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When I'm not hunched over a computer writing or over a fire doing coppersmithing, I'm in the garden or hiking/biking with the kids and husband. Or chasing chickens. Or bees. Or runaway cucumbers...

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Sara, here

OK, so this copper skillet has been in the cookware set for about a year, but what I love about it most is connected to a story.

My father-in-law, who is a welder by trade before his retirement, and is now battling stage-4 esophageal cancer, picked up this skillet after I made the first one.

He hefted it in his giant paws (the man has a size 22 ring finger) and tested the weight of it, and nodded with approval.

“That’s got some good weight to it,” he said. “That’s a man pan.”

And that’s been the nickname of this piece ever since. And it IS totally usable for men and women, of course, but it’s kinda a fun name. And it’s super heavy, which is fine and will keep it from warping easily on the sides and during wear, tear, and use.

The copper blanks…

The design comes from an old etching of an apprentice doing copper cookware work – one of the first pieces of cookware an apprentice was allowed to make was a skillet. Partially because it was easy, and partially because mess-ups could be fixed pretty quickly by the master, so you didn’t waste the copper. Also, this was originally done over a stake with thinner metal, and the rim was often reinforced with an iron band under a roll of the lip.

Now, of course, we don’t do it this way, but it’s pretty amazing how it used to be created. Thankfully, we have power tools these days, so thick copper skillets can happen!

Preparing to tin the interior…

Each piece is handmade. They can’t even be spun like normal sheet metal, so an operator needs to be there to handle each piece before, during, and after the spinning to make sure it’s not too soft and not too hard (there’s an art to even spinning this stuff). Then I drill, rivet, clean, hand-wipe tin interiors, clean again, buff, and hand polish each of these pieces. Everything’s made in the USA (like the handles and rivets). Super awesome to support small!

So…I’m gonna take pre-orders until October 15 for the 50 skillets of 2019. Each will be signed by me as well as dated and numbered. I can only make so many…so that’s why there’s only 50!

My only warning on the Man Pan: do NOT try to fry steaks or get these insanely hot. They are not a cast iron skillet and shouldn’t be used as such. Read the copper cookware care directions (they are pretty similar to cast iron skillets, but like 2 differences) and be ready to take on the tactical finesse of cooking in copper with the Man Pan!

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