I believe there are few things more admirable than someone following their passion for something and risking it all to make a dream-become a reality. It takes an unending amount of drive, sweat, tears, hard work, gumption (and above all, excellent product or service) to turn a hobby into a profitable and growing business. And that is precisely how I came across the locally made Smithey Ironware cast iron skillets. Isaac Morton is the founder of this incredible product line and it all began when he would find old cast iron skillets and (for fun) re-finish them for family and friends…he enjoyed taking something old and giving it life again.
I visited the workshop on James Island and saw first hand the multiple steps that Issac and his team do to each piece. First of all, most people don’t realize that the first step is the casting process (which in this case, occurs in the midwest) and is then shipped in its rough state to Isaac. That’s when the magic happens and transforms something raw into a work of art. There are several stages of sanding, polishing, oiling, heating…re-oiling and more heating…more polishing (over and over again) until each piece has been finely detailed by hand and is perfect. Stacks of skillets are all of the workshop and its spectacular to see them each one come to life. I recently was given a Smithey skillet and after test driving it over a campfire to cook with for an entire weekend and then brought it home with me and cooked with for a few weeks…I fell in love with it and reached out to Issac about coming on board for this project. I enjoyed working with it because it is a well made and fantastic product, I appreciate the beauty of the deep chocolate color and the detail of the craftsmanship and I am very passionate (it’s my personal mission) is to help support local people who are making great things! If you are looking to begin or grow your cast iron collection then I highly recommend checking out Smithey’s 10 or 12 inch skillets, buy one for yourself or gift it to someone who will appreciate it. http://smitheyironware.com
Smithey Advice for: Seasoning Cast Iron
Seasoning is the build-up oil remnants that carbonize over a skillet’s surface when you cook on it over high heat. This glossy black surface can take time to develop and is the mark of a mature cast iron skillet.
One method that helps to accelerate the seasoning process is the stovetop method. Included are directions below:
Stovetop Seasoning Method
- On your range, bring the pan to a scorching temperature and intermittently rub light layers of shortening or vegetable oil over its cook surface with a paper towel in succession. Be careful because the skillet is HOT. The oil will smoke, so be sure to turn on a vent or hood.
- After 5-10 minutes of applying oil to the surface at a scorching temp, the pan’s surface will begin to turn a deep chocolate color. Once this happens turn the heat off and allow to cool down.
- After the pan cools a bit, apply another light layer of oil to the surface and bake in your oven for 1 hour at 450.