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The Ideal Skillet for Cooking Over an Open Flame

Capturing charred, smoky flavors becomes a lot easier with the right cookware

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“I feel like every year we find the tool that really changes the game for us in the kitchen,” says Stuart Brioza, the chef and co-owner of State Bird Provisions and The Progress in San Francisco. This year’s find is one Brioza is particularly excited about: the Solidteknics 10-Inch Flaming Skillet, that turns your regular old grilled or stovetop foods into charred, smoky goodness any time of the year.

When Brioza and pastry chef/co-owner Nicole Krasinski opened State Bird Provisions, the space came with a wood oven. But the baking sheets Brioza used were getting bent and destroyed by the fire. Then he spotted these perforated pans in the kitchen supply store J.B. Prince. “I bought six of them, and they changed the game for us,” he says.

The perforations in the pan allow him to quickly and consistently get that glorious wood-fired char on all of his vegetables, without having to place them directly over the fire — which can be dangerous and result in the veg slipping right through the grates. Plus, because there are no mechanical fastenings (which often get warped and broken overheat) and the material is a single piece of sturdy steel, there is no risk of the pan becoming concave (a common issue for aluminum cookware, he says).

For home cooks, Brioza suggests this pan for everything from camping (“You can throw an eggplant in this, place it over fire, and make the best baba ghanoush ever”) to getting evenly cooked barbecue on your own home grill, to safely charring peppers on a stovetop. This pan can also be used to roast nuts or vegetables directly in the oven — you won’t necessarily get loads of charred flavor, but “because you get full heat contact, it’ll make for faster roasting,” he says.

Getting that smoky flavor with ingredients can be really intimidating, Brioza says. “Putting everything in a pan makes it so much easier. And you’ll have this one for your lifetime.”

Buy Solidteknics 10-Inch Flaming Skillet, $119

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