The BP long read, musing on the past, present, and future of our pans.

FIRE COOKING 101

FIRE COOKING 101

In modern day, why are we so drawn to something as age old as fire? Other than the fact that it’s made us who we are, of course. “The only thing more rooted in our human behavior than cooking on fire is sex,” says Mike Bertelsen of our sister Cowboy Cauldron Company. “That’s why people keep coming back to it—it’s simply the most satisfying.” We delve into this deep flame and ask our fire-expert friends on tips for getting started.

July 01, 2022
SAVING SHAD

SAVING SHAD

For many years, there was a ritual in our household during the first few weeks of spring. Sometime between April and the end of May, we would dust off our Coleman grill, pull butter out of the freezer, grab bacon from the fridge, plus whatever alliums we could get our hands on, and cook everything down in a hot cast iron for the season’s penultimate delicacy: shad roe.

May 25, 2022
SEASONING 101

SEASONING 101

There is one word that follows cast iron wherever it goes. One that’s fought over by home cooks and experienced chefs. One that’s a big, overly complicated, equally watered-down waste of hot air and time. Let us debunk a few myths and explain a few mysteries for you about seasoning. (Spoiler alert: it’s easier than you’ve been made to believe.)

April 20, 2022
THE FUTURE OF COOKING?

THE FUTURE OF COOKING?

A perfect pairing to cast iron, induction cooktops go mainstream.

You know we love a good fire. But we also want to talk about another cooking method that gets our gears going. Induction cooking has been around for decades, but in the last few years, it has started to mainstream, thanks in part to revered restaurants where iconic chefs are moving their commercial kitchens from the gas stoves of yesteryear toward the induction ranges of the future. This is not your uncle’s hotplate.

March 17, 2022
KEEP IT CLEAN

KEEP IT CLEAN

Go ahead and wash your cast iron. Here at Butter Pat, we cook with acid, we cut into our pans with pizza wheels, and yes, we clean them—spotlessly (and yes, always with soap). You might lose a little bit of seasoning along the way, and that’s okay. Our pans are workhorses. We’re here to use them. And take care of them, too.
January 21, 2022
WINTER FOWL

WINTER FOWL

At the turn of the 20th century, iron foundries were commonplace around the Chesapeake Bay. In fact, here, one of the first furnaces in the United States—Principio Ironworks—supplied cannons and cannon balls to American troops during the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 before creating products based on its stone’s throw proximity to some of the world’s best waterfowl hunting grounds: cast-iron decoys.

December 20, 2021
THANKS BE TO OYSTERS

THANKS BE TO OYSTERS

Looking out over our backyard on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, there is a quiet creek where the past, present, and future of the Chesapeake Bay converge. By the first of November, most local watermen have traded their crabbing pots for a single iron oyster dredge, and their deadrise workboats will now ply the brackish waters in search of an iconic keystone species.

November 23, 2021
THE MAN, THE MYTH, THE LEGEND

THE MAN, THE MYTH, THE LEGEND

We know he’s not exactly a household name, but we owe a lot to Benjamin Thompson. Sir Benjamin Thompson, to be exact, though known by most as Count Rumford is the man to thank for most of our modern meals, our 21st century kitchens, and—without a doubt—our cast iron. (He was also a bit of a turncoat, but that’s another story.)

October 27, 2021
OLD FRIENDS

OLD FRIENDS

Most of you have probably seen our many references to the Cowboy Cauldron Company. Some of you have even noticed that our Lili skillet has its logo on the bottom. Well, we thought it was about time that we offered an explanation, as usual, in the form of a story. Having to do with campfires and canoes and two bona fide firebugs.
March 18, 2021
THE GREAT TALL TALE

THE GREAT TALL TALE

It almost seems like common knowledge: Cast iron is a thing of the American South, as much a part of the region’s sense of place as the fried chicken or corn bread it cooks. But the thing is, cast iron is actually not a Southern invention. (To be technical, the medium tracks back to sixth-century China, but that’s another story.)
February 24, 2020
THE SCIENCE OF CAST IRON

THE SCIENCE OF CAST IRON

Sean Brock has been called many things—visionary chef, farm-to-table hero, Southern culinary revivalist, agricultural anthropologist—and we’ll add one more, which anyone who has eaten at his renowned McCrady’s in Charleston already knows: mad scientist. We chat with him about the thermodynamic properties behind the pan.
November 22, 2019
THE INCREDIBLE EGG

THE INCREDIBLE EGG

Maybe you knew it as “eggs in toast.” “Eggs in a hole,” or “eggs in a frame.” Or perhaps the more common but still curious “toad in a hole,” or “frog in a pond.” But whatever your family called it, at some point in your life, you ate this egg dish of many names.
October 21, 2019