Joshua and Shelley from Tiny House Basics introduced me to FINEX a year or so ago. (Photo credit above Tiny House Basics) This is a company based in Portland, Oregon that specializes in high end cast iron cooking tools. FINEX is a small team of Portland-based perfectionists dedicated to crafting heirloom quality cookware.
Living in tiny spaces requires using that space very carefully, and buying quality multipurpose cooking utensils is one way you can save on space.
FINEX contacted me and asked me to review a skillet and share my thoughts about this product. I chose the twelve-inch skillet because to me it seemed the most versatile as you can do very simple things like frying eggs all the way up to cornbread or pizza as well as fish and other types of meat.
My wife and I are vegetarians so you will notice in this review all the examples of what I have been making are vegetarian.
I had never really used cast iron before I got this skillet. The first thing I noticed when I unpacked it was the weight. The large skillet is thirteen and a half pounds. It comes pre-seasoned but after watching some videos I did several more seasonings with Crisco oil before trying my first project.
I’ve made a frittata that Logan Smith shared in the Tiny House Magazine, and I wanted to try it in the skillet as my first endeavor. I steamed all the vegetables in the pan. I don’t have the lid for the skillet, but if you can get one I think it would make it easier to steam the vegetables. I just used tin foil which works as a way to keep the steam in with the vegetables. After the vegetables were ready I added the eggs and stirred them in before putting the frittata in the oven. I added some cheese on top a few minutes before pulling it out and letting it cool. Results: fantastic! The cast iron really holds the heat and makes the eggs come out fluffy and perfectly done. It was much better than when I did it in a casserole dish.
Joshua shared with me a delicious recipe for a Dutch Baby that he and Shelley had made early on when they first got their 12” skillet. I decided to give it a try. Wow, delicious! Here again the way cast iron holds the heat it really makes the results come out great.
The next dish I tried was another favorite around our home. A tofu, vegetable, and rice dish. I mainly used the skillet to saute the vegetables and tofu and then added the cooked rice to it. Another great meal!
Cornbread was on my list to make soon, but first I decided to give the skillet a try with just some simple items like scrambled and fried eggs. Both were a success, and I’ve been using it for these basics ever since.
I’ve always wanted to try cornbread in a skillet. With the heat of the cast iron being held so close to the cornbread, it came out with the edges done perfectly (I’m a corner piece guy). As the skillet becomes more seasoned I found that I could just slide the cornbread out of the pan once it cooled a little. I’ve already done it again as well as another frittata.
I’m hooked on cast iron cooking. I know there are still more things to learn, but in the last three weeks I’ve become a bit of a fanatic to this style of cooking.
Cast iron does take some adjustments. You do need to clean it a little differently than you do other pans, but it is not hard. Just hot water usually does the job. Do not put one in your dishwasher! Plus since mine is still new I do a small seasoning after each use, which basically is adding a little olive oil on the inside and outside and letting it heat dry on the stove burner.
On my wish list now is to get the lid for the twelve inch so I can use it for a few more tasks. I also think I would enjoy a smaller eight-inch skillet as it would be lighter and easier to use for the everyday jobs like fried and scrambled eggs. If you are serious about getting high quality lasting cookware for your tiny house I highly recommend the FINEX cast iron products.
Please visit their website at finexusa.com and let them know you heard about them from the Tiny House Blog.