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Stainless steel pans are the preferred choice for professional chefs and are becoming increasingly popular with home cooks. Heritage Steel — which Eater recently partnered with to create the Eater x Heritage Steel cookware line — creates its high-quality wares at its Clarksville, Tennessee factory.
To create its cookware, Heritage Steel custom orders five-ply discs of metal that it shapes and polishes to its specifications. The discs are made of a top and bottom layer of steel, with three aluminum sheets in the middle: The steel gives the pans the most durability, while the aluminum is important for heat conductivity.
To make the Eater x Heritage Steel 8-quart stockpot, the metal discs begin their journey by going through a forming press that was made in 1946. (The molds on the press are changed out depending on the piece of cookware that’s being made.) First, the discs have to be lubricated to allow the press to work smoothly. “You’re gonna want it very lubed up,” says Heritage Steel production supervisor Nicole Wallace. “Because it’s gonna make the steel stretch better.”
The press operators, like Wallace, have to make sure that there are no specks or objects that will affect the outcome of the pot shape. “When you’ve got the [press] in there, if there’s a little bitty speck that gets on there and you draw it and you don’t pay attention to it, you’ve got a ding in every single pan that you run until you notice it,” says Wallace.
The machine allows operators to put exact specifications on how much pressure they want to use, and the process is meticulous: a few wrong turns or not using enough lube can make or break a pot.
Watch the full video to see how Wallace and her team use the press on other pots and pans, and how they use machines to polish each piece of cookware to be ready for the public.
Prices taken at time of publishing.
Nobody knows food like Eater, and nobody knows cookware like Heritage Steel. Together, we have created a line of stainless clad cookware that brings professional quality to the home cook. Our 8-piece core set of cookware includes all the most commonly used pans for everyday cooking.