Updated May 11, 2017
Generations of cooks swore by their cast-iron skillets. But then, along came lightweight, non-stick pans and suddenly, the trickiness of caring for cast-iron seemed hopelessly old-fashioned; to everyday cooks, at least.The pros still hung onto their cast-iron pans and now, with revelations about carcinogens in non-stick cookware, the public is coming around to their way of thinking again.
Here’s where to get the Made-in-USA brands .
Disclosure: We’ll get a small commission if you buy through the links in this post. Please do!The Lodge Company of Pittsburg, Tennessee, was founded in 1896 and is still going strong. All of the “seasoned cast-iron” and “carbon steel” cookware is made in Tennessee. The products coated in colorful enamel, however, are produced in China. Macy’s has a good selection of Lodge products, as does Walmart, Williams-Sonoma and many other retailers.FINEX, located in Portland, has only been around since 2012, but they say they’re the only American manufacturer making “heirloom quality” cast-iron. (Lodge has a reputation for rough surfaces on its pans, though fans say they become glass-smooth when properly seasoned.)Nest Homeware adds a beautiful touch to their designs with details that mimic nature. Handles are subtly shaped to look like branches or leaves.The founder of Smithey Ironware, Isaac Morton, didn’t like the rough surfaces of some modern cast-iron, so he developed a super-smooth finish while tinkering in his work shed.Another approach is to buy (or maybe raid Grandma’s closet) for a vintage Made-in-USA brand, like Griswold or Wagner, and restore it to its former glory. Check out this information from the Cast Iron Collector and see if you’re up for the challenge. Or, you can buy cast iron pieces that someone else, like the Griswold enthusiasts at griswoldcookware.com, have reconditioned for you.
— Regards, Kathy