At this time of writing, the German made STUR Skillet has attracted over 4,600 backers at kickstarter with a pledge exceeding $1.1million dollars. We decided to take a closer look at this simple-looking skillet that is touted to be designed based on feedback from 12,000 cooking enthusiasts in the STUR community.
The following design seems to stand out as key features:
1) Lightweight cast Iron that does not deform under high heat, unlike other lightweight alternatives.
2) Machined smoother surface, top and bottom. This will enable faster cooking (using induction cooker) and more efficient heating, and also provide non-stick property.
Apparently, the above are good enough to make 4,600 backers go crazy about a simple skillet. This will be a good lesson learnt for future design. There is no need to get too complicated, and all you need is to hit at the right spot!
The following do not really appeal to us, however, they are not a big issue:
Most skillets have to be seasoned and re-seasoned to reduce stickiness during cooking. Some cooks “oil” the pan first before applying another fresh layer of oil. This applies to all skillets.
2) No insulation for the handle.
We appreciate the handle is ergonomically designed, however, they can become very hot when cooking after some time. Obviously, most cooks would use a cloth or glove to handle the skillet.
3) Thinner material.
The lightweight skillet will imply thinner material, which normally mean heat retention is shorter than the thicker skillets.
We search and compare to alternatives, such as this Amazon Editor’s Choice Lodger Skillet, one of the customer’s review says that the surfaces are rough. However, the 12 in option cost only $50 and due to its weight the heat retention should be better.
Stargazer skillets are also known to have smooth interior that make them naturally non-stick. The Stargazer 10.5 inch version weighs only 5.2 lbs, which is even lighter than STUR’s Skillet which cost more.
Finex Skillet seems not lightweight, but offers another alternative with satin smooth surface and stainless steel cooling handle.
- SPEED COOL HANDLE Wound from 300 series stainless steel and hand polished to high luster, our handles stay cool longer, cool off quicker and feel better in the hand. Inspired by vintage wood stove door handles, they bring high-end fit and finish to a time honored design.
- ULTRA-POLISHED Satin-smooth, easy release cooking surface; Free of chemical coatings; Pre-seasoned and ready for use right out of the box
- FUNCTIONAL ELEGANCE Thick base and walls for constant, even heating and heat retention; Patented octagonal “multi-pour” design for perfect pours and greater cooking control
If weight is not an issue, I Finex skillet should be another good alternative but comes at a higher price.