Our love of tough, inexpensive cast iron pans is well-documented. A cast iron skillet is really all you need to make many, many dishes. Well, two friends in Tennessee want to apply modern design and American craftsmanship to this classic piece of cookware. Meet Borough Furnace. Borough Furnace is a team of two cousins from Tennessee who both have an interest in creative design and local, sustainably-sourced materials and production. John Truex and Jason Connelly both have training in art and design, and an interest in cast iron cookware. They designed two really amazing pan designs: a frying skillet, and a braising skillet. Their pan prototypes are made from recycled materials (radiators!) and they plan to produce all their products locally.
To create the prototypes, John and his father built what they called "Skilletron" from steel dairy cans they found in a scrap yard. Then they created the two gorgeous cast iron pan prototypes in this homemade furnace.
Their pans are not yet available; they had hoped to design and prototype the cookware and then have the pans produced locally. But then they discovered that nearly no foundry in the United States would work with them. Apparently all cookware like this is only done in China and India (with the exception of Lodge, who also produces their cast iron lines in Tennessee).
So they are working on creating their own facility to manufacture these pans locally, and it will be several months at least before the pans are in production. But we're smitten right now; we are really loving these pans!
• Read more: Borough Furnace
(Images: Borough Furnace)