What Makes Our Pans So Good?
In a word — profile. In industrial usage, profile is a term that denotes surface roughness. Asphalt is rougher than glass, and therefore it has a higher profile. Our cookware is hand-cast at a profile that is incredibly low — literally smoother than people thought possible. We don’t hog them out with grinding machines-we cast them smooth, like the great foundries did in the 1800s.
Modern cast iron cookware is made by huge machines. They can cast the material very quickly and efficiently. This is why modern cast iron pans are cheap, really cheap — in both senses of the word. If you buy a $10 pan, well, you shouldn’t expect much. You should expect a high profile. Cheap is fast, but cheap is also heavy and rough.
The Sound of Smooth
Smooth Is Better
Conventional cast iron is poured into sand molds, so it literally is sand, but in reverse. That’s rough! Food literally cooks into the texture of the surface. It’s why your eggs stick. Butter Pat cast iron is incredibly smooth. So smooth that food has a hard time sticking, and cleaning your pan is a breeze.
Conventional Cast Iron
This close-up photo shows what you get with a hardware store pan. You’ve seen it, and chances are you’ve had to cook with it at one time or another. If you didn’t like cooking with it, you are not alone. Go figure.
The Best Pan You'll Ever Own
Not only is a smooth cast iron surface great to cook in and clean up, but it is incredibly durable. No Teflon to chip, or enamel to break, crack, or discolor. Smooth cast iron is continually repairing any minute blemishes in the surface as oil polymerizes with heat. It will be as good for your grandchildren as it will be for you.
Introducing The Lili
We proudly introduce our exclusive offer of the Lili, a large 14” pan with a 12” cooking surface. It will change the way you think about cast iron — maybe even cookware as a whole. Perfect for induction ranges, gas and electric stovetops, or the top of an old woodstove. And, as you probably guessed, they are perfect for cooking on a Cowboy Cauldron
- 100% sourced and hand-cast in the USA
- Limited quantity castings
- Exclusive for Cowboy Cauldron
- 100 year guarantee-pass it on to your children
Introducing The Joan
The Joan. This is what most folks would consider a large stovetop skillet. The Joan is a 12” pan with a 10” cooking surface, and is the pan you will reach for when you are thinking about cooking bacon and eggs for the family, or are sautéing vegetables for dinner. Spacious, functional, and oh, so smooth, it is just like the one you might have inherited from your grandmother – except better in every way.
The Story Behind Our Cast Iron
Cowboy Cauldron’s goal has been to make the finest fire pit and grill ever made. Mission accomplished. A friend of ours, Dennis Powell — a guy who helped out Cowboy Cauldron every step of the way — decided to strike out on a similar path and founded Butter Pat Industries. He set out to create the finest polished cast iron cookware™ ever made and, of course, we were there to help.
We had just three requirements:
- 1– It had to be cast thin
- 2– Had to be polished smooth
- 3– And had to be made here in America
It took three years of serious work. Dennis consulted metallurgists, computational engineers in fluids dynamics, foundry science professors, and more. We were told it couldn’t be done today in America. We were told it just plain couldn’t be done. Dennis traveled and researched the historical records of the manufacturers of the smooth thin-wall castings of the past. Foundry after foundry threw up their hands and told us to go home.
When Butter Pat finally started pouring pans: they cracked. We poured again: they had holes in them. We poured, revised, poured, swore, poured, refined, and finally Butter Pat and their team of skilled and dedicated foundrymen got it right. The resulting cast iron exceeded our wildest expectations.
Most people think that when you season a pan, it becomes non-stick. That’s only partly true. If the pan’s surface is exceptionally smooth, like Butter Pat Polished Cast Iron Cookware™, it is almost non-stick to start with and seasoning will make it even more so.
On the other hand, if a pan’s surface is rough, no amount of seasoning in the world will save it. Here’s why: when oil heats to a certain temperature its molecular structure starts to change. It darkens and changes from a liquid to a solid, but that chain of polymers is really thin — just a matter of microns, so it won’t fill in a rough surface. If you start with a surface that looks like sand, and you season it, what you get isn’t a smooth pan, what you get is a dark, rough pan.
On the other hand, if you start with a pan that is really smooth, what you get when you season it is a super-slick, durable, and relatively care-free finish. That’s where cast iron got its great reputation. To achieve this, you have to start with a great pan-like our Polished Cast Iron Cookware™ from Butter Pat.
The Truth About Cast Iron
WHY YOU’VE NEVER SEEN A CAST IRON SAUCEPAN
Yeah, we sell cast iron. But we promised to tell the truth, and the truth is that cast iron isn’t best for everything. Just like knives or skis, there are uses for one type of pan that aren’t great for another. You wouldn’t want to ski deep powder on biathlon skis, or peel an apple with a 12” chef’s knife.
Cast iron has great heat retention, but lousy heat distribution. If you are making a tricky sauce, like hollandaise, where quick, precise control of low heat is critical, use a copper pan that will quickly and efficiently distribute heat (or dissipate it). You need this level of control to do this kind of cooking. It’s why the finest French saucepans are made from copper.
Cast iron also takes a little more attention than some other materials. You shouldn’t put it in the dishwasher. When you are done cleaning it, you really should rub a tiny bit of oil on it before you put it away. But for most cooking uses, cast iron kicks ass. It’s why the good ones get passed down through families for generations. There is no reason to feel selfish about spending real money on great cast iron — after all, aren’t you really doing it for your great-grandchildren?