Would you pay $160 for this cast iron pan (Smithey Ironware)?

Really can’t find any compelling reason to pay $135 more for a 10" pan vs. a pre-seasoned Lodge pan? Looked high and low on Smithey’s website and really can’t find anything unique to warrant the $160 price tag…

Any thoughts?

Smithey Ironware

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The older pans are smoother inside, so it’s easier to get that non-stick surface everyone raves about. The newer pans have a rougher finish. Smithey advertises that satin smooth finish that most new pans don’t have and appear to made to look like older pans (smooth finish, heat ring on the bottom, maker’s marks, etc.).

I recently had to rehab my newer Lodge pan after someone ran it through the dishwasher (yes, I cried a little). I took a wire wheel to it to remove the rust before re-seasoning and was thinking that it wouldn’t be that hard to polish (or have someone else polish) the surface smooth on the newer pans. Of course this would mean re-seasoning, but the factory “seasoned” pans still require treatment once you get them home.

I guess the short answer is no. I can see it if one is an antique buff and is into the nostalgia, but this pan is not that.


Thanks for the explanation, so basically paying for an ‘accelerated’ aging process. Guess I’ll stick with my lodge.

Ouch re: the dishwasher incident :sob:

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Not exactly. The older pans started out smoother. I’m guessing most new pans don’t get polished because of the extra labor (cost) involved. I’ve thought about having mine polished. I just don’t know if it’s worth it. I’d be interested to see what others have to say. Mine functions fine, and I don’t use it for everything. However, after cooking a rib steak in mine last weekend, I may never grill a steak again.

Yeah. I had a heart-to-heart with the offending party. They had no clue, so I couldn’t get too upset. They also now know not to put my knives in the dishwasher.

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They are beautiful. But, no way. My old cast irons’ are good enough for me.

$15 at the hardware store.


That’s part of the beauty of cast iron to me. That it’s such a great value. I would never pay close to $160 for a cast iron pan, but I’m betting that there are plenty that would/will.

Now enamelized cast iron is a completely different story. My Le Creuset Dutch oven was worth every penny of it’s 3-figure price tag. Aside from 50% custody of my son, it’s one of the few things I would have gone to court over in my divorce. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


@OCSteve - So true. I’m glad you brought that up. I was thinking if you’re going to spend money get a Le Creuset. Also, if you sign up for Sur La Table email you get sale notices. I bought a couple of All-Clad on sale one was 60% off.

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Cool cast iron pan manufacturing video - Borough Furnace

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Very cool

Without getting too bogged down into this stuff, I’ll just say that I wouldn’t bother with polishing your cast iron. I’ve experimented with it on a few projects and I’ve found that subsequent seasoning has difficulty adhering unless additional steps are taken.

Here is some information about chemically treating polished cast iron so that seasoning will adhere properly: non-stick surfaces and seasoning

I didn’t find all the hassle and chemicals were worth the final product.

If you’re looking for something smooth, either go vintage or blow some cash on any of the number of over-engineered cast iron start-ups on kickstarter.

I’ve come to the conclusion that cast iron is romaticized more than it deserves. It has a place, but gets outperformed by nearly every other type of modern pan out there.


Thanks for the info! I had already decided it wasn’t worth the effort, but it’s nice to have verification.

I agree that cast iron is not the be-all end-all pan. It’s my preferred vessel for cooking steaks and works well for breakfast potatoes, but I don’t use it every day, or even every week. What I do use it for, it works very well, and I love the heat retention and durability.


Exactly! All things that a cheap Lodge will do and do well. I have to laugh when I see the “design team” behind a lot of these new cast iron concepts. Absurd.


[quote=“frommtron, post:10, topic:3189”]
I’ve come to the conclusion that cast iron is romaticized more than it deserves. It has a place, but gets outperformed by nearly every other type of modern pan out there
[/quote]Bite your tongue.

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I agree with frommtron. I have a number of CI skillets but they’re a minor part of my repertoire.

I hear ya’. To each his own. I feel that way about my All-Clads. I love the versatility of the stove top to oven ability. They make good sauté pans, but I don’t like using them for searing or pan frying. They stick.


I know. I’m a monster.

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That’s funny

Absolutely one of the best skillets on the market. Fine crafted like the old world Griswold, these pans cook like a dream. These skillets will last generations.
I have a Smithy and a Finex and they were well worth the money. The versatility of these pans cannot be underestimated. If you take care of them, they will last you and your children a lifetime.

I would have to disagree that there are any modern pans that can outperform a well-seasoned cast iron skillet. Try to bake bread, or grill a steak to perfection with a modern pan. Chicken seared in a cast iron skillet and baked in the oven in the same pan will melt in your mouth, You can use cast iron on the grill, over a campfire, on the range and in the oven. Well-seasoned, slick black and sexy cast iron is worth the money. They also work great on home intruders. My mom used to grab the cast iron skillet every time she heard suspicious noise at the door. LOL