PORTLAND, Oregon — If you've ever had a cast iron pan handed down, you know how invaluable they can be to cook just about anything. They last forever, and even if it seems rusted or past it's prime, you can always scrub and season it right back into shape.
Finex, based in Northwest Portland, makes beautiful ones. "We have our five quart Dutch oven, in addition to skillets, our sauce pot, and a variety of grill pans," says Michael Griffin as he showed us around their showroom. All their items have a coiled, stainless steel handle and machine polished bottom to make it near non-stick.
"They're also eight-sided so this allows you to pour from any angle, it's nice and drip free, and you can get a spatula behind deep dish pizzas, cornbreads or even pies."
In their beautiful Instagram shots of the pans at work on the coast, in the mountains, and at campsites across the Northwest, Finex touts it's outdoor versatility. That's why their limited edition run of 500 new skillets will have a different look: an outline of Mt. Hood, a Douglas fir tree, and the words "Keep the PNW Green."
These are made in the U.S. and will last forever with a lifetime guarantee, but for those reasons they are not cheap. The pan costs $175, but $100 of that, 57-percent, will be donated to the American Red Cross Western Wildfire Relief fund to help those who've lost so much in the Oregon wildfires.
"Seeing those initial images on tv and smoke billowing up from forestlands and the wonderful communities out there, it really hit home for us," Griffin said. "We all said what can we do? What's our angle to help out? because lots of folks who work here, our fans and the chefs who use our products, a lot of those people we know had to evacuate, several people we know lost their homes."