Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Field Company Lightweight Iron Skillet

I've been using cast iron skillets since I was a kid using my mom's cookware, and I'm a big fan. Properly seasoned and cared for, a cast iron skillet will be just as nonstick as your modern nonstick cookware, and it can last for generations.

Aside from extreme thermal shock, I can't imagine how you could seriously damage a cast iron pan. Even if you left it out in the snow all winter and it started to rust, you could sand off the rust and re-season the pan and it would be just fine.

Speaking of thermal shock, I'm not talking about the kind of shock that can break a glass casserole. More like heating it red hot, then pouring liquid nitrogen into it. And I'm not sure that would actually damage it. Not that I want to try. I like my cast iron.

So anyway, the folks at Field Company offered to send me one of their lighter weight cast iron skillets.

Let me be clear here. There's no voodoo involved. It's still real cast iron, just like your foremothers used. The metal is the same. But the skillet is just a little thinner, so it's lighter. It's also smoother, so you don't have a bumpy surface. I'm guessing that rather than just casting it and doing some rough finishing, these are machined to get that smooth surface and thinner metal. But, I'm just guessing. It could be voodoo.

Now, when I'm saying that this skillet is lighter, it's lighter than a standard cast iron skillet of the same size. It's not as light as aluminum. Because that would be actual voodoo.

I went through my usual seasoning process, using the skillet in between. Mostly searing steaks, because that's something that cast iron is excellent at.

As far as performance, there's a slight difference between this pan and my other cast iron pans. Cast iron is desirable for its ability to retain heat, and this did that very well. When I was first heating it, it heated a little unevenly, getting hotter faster right above the flame. However, once it was hot, it all evened out. Since I always preheat cast iron pans, I can't even say this was a drawback. Just something that I noticed. You know, with an infrared thermometer in my hands. Otherwise, I'm not even sure I would have noticed.

Overall, this is a nice pan and I can definitely feel the difference in weight, so I'll be keeping it handy for cooking. And baking. And roasting. And in the grill. And pretty much every way I use cast iron pans.

Like many of the things I review here, I got this pan at no cost to me.

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