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Blu Skillet Ironware?

eight_inch_pestle Apr 18, 2014 08:43 PM

Anyone tried this line yet? Saw them at the farmers' market the other day. Beautiful stuff, but don't see many reviews.

http://www.bluskilletironware.com/sho...

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    JustCharlie RE: eight_inch_pestle Apr 19, 2014 01:16 PM

    Haven't tried it but it is gorgeous. I've got a stable of Matfer Bourgeat black steel pans already. I'm sold on the material - steel instead of cast iron (don't get me started) so right off the bat I like the company you've linked to.

    1. w
      wabi RE: eight_inch_pestle Apr 19, 2014 08:18 PM

      I just got one, but have not cooked on it yet. I can tell you that it is well made, and is made to be used, not to sit on a hook. I had great communication with the company as well.

      1 Reply
      1. re: wabi
        eight_inch_pestle RE: wabi Apr 22, 2014 02:13 PM

        Do let us know what you think after you've cooked with it, wabi. Cheers.

      2. s
        Sirrith RE: eight_inch_pestle Apr 21, 2014 08:44 AM

        Wow... $135 for an 8" blue steel pan? What is so special about these compared to your average De Buyer/Matfer?

        5 Replies
        1. re: Sirrith
          kaleokahu RE: Sirrith Apr 21, 2014 09:23 AM

          Hand-made in USA. <1 mile away from me!

          1. re: Sirrith
            w
            wabi RE: Sirrith Apr 21, 2014 01:27 PM

            What is so special is that it is hand crafted. It is hand crafted and functional. Yes...I could purchase a whole collection of DeBuyer pans at that price. But I appreciate well crafted, functional hand made tools. As a bit of background I collect custom knives, and many of my friends are knife makers. Right now in my pocket are knives made by Ernest Emerson and Tom Mayo. I could carry cheaper knives, but why not carry something hand made by someone you know, in this case friends? Anything that is hand made is going to cost more than a manufactured object, but there is a certain joy in using them.

            1. re: wabi
              Chemicalkinetics RE: wabi Apr 23, 2014 11:19 AM

              It is probably not as hand craft as it seems. It is just the difference between semi-automated vs full automation. I don't think you really having a person pounding a sheet metal from the beginning.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
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                VeganVick RE: Chemicalkinetics Apr 23, 2014 12:35 PM

                I was thinking the same thing that will be an enormous amount of work to do everything from scratch they must buy the discs in bulk somehow which isn't hard and then make the rest

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                  Sid Post RE: Chemicalkinetics Apr 25, 2014 06:14 AM

                  Think about how the French copper pans are made. These probably use similar techniques.

            2. JTPhilly RE: eight_inch_pestle Apr 21, 2014 09:19 AM

              expensive but very attractive

              1. kaleokahu RE: eight_inch_pestle Apr 22, 2014 09:41 AM

                Thankfully, I learned that these are made less than a mile from my city house.

                Here's a short local news piece showing the pans being made: http://www.king5.com/on-tv/evening-ma...

                Aloha,
                Kaleo

                1 Reply
                1. re: kaleokahu
                  eight_inch_pestle RE: kaleokahu Apr 23, 2014 02:17 PM

                  Looks like that link got chopped. Here's a working version.

                  http://www.king5.com/on-tv/evening-ma...

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                  INDIANRIVERFL RE: eight_inch_pestle Apr 22, 2014 09:47 AM

                  Pans and the accoutrements look like the Danish and Swedish products sold in Europe in the late 70s. I bought a 6 unit oil lamp that looked beautiful in the store and never fit in any place I lived in.

                  Finally relegated to the recycling bin.

                  1. v
                    VeganVick RE: eight_inch_pestle Apr 22, 2014 11:12 AM

                    I may pick up a couple looks great and it's good to support small US mom-and-pop businesses

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: VeganVick
                      kaleokahu RE: VeganVick Apr 22, 2014 11:47 AM

                      Hi, VV:

                      If you'd like, I'll report back here after I visit their shop in the next day or two. What would you like to know besides weight and thickness?

                      Aloha,
                      Kaleo

                      1. re: kaleokahu
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                        INDIANRIVERFL RE: kaleokahu Apr 22, 2014 11:53 AM

                        Any seconds available???

                        My 14 in cast iron is getting pretty thin. Anything that size in the $10 range and I am good for it. :-)

                        1. re: kaleokahu
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                          wabi RE: kaleokahu Apr 22, 2014 12:02 PM

                          Kaleo, by all means give us a report of what you saw and what they have in the works. My only complaint about them is that they sent my pan via economy mail, and it came by Matson barge and not by air. It took about a month to arrive. That said, we communicated by email, and they were horrified that it took so long and refunded the shipping costs to me. A small gesture but a meaningful one. I would certainly buy another pan from them. I bought a 10 inch french skillet from them. BTW...I think they would make a great wok if they set their minds to it!

                          1. re: wabi
                            kaleokahu RE: wabi Apr 22, 2014 12:13 PM

                            E, wabi, Aloha:

                            Sure, I'll ping them when I visit. This is a small kine artisanal operation, so I'd expect there to be some hitches and learning experiences from them.

                            I've also asked them if they'll do one-off pieces, haven't heard back.

                            Shoots,
                            Kaleo

                            1. re: kaleokahu
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                              wabi RE: kaleokahu Apr 22, 2014 03:48 PM

                              Kaleo...when you visit them, tell em that the guy they sent one to in Hawaii says Aloha, that I love the pan, and am thinking about buying another one. I'm all for craftsman made products. I don't know what it is but I much prefer things like that. I guess I am just old school.

                          2. re: kaleokahu
                            v
                            VeganVick RE: kaleokahu Apr 22, 2014 12:23 PM

                            That would be awesome any and all information I will be great I will be grateful

                            1. re: VeganVick
                              eight_inch_pestle RE: VeganVick Apr 22, 2014 04:55 PM

                              Seconded.

                              1. re: eight_inch_pestle
                                i
                                INDIANRIVERFL RE: eight_inch_pestle Apr 26, 2014 07:10 AM

                                Aloha Kaleo... Dear Daughter is really enjoying her blue steel crepe pans from that store in Paris. Are the paella pans as nice as they look? This may force me to get a real job so I can get her a great paella pan. With all the trips to Spain, I found subbing my cast iron skillets a reasonable and cost effective way to go.

                                Cheers!!

                                Edit.. Sometimes I get so enthused, I jump in before reading all of the thread. Question answered. This water rat is going to have to dry out for a couple of months. Dear Daughter is worth it.

                                1. re: INDIANRIVERFL
                                  kaleokahu RE: INDIANRIVERFL Apr 26, 2014 08:14 AM

                                  Hi, INDIANRIVER (Why must we shout?):

                                  Yes, the gratins/paella pans are very nice. The loop handles are also hand-forged, but the nature of the beast is they're not a very big canvas for Patrick's hammer.

                                  And their tooling right now limits them to a max diameter of 13", so no 1-meter pans of paella for DD.

                                  Aloha,
                                  Kaleo

                                  1. re: kaleokahu
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                                    INDIANRIVERFL RE: kaleokahu Apr 26, 2014 08:22 AM

                                    Why must we shout? Caps lock were on when I registered and the mods cannot change once entered. Another example of leaping before looking.

                                    A 20 in. pan is worth the wait.

                                    Aloha and off to the beach volleyball at the end of Ocean Blvd.

                        2. r
                          rasputina RE: eight_inch_pestle Apr 22, 2014 12:27 PM

                          The handles look insanely long.

                          1. DuffyH RE: eight_inch_pestle Apr 23, 2014 04:38 PM

                            When all is said and done, they're just flat out gorgeous, for sure. If I owned a few of these Dude might even be willing to let me hang a pot rack. :-)

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: DuffyH
                              kaleokahu RE: DuffyH Apr 23, 2014 05:24 PM

                              Hi, Duffy:

                              I'm going for a visit tomorrow. The little sub-neighborhood they're in has a large population of artisan shops, and I think these folks are part of a larger group of industrial metal artists and blacksmiths.

                              I think if you're confident you'll stick with carbon steel for awhile, their prices aren't out of line. Atelier-made can sometimes be worth it.

                              I'll post tomorrow on thickness, etc.

                              Aloha,
                              Kaleo

                            2. kaleokahu RE: eight_inch_pestle Apr 24, 2014 08:46 PM

                              Aloha Kakou:

                              I thought I'd report on the fun and informative hour I spent this afternoon with Patrick Maher and Caryn Badgett of Blu Skillet. Caryn showed off all the wares, and Patrick was kind enough to give me a wonderful walk-through of the MANY steps involved in making these steel pans. Although Patrick did not make an entire pan before my eyes, I watched him make a pan body and handle nearly start to finish. In the roar of the forge and with sparks flying, a steel baby was all but born before me.

                              I should say at the outset that the pans are even more beautiful than the website makes them appear. They are not planished in the classic sense, but rather are hand-hammer forged (as in "forearm, meet hammer") after an initial pressing. The handles are elaborately forged, too, initially with a power hammer, and then many separate trips made between forge and Patrick's enormous anvil. Working alone (and long hours), Patrick estimates his max production at 20 pans per day.

                              The sheetstock used is 12-gauge, which translates to 2.65mm, and while the handles are long (as rasputina noticed), even the tiny 6" skillet sits solidly flat, in no danger of capsizing when empty. The skillets feel heavier in the hand than the thickness of steel would suggest to me.

                              Interestingly, the handles are forged slightly concave on the upper surface, slightly reminiscent of the hated/loved handles of All-Clad. Personally, I HATE A-C's handles, but these did not bite me, and the overall handle geometry scribes the arc of a diver, rather than juts like A-C's stick-like projections. I would give the ergonomics a solid A. It's obvious to me that a huge amount of thought went into these designs.

                              From a wonk's perspective the handle flange/pan body interface is quite high-tolerance, and the rivets (2 sizes) are robust.

                              I specifically asked about the propensity of these pans to warp, and I got a long list of reasons why that propensity is small with these pans. It distills down to: (a) relieving stresses through forging (contrast other makers only pressing); the removal of scale; and later heat treating; and (b) the thickness of the steel.

                              I also asked about their willingness to do one-offs and woks. Patrick diplomatically said not at the present, but said they have other pans in the idea stage (It was clear from watching that changing sizes and shapes requires a LOT of work in the form of new tooling, some of which is expensive, and some of which is also hand-made.)

                              There are many touches bestowed on these pans which might pass notice unless you know a master blacksmith. For instance, the handle loop (known as a rat-tail) is laboriously worked on the anvil so that the "hole" it makes is *perfectly* round. Another is the maker's mark hand stamped into the handle flange. Patrick had a stamp made that contained all three elements of the mark (so it could be struck with one hammer blow), but he chooses to strike each tiny element separately. Such is the level of care in everything here. Given the work and thought involved, the prices are extremely reasonable (Warning: the week after the first celebrity chef is televised using these...).

                              I know the blacksmith aesthetic isn't for everyone, but there is something masterful and at the same time *intimate* about these pans. They aren't technically bespoke, but they sure look and handle like it. The last time I was this jazzed over an operation was in Bob Kramer's original Seattle shop before Martha Stewart and the NYT "discovered" him.

                              I can't decide if I like the 10" gratin or the 8" French skillet the best. They are both deep enough proportionately to be called sauteuses evassee.

                              Aloha,
                              Kaleo

                              PS Wabi: Caryn has your aloha and mahalo.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: kaleokahu
                                w
                                wabi RE: kaleokahu Apr 24, 2014 11:07 PM

                                Kaleo...Howzit! Thank you ever so much for the report. I am glad that you were impressed by the workmanship. I certainly was. The pans are certainly not poseurs. I am even more thankful to hear of the thought that went into the construction of the pans. As I stated before, I would certainly enjoy another one. I will be curious to see what your thoughts are once you test drive your own. Thanks again for passing along my regards to Caryn.

                                1. re: kaleokahu
                                  r
                                  rasputina RE: kaleokahu Apr 25, 2014 05:41 AM

                                  Thanks for the report, especially about the balance of the pans with regard to the long handles.

                                  1. re: kaleokahu
                                    eight_inch_pestle RE: kaleokahu Apr 25, 2014 10:10 AM

                                    Thanks for the stellar review. Definitely even more intrigued.

                                    1. re: kaleokahu
                                      k
                                      katnat RE: kaleokahu Apr 26, 2014 08:41 AM

                                      Just bought one of the skillets and it's sitting on my table with 3 red ripe tomatoes in it (visuals are beautiful). I too can report that the weight is perfectly balanced and it looks like it will season up beautifully. Only problem is that the skillet is so gorgeous I almost don't want to mar the finish by actually cooking on it.

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