You can’t find hand-forged skillets just anywhere. Only a handful of artisans in the country make them, including Doug Lockhart of Lockhart Ironworks in Zoarville, Ohio.
A blacksmith and blacksmithing teacher for nearly four decades, he spent three years working on his design, creating some twenty prototypes in the process. “I wanted a very delicate yet strong handle,” he says. “We messed with wall thickness and height, the angles… There was a lot that went into it.”
He wanted the skillets to look timeless, he says, but he didn’t get bogged down in tradition. He makes them from light carbon steel, not cast iron, so they’re easier to maneuver than grandma’s heirlooms but just as good for searing. They come pre-seasoned with coconut oil, ready for cooking right out of the box.
“They produce a perfect sear on steaks, seafood, and vegetables every time,” says Alissa Smith, who uses them in her kitchen at Ale House 1890 in Lancaster, Ohio.
Although the whole family helps out in the shop, making skillets as well as griddles, roasting pans, and other cookware, they’re not equipped for mass production. They can make about six thousand skillets per year, priced at $250. Each one is made to last, though, protected by a lifetime guarantee. They’re built to be heirlooms, says Doug.