Forget Faberge, iron skillets are the heirloom du jour

A Finex skillet
A Finex skillet
A Sidney No. 8. iron skillet
A Sidney No. 8. iron skillet

Iron skillets are a staple of home cooking no matter what income bracket you fall into. It’s also one of the few truly useful items most people inherit – I mean let’s be real, your grandfather’s Philippe Patek probably doesn’t get much wear.

Now because of a renewed interest in authentic home cooking, the once cheap and ubiquitous iron skillet is getting a high end make over, according to the New York Times. 

While most skillet owners pay something like $16 (or nothing if they inherited one), serious collector will pay as much as $1,500 for “rare” skillets like the Erie Spider, the Griswold Slant and the Wapak Chickenfoot; an elusive Sidney No. 8.

And for those who want to start there own tradition and season their own skillet there are now a handful of American artisans handcrafting pricey pans.
Finex in Portland, Ore. (of course), Borough Furnace in Syracuse and Field Company are all crafting cast-iron skillets at prices ranging from $100 to $300 a pan.

At those prices you could afford copper cookware, but then again it wouldn’t look like something your great-grandpappy griddled with on the frontier.