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Field Cast Iron Cookware - possibly the best Cast Iron Skillets ever made
Meet Stephen and Chris Muscarella from Field, and learn why they set out to make the best cast iron pans
Our Cast Iron Story
I’m obsessive about high quality cookware, and specifically Iron Cookware. I have access to all the best brands of cookware in the world but I didn't have, and couldn't find (for a reasonable amount of money) a classic American made skillet from the late 1800's - which is probably one of the most coveted kitchen items there is. In the 80's and 90's, at the height of Telfon Coated Cookware, you could pick one of these pans at a garage sale for a few bucks, and now, if you can find one, they're hundreds.
A few years ago I heard that 2 brothers planned to make the perfect, vintage styled, cast iron skillet and were going to Kickstarter for backing. I read through their research, and believed that they were going to do it right. I pledged my cash and signed up to be one of the first to receive a new Field Cast Iron #8 Skillet
Fast forward 8 months, after a few delays, I received my pan. Out of the box the pan was preseasoned (with 1 coating), light and balanced, and the surface was smooth like a baby’s bum! It was the smoothest finish that I’ve ever felt on a new cast Iron pan, and made me very excited. I know from experience that the type of finish of Cast Iron makes all the difference for how seasoning adheres to the cast iron surface.
I immediately put the pan through its paces, and quickly realised that I’d bought something truly special. I’d just received a type of pan that hadn’t been produced in a few generations. It’s a meticulously designed, hand crafted, beautifully machined, heirloom skillet. The question then? Which one of my kids would get this sweet thing.
The preseasoning out of the box was good to keep it from rusting but it was not ready for use. I spent a Sunday afternoon building 4 more layers of polymerised seasoning just to get it to a starting point of use. I've been using this pan for over a year, and it now has countless hardened layers on the surface and it's 100% non stick, and cleans up better than any pan I own. My Field #8 is the best pan I've ever used. Period.
So, of course I wanted to sell these pans to spread my joy. Last year I reached out to Field to see if we could retail their skillets, but they didn’t have the capacity to sell to us, yet. This year I reached out again and even though they were not actively looking for more retail partners, they were excited to see that we cared enough about the whole Fry Pan Story to host our popular ‘Fry Pan Trade In Event’ every year and decided that they’d allow us to stock the full line - we’re now the first and only retailer in Canada to stock Field Cast Iron Skillets.
Who are Field Cast Iron Skillets for?
Not everyone. You can buy a hard working, easy to season, last-a-life-time, Lodge Skillet for 1/3 of what a Field Skillet costs. But if you love cooking, and the fit and feel of quality cookware warms your tummy, and the idea of a pan that can build the best seasoning that you've ever used makes you giddy, then Field Cast Iron Skillets were designed and built for you.
I hope you enjoy your Field Skillet as much as I do.
The Evolution of the Field Skillet
The Muscarella Brother’s wanted to make a pan that their Grandmother would be proud to use, so they set themselves a few goals
Have you lost weight?
They wanted it to be comfortable, and because of that it couldn’t be too heavy. This is a huge challenge when using Cast Iron. They went to great lengths (like all the way to Poland) to find a method that would allow them to make a thinner pan that wouldn't shatter, but had heat retention closer to heavier pans.
A better pan
They don’t like pour spouts, and I don’t either. It’s not super clear why pour spouts are a part of many cast iron skillets other than some blacksmith figured that his wife could drain fat easier. In reality, pour spouts don’t help. Field Skillets are perfectly round, without dents.
They obsessed over the handle - why? Because that is the second most important part of the pan. If the pan is uncomfortable, then it’s not a high quality pan, no matter what. After loads of research they came to the conclusion that in a one piece pan, there isn’t a way to make a handle that doesn't get hot however they did get the shape right to be super comfortable.
The pans are perfectly flat for maximum conductivity. These pans will not warp with heat however I suggest to run the pan under warm water after use. Thermal shock is hard on metal.
Smooth as a baby's bum
A truly magical element of these pans is the polished interior. This best-in-class finish makes for superior ‘season-ability’. Read - how to season Field Cast Iron Cookware (link to come)
The guys spent a load of time here, testing all the methods of finishing the inside of the pans. Interestingly, they couldn’t get a quality seasoning on a pan that was finished with a CNC machine. Who knew? They resorted to a more labour intensive method to get the perfect results.
Black and Green
At Cook Culture, we take issue to the amount of waste created by cheap disposable cookware. Not only are Field Skillets an heirloom item, they are made from 75% to 90% recycled iron. Truely a feel good pan.
We are proud to carry the entire line of Field Cast Iron Skillets and believe that these were built for those that want the best Cast Iron Skillets in the world.
We hope you love your new Field Cast Iron Skillet as much as we do.