Before introducing a new piece of cookware, we cook with prototypes and refine the details - sometimes for years - until we’ve arrived at our perfect pan. Designed in 2010, our frying skillets, with their generous handles, were a big departure from the legacy American skillet all other modern cast iron was modeled after.
After 12 additional years of cooking in ours and making thousands in the workshop, we decided it was time for further refinement! We've retired the master patterns for our original skillet design and are excited to present the updated product. While the updated skillets look a lot like the originals, there are some important performance updates under the hood:
We've made the handle solid (rather than celery-shaped).
The refined profile is more comfortable in the hand. The handle remains at a moderate temperature on the cooktop for maneuvering without an oven mitt. (Tip: if you find your handle getting overly hot, make sure the flame from your range isn't actually hitting the base of the handle!)
The handle is also a bit shorter.
With its new profile, the handle didn't need to be as long to balance the weight of the cookpan for easy handling.
We've made the cook surface thicker.
Increasing the mass of the cook surface helps it heat more evenly and hold a steady temperature. There is a current trend in cast iron to reduce weight, but this works against what a skillet is good at! We plan to talk a lot more about this soon, but when it comes to cooking performance and cast iron, heavier is better - and that's why our skillets have such big helper handles!
The cook surface is also slightly larger.
There is an 8.5" flat cook surface on our larger Frying Skillet with 7" measured on the smaller. The lip-to-lip dimensions are the same (10.5" & 9").
We still think our original design is great and we've kept most of what we love about it:
- Gently sloped sides for optimum airflow and ease of use with cooking tools.
- That generous helper handle for two-handed movement.
- The forked handle connection to dissipate heat.
- Most importantly, a custom finish designed for optimum oil adhesion. It is the oil seasoning that creates its non-stick properties on a skillet, not the smoothness of the metal! (Iron that is too slick works against itself in this regard.)
We've been honored to receive design awards and a lot of editorial recognition for our original skillet design over the years, but we never want to stop pushing forward where we can to improve our offerings and our processes behind the scenes. We hope you love this updated skillet as much as we do!
Related: How is a skillet made?