, mine is smooth but not polished, it still shows circular tooling marks from the machining process, I can’t seem to get it to “take” the seasoning, it cooks more like a stainless steel pan than a cast iron. Maybe it will get better with use but after reading all the comments here tonight I may pick up the phone and give those fellas in N Chuck a call tomorrow and see what they say.
Welcome, and thanks for the input!