The Cast Iron Pan to Gift Every Home Cook

What is Stargazer?
Born in the garage of founder Peter Huntley in Alltown, PA – the ancestral home of American steelmaking – Stargazer cast-iron cookware is a direct-to-consumer suitcase that has doubled production every year since its 2016 Kickstyle campaign.

Before falling down through the cast iron rabbit hole in the early 2010s, Huntley was a graphic artist for a housewife company specializing in licensed goods. (If you bought a Mickey Mouse or Batman mug Self Your child, there is a good chance, he was the one who designed the decal and oversaw its construction.) “I became obsessed with collecting and restoring old cast iron,” says Huntley, 34 , Which was inspired by the prevalent complaint. In online cast iron community forums: They do not use them. He thought, what if he can?

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Why we like it
Although much of it can be made to be myth-making, cast-iron cookware gets a relatively small amount of attention for its inspiring nature and care: don’t use soap! Do not wet it! As if they were gremlins instead of paan. Huntley had his own apprehension about buying his first skeleton back in the day: “I didn’t enter cast-iron any sooner because it seemed like it was so hard to maintain, with all these special rules.” So when he decided to develop a Stargazer skillet, he placed his bets against Medium’s Udham’s reputation by dialing in an ideal nonstick finish.

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“Surface finish is the gateway drug,” he says. The majority of cast-iron cookware is poured into pressurized sand, leaving behind a rough surface. “This is the main difference between vintage and [contemporary] Budget pieces. Everything prior to the 1950s was grinding smoothly after casting, “an additional step by mass manufacturers as a cost-cutting measure.” Huntley added it back. After being poured into Wisconsin, skillets receive a two-tier polishing treatment by machine first in Ohio, then at headquarters in Alltown, where they are seasoned with non-GMO grapes, canola, and sunflower oils. The mixture gives Stargazer its distinctive copper luster.

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The refining process optimizes the release of food. While testing, I made a silly misunderstanding — and each in Stargazer’s best season of broccoli, pan-roasted chicken thighs with grapes, baked cornbread, even sliced ​​swordstone — cast-iron skillets. Items cut from skillet without sticking. This also made cleaning incredibly easy. While conventional wisdom only recommends wiping a paper iron bowl with a folded towel, I often have to briefly soak my pan from the lodge, one of the largest heritage manufacturers in the United States, and the brand. I’ve always recommended by default the past, in warm soapy water, then scrub, wash, and let them dry completely to prevent rust. To be clear, there is nothing wrong with cleaning cast iron in this way, but when testing the Stargazer, a paper towel was actually necessary.

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Other benefits of the Stargazer include a long convex handle that remains cool to the touch; An accessory handles when you need a two-arm lift; And long flared sides that splash between the skillet and the stovetop. Stargazer is also one of the few manufacturers who are selling their pans in bare options. According to Huntley, it only accounts for 10 percent of sales, “but some people in the cast iron community have their tried-and-true method that their grandmother used,” and who’s going to argue with the grandmother?

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Nitpick

The lodge will sell you a 10.5-inch cast iron skeleton for $ 20, while the same-sized Stargazer costs $ 115, including additional finishing labor and shipping due to the all-American supply chains. The price point may be something for a nitpick, but when you look at apple-retro-inspired competitors like Smiley Ironware, Burrow Furnace, and Finex, Stargazer is the group’s most affordable option. If you are in the market to upgrade your cast-iron arsenal, Stargazer is one way to do it.

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