I've loved my old cast iron skillets but they are a little clumsy to use. They're heavy and they take a good long time to heat up. I'm not throwing them away, but I have been straying. A few years ago I started buying pieces from Blu Skillet Ironware and I've loved the pans. The problem is the company has become too successful and good for them, but to get a pan, you have to enter a lottery. I'm too old.
A friend told me about Santa Barbara Forge and as a fan of Spanish Revival architecture and style, I want them to make everything go for me. The things they produce are just amazing. I have a wish-list ready for them. Now they're taking their ironwork skills and making hand-forged skillets and their sense of design is replicated in each pan.
I love all my pans but I dare say this is now my favorite. I love that you can see the hammer marks and the pan is substantial but not as cumbersome as cast iron. Someone made this. Not a machine in China but someone who loves what they do. And being as superficial as I am, they just look great and that's important, too.
At home, we've been searing a lot lately. Take a chop or chicken breast, sear it on all sides and then let it finish in the oven. As the meat rests, deglaze the pan, make a quick sauce and warm up your beans. Add a salad and there's dinner. You wouldn't want to do this in a toxic non-stick and the clean up with a traditional metal pan would be a mess. The carbon steel from Santa Barbara Forge is perfect. The pan goes right into the oven after browning the meat on your stovetop. And the deglazing does most of the cleanup. Check out the book Searing Inspiration for more on this technique.
You can get the pans online and if you're lucky enough to be in Santa Barbara, there's an open house on 4/13/19 from 12n to 4pm.
For what it's worth, I'm not really into influencer marketing. I like to support fellow entrepreneurs when they do excellent work. I purchased this pan myself and have loved telling everyone about the company.