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#1 pwillen1

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Posted 04 October 2015 - 07:17 PM

Does anyone use one regularly? what are your thoughts?  http://finexusa.com/

 

 


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#2 nervousxtian

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Posted 04 October 2015 - 07:31 PM

I'm curious as well... the cost of entry is awfully high for a cast iron skillet.     I'm still trying to score a old griswold from a garage sale one of these days.



#3 ExtraMSG

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Posted 04 October 2015 - 10:07 PM

It's not that different in price from Le Creuset, though that's enameled.  The benefits over Lodge, though, seem minimal, primarily some very minor features, such as the pour spouts and better non-stick, along with attractiveness.  It's very Portland to take a vintage tool, jazz it up with some modern styling, and then sell it for 10x more than the classic one that was only marginally worse if at all.  I'm sure there's a Portlandia episode that covers this.  But hey, you drop  $200 on something you'll have for 20 years, it's only $10 per year.  And if you're a programmer and food geek who makes $100k per year, no biggie. Especially if it just sits on your wall beaming that Hipster logo most of the year.


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#4 polloelastico

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Posted 05 October 2015 - 07:42 AM

I would never cook with an octagon as it is against most of my religions.


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#5 crepeguy

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Posted 07 October 2015 - 08:23 AM

“We believe one skillet can tell a story. That one skillet holds an entire history of meals and memories. Twenty years, thirty years, even just one year, all imbued with flavors, experiments, laughter and conversations.”

 

I believe that paragraph alone raised the price of these pans/skillets by $80. The term “heirloom quality” is also a dead giveaway. When you can get the same results from a $20 cast iron pan from there hardware store, why waste the $$? 

 

Same goes for these hipster hatchets:

 

https://www.bestmade...op/the-axe-shop

 

It’s all hype and bs.

 

I like the handles, but for the price of price one skillet, I could buy a whole set of Lodge.



#6 nate

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Posted 07 October 2015 - 12:19 PM

Okay, so I don't own one of these and have never cooked on one (I also have no ties to the company, fwiw), but a friend has one, loves it, and has definitely had me considering the idea. Also, it's surprising to me that anyone can look at this and not immediately see the differences (aside from aesthetic) between this and the perfectly nice $25 Lodge cast iron we all have at home.

 

As presumably everyone here knows, cast iron used to be machined after it was cast. To cut costs, it no longer is. That's why old cast iron pans (vintage Griswolds and other "heirloom"—back to that word in a moment—cast iron) is nice and smooth and all the stuff you buy today (except enameled, obviously) is bumpy. Which is better, bumpy or smooth? I suppose opinions may vary, but I personally much prefer smooth and I suspect that's a common opinion. I would also guess it's why vintage cast iron in great condition is in such high demand.

 

Aside from having a very nice handle, and a fairly ridiculous octagonal shape (which I assume is really just so your friends can tell you have one even when it's got food coating the bottom), the only real distinguishing characteristic is that they've machined the surface, just like they used to do in ye olde days. You know, on stuff that's now heirlooms (hey, wait a minute, maybe that's where the phrase "heirloom quality" came from—it's almost like they wanted something that would describe an item made with old higher-quality processes).

 

Anyway, it's certainly reasonable to question whether it's worth an extra $100-200 to get a cast iron pan that's been machined to an almost mirror finish. For what's it's worth, I don't (though if I suddenly found myself with a bunch more disposable income or a wealthy gift-giving relative, that might change). I just thought I'd try to lend a little perspective and a fact or two to the conversation.



#7 ExtraMSG

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Posted 07 October 2015 - 01:13 PM

The problem is that the machined surface only gives a slight advantage once the pan is properly seasoned.  And even a machined surface is never going to be able to compete with a true non-stick pan.  The difference between a true non-stick pan and a machined cast iron pan is going to be much greater than the difference between a non-machined cast iron and machined cast iron, even before adequate seasoning.  Plus, if you're going to spend that much, you could get enameled cast iron, which has other advantages, like being able to go in the dishwasher, not needing seasoning at all, being able to cook a wider range of dishes without worrying about off flavors, and being prettier.


The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#8 ExtraMSG

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Posted 07 October 2015 - 01:14 PM

And there are relatively inexpensive enameled cast iron now.


The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#9 crepeguy

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Posted 07 October 2015 - 01:19 PM

The problem is that the machined surface only gives a slight advantage once the pan is properly seasoned.  And even a machined surface is never going to be able to compete with a true non-stick pan.  The difference between a true non-stick pan and a machined cast iron pan is going to be much greater than the difference between a non-machined cast iron and machined cast iron, even before adequate seasoning.  Plus, if you're going to spend that much, you could get enameled cast iron, which has other advantages, like being able to go in the dishwasher, not needing seasoning at all, being able to cook a wider range of dishes without worrying about off flavors, and being prettier.

 

You beat me to the punch. Yes, the surface being slightly bumpy is no longer a factor once the pan is properly seasoned.

 

Enameled cast iron is great for casseroles, but cannot take too high heat. 

 

The thing that gets me about these Finex pans/skillets is the octagonal shape. What's that about? It's not practical for scraping browned bits off the bottom and definitely not practical for cleaning.  



#10 ExtraMSG

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Posted 07 October 2015 - 03:08 PM

If you slowly heat and slowly cool your enameled cast iron, it can handle a lot of heat.  


The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#11 EvaB

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Posted 07 October 2015 - 11:10 PM

It looks like a nice pan but it is spendy. I'd want to know how that handle, which does look good, feels in the hand, especially with one of the larger, heavier pans. It's a bit hard to tell, but it seems like the bottom of the pan is round and the sides are octagonal. I think one advantage of this design is that it would be easy to pour off any grease or liquid from any position/direction. Depending on how sharp the angles on the facets are, it might not be any more difficult to clean, or at least not significantly more difficult. I think it's nice that someone is reviving the tradition locally and, like all of the other revived local products, the cost will be higher than something produced in great quantity and overseas.


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#12 crepeguy

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Posted 08 October 2015 - 07:34 AM

If you slowly heat and slowly cool your enameled cast iron, it can handle a lot of heat.  

 

Correct, but the time factor can be a hindrance for certain applications.

 

It looks like a nice pan but it is spendy. I'd want to know how that handle, which does look good, feels in the hand, especially with one of the larger, heavier pans. It's a bit hard to tell, but it seems like the bottom of the pan is round and the sides are octagonal. I think one advantage of this design is that it would be easy to pour off any grease or liquid from any position/direction. Depending on how sharp the angles on the facets are, it might not be any more difficult to clean, or at least not significantly more difficult. I think it's nice that someone is reviving the tradition locally and, like all of the other revived local products, the cost will be higher than something produced in great quantity and overseas.

 

Your points are valid. I started reading some other posts on this and it appears the producers claim to fame is in the design vs function. They are taken with the fact the logo was designed by the same guy who designed some of Obama's logos:

 

http://www.wired.com...frying-pan-2-0/

 

According to this review, FINEX is comparable to Lodge in performance:

 

http://www.examiner....etter-mousetrap

 

And there's this inquiry on the subject:

 

http://www.thekitchn...uestions-207773

 

I think it looks nice, but for the $$, no way. Lodge is made in the USA for well under half the price. Or go to an antique store/flea market, buy a rusty old pan, scrape it down and re-season it.



#13 EvaB

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Posted 08 October 2015 - 10:06 AM

If you slowly heat and slowly cool your enameled cast iron, it can handle a lot of heat.  

 

Correct, but the time factor can be a hindrance for certain applications.

 

>It looks like a nice pan but it is spendy. I'd want to know how that handle, which does look good, feels in the hand, especially with one of the larger, heavier pans. It's a bit hard to tell, but it seems like the bottom of the pan is round and the sides are octagonal. I think one advantage of this design is that it would be easy to pour off any grease or liquid from any position/direction. Depending on how sharp the angles on the facets are, it might not be any more difficult to clean, or at least not significantly more difficult. I think it's nice that someone is reviving the tradition locally and, like all of the other revived local products, the cost will be higher than something produced in great quantity and overseas.

 

Your points are valid. I started reading some other posts on this and it appears the producers claim to fame is in the design vs function. They are taken with the fact the logo was designed by the same guy who designed some of Obama's logos:

 

http://www.wired.com...frying-pan-2-0/

 

According to this review, FINEX is comparable to Lodge in performance:

 

http://www.examiner....etter-mousetrap

 

And there's this inquiry on the subject:

 

http://www.thekitchn...uestions-207773

 

I think it looks nice, but for the $$, no way. Lodge is made in the USA for well under half the price. Or go to an antique store/flea market, buy a rusty old pan, scrape it down and re-season it.

 

Thanks for doing the research--interesting reading. As the owner of a $12 Lodge; "heritage" (aka can't remember where or when I got it) Wagner, and sundry All Clad pieced together mostly from TJ Maxx, I would tend to agree. I'd forgotten that the Lodge cast iron (non enameled) is made in USA.

 

Has anyone tried the Lodge carbon steel pans?


Cool Moon Ice Cream

with apologies to Jack Prelutsky's "Bleezer's Ice Cream Store"

I am Eva Marianna
I run COOL MOON ICE CREAM STORE,
there are flavors in my freezer you have never seen before,
twenty-eight divine creations too delicious to resist,
why not do yourself a favor, try the flavors on my list...


#14 ExtraMSG

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Posted 08 October 2015 - 11:48 AM

Way less than half the price.  A seasoned cast iron pan from Lodge is $30.


The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#15 nervousxtian

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Posted 08 October 2015 - 05:03 PM

BTW, reading that site that tested the Lodge to the Finex... was the Lodge new as well?    If they used a well seasoned Lodge against it, it's not a fair comparison.     A well seasoned Lodge does well, no one says it doesn't... though I do think the Finex is a solution to a problem that doesn't really exist honestly.

 

..but to crepeguy about them axes... you're wrong.. those are awesome.. but if I'm buying a really good axe or hatchet and want a good one go for a Gransor Bruk.. they are awesome.    



#16 crepeguy

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Posted 08 October 2015 - 07:30 PM

BTW, reading that site that tested the Lodge to the Finex... was the Lodge new as well?    If they used a well seasoned Lodge against it, it's not a fair comparison.     A well seasoned Lodge does well, no one says it doesn't... though I do think the Finex is a solution to a problem that doesn't really exist honestly.

 

From the picture, the Lodge looked used. It's a good point.

 

..but to crepeguy about them axes... you're wrong.. those are awesome.. but if I'm buying a really good axe or hatchet and want a good one go for a Gransor Bruk.. they are awesome.    

 

I honestly think I would pay more for the axes from Sweden vs those from Brooklyn. Those Gränsfors Bruk tools look awesome.



#17 nervousxtian

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 06:36 AM

BTW, reading that site that tested the Lodge to the Finex... was the Lodge new as well?    If they used a well seasoned Lodge against it, it's not a fair comparison.     A well seasoned Lodge does well, no one says it doesn't... though I do think the Finex is a solution to a problem that doesn't really exist honestly.

 

From the picture, the Lodge looked used. It's a good point.

 

>..but to crepeguy about them axes... you're wrong.. those are awesome.. but if I'm buying a really good axe or hatchet and want a good one go for a Gransor Bruk.. they are awesome.    

 

I honestly think I would pay more for the axes from Sweden vs those from Brooklyn. Those Gränsfors Bruk tools look awesome.

 

 

I like more apples to apples testing, new to new or used to used.. but again.. like most items like this a specialty item isn't always going to grossly out perform a tried and true no matter what.   Also a Finex isn't really far off in price from buying a retail priced vintage Griswold for example.    

 

Also, those GB axes look sweet in person as well.. if you ever get a chance to see what you appreciate the craftsmanship and how awesome they look as well.    



#18 pwillen1

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Posted 31 December 2015 - 08:00 AM

So an update. I got one 12 inch lodge for christmass from my mom then a 12” finex for Christmas from my wife. So I got to play with them side by side, new. The lodge have really gone down in build quality over the years. I think the $20 one made in china I bought at macy’s beats it in every category but especially the dimpled cooking surface.  If choosing between the lodge and a macy’s special, I’d take the latter.

 

The finex is a different beast entirely. It’s over twice the thermal mass of the lodge so it takes longer to heat up and holds heat much better. In the Examiner test above, I bet he didn’t heat it long enough resulting in undercrisped food. I’ve found the finex to be remarkable in it’s ability to crisp meats and vegetables as there’s less temp drop when things hit the pan. I’ve cooked so far duck breast, duck confit, goat confit, suckling pig skins and duck chicharones plus broccoli, potatoes, eggs, asparagus, chilequiles and nachos (more too, can’t remember).

 

Out of the box, the finex has a better seasoning than the lodge and I don’t see a reason why it won’t stay ahead on non-stickiness given the nearly stainless steel smoothness of the interior finish.

 

The only drawback to the finex for me is the handle.  It’s round as opposed to ax shaped and it has a brass cap that gets very hot within a minute of cooking. If you’re not in the habit of always grabbing pans with a towel, you’ll burn yourself. I e-mailed them to see if there’s a silicone cap to cover the brass but that’s probably contrary to the old timey brand.

 

Is the cost worth it? I cook in cast iron at least once a day, so we’re talking less than a dollar a day if you amortize over a year. Up to you.

 

In short, I enjoy it and I could see it being really, really good for steaks or burgers given the thermal mass and fantastic results in browning.


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