T E X T U R E
All of our cookware now features our new "Black Velvet" surface micro-texture, which we have found to increase seasoning retention, durability, reduce break in time, and ease maintenance.
This is not a coating,
but a very fine texture that gives the seasoning a better hold on the steel, resulting in more consistency and better performance in use.
The issue that many face with a carbon steel pan is that the seasoning can be pretty sensitive. Flaking, peeling, often just dissolving, etc. It can be a real pain! This surface aims to reduce these problems through three major points:
A: Anchor holds
A glassy smooth pan looks great! So glossy and iridescent...
However, that is also a pan that is hard to maintain, especially for someone new to the craft! That glass smooth surface doesn't present any mechanical tooth for the seasoning to hold on to when you've polymerized it, either through use, or through a dedicated seasoning round. As the seasoning is very fragile, especially when thin, (such as during break in,) it is very prone to peeling right up off of that smooth surface.
Now, that being said, you can make it work just fine. A paper thin pane of glass is easily broken with a gentle bend, but a big thick sheet of glass can often take a hammers blow. The same is with seasoning on a pan. On a smooth glassy surface, you need a huge amount of seasoning built up to get good durability, and even then, you lose it quite often. This is where the break in is so crucial, and can set the tone of your life with your pan.
Our micro textured surface solves this issue by giving the seasoning micro "hand holds", just like you find under a good coat of paint. That slightly rough surface hangs on to the seasoning as much as the seasoning holds on to it! As a result, the seasoning is much more durable, especially in the break in phase. That seasoning wants to stay on!
2: Hills and valleys
With a micro texture, you have the benefit of wonderful little hills and valleys. These contribute directly to the durability of the pan by protecting most of of the seasoning from stray utensils, keeping the rest of the seasoning submerged in your cooking oil or the various liquids from your meal, and ensuring that your seasoning is more able to heal up after a loss. Since those losses are lessened, the wounds aren't as grievous as you would experience on a glossy smooth surface. A utensil scraping some seasoning off, or scratching the surface can only get the hills. It can't get into the valleys, leaving that seasoning intact. This is great as usually a scratch is a starting point for your seasoning to start bubbling or peeling up, but since only the high points were pulled off, the low spots are still there, doing their job.
Think about peeling a sticker off of something. You grab a corner, and instead of it coming up as one piece, you get a frustrating little chunk, and have to keep working at it to peel it up. Super frustrating. But, this is exactly what we want on a pan, and what is happening on a very small scale on your pan. Only little bits can come up! And, since those little bits are surrounded by good seasoning, they heal up quickly during use!
D: Handy little micro pockets
Those valleys we talked about are awesome in another way too!
They give the oils or liquids produced during cooking a space to lay in, which provides a thin, reinforced film of lubricant under what you're cooking up. The food is rarely in dry contact with the pan as its always floating on that thin film of liquid. This is that excellent carbon steel sliiiide that we all chase! The floating egg, the perfect sear, the whole 9 yards!
Those handy micro pockets also make maintenance a breeze. They suck up that oil, and continually maintain their little hill and valley neighbors! An oil wipe after use goes SO MUCH farther on our micro texture, as that surface wants to soak that oil up and use it, instead of that oil beading up and potentially running off, or worse yet, staying in the rag you used.
To sum up...
Our micro texture contributes to what we believe is the finest in carbon steel cookware that we can make and deliver to our wonderful customers, in our attempt to serve their families for generations to come!
Thanks for reading!