FINEX Cast Iron Cookware Co.
Are you dissatisfied with Lodge cast iron? I sure am. The rough, pitted surface doesn’t allow for truly nonstick cooking, no matter how well you season it. A couple years back I encountered vintage cast iron in an antique store for the first time and it was a revelation. The surface was smooth as glass! The difference between vintage cast iron and modern cast iron is the polishing – vintage pans were polished smooth, a practice that was discontinued when cast iron fell out of favor. Soon I was scouring the Internet for vintage Griswold and Wagner pans, which unfortunately are in quite high demand right now.
Enter FINEX Cast Iron Cookware Co.
Simply put, FINEX is the cast iron of my dreams! Mike Whitehead, one of the founders of FINEX, is a connoiseur of vintage cast iron and realized there was a real market for good quality cast iron, with polished interiors for a glass-like nonstick cooking surface, just like cast iron used to have.
Here are some close-ups of my Lodge pan and FINEX pan so you can see the difference:
Mike’s manufacturing background enabled him to develop a prototype and find talented people right here in the Pacific Northwest who could put together these premium cast iron pans. He launched a Kickstarter campaign last fall which was wildly successful and earned 844% of its goal. Cast iron is hot right now!
I got to visit the FINEX facility in northwest Portland, OR and I can tell you it was a real treat. First of all, they have an absolutely gorgeous old building in NW Portland’s historic industrial district. The employees are very skilled and take a great deal of pride in their work. From the moment these pans are delivered from the foundry, everything is hands-on and every step of the way the pans and touched and examined to make they don’t have any flaws. This is true American craftsmanship.
If you would like to own a FINEX cast iron pan, visit their website at finexusa.com to purchase online or find a retailer. Currently they have a 12″ skillet available for purchase. Right now they have another Kickstarter going to begin production on an 8″ model, so this is your chance to support American manufacturing!
More Info: Fellow PDX blogger, Lucy Vaserfirer, joined me for the tour and took lots of great photos. Read what she has to say about the pans here.
The Nitty Gritty
FINEX did not offer me any incentive to write this glowing review, but they did ply me with cornbread and let me touch the machinery. :p