It Ain't Cheap

Sean Brock’s Cast-Iron Skillet of Choice? A $300 Pan from a Small Virginia Maker

March 1, 2019 Home By

About halfway through Sean Brock’s episode in the latest season of “Chef’s Table” on Netflix (which went live Friday of last week), the Southern chef is seen making his lauded jimmy red cornbread in a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet. After a quick look at the pour spouts, front lip shape and short handle, we’re confident in saying that’s a Butter Pat Industries pan.

Starting at $145, Butter Pat’s skillets are not cheap, but they are great to cook with (Brock looks to be using the $295 Joan pan). Our choice for best all-around skillet is cast by hand, lightweight and features nicely sloping cooking walls. It’s not necessarily the cast-iron skillet to get if you’ve never owned one before, but if you’re a Southern food luminary like Sean Brock it makes a bit more sense.

Brock’s skillet wasn’t the only iron on camera during this season of the show. Shown cooking at home, Savannah, GA’s Mashama Bailey shows off a peculiar skillet with an odd ridge on the handle. The odd span was made by Wagner, one of the most storied and collectible cast iron brands on the market — only that particular model was made in the early 1990s, and isn’t of the collectible variety. According to a blog on ModeMac, General Housewares made an “1891 Original” line of Wagner skillets in 1991, and that ridge only appears on that specific line.

Gear Patrol also recommends:
Lodge 12-Inch Cast-Iron Skillet ($30)
Stargazer Cast-Iron Skillet ($80+)
Field Cast-Iron Skillet ($125+)
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Will Price

Will Price is Gear Patrol's home and drinks editor. He's from Atlanta and lives in Brooklyn. He's interested in bourbon, houseplants, cheap Japanese pens, and cast-iron skillets — maybe a little too much.

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