August 1, 2016

This Season: Cast Iron

Cast iron has been making quite the appearance this season. Nothing adds to a summer barbecue like timeless cast iron. We love its rustic look, all the way from stovetop to tabletop. The New York Times recently featured a set of up-and-coming cast iron manufacturers who are changing the cast iron landscape, from Lodge to Finex.


Lodge is a name that you’re probably familiar with; their cast iron pans are as American as apple pie. Founded in 1896 in South Pittsburg, Tennessee, Lodge is still family-owned and operated by a descendant of the founder. It’s also one of the oldest cookware manufacturing companies in the US.


If you’re looking for a new twist on an old classic, be sure to check out one of the new breed of cast iron manufacturers – Finex USA was launched by Mike Whitehead in Portland, Oregon just a few years ago. Finex was created when Whitehead and his wife were searching for a healthier alternative from aluminum pans. Attracted to the sturdiness and reliability of cast iron, they decided to begin their own company, one of the first of its kind to open in the past 50 years.

Given its cool-to-the-touch spring handle (we know because we’ve used it!) and strong aesthetics, Finex has been making an appearance all over Instagram. Ashley Marti is a food and prop stylist / food writer from the Pacific Northwest who loves to use cast iron. Her simple, clean style and emphasis on ultra local and seasonal ingredients have sent legions of fans to her blog ( and Instagram account ( for daily inspiration.

We got down & dirty for you with some helpful tips on how to keep your cast iron looking as good as the day you brought it home:

  • Rinse out the cast iron to remove any grease and give it a good surface clean.
  • Get your hands off the steel wool and the soap – those will do more damage than good, stripping your cast iron of its hard-won seasoning (or even worse, imparting a soapy flavor to your food)
  • Grab a large pinch of kosher salt and make a paste with some water, then scrub with a paper towel or dish rag until the gunk is gone. Rinse, dry thoroughly and rub a dab of vegetable or canola oil.

Check out our Pinterest board on cast iron to stay on trend with Propped!