Smithey Cast-Iron Skillet Review: My Go-To Kitchen Pan for Every Dish

Updated: May 03, 2024

I own a lot of cast-iron skillets, and this is my favorite. Smithey cast iron cooks like a dream and doubles as a modern family heirloom to pass down to future generations.

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Hailing from the South, I’ve used a lot of cast-iron skillets in my day. My father purchased a Smithey for his signature shrimp and grits a few years back, and I’ve been hooked ever since. After graduating college, I treated myself to a No. 12 Smithey cast-iron skillet for my own kitchen.

With a last name like Smith, how could I not give Smithey a try? This stylish kitchen workhorse replaced every other pan in my arsenal. And, it doubles as a family heirloom to be passed down for generations.

What is the Smithey cast-iron skillet? 

Smithey Cast Iron Skillet with lid on stoveDaria Smith/Taste of Home

Isaac Morton founded Smithey cast iron in Charleston, South Carolina on an appreciation for timeless vintage ironware. Morton began restoring old cookware and gifting it to friends and family. Smithey was born—a cast-iron cookware collection that marries traditional style and modern technology and processes.

My favorite piece of cookware that I own is the No. 12 Smithey cast-iron skillet. Each piece is handcrafted in the U.S. and backs Smithey’s heirloom claim with a lifetime warranty. After all, cast iron only gets better with age! Smithey’s cast-iron skillets feature heavy gauge iron, complete with a polished copper finish, a convenient handle, holes on both sides for hanging and pour spouts. The No. 12 weighs around eight pounds and has a 12” diameter with a 2” depth and an 18.1″ handle.

The skillet is compatible with seven different cooking surfaces: on gas, induction, glasstop/ceramic or electric stoves, in the oven, over an open fire or on the grill. Cast iron is perfect for baking salmon, roasting game, browning skillet cookies, searing steaks and making biscuits. If cooking for two to four people, the No. 12 is the perfect size with an ample cooking surface.

Smithey’s cast-iron skillet has superb heat retention and distribution. Naturally, cast iron is gray. Smithey cast iron takes a copper hue thanks to layers of seasoning. Over time, your Smithey will embody a deep black patina shade.

Pros

  • Lasts a lifetime
  • Heats evenly
  • Heavy-duty pan
  • Pre-seasoned
  • Naturally nonstick
  • Pretty enough to leave on the stovetop
  • Coordinating accessories
  • Cooks on seven surfaces
  • Versatile kitchen workhorse

Cons

  • Heavy, as all cast iron is
  • $210 price tag

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Is Smithey Cast Iron Pan Worth It?

Cooking bacon in a Smithey Cast Iron Skillet Daria Smith/Taste of Home

A 12-inch cast-iron skillet is one of the most versatile cookware pieces a home cook can own. Cast iron is virtually indestructible and conducts heat evenly with a nonstick surface that even fried eggs slip right off of if seasoned properly. (But, be careful, you probably don’t know you’re making these cast iron cooking mistakes!)

Not all of us are lucky enough to inherit an heirloom cast-iron skillet with decades of seasoning. Smithey solves that problem, intentionally crafting heirloom cast iron with time-tested methods.

Smithey cast iron converted me from stainless steel and nonstick cookware to cast iron. The No. 12 skillet replaces almost every other pan in my arsenal. Proudly display your Smithey cast-iron skillet on your stovetop, and put it to work! Just remember to pre-heat your cast-iron skillet before adding food. It’s best to start with a lower heat and work your way up. If it’s smoking, it’s too hot and needs to cool down a bit. Not sure where to start? Dive into our best-ever cast-iron skillet recipes.

I can only say good things about Smithey’s customer service team. They stand behind the lifetime warranty of their heirloom cast iron and are happy to replace it if cookware is defective or fails after honest and normal use. Seasoning wore off my skillet after cooking bacon, turning from a shiny copper to a stark silver where the bacon lay. After a quick re-seasoning, as directed by the support team, it looked brand new. For more pro tips, check out our ultimate guide to cooking with cast iron.

When I glance at my Smithey while eating breakfast at the buffet, I can’t help but think of all the meals and memories I’ve relished with friends and family. And one day, I plan to pass it on to the next generation. You can even personalize your cast iron with custom engraving to further take it to heirloom status. Just know that personalized cookware is final sale.

Smithey Cast-Iron Skillet Reviews

Reviewers are blown away by Smithey’s heirloom quality and aesthetic appeal. It cooks like a dream and cleanup is a breeze.

Five-star reviewer Robert B. calls his Smithey cast-iron skillet a gem. “There is no comparison between this one and a run-of-the-mill cast-iron skillet. It gets better with use. This is an investment in quality and a very well-American-made product that will stand the test of time.”

Verified buyer Sean A. loves this skillet. “I’m a collector of fine iron cookware. Most of which are from the past. This skillet is by far the most well-made and efficient of any in my multiple-skillet collection. Excellent product. Thank you, Smithey.”

Where to Buy Smithey Cast Iron

Cast Iron Skillet via merchant

Smithey cast iron can be purchased on Smithey’s website. The No. 12 Smithey cast-iron skillet is $210, and other skillet sizes range from $85-$240. Smithey cast-iron skillets come in five sizes: No. 6, No. 8, No. 10, No. 12 and No. 14.

In addition to my No. 12 Smithey cast-iron skillet, I have a slew of accessories, including: a No. 12 flat top griddle (versatile for whipping up anything from pancakes to pizzas), chainmail scrubber, metal spatula (for delicate food like fish and eggs), tempered glass lid (for steaming, braising, retaining heat and protecting the stovetop from splatter), leather skillet sleeve and seasoning oil. For a better deal, purchase the cleaning and care kit, which contains a chainmail scrubber, seasoning oil and a soft-bristled cleaning brush. A No. 12 combo set includes the skillet and flat-top griddle, featuring a $45 discount.

I own a lot of cast-iron skillets from various brands, and Smithey is my favorite for whatever kitchen task you may perform. Smithey cast iron heats quickly, stays hot and transfers heat successfully to food. There’s no kitchen tool I love more than a cast-iron skillet, and this one is no exception. Enjoy an heirloom piece of cast iron, sure to be a part of family traditions for years to come.

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FAQs

How to clean a Smithey cast-iron skillet?

To clean my Smithey cast iron, I wash it gently under warm water. Add a little bit of baking soda to neutralize odors from the dish you just cooked—I often do this with fish. Then, apply a thin layer of vegetable oil or seasoning oil while the skillet is still warm to prolong the seasoning. For stubborn stuck-on remnants, I scrape them off gently with a metal spatula (which is great for flipping delicate fish and eggs) or use a chainmail scrubber and a dab of dish soap. Of course, we have a guide for cleaning your cast-iron skillet, too.

Cast iron is not dishwasher-safe. The worst thing you can do to cast iron is soak it in water. It will rust. However, rusted cast iron can be restored. After cleaning your Smithey cast iron, dry it thoroughly. To keep your Smithey healthy, use it often—the oil from food enhances cast iron.

How to season a Smithey cast-iron skillet?

All cast-iron cookware types must be seasoned, which refers to the layer of oil that’s been baked onto the cast iron’s surface. Season your Smithey cast iron with the stovetop method. In a nutshell, apply a light coat of oil to your Smithey with a paper towel. Bring the skillet to a searing temperature until the oil begins to smoke. We recommend turning on a fan. Wipe another light layer of oil onto the smoking skillet with a paper towel. Then, the pan will turn a dark shade, and leave it to cool.

Or, use the oven method, and cover the entire pan in a thin coat of pure grape seed oil or seasoning oil with a paper towel. Vegetable oil works too. Place the cast-iron skillet upside down in the oven at 450°F for one hour. Turn the oven off, and leave the skillet inside to cool down.

Every time you use cast iron, the seasoning erodes. For peak performance, season your cast iron regularly. We created a seasoning guide with step-by-step instructions. Seasoning creates a non-stick surface and protects cast iron from air and moisture. Remember, cast iron should be dry. Light and even coats create the best seasoning and a full layer of seasoning develops over time with frequent use.

Don’t worry if the seasoning on your cast iron comes off. The rumor that you can’t cook acidic foods in cast iron is false. However, bacon can strip the seasoning, leaving silver traces in your copper skillet. I would know, I’ve done it. Simply follow the stovetop method to re-season, and your skillet is good as new. And, this is the best thing you can do for your cast-iron cookware.

Is Smithey cast iron pre-seasoned?

Smithey cast iron is pre-seasoned with several layers of oil after craftsmen finish making the final product. It’s ready to sear up steak right out of the box.

Is Smithey cast iron nonstick?

The more you use cast-iron products, the surface becomes naturally nonstick over time. I recommend using grapeseed oil to get the most out of your Smithey. To improve the non-stick surface, add more seasoning layers and continue cooking.

Where is Smithey ironware made?

Every Smithey product is 100% handcrafted in the U.S. Smithey strives to craft cast-iron skillets in the way they were made over a century ago, starting in an Indiana foundry and finished by hand in the Smithey workshop in Charleston, South Carolina.

Can I use Smithey cast iron in a pizza oven?

Yes, indeed! Smithey cast iron makes quality pizzas and can withstand high temperatures—perfect for cooking in a pizza oven.

Is Smithey cast iron worth it?

If I haven’t convinced you already, yes. On the hunt for a versatile kitchen workhorse that lasts a lifetime? Look no further than the Smithey No. 12 cast-iron skillet.

Does Smithey ironware have sales?

Yes, but they are rare. You’re lucky if you get to attend a Factory Seconds Sale in Charleston. Save on Smithey by purchasing one of their large cookware sets.