SCI (Scandicrafts Cuisine Internationale) carries an impressive collection of artistically crafted cast iron teapots. Each teapot is designed with exquisite detail. All uniquely display a warm sense of tradition with a contemporary flair.
Each of SCI’s teapots comes with a matching cast iron trivet. Some sets also include matching teacups. Each teapot includes a removable stainless steel mesh infuser, making it perfect for both loose leaves and tea bags.
Cast iron teapots are ideal since the cast iron distributes the heat evenly inside the pot to better extract the flavors and health benefits of your tea. A distinctively appealing taste is acquired only from brewing tea in a cast iron teapot. Cast iron teapots develop a seasoning from repeated use, producing richly flavored cups of tea that are each more delicious than the last.
Suggested retail prices range from $63.00 to $80.00.
By Micah Cheek
Even in a world of advanced nonsticks and lightweight aluminum saute pans, cast iron maintains a strong presence for functionality and strength. There is a whole internet subculture dedicated to finding and restoring vintage cast iron, in part because vintage cast iron was polished to a smooth finish after being cast. This increased the cast iron’s nonstick properties, but significantly raised the cost of production. Gradually, consumers turned to less expensive options with a rougher, more pebbly texture. Now, consumers are looking for higher quality cast iron with a more refined surface.
One cast iron producer, Stargazer Cast Iron, was started out of an interest in vintage cookware. “I got into cast iron as a hobby, I was collecting it and obsessing with it,” says Peter Huntley, Chief Executive Officer of Stargazer. “I thought I had something to contribute here. Even with the vintage ones, there were some design changes to be made, so that’s where my design came from.” Huntley used his background in both design and dinnerware industries to build his ideal pan from the ground up. One big factor was the smooth surface that older designs had. “I had experimented at home with different materials. It seemed attainable to me. It seemed like the kind of thing that should be done in production rather than the end user having to,” says Huntley. “The surface finish is what got the ball rolling, but we’ve made some other changes. One of them is weight. We kept weight in mind in every step of the process. The weight of cast iron is what makes it retain heat, but we’ve made it very manageable.”
Luke Trovato, Chief Marketing Officer of Stargazer, notes that the growing market for high end cast iron has to do with utility and sourcing. “Initially we were figuring out which demographic would be there, we’ve found that we sell across all demographics, a lot of people are interested in American-made products,” says Trovato. “It’s branched out a bit. We haven’t had a ton of advertising, but it’s definitely growing from the cast iron group. There are some people who are looking for their first cookware. A younger crowd buying cookware for the first time is looking for a workhorse for the kitchen. There’s a rededication for cast iron, so that’s something we’re looking to build on.”
The folks at Stargazer were also surprised to find how often cast iron was being bought as a gift. “From the social media aspect, it caught on and people spread the word. When people get their orders, there’s a ripple effect out of that,” says Trovato. “We’ve had people who get theirs, like it, and then buy a couple more as gifts.” The community that forms around cast iron is also always looking for new ways to cook with the material. “Dutch ovens and griddles are popular ones, we’ve had requests for a wok as well. We’ve had requests for lids, we’re looking at something like a universal lid that can fit everything,” says Trovato. “Some guy wanted some huge pot from us, he even gave us dimensions and it was enormous.”
New buyers of small batch cast iron might be confused at the color of the cookware that comes out of the box. The deep black color of most cast iron comes from two stages of production. After the casting process, mass produced pieces aren’t polished and retain a rough finish. After that, preseasoning takes place. At an assembly line, a thick layer of seasoning oil is applied by a sprayer and treated at high heat to speed up the process of seasoning. These factors combine to make the dark grey and black surfaces that cast iron is known for. But, Trovato notes, this doesn’t have to be the case. Stargazer’s polishing and hand-seasoning makes a pan that looks different from mass produced models. Stargazer pans have thin, hand-applied layers of oil seasoned at a lower heat, which makes the finished pans distinctly lighter in color. “Ours start a little bronzer. People are curious about why it looks different. A lot of people don’t realize it starts silver, just like any other metal, and as you cook with it more it’ll turn black,” says Trovato.
Another appeal of cast iron is a distrust of nonstick cookware. “You’ve seen a lot more concern about where [customers’] foods come from. Those concerns tie into the health concerns around nonstick coatings,” says Trovato. “I’ve had more than a couple customers mention things like ‘space age nonstick coating,’ there’s some skepticism around it. The more natural feel of cast iron is something that really appeal to them.” Consumers are also looking for something that will last longer. “I do think in general there’s a shift away from disposability, people will know they’re going to be replacing [aluminum nonstick pans] in two years,” says Trovato. “If they invest in cast iron they’re never going to replace it. People just want something more permanent.”
By Micah Cheek
It’s time for parents to prepare their kids for college, and kitchenware has an important place in keeping students fed and happy.
College housing is notoriously persnickety about what kinds of appliances are allowed inside. One major college forbids the use of all of the following for use inside a dorm room: Coffee makers, hot plates, toasters, toaster ovens, popcorn poppers and any other electrical appliance with a heating element. This leaves students with only a microwave if they don’t want to use a hall kitchen. Luckily, the microwave doesn’t have to limit a student to Hot Pockets. Silicone and plastic steamers and microwave containers like those from Lekue make it easy to steam vegetables, cook eggs and even boil pasta using only the microwave. For more information, visit www.lekueusa.com.
Approved appliances can be used in hall kitchens, and having a stovetop or an oven available opens up lots of options. Chef Will Brown from Atlanta, Georgia recommends some basic tools to get the best out of a kitchen when pressed for time and space. Having one appliance that can complete a number of tasks is a big help. Brown recommends a pressure cooker with some smart technology to make things easier. “You’re able to make three to four meals in minutes. It measures everything for you. You put it in the pot and it weighs it and sets the time for you,” says Brown. The new Electric Pressure Cooker from T-fal is designed to function as a versatile and easy-to-use tool in the home kitchen. The pressure cooker has 12 automatic functions, including Rice, Oatmeal, Slow Cook, Reheat, Soup, Baking, Yogurt, Baby Food, Brown, Pressure Cook and DIY. This multicooker has a delayed start and is an even easier alternative to stovetop pressure cooking, and carries a suggested retail price of $99.99. For more information, visit www.t-falusa.com. Remember to check colleges’ guidelines, because some schools allow more or different small electrics than others.
Thick-walled aluminum pans are a great pick for everyday searing and frying, and the light weight can make it easier for students to use and store. “Cast aluminum is not that heavy, and you still get that even distribution,” says Brown. Nordicware has nonstick-coated cast aluminum saute skillets in both eight and 10 inch sizes with suggested retail prices ranging from $60 to $80. For more information, visit www.nordicware.com.
Chef Brown also recommends outfitting a basic set of flavoring options. “Have a base of garlic powder, onion powder and oregano; those always make the meal taste great,” says Brown. “Then make it into your own. Some people like green onion — you can use it in anything.”
Hammer Stahl is introducing American Clad Cookware – American-made, seven-ply, surgical stainless-steel cookware, crafted by hand in Clarksville, Tennessee. Hammer Stahl American Clad Cookware is part of a long line of world-class kitchen products made in the USA. As a premier brand of New Era, the company has a manufacturing legacy extending back to 1874.
“We take pride in our cookware being constructed of American steel and crafted in Clarksville, Tennessee,” said Bobby Griggs, Vice President, Hammer Stahl. “While we became well-known for our premium German steel cutlery, our cookware line has grown remarkably, and we want to clearly share its great history with our customers. We are proud to be American owned and operated, offering chef-quality American-made products. ”
Hammer Stahl American Clad Cookware combines a legacy of superior craftsmanship with a distinctive multiclad stainless steel to create the very finest home cooking experience. Designed for flavorful, low-fat cooking, this cookware is made with seven-ply multiclad stainless steel to transfer heat evenly and efficiently. This cooking system helps retain more vitamins and minerals in every recipe by cooking the food in its own juices. Surgical-grade stainless steel with titanium is durable, easy to clean and will not react chemically with food, making it safe for food storage.
Each piece of cookware is meticulously polished and inspected by hand. “We craft Hammer Stahl cookware with the same care we know our customers use to create wonderful meals for their family,” said Griggs.
Crafted by Hand, Crafted with Purpose
An emphasis on quality and pride in workmanship has been a key success factor in Hammer Stahl’s history. As a family-owned business, the company’s goal is to provide customers with exceptional quality at a fantastic value and to make cooking at home easy and enjoyable. But that’s not the whole story. According to Griggs, the real story is the team behind these world class products.
“The competitive advantage of manufacturing in the U.S. is the passion, purpose and dedication to quality by our employees. They make products that their friends, family and neighbors will benefit from using daily. This mindfulness creates a sense of pride and attention to detail that you simply cannot recreate when the manufacturing process is fundamentally separated from the final user,” he said. “We are in the crafting business, and we believe that this is something that consumers highly value in the goods they purchase.”
American Clad Cookware is about creating quality products and jobs in the heartland of this country, and doing so with a mission in mind. Given a choice between a product made in the U.S. and an identical one made abroad, research shows that most Americans would rather buy the American product.
Following the success of Anolon® Advanced™ Umber, a rich brown hue offered in Anolon hard anodized cookware, Umber is the newest color addition to Anolon Vesta™ Cast Iron cookware and Anolon Vesta Stoneware. The new Umber color in Vesta Cast Iron and Vesta™ Stoneware will be available at retail nationwide in June 2017.
Anolon Vesta Cast Iron cookware merges cast iron’s superior durability and heat retention with distinctive stovetop-to-oven-to-table style and performance. The nonreactive, matte black enamel cooking surface resists stains and does not require seasoning, while the beautiful porcelain enamel exterior – now offered in rich, warm Umber – is both easy to clean and beautiful to display. The self-basting lid features a nubbed-interior for natural redistribution of flavorful cooking liquid back into the pot for continuous self-basting properties. The lid also features an elegant and generously proportioned stainless steel handle large enough to fit an oven mitt. Similarly, side handles are styled with a wide flare to make them easier to hold. For the ultimate in versatility and convenience, each item in the collection is suitable for all ranges, including induction cooktops, and is oven safe to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Anolon Vesta Cast Iron cookware in new Umber is offered in a 10-inch Skillet; 12-inch Skillet; 4 Quart Oval Dutch Oven; 5 Quart Covered Braiser; 5 Quart Round Covered Dutch Oven and 7 Quart Round Covered Dutch Oven. Other colors offered in Anolon Vesta Cast Iron include Paprika Red and Cobalt Blue.
Complementing Anolon’s cast iron cookware is the elegantly styled Anolon Vesta Stoneware collection of durable oven-to-table bakers, casseroles, ramekins, and more. Made of non-reactive and stain-resistant stoneware with a rich glaze in solid hues, each item features sturdy flared side handles for easy lifting and carrying from the oven or cook top to the table. All items are dishwasher, microwave and freezer safe, and oven safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Anolon Vesta Stoneware is available in new Umber as well as Paprika Red, Pumpkin Orange and Cobalt Blue.