WHAT’S IN A NAME?: BUTTER PAT INDUSTRIES
Pick up a pristinely polished Butter Pat skillet, and you’ll notice a single letter emblazoned on the sturdy handle. To the average cook, this undescriptive code may not mean much, but for founder Dennis Powell, these letters represent his life, family, and inspiration.
Butter Pat Industries began when Dennis cracked his heirloom cast-iron skillet—a treasured gift passed down from his grandmother. When he realized he couldn’t fix it, he became determined to make two vintage-inspired skillets to give to each of his sons. He began researching cast iron, studying older pieces, and new methods, and after years of trial and error, landed on a formula that struck gold. What began as a personal project exploded into a full-blown foundry that produces some of the smoothest skillets in the industry today. When it came to labeling the skillets, Dennis wanted them to honor his biggest influencers—the women in his life. Now, with four skillets—the Estee, Heather, Joan, and Lili—it’s clear his company has done just that.
Unlike many other cast iron companies, Butter Pat measures their skillets by the cooking surface diameter rather than the rim diameter. This bit of knowledge is key when ordering a pan with cooking in mind because pan size is crucial to so many recipes. When we’re cooking with Butter Pat skillets, we simply add two inches to their marketed measurement for an easy conversion. For example, the Heather is advertised as an 8-inch cooking surface but measures 10 inches across the top. So for our recipes, the Heather functions as a 10-inch skillet.