No rivets or seams
Excellent seasoning instructions
Needs to be seasoned
Not dishwasher safe
Lid not included
We purchased the AUS-ION Satin Wrought Iron Skillet so our reviewer could put it to the test in her kitchen. Keep reading for our full product review.
We’ve used just about every type of cookware on the market, but not one like the AUS-ION Satin Wrought Iron Skillet, so we were curious to see how it would perform. We got our seasoning fat ready and stocked up on sticky foods, baking recipes, and steaks. The skillet spent all its time on the stove while we learned its tricks and quirks so we could tell you all about them.
Design: Attractive and definitely Aussie
Out of the box, this pan is pretty, with a golden hue that makes it special. But that color doesn’t last long, since seasoning darkens it. But we’re okay with that. A properly seasoned pan has beauty that isn’t just skin deep.
The entire pan is one piece of metal, with no rivets or seams where food could get trapped. The long handle is sufficiently long to lift and hold the pan. The hanging hole on the end of the handle is in the shape of Australia. That’s creative, but the coastline of Australia is rugged, so the hole is irregular and might hang unevenly on a hook. Above the cutout, it says, “Made here” with an arrow to show just where the pan is made. Below that is the date of manufacture.
On the handle near the body of the pan, there are three cutouts that reduce the heat transfer. It seemed to work. While the handle got warmer, it stayed cool enough to handle even when we had it smoking hot for searing steaks or when we did a long braise of five-spice cabbage. The helper handle is curved and comfortable to hold, with three cutouts, and the large center cutout is in a heart shape.
The surface of the pan is just a little rough, thanks to the ball-peening process that basically shoots small metal balls at the pan. That texture helps the pan hold on to the seasoning.
The sides of the pan are slightly flared, similar to the shape of a typical cast iron frying pan, so our 12.5-inch pan gave us plenty of space for cooking. We even had room to cook breakfast sausages along with scrambled eggs, while keeping them separate.
The sides of the pan are slightly flared so our 12.5-inch pan gave us plenty of space for cooking.
While the pan was a bit too large for a typical batch of cornbread, it would be great for making cornbread for a large brunch. It also served us well for baking a batch of biscuits, since we were able to spread them apart to get crisp edges all around.
This pan doesn’t include a lid, which is typical of skillets, but we found a spare lid in our collection that worked well enough when we wanted to let our dumplings steam a little bit before frying them to get some lovely browning and crispness.
Material: Wrought iron
This pan is made from wrought iron (low-carbon steel), which is a close cousin to cast iron. Wrought iron has a lower carbon content and is a ductile metal, which means it can be stretched. Unlike cast iron that is made by pouring hot metal into a mold, wrought iron is worked by pulling, stretching, twisting, and shaping—like the fancy metalwork on fences and gates.
Despite the differences between the metals, this pan is similar to familiar cast iron. This pan needs the same seasoning and care as cast iron pans, and it develops the same lovely nonstick qualities once it’s fully seasoned.
Heating Capacity: Fast, even, and smoking hot
This pan heated a bit faster than similar cast iron pans we’ve owned, but not as fast as aluminum. As we seasoned it on the stove, we could see that some spots heated faster than others initially, but the heat then evened out and the entire surface was smoking. When we cooked in the pan, we didn’t notice any hot spots, and food cooked evenly. After cooking, the pan held heat well enough to keep food from going cold, but it cooled a bit faster than cast iron.
This pan was more than capable of getting smoking hot on the entire surface.
This pan was more than capable of getting smoking hot on the entire surface. That was certainly great for seasoning, but also excellent for searing a large steak, for quickly stir-frying onions and peppers, and for pan-frying a bunch of asparagus.
Cleaning and Seasoning: Similar to cast iron
Like cast iron pans, this requires hand washing, and soaps should be avoided. Thanks to the nonstick surface created by seasoning, cleaning didn’t require much effort—even when we cooked eggs or burned a bit of sauce in the pan.
When it came to seasoning, the instructions were excellent. First, we baked the pan in the oven three times, upside down, with a thin layer of oil all over the pan. The next step was to heat the pan on the stove while we used a paper towel held with tongs to constantly rub all around the bottom of the pan in order to maintain a thin layer of oil with no puddling or dry spots. This second step gave us a very even seasoning, and while it did create quite a bit of smoke, our stove vent kept the smoke alarm off. We were so pleased with the result, we’re going to add this to our regular seasoning routine for any new pans we acquire.
When we cooked in the pan, we didn’t notice any hot spots, and food cooked evenly.
Compared to cast iron pans, which can be very inexpensive, this is an expensive pan. It’s even expensive compared to many stainless steel pans. However, the manufacturer offers what it calls a “multi-century warranty” as long as all seasoning and care instructions are followed.
AUS-ION Satin Wrought Iron Skillet vs. Lodge Seasoned Carbon Steel Skillet
When price is an important consideration, the Lodge Seasoned Carbon Steel Skillet, which we also reviewed, offers many of the same qualities of the AUS-ION pan we tested, but at a much lower price. The Lodge is made from carbon steel, and it’s not nearly as attractive, but it performs similarly.
One thing to keep in mind is that the Lodge pan has widely flared sides, so a 12-inch Lodge pan would have about the same cooking capacity as a 10-inch AUS-ION pan. We’d recommend the Lodge for budget-conscious shoppers, and the AUS-ION for those who value looks and have the money to spend.
- Product Name AUS-ION Satin Wrought Iron Skillet
- Product Brand SOLIDTEKNICS
- UPC 850891007356
- Price $189.95
- Weight 4.4 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 12 x 4 x 12.5 in.
- Material Wrought iron
- Warranty Lifetime