This Charleston-Made Cast-Iron Skillet Is The Ultimate Heirloom-Worthy Gift

It's a mainstay on my Christmas and birthday list every year, in every size.

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Smithey Cast Iron Skillet
Photo: Smithey Ironware Co.

Cast-iron skillets belong to the category of kitchen items that seem elusive to many who've never used them, frightening even. Slow cookers and sheet pans? Easy enough to figure out. A skillet that needs to be seasoned (whatever that means) and isn't supposed to be cleaned with soap? Definitely unique, or as we say in the South: old-fashioned.

That's why when you learn how to properly use your cast-iron skillet for all the right things—cobblers, cornbread, skillet cookies, cowboy steak, and so many more goodies—life gets way more delicious. Cast-iron cooking is a skill that reaps big-time rewards, and while there are plenty of cast-iron skillets out there that can get the job done, there's only one that I could recommend splurging on. That's because it is truly special enough to deem worthy of being a modern-day heirloom.

In my experience, nothing can turn out a crispy cornbread crust quite like the Smithey Cast Iron Skillet. Created by hand and machine in Charleston, South Carolina, by a founder with a penchant for restoring hundred-plus-year-old vintage ironware to its former glory, the Smithey Ironware Co. skillets are made to replicate the charm and resilience of those original pieces with modern touches. As a result, the skillets come out looking uniquely crafted with an ultra-smooth surface that makes them easy to use and clean. For me—who acknowledges the affordable greatness of the dependable Lodge Cast-Iron Skillet—it is fully worth the splurge. This is heirloom stuff. The thing you pass down for generations to come. It looks the part too.

As far as size and type goes, I'll take any Smithey skillet out there, and I'll be putting the brand on the top of every Christmas and birthday list for the foreseeable future. While the classic 12-inch cast-iron is the golden child in my kitchen, my eye is now on the versatile 10-inch skillet, the rustic farmhouse skillet, or the tiny 6-inch skillet that's begging to house a cookie. Oh, you can also have them engraved.

Shop all the heirloom-worthy Smithey skillets below for yourself or anyone special on your gifting lists.

No. 12 Cast-Iron Skillet

Smithey 12-Inch Cast-Iron Skillet
Smithey Ironware Co.

Cornbread is a regular in my cast-iron skillet, which makes a classic 12-inch utterly perfect. Just a tad deeper than the brand's 10-inch skillet, this one is also a great size for using on the grill or roasting vegetables.

No. 10 Cast-Iron Skillet

Smithey Cast Iron Skillet

For slightly less of a splurge, go for this equally dependable skillet size that has high enough walls to hold in whatever you're cooking. Angel biscuits, perhaps?

No. 6 Cast-Iron Skillet

Smithey Cast Iron Skillet
Smithey Ironware Co.

Just the perfect size for miniature desserts and a small portion of cornbread, this skillet makes a wonderful gift.

Carbon Steel Farmhouse Skillet

Smithey Farmhouse Skillet
Smithey Ironware Co.

Created to be charmingly rustic and inspired by 18th-century American blacksmith designs, this 12-incher has been hand-forged by a blacksmith—it's made from extra resilient and lightweight carbon steel—while maintaining similar performance as cast iron. This is the dream skillet for any cast-iron aficionado on your shopping list.

Chainmail Scrubber

Smithey Scrubber
Smithey Ironware Co.

Steel wool scrubbers can be notoriously rough on cast-iron skillets, which is why the brand created a chainmail version that gets rid of any gunk without being too harsh on the seasoning. As an added perk, it's dishwasher-safe.

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